Re[2]: Respect or no?

Subject: Re[2]: Respect or no?
From: Iain Harrison <iharrison -at- SCT -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 1996 17:20:07 GMT

>> 1. Most companies make money on something other than the documentation.
Even if your company creates software, it is the software that makes the
money, not the documentation. Documentation is probably the most important
supporting product, but the software is what people buy. (For example, did
you go out and buy Windows '95 [which came with documentation] or did you
go out and buy Windows '95 documentation [which came with software]?) <<

In the example you give, what you say is true, but that's a pretty poor
example, really. You buy Windows 95 to run other applications, not as an
end in itself.

When a customer buys a product, the solution is the product, not the
software to provide the solution. Apart from operating systems and
utilities used for computer management, it is mostly true to say that the
customer buys software to do a job. If the user is just given the software,
but hasn't a clue how to use it, it is money down the drain.

Documentation has exactly the same purpose as software it accompanies -
both help the user to do the job. They should go hand in hand with one
another, and the relative size and cost of one to the other may vary
according to circumstances. Perhaps 'click the start icon and wait' is
enough for some wizz application's docs, but even in that silly case, the
documentation tells the user that there are no additional tasks to worry


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