Re: Flawed software

Subject: Re: Flawed software
From: Stan Brown <stbrown -at- NACS -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 1996 10:49:32 -0500

Skrev Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>:

>Patty Ewy writes:
>>Question: Is it possible to have perfect documentation
>>for a flawed software product?

>Of course. The APPLESOFT ][ REFERENCE MANUAL, which was included
>with Apple ][ computers around 1980, was a wonderful example. It
>described the actual behavior of every BASIC function, including
>examples such as (I'm making this example up, but it's accurate
>in spirit and tone):

>0-255 Returns the nth element of the array
>255-32765 Generates an "OUT OF RANGE" error message
>>32765 Hangs the computer. CONTROL-RESET must be pressed
> to regain control of the keyboard; the program in
> memory will be lost.

And coming a bit closer to home, this is why any serious user of
Microsoft Word for Windows needs _The Hacker's Guide to Word for
Windows_ by Woody Leondard et al. Among many other services, it tells
you which values give General Protection Faults when used as
parameters to Word Basic statements. This can simplify the task of
debugging your Winword macros.

The Second Edition, ISBN 0-201-40763-9, covers Winword 6. I don't know
whether there's a new edition yet for Winword 7; but since Winword 7
isn't much different from Winword 6 that's not as important as it
might be. (No, I have no interest in the book other than as satisfied

I would have thought only an independent author could produce a work
so uncompromising. It says much for Apple that the company would have
allowed its in-house writers to publish such information, and even
given a copy to each customer.

Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems Cleveland, Ohio USA +1 216 371-0043
email: stbrown -at- nacs -dot- net Web:

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