Re: Give Clients Softcopy?

Subject: Re: Give Clients Softcopy?
From: Anne Halsey <AHalsey -at- SYSTEMONE -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 11:09:00 -0700

Pete Holman is concerned about providing source doc files
to a customer.

IMHO, the key here is the fact that this is a "custom" job for
a client. Presumably, Pete, your company is charging an appropriate
fee for this custom effort. The fee should have been set based on
all components - and documentation is one of the components.

If what you are being asked to provide softcopy for is the "customization"
portion, then by all means supply that softcopy, with contractually-
defined terms surrounding the customer owning maintenance thereof,
and disclaiming any corporate or personal liability for any alterations
made to the source.

If you are being asked to provide a superset of softcopy information -
the product doc in its entirety PLUS the customization, I would be
wary. Source code is source code, regardless of whether it is for the
product itself, or the documentation.

An option which appears to be unexplored is providing the doc on
(read-only) CDROM. The customer has the benefit of the online
search (and, presumably, bookmark and annotation) capabilities, but
cannot alter the source.

FWIW ...

Anne Halsey
Senior Documentation Specialist, System One
ahalsey -at- systemone -dot- net

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