emacs is missing nothing except a good text editor.
mod parent up
Can we get a poll about this please? CowboyNeal? You still there?
Only if you help me get the 5 digit.
There is no such thing as "good formal requirements gathering." You are right that the owner does not understand his employees' day-to-day problems...but you need to go one step further and recognize that the employees don't understand them either. They won't know what they want until they see your interpretation of what it is they think they want. Rapid development/prototyping needs to be one of your essential tools. You really need to take a look at the agile manifesto and negotiate this type of relationship in order to be successful as an independent developer. It's not the document that will win him, it's the shippable product increment he gets along with the bill.