Developers do docs/turnaround time

Subject: Developers do docs/turnaround time
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 12:53:14 -0500

Arlen Walker noted <<Mickey's mail turnaround delay is a
specious argument; overnight delivery services prosper
because they *can* manage one-day delivery. John could grab
the book, box it and get it anywhere by 10:30 next

This is probably a first... I get to disagree with Arlen,
even if only slightly. Arlen, the problem is that Weyco is
a _forestry_ company, which means that many of the users of
the documentation may be at locations completely
inaccessible by courier. If Mickey says it takes 2-3 days
to get the package, I'd tend to believe him... it can take
a day just to get from the nearest airport to a bush camp,
and you really don't want to hire a courier to deliver that
one lonely package to the middle of nowhere and then drive
home on a bush road in the middle of the night. On the
other hand, companies that think nothing of dropping
$500,000 on a feller-buncher that will be dead in 5 years
might not quibble at this cost. <gdr>

With that caveat, Arlen's other comments are (as usual)
bang on. If the developers really need immediate
turnaround, let them write a release note or a readme file
for the update, then deliver this with the software patch.
Simultaneously, drop the file into John's e-mail "to do"
list so he can update the formal documentation and
re-release it... and send it by snail mail to replace the
"release note". Making the docs available online via PDF is
the method of choice here, since anyone can download it and
print it immediately. Since Mickey noted that there's a
LAN/WAN already in place, access isn't an issue.

One very great concern occurs to me, however... liability
and the possibility of personal injury or damage to
equipment. If you're rushing the software out the door that
fast, who's doing technical review on the software and the
docs? Ooh... when I called this a can of worms, I wasn't

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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