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Subject:Re: Comments on On-Line Docs From:Sue Heim <SUE -at- RIS -dot- RISINC -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 12 May 1995 09:22:37 PST
Arlen quoted Mr. Santos (Infoworld) with:
> 1) I believe most documentation is completed after the software product is
> finished. So for many vendors there is a tendency and a temptation to release
> the software product without the manual.
Hello? I don't know about any other vendors, but all of the software
vendors I have ever worked for absolutely never released product (for
sale) without docs. Beta test, yes. Production release, no. There
have been occasions when the release of a product was delayed (thank
heavens not lately) due to the fact that a manual wasn't completed or
back from the printer yet. Including a manual is an integral part of
the complete software package.
> 2) There is a major difference between a new product release and an upgrade or
> mature product release without manuals.
When I do an upgrade release, I include an addendum that is to be
used with the manual. At that time, the online help is updated to
reflect all that is included in the addendum.
This may be, but I think that, in this day and age, folks are less
likely to illegally obtain a copy of software (at least, most
companies now are self-policing regarding illegal software). Illegal
duplication or use is a concern of ours, as a software dev co, but it
doesn't cause the exclusion of online docs.
> 4) Support costs are higher when manuals are removed. Increased phone support
> required, and you will find an increase in on-line forum messages with
> rudimentary questions.
Now *this* I would agree with!!
> What do you think, all ye SW doc-ers out there? Has he a point, or has he only
> exposed the one on his head?
Hmm... Arlen, I think it was the one on his head that was exposed...!
Research Information Systems
Email: Sue -at- ris -dot- risinc -dot- com