RE: How do I document vaporware?

Subject: RE: How do I document vaporware?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "John Cook" <john -dot- cook -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 10:10:45 -0500

John C replied in jest, but I think that that might actually be the
best approach.

Others noted that leaving the broken features in the interface is a form
of "promise to perform", but I will point out that "a future release" is
not any kind of specific promise about "the very next release"... So
it's not that iminent.

Where you WOULD (IMHO) run into that kind of difficulty is if you
document them as you currently think they are going to work, and then
that changes when the features finally get implemented.

Instead, the blank page or a nearly-blank page (lots of white space) and
a standard:
" - Possible future feature. Funtionality not established. - "

And then pointers to what other folks suggested about workarounds or
"You can't get there from here."

For purposes of place-holding, you could always document the way a
feature is supposed to work, then hide the text.

- Kevin

> -----Original Message-----
John Cook replied:
> Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 9:42 PM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: How do I document vaporware?
> Blank pages. Obviously. ; )
> On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 5:46 PM, Sarah Stegall
> <sstegall -at- bivio -dot- net> wrote:
> > Having spent half a week taking all references to a certain
> feature OUT
> > of our software documentation, I am now informed that these
> references
> > are "placeholders" for future development. This means that when our
> > users (other software developers) browse through the command line
> > interface or the help menu, they are going to find
> undocumented commands
> > (that don't currently do anything anyway).
> >
> >
> >
> > There's no telling when these "features" are actually going to be
> > implemented (software design plan? We don't need no
> stinking plan...).
> > What would be the best way to mention these in user
> documentation? I am
> > afraid our users will be very confused when they happen across
> > undocumented commands. Has anyone else had to deal with
> this? Thanks for
> > any feedback.
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How do I document vaporware?: From: Sarah Stegall
Re: How do I document vaporware?: From: John Cook

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