Is there a nice way to say...

Subject: Is there a nice way to say...
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997 10:26:10 -0700

> ...That our software has (gulp) *limitations*?
>Can I say that? Does that sound bad? You see, there are some commands
>that only work under specific conditions. (For example, the humidity
>has to be at least 40 percent, Venus must be rising, and it has to be
>a leap year.)

Only a moron expects software to be without limitations. Morons
don't read the documentation. Thus, your readers expect that your
software has limitations. The only thing that surprises them is
when you actually tell them what these limitations are, thus allowing
them to use your software effectively.

>I just need a heading under which I can describe these
>"short-comings." What are you doing in similar situations?

I generally have a section called "Bugs and Limitations." Bugs
are things that you expect to fix someday, while limitations are
eternal. It is a bug if PC software doesn't run on the PC; it's
a limitation when it doesn't run on a Mac.

The key to writing about bugs and limitations is to be blandly
factual. Do not apologize, reassure, ask for forgiveness,
or make promises for the future. Just lay out the facts and let
the readers draw their own conclusions.

-- Robert

Robert Plamondon, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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