Re: New writer needing advice

Subject: Re: New writer needing advice
From: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 23:27:08 +1100

Susan Guttman writes:

> I have to argue your interpretation of Andrew's words. He's not talking
> about making the ideal manual, he's talking about getting the damn job done
> for an initial release; would you rather ship a product without
> documentation, then mail a fabulous manual out to the users a few months
> later?

For one thing, it may be an act of sheer faith to assume that this
so-called product will have users in a few months. I don't make
a clear distinction between the user-assistance material and
the product: they are usually part of the same package as far as
the customer is concerned. Problems in one are usually a sign
of problems in the other. That's what quality assurance
processes are all about (those frou-frous Mr Plato refers to).

And if it's a new product, how much good is a "fabulous"
manual after a few months going to do these hypothetical

I don't reject your reasoning completely: I can think of situations
in which the best thing would be to bite the bullet and do what
you can do. Perhpas the vendor has guaranteed sales and
doesn't care about the long term. Perhaps you need the work
and don't really care.

I just think that Mr Plato's answer was way too glib to accept as
a general solution to this sort of problem.


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