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Re: Re: Documentation - what is the big secret?

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  • Subject: [mg87578] Re: [mg87526] Re: Documentation - what is the big secret?
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 03:34:04 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <fti3v2$oho$> <ftkbce$b8b$> <ftncpi$89h$> <>
  • Reply-to: murray at


Indeed, that Wolfram DID do this with earlier versions is one reason 
they succeeded so well, I believe (but have no data beyond anecdote to 

AES wrote:
> ...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.

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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