Re: Documents on the web

Subject: Re: Documents on the web
From: "Karen Koldyk" <kkoldyk -at- email -dot- fleming -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 10:00:20 -0500

> ... advantages and disadvantages of...different formats
> such as HTML, HTML-Help, pdf, [and] others?

We initially went with PDF but quickly realized the limitations to it. The documents are not nearly as searchable as the other formats and can be difficult to read online. We abandoned PDF almost as quickly as we chose it and switched to HTML and subsequently HTMLHelp for it's ease of maintenance, full text search etc.

Using online documents in either HTML or HTMLHelp has been a success in the organization I work for - so much so that I was charged with finding an even better solution that would allow us to standardize formats, bring structure, all data reuse and hopefully increase productivity.

We decided early last year to convert our docs to XML and have selected Arbortext EPIC using Oracle IFS for our data repository. We will be implementing in the first quarter of 2001 and there is a great deal of excitement among the SME's and general user community because things are very haphazard at the moment with the exception of the few online documents. The solution will allow most of our users to contribute content in Word using structured templates eliminating the need for a massive training effort.

Eliminating paper docs here was as easy as saying "we won't print them anymore" and although there were initially a few grumbles - the large majority are thrilled with how useable their new "documents" are.

Karen Koldyk
SQA Tech. Writer
Fleming Companies Inc.
kkoldyk -at- email -dot- fleming -dot- com

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