RE: Two interfaces, one product

Subject: RE: Two interfaces, one product
From: "Humbird, LenX" <lenx -dot- humbird -at- intel -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 2 May 2000 12:21:50 -0700

I'd highly recommend that you voice a concern to the development team that
supporting two different interfaces doubles the work for maintenance and
support crews - including documentation. And that the best option is to drop
one of the interfaces for purely economic reasons.

On the other hand, there are several texts on cross-platform software tools
(e.g.., supporting Mac and Windows), but their strength lies in the
similarity between the interfaces of the two platforms. If you flip through
one of those docs, you'll see that there's a preface that explains the basic
differences (at the application level, in many cases they're slight) in the
screens and function keys.

In your case, Scott, you don't have that luxury. If development won't budge
in their decision, I'd say, scope it as a single-source dual-document,
joined at the hip. There will be similarities between the two (e.g.,
back-end stuff), so you'll want to write those sections just once. You can
do this in Frame, and it might be possible to also do it with Word (and the
help of a software tool that helps with versioning).

> -----Original Message-----
> From: scott -at- soffront -dot- com [mailto:scott -at- soffront -dot- com]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2000 11:29 AM
> Subject: Two interfaces, one product
> Hi,
> I need some recommendations. I am writing paper documentation
> for a product
> that has two different interfaces: one standard, the other
> through a Web
> browswer (Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator).
> The basic functionality is shared between the interfaces, but
> the screens
> are drastically different. In addition, some buttons are also
> inconsistent.
> I just finished a 50 page first draft, but completely
> neglected the second
> interface. I'm trying to decided whether to start a new guide
> just for the
> second interface, or somehow intertwine the second interface into the
> first. Did I mention I used many screen shots? I could easily
> double the
> guide to 100 pages (because the procedures a just a bit different).
> Has anyone else faced a similiar situation? I'd love to see
> some examples.
> Please respond via e-mail:
> scott -at- soffront -dot- com

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