TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
I agree with Jane. If the GUI is defined well, the reference material is
embedded in well-chosen widget labels ToolTips or WhatIs? type of
context-sensitive help. Hitting F1 in a particular window or dialogue could
open an overview topic with links to task (i.e. procedure) documentation.
Just some thoughts from the trenches: you might want to reverse
yourself about 180 degrees on the reference material online. Users
typically don't use online help (either .hlp or .htm format) to read
reference material. If delivery is the problem, could you deliver
reference guide as a pdf on a CD? Or from your website? That would
allow the users to print it or to read it online....up to them. It
would also reduce your weight and production effort.
As for the books you mentioned, check out the John Wiley Publishers
web site (http://www.wiley.com/
). They publish the Technical Communication Library series and have
some excellent offerings. I remember a couple by William Horton as
well as some other well-known writers.
Hedley Finger Technical Writer
Ericsson Australia Pty Ltd
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Project
Level 34.31 Melbourne Central Tower
360 Elizabeth Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
Tel. +61 3 9301 6214 Cell. +61 412 461 558 Fax. +61 3 9301 6199
Email. hedley -dot- finger -at- ericsson -dot- com -dot- au
Hand Holding Projects Pty Ltd
28 Regent Street Burwood VIC 3125 Australia
Tel. +61 3 9809 1229 Cell. +61 412 461 558 Fax. +61 3 9809 1326
Email. hfinger -at- handholding -dot- com -dot- au