Re: Downsizing documentation

Subject: Re: Downsizing documentation
From: "Arlen P. Walker" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 10:41:00 -0600

The panelists are all from Microsoft Corp., and they will relate
their experiences of reducing documentation by 90 percent.

Just a thought to take with you to the conference. We've noticed the downsizing.
We're evaluating new development systems to replace Microsoft's. And this is
being driven by folks who are long familiar with their tools. There are other
issues than documentation involved, but a there is also a dissatisfaction with
the documentation in the new products. The engineers feel they are wasting too
much time discovering the utility of new features and re-discovering the seldom-
used ones.

No decision has been made, and it's quite possible we'll stay with MS (as much
out of inertia as any other reason). But I think it's important to note that we
are considering the change, and the docs are part of the reason. (There's one
guy here who hasn't yet got over the fact that MS wanted him to pay an
additional $25 for an aftermarket book -- published by MS Press, no less --
which fully documented the standard C library routines which were included with
the compiler update from 5.0 to 6.0. And this was only revealed by MS after he'd
paid for and received the upgrade.)

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.

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