RE: Providing editable docs to clients

Subject: RE: Providing editable docs to clients
From: "Steve Hudson" <steve -at- wright -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 14:35:08 +1100

1) If they want word, give em RTF. Its quite readable from word...

2) A simple caveat to the extent of "Documentation can be provided in a
number of formats but no support will be available for any editable format."
will perhaps help them come to the PDF party voluntarily.

3) "We cannot be held responsible for any documentation that is provided in
an editable format as unauthorised changes may have occurred." Also, giving
them rtf means none of your official logos in the h&f's comes through :-)

4) Yes - but the users know best and information wants to be free.

5) No it doesn't. Their purchase of your product gives them "reasonable use"
of your documentation - if that means mangling it beyond recognition that's
their business.

6) Of course not - which is why they have to pay for the product.

7) Your role is to provide useable documentation. If the products use gets
tailored to a client environment the client is going to have to do up
manuals that refer to yours with excruciating cross-references. Clients
would prefer to cut n paste huge chunks of detail into their procedure

Steve Hudson , HDK List MVP
Wright Technologies Pty Ltd (Aus) EyeSpring - the future of graphics has
been created.

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Shepard

We develop property management and accounting software for large property
management companies. These clients manage millions of square feet of office
space, retail space, residential units, etc.

Occasionally we get requests from clients for our docs to be provided to
them in Word format so they can customize them for their particular
workflow. I am resistant to this for several reasons:

1. It's very time consuming to convert our FrameMaker projects to Word.

2. In the past, we end up fielding a lot of how-to Word questions when the
clients start to work on the docs.

3.I have problem with our hard work being butchered by amateurs and then it
reflecting badly on us.

4. We are no longer under control of our proprietary information.

5. It basically renders our copyright meaningless.

6. And I think most importantly, I don't think we should give our hard
earned work away for free. Yeah, the printed and online docs are part of the
purchase price. But the design, planning, information gathering,
development, and writing involved in developing a doc project isn't.

I am suggesting to my company we do one of the following:

1. Explain that we don't provided our copyrighted material for editing. But,
we do offer a service of customizing the documentation to suit a client's
needs and charge them accordingly. As long as we can get the staffing we
need, it works out nice for us as we would actually be generating revenue.

2. If we absolutely want to provide the client with a editable version of
our docs, then charge them per page. And charge a lot.

Ideas? Suggestions? Criticisms?

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Providing editable docs to clients: From: Steve Shepard

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