TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Give Clients Softcopy? From:Kim Keegan <keegan -at- EXPLORERS -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 13 Nov 1996 13:06:28 -0800
Pete Holman wrote:
> Hey gang,
> The writers at our software company sometimes are asked to write custom=20
> documentation for our clients. The vice-president in charge of custom=20
> projects wants to provide clients with the softcopy source files.
I am against it too, unless there will be a hefty price attached to the source files.
I work at a custom software company. Our policy is NOT TO SELL our source code. If
we were to sell our code, we would basically be giving our lifeblood away. We have
never given softcopy documentation either.
I can recall one instance in which management considered selling our source code. It
was a "client from hell" and we had tried for far too long to appease them. We were
willing to sell them all our source code for their system in order to terminate the
business relationship with them, just to get them out of our hair. But in the end, it
It comes down to this... you give away your source files (computer programs,
documentation, whatever) and you are relinquishing the opportunity of getting their
business in the future for revisions, major updates, etc. Maybe the client is
staffing up internally to handle the business you do for them, or they could pass it
on to a competitor for those future updates. Is your company willing to give this up?
Gee, does Coca-Cola give give their secret recipe on every can and bottle? :-)