Friday 2 May 2008

no warranty of merchantability

In Press On, mentioned below, Thimbleby notes that most software, even commercial software, comes with essentially no warranty or guarantee. ("There is no warranty of merchantability nor of fitness for a particular purpose.")

He compares that to the guarantee for Cross
pens, which I reproduce below:
Cross Writing Instruments Full Perpetual Warranty Guarantee

All Cross writing instruments and desk set penholder mechanisms are unquestionably guaranteed against mechanical failure, regardless of age.

Any Cross product or part requiring service under this warranty will be repaired or replaced at no charge when received at our factory from the consumer (postage and insurance are the responsibility of the consumer, and shipping and handling fees may apply). Any such product that is no longer in production and cannot be repaired will be replaced by a comparable Cross product. Leads, erasers and ink refills exhausted in the course of normal use, and emblems and other customized decorations, are excluded from this warranty; also excluded are fountain pen nibs and other parts damaged from impact, unreasonable use or obvious abuse. The Cross guarantee extends our assurance of a lifetime of writing pleasure to every owner of a Cross writing instrument.

This warranty gives you the specific legal rights, and you may have other rights which vary from state to state or jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
I see there is no mention of "beta". How close can we get to this ideal, for non-trivial programs and systems?

By the way, they are also excellent pens. I ought to have insured mine against theft.