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Re: Documentation - what is the big secret?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg87526] Re: Documentation - what is the big secret?
  • From: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
  • Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2008 06:58:55 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <fti3v2$oho$1@smc.vnet.net> <ftkbce$b8b$1@smc.vnet.net> <ftncpi$89h$1@smc.vnet.net>

In article <ftncpi$89h$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
 Karen Bindash <KarenBindash at googlemail.com> wrote:

> 
> But Workbench 1.2 is no excuse for not documentating the method to
> produce documentation (there is a certain irony here). It is about a
> year ago that 6.0 was released and to leave it a year and still not
> have the information publically available seems bizare to me.
> 

As an addendum to this:  

Anyone with a decade or so of experience in buying and using software 
knows that major vendors who are busy developing a new consumer software 
product or a major new release of an existing product often bring in one 
or more trusted outside authors of known skill at writing user manuals 
or introductory books, to write exactly such books about their emerging 
product.

In general, they give these outside authors full advance access to the 
emerging product (with suitable nondisclosure agreements), so that the 
resulting books can emerge simultaneously or very soon after the product 
itself.

The results of doing this are almost always good for the vendor 
(increased publicity and sales, and their staff can focus totally on the 
product, not the user documentation); good for the authors (who have 
skills that the vendor's employees may never have); and most of all, 
good for the ultimate users of the product.

So, I'd really like to know:  why the h-ll did Wolfram (apparently) not 
do this with 6.0?!?  (At least, I have yet to see the results of any 
such effort on amazon.)  A disastrous, or at least highly damaging, 
failure, at least in my opinion.


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