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My opinion, give them PDF copies, if available, or URLs to the 3rd-party
setup routines. You're right, in order to be all-inclusive, you're being
asked to document that which is an add (albeit a necessary add-on) to the
main software that your company produces, but what DOES happen if the
third-party software changes? Are you now expected to document those
changes as well and since you aren't privy to their development (the
third-party vendors, that is) how are you to be kept abreast of any changes
that they may require.
You might have to do the "stand tough" attitude that yes, the third-party
software must be configured a certain way before YOUR software will work,
but isn't that the responsibility of the third-party vendors to explain how
THEIR software should be set up? You can only take it from there since THEN
your software needs to be set up a certain way to run as well.
But, that's IMHO.
From: Martha Silverspring [mailto:silverspring9235 -at- go -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, October 23, 2000 11:46 AM
Subject: frying pan, or fire?
I'm documenting one of those monster software suites that needs 17 pieces of
3rd party software installed before it'll run.
I've been told by my boss that I don't need to document the installation of
the 3rd party stuff: they have their own manuals, and besides, with all
those companies making changes to their software, how would we ever be able
to keep our manual current? So I'm just documenting the configurations and
settings that need to be made to the 3rd party products to make our product
But all the developers and testers (in another state) are complaining that I
haven't documented enough; they want me to document everything that needs to
How the heck do you handle this no-win situation?
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