Documenting missing features

Subject: Documenting missing features
From: Viv Crawford <viv_crawford -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 15:24:20 +0100


We have a first release of a new piece of software due out in a couple of weeks.

There is a peripheral module that was added on at the last minute that is what you might call incomplete in that I can add stuff in this module but I cannot yet remove it. I'll be able to remove it in a future release, most likely the next one.

My question is about whether I should document that at the minute you cannot remove these things.

I think I should because:

* if I was a user and I tried to remove these things and spent time and energy trying to figure out how and even reading the doc to find out how I'd be more than a little annoyed that it wasn't documented. This is a bad user experience in many respects and extremely damaging to their perception of the usefulness of the doc.

* I like to think I provide user assistance. I should therefore assist my users as best I can. If I was training a user in this module I'm certain I'd mention that at the minute these things can't be deleted.

I think I shouldn't because:

* it's a very peripheral module -- few will use it

* most users of this release will be pre-sales. This potentially means they will likely read the doc more to get a measure of what the software does than a 'real' user who will likely read the bits they need to.

* most users will be using the doc in a very hand-held (by us) environment. There should be few, if any, customers trying to go it alone.

* it's just plain embarrassing that it's not there.

* my colleagues mostly think I shouldn't.

This software is in no way dangerous, mission critical or anything else where threat of legal action trumps other concerns.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.



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