[S] RE: Documentation

Gunter, Bert (bert_gunter@merck.com)
Wed, 27 May 1998 14:28:51 -0400

Mr. Calaway:

Thankyou for your candor. Your comment confirms a hunch that I have had --
to whit: S-Plus does not fully understand that features without full and
accurate documentation are worthless (or worse). Much work is being expended
on new feature development, no doubt; it is too bad that commensurate effort
is not being spent on documentation. Perhaps this is a legacy from S-Plus's
Unix past. In any case, without such effort, S-Plus will not achieve the
market penetration it should. It is enormously frustrating not to have the
information to tell you how things work-- or to have incorrect information.
Your admission of the inadequacy of MathSoft's "limited documentation
resources" and your current difficulties in trying to fix a large backlog of
problems (while your developers are creating yet more) should certainly give
anyone who contemplates purchasing S-Plus pause. If the past is a guide, it
can only get worse. Whatever else may be said about SAS, at least they

Contrary opinions welcome, of course.

Bert Gunter
Biometrics Research
Merck Research Labs
P.O. Box 2000
Rahway, NJ 07065-0900

"The business of the statistician is to catalyze the
scientific learning process." George E. P. Box

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