About typos in technical manuals

The product you are in charge of maintaining has been in active use for a decade. The manual is several megabytes long, and there’s an army of programmers, consultants and technical writers that make a living off it. As you might guess, it’s not an inexpensive product.
One of the routine tasks for that product -let’s say, “create a new UCM project”- is throughtly documented for the GUI use case, but the manual makes absolutely no mention of the CLI-based procedure. You go through the whole procedure armed with the aforementioned documentation and lots and lots of patience, second-guessing the developers and the technical writers every step of the way, but getting the work done with varying amounts of effort and frustration.
Then, in a key command, you hit a wall. The program complains:

Created project “gpa3_project”.
cleartool: Error: Unknown policy name “POLICY_DELIVER_NCO_SELACTS” specified.
cleartool: Error: Cannot set all the policy pvars on project “gpa3_project”.
Project “gpa3_project” is now ClearQuest-enabled and
linked to ClearQuest database “COFCQ”.

Now “POLICY_DELIVER_NCO_SELACTS” returns *exactly* one match in Google, and it points to the aforementioned documentation. It’s “POLICY_DELIVER_NCO_SELACTS” all over.
After a lot of frustration,

strings /opt/rational/clearcase/linux_x86/shlib/libatriasum.so|grep -i policy_|sort

shows that “POLICY_DELIVER_NCO_SELACTS” is a typo. They really meant “POLICY_DELIVER_NCO_SELACT” instead. No final “S”, you see! And this happened SOME TIME IN THE LAST TEN FREAKING YEARS.
The list of things I’d like to do to the project managers, documentors, and technical writers of this particular product suite is too graphic even for the Internet.
And most importantly — how do they get away with these levels of incompetence?

Posted in Rant, SysAdmin, Tech