Re: techwr-l digest: January 26, 2000

Subject: Re: techwr-l digest: January 26, 2000
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 12:18:27 -0800 (PST)


You have probably been inundated with replies
regarding Word as a documentation tool. While
FrameMaker has its own issues (outrageously priced,
poorly supported, etc.), it is MILES ABOVE WORD as a
documentation tool. At the moment, in fact, it seems
the best available at any price.

Word has notorious flaws from a documentation
perspective. Broken Master Document facility (and you
thought it was just you?), horrible cross referencing,
"on the fly" formatting which makes an index a
sometimes thing, etc.

As for your organizational problem, it sounds as if
you are a prime candidate for a knowledge management
application. These store document information in
"chunks" or segments, giving you the ability to
generate a custom version with little trouble. The
only drawback I've seen so far to them is the price.
One whose information I have starts around $30,000
(HyNet Directive).

I suppose you could design a work-around, though,
using separate files for each component and/or module.
You could then paste together the relevant files into
your doc file, re-index, regenerate your TOC, and
print. Version control would be pretty involved using
that procedure, but if your output is relatively small
it could undoubtedly be done.

David Neeley
Technical Writer
USData Corporation
Richardson, Texas 75080
dneeley -at- usdata -dot- com (work)
dbneeley -at- yahoo -dot- com (personal)
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