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2014-05-29 20:17:05

Having a Single Software Customer Support Document that Represents
the Software to Everyone

I’m trying to think of a way such that Software Customer Support
can all be performed via a single, simple tool.

My idea is to have a single document that represents the software
to everyone.

If someone wants to know how to use the software or be an expert
on the software, they will be able to learn or become that by using
the documentation alongside using the software.

This in theory will allow the Software Customer Support Engineer
to solve all problems by EITHER: pointing the customer to the proper
section of the documentaion OR: writing/updating/editing the
documentation to include the answer/solution/clarification and then
pointing the customer there.

To step back, I might as well say what triggered me to write this
in the first place. I had the idea that the Software Documentation
for a software should include specific descriptions of *what the
software doesn’t do*.

Why should the software documentation put into writing what the
software *doesn’t* do? So that customers can see that its already
been thought through before and actively decided a given feature is
*not* a feature of the software. This would allow denials of feature
requests to be performed in a totally objective way, with no need for
much discussion (other than positive discussion of
re-considering/revisition the possibility of enhancing the software
in the proposed manner)

I think this builds on the idea that in some ways in traditional
software support the Support Engineer person is a "living
documentation" who is supposed to know all about the software.
So by putting all this in writing the software support engineer can
be more objective and not emotionally involved, and thus do their job
with little stress and with high efficiency.

Moving on. What form will the document be? A (big) .pdf file? A
website like a wiki or an online manpages?

I will start by saying it should be in the form of an online man
pages, that can be programmatically viewed either as multiple pages
split into sections, or as a single .html page. so it is both a book
and a website. it can be split infinitely into sections and
subsections such as: 1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2. 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.3,
2.4, 2.4.1,, 2.5, and so on. I’ll say that I got inspiration
for this from the MySQL 5.0 reference. And I’ll stop there.

*2014-12-05 edit: previously published at

[2020 edit: Moved to: https://investorworker.com/2014/... .html.]