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> Perhaps we should publish substantially less content
> that is known to be 100 percent right.
That is zero content in pretty much all cases. Some margin for error must be
allowed for in all cases, even if it is tiny, and readers know this.
> Why? Because if
> our readers use documentation and find an error (or
> multiple errors, as John's scenario implies), our
> credibility suffers.
Credibility suffers only if the information proves to be less accurate than
the reader expected. If you usuall publish information with a 98%
reliability and suddenly produce a document with only 80% reliability, your
credibility will suffer. But if you put a big notice on the front saying,
"This is BETA documentation and may contain error or omissions -- use at
your own risk." then you have lowered your readers expectations and they
will not be surprise when they find errors. If the document then proved to
be, let's say, 95% reliable, you credibility might actually be improved.
They key to both honest dealing, and to protecting your reputation, is to
correctly condition your readers expectations.
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