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[SEAOC] Re: Proposed voluntary vendor standards

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Dear Shafat, and Mark, et al.

Thanks for taking the initiative on this. Clear guidelines will help us all.


>I like all the points except the first one. If we allow vendors to announce
>product updates, they are then advertizing their product via the update
>announcement. Consider an email like this:
>"The XYZ technologies, developers of a leading Structural Analysis software
>are proud to announce their new release of this world famous software
>package. Version 3.0 is packed with new features and is available to new
>users for only $99. This is half the price of our competing software. To
>take advantage of this competitive upgrade, please visit our web site at
>1. Vendors will not post advertisements. Announcements of version
>upgrades or new products limited to a few (<10?) lines are
>appropriate. These should contain an e-mail address where interested
>parties can respond.

The inclusion of price and price comparison becomes a problem (e.g. "our price
for the next 30 days is half of what the competition charges, so act NOW").
I think if you edit out that from your example, it will be much better form for
this e-mail forum. Perhaps it would read better as:

"XYZ Technologies, developers of software packages for structural analysis and 
design, would like to announce the availability of the latest version of our 
flagship software product: XYZ-Frame 3.0 .

XYZ-Frame 3.0 incorporates new features such as:
    * Dynamic Analysis
    * Customized Spectral Acceleration Inputs
    * Fast Windows 95 Integrated Editing Environment
    * Server version available for Windows NT, Novell, and many other LANs

Additional information about XYZ-Frame and all our other excellent software 
products can be obtained at our website,, or may be 
requested by e-mail to software(--nospam--at)"

The vendor should include a full mailing address, phone, fax, and e-mail 
address in the signature of the note.

>2. Vendors should reply only to individuals in reference to generic
>requests for information about software.

I think this could potentially generate more traffic than we want. If someone 
asks "Does anyone know of good software for structural analysis in Windows 95?"
we will have every software vendor respond to that one request. Since the 
person asking has an e-mail address, why don't we just have the vendors reply 
directly to the requester by e-mail, and avoid clogging up the mailing list? 
Questions such as this one are better handled either by maintaing a FAQ (freq. 
asked questions) or by a simple reply from one of us detailing our own 
experiences with various software packages.

>3. Users should carry on tech support type dialogs with vendors by
>private e-mail.

Definitely Yes.

>4. Vendors may participate in general discussions of the types of
>activities in which their software is involved. Areas might include
>modeling for a developer of FEM solutions or office accounting
>practices by a developer of accounting software.

As long as the discussion remains broad, covering general issues, and doesn't 
become a tech support for a particular software package, this should be OK.

>5. Vendors may reply publicly to any messages containing falsehoods
>concerning their product. Such replies should quote the falsehood
>verbatim and respond narrowly to the falsehood.

Yes, I think this is only fair.

>6. In all cases, vendors should refrain from promoting their products
>publicly (other than in the ways stated above) and refrain from
>criticizing the products of their competitors.

Yes, this would be good style.

Thomas D. Honles, S.E.                        Phone: (213)367-0006
LADWP, Los Angeles, California, USA           Fax:   (213)367-0066
Internet e-mail: thonle(--nospam--at)
          (also: tdh(--nospam--at)