how do you....

Subject: how do you....
From: Glen Accardo <glen -at- SOFTINT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 09:35:58 CDT

This is part of the "estimating schedules" discussion.

I work for a software company which makes database tools. I try not to let
my documents suffer from "creeping elegance," but our software has a tendancy
to develop features that no one knows about.

1. How much time do you allow for developers saying "Oh yea, there is another
feature that I didn't tell you about...."

2. What do you do when such a feature ruins the organization of a chapter,
section, whatever? That is, it doesn't fit logically, or perhaps requires
too much space, or forces a different approach to explaining something.

For example, one of our tools had 5 command-line arguments. Without my
knowing, it grew fifteen more with some complicated interactions. What
was about a page and a half became eleven pages with two diagrams and
five or six cross references in fourteen subsections. Ouch!

3. I don't want to require developers to fill out forms or reports, but I'd
like to get more day-to-day information about features that have been
added, planned, etc. Any suggestions for a formal line of communications
between thirty developers working on about a dozen products and two
frazzled tech writers trying to keep up with it all?

glen accardo glen -at- softint -dot- com
Software Interfaces, Inc. (713) 492-0707
Houston, TX 77084

Did the Corinthians ever write back?

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