RE: Training (was: What would you do? Part 2.)

Subject: RE: Training (was: What would you do? Part 2.)
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: 'Chris Borokowski' <athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 09:50:09 -0400

Chris Borokowski sez:
> Actually, given the current market, it makes sense.
> With the complexity of OS and app these days, the main
> costs are upkeep and support.
> This is one area where Microsoft and Dell are cleaning
> up. They offer support, and so are a "safe buy" for
> any manager. At one firm I worked, an exasperated
> manager told me for the first time how Microsoft's OS
> was cheaper to run than Linux, and the support was
> better. Having assumed the opposite, I was blown away.
> But when you think about it, there is no default
> application install. Hardware differs, software
> differs, and user needs differ. So few people want to
> get involved in any technology path that does not have
> a support component, and that's where most of their
> cash goes.
> I've heard rumors that many software firms do not
> break even on the software sales itself, and make
> money off of the support alone. It's an interesting
> variation on the old software model, and I'm
> reasonably certain it's responsible for the decline of
> DRM custom solutions on most software except the
> heavily intuitive stuff (visual editing).

Er... yabut... in this case, it's a HELP AUTHORING TOOL. And the Help for
that HELP AUTHORING TOOL frequently leaves one stranded, attempting to do
the basic stuff for which the tool is marketed. Nothing fancy at all.

Of course, this is also a tool where the interface allows you to perform
actions that break the tool (until restart) or your project (until you
notice and fix), but the help doesn't tell you how to fix...

Given that the tool is well into its not-so-early release numbers and that
it was created by people who worked on a predecessor tool that has a
dozen-year history, and given that it's a HELP AUTHORING TOOL fergawdsake
you'd kind of expect the Help portion of it to be robust, comprehensive and
several other nice adjectives that should obviate the need for basic
training, yes?

All of which suggests that maybe the situation described in your last
paragraph - and the matching situation that I describe - is deliberate?

Notice how carefully I refrain from naming the beast. :-)


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