Documenting bugs in East Asia?

Subject: Documenting bugs in East Asia?
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- FS -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 17:14:48 +0800

I was talking to someone who has worked in software sales and support
in a couple of countries in Southeast Asia. We were discussing release
notes and she told me that it's *not* customary to acknowledge bugs.

For example, customers would not expect to see a section on known bugs
and workarounds, or a list of bugs in previous versions that are fixed
in the new release. She said the international software companies that
operate in the region are aware of this and tailor their release notes

I made the point that our end-users in Australia would tend to be quite
cranky if they spent a few hours trying to get something to work, only
to discover from the help desk that it's a known problem. She responded
that customers in Asia generally expect that if they buy something it
works, and they wouldn't spend a lot of exploring a problem, they'd
expect their dealer to help.

Has anyone else encountered this? We only operate in some countries, so
I'd be interested to know whether this is generally true in East Asia
or whether it's specific to some cultures.

One possibility is to have two sets of release notes, one that mentions
bugs, fixes and workarounds, and one that doesn't. Another is to send
the full set of notes to each dealer so they can customise them for
their own market. To some extent I can rewrite bug fixes to sound like
new features, but I worry that one day I'd wake up and find myself
writing up circumlocutory 'known issues' for Microsoft, or working as
President Clinton's press secretary.

Stuart Burnfield "Fun, fun, fun
Functional Software Pty Ltd In the sun, sun, sun. . ."
mailto:slb -at- fs -dot- com -dot- au

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