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Wednesday, October 4, 2000
Adams' Apple on Release Dates
1:46 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

With decades of experience providing consumers with software at this
point, shouldn't companies have a better idea of when a product is going to
be released? Not always, say Suellen and Mark Adams of Westlake
. Missed deadlines in software development are often
totally out of the developer and publisher's control -- there are
myriad logistical problems that can send the best-laid plans of
developers and publishers spinning out of control.

In Suellen and Mark Adams' most recent Adams' Apple column for
MacCentral, the business manager and president of Westlake try to
provide some understanding about what sort of issues they face when
they try to meet deadlines. Here is an excerpt:

Various publishing issues can also cause problems. A delay in
printing the manual, a problem at the duplication facility, problems
with delivery services and approvals of box and advertising artwork
can all lead to a project's delayed release. These are just things
that happen in the course of business.

Legal issues, aside from approvals, are usually contract-related.
Often times, in the case of ports, all the parties agree on the
general terms of a contract and work is begun. However, not until the
lawyers at all levels have reviewed things can all the signatures be
officially inked. It is not unusual for there to be contract
negotiations at as many levels as there are approvals in the approval

What all of this means is that sometimes we work for months on a
letter of intent alone. Occasionally, the contract process lags so
far behind the work that we have to wait for the lawyers to finish
before we can take the next step in developing the Mac version of the
If you've ever been frustrated by not being able to buy a game or a piece of software when you expected to, this MacCentral column is worth a read. While a dose of reality may be painful, it is always welcome.

Adams' Apple: Release dates are not an exact science

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