software reviews that mention the documentation

Subject: software reviews that mention the documentation
From: Alex Ragen <alex -at- CHECKPOINT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 09:17:41 +0300

I've had some good reviews and some bad ones, but two stand out in my memory:
1) A reviewer said that the documentation of one particular feature was the
worst he had ever seen, so I wrote him, asking that he be more specific so
that I could fix it in future versions. What I really wanted to know was
what is his home address so that I can come by with some friends and break
his legs, but in the interests of professionalism I took the humble pie
approach. His answer was basically this: "I don't know. The guy who
actually tested the software for me said he had a problem here, but he
didn't say what it was." And there are really people out there who make
purchase decisions based on this stuff?
2) One review said the online help was even better than the printed user
guide, for which he had only good words. This eagle-eyed reviewer did not
notice that the online help was built from the user guide and was almost
word-for-word identical to it. Well, I'm glad to hear a little praise now
and then, but I would like to have some respect for the reviewer dishing it
My conclusion - the only reviewer that counts is the paying customer. No
one else (and especially not a magazine's reviewer who got the product for
free) is as highly motivated to actually read and try to understand what we
Alex Ragen - Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.
Home of FireWall-1 - the planet's leading FIREWALL
alex -at- checkpoint -dot- com -

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