RE: Printing multiple HTML pages at once?

Subject: RE: Printing multiple HTML pages at once?
From: jgarison -at- ide -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 14:26:19 -0400

Dan et. al.,

Often it's not just a simple case of educating your users ... it's meeting
their legitimate needs.

In my situation, we have a web-based application with all online help in
HTML. Our users get page-level context sensitive help when they are sitting
in front of the application. However, our application is also pretty
complicated, and people who want to learn about the basics of what it does
and how to use it need access to something. In order to access the help,
they have to be connected to the server in order to read anything. That's
tough to do on an airplane or any other place where connectivity is an
issue.

We provide a zipped version of the help which they can use anywhere - the
search engine still works in this version. But they want more, so we are
providing some PDF files that they can print out and take with them. We're
gathering groups of related HTML files, PDF-ing them so that they only have
to print one thing to get 50 or so pages worth of relevant info on the
topic of their choice. This may be inelegant, and is certainly a poor-man's
version of single sourcing, but it works, has virtually no overhead, and
lets them know that the info they really need is available with the product.

They really need access to the info in the help, so we need to find a way to
give it to them. I remember back about 27 years ago in my first TW job - we
had an IBM 360 mainframe. It can with extensive documentation - about 50
shelf-feet worth. Everything you ever wanted to know about the system was
there, but you probably couldn't find it. The result was the same as if it
wasn't there at all. From the user's point of view "If I can't find it, it
doesn't exist".

My 2¢,

John

John Garison
Documentation Manager
IDe
150 Baker Avenue Extension
Concord, MA 01742

Voice: 978-402-2907
Fax: 978-318-9376
http://www.ide.com


-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Hall [mailto:dhall -at- san-carlos -dot- rms -dot- slb -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2001 10:05 AM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: RE: Printing multiple HTML pages at once?


Andrea,

Educate your users! Why would they print HTML? Ugh!

Point to a pdf for those who "need" a printed copy.

<quietly grumbling> Printed HTML? who _are_ those people?
No page breaks, fixed margins, no page numbering
Use the most appropriate.., grumble, mumble, mmfmm.
</quietly grumbling>

Dan D

Dan Hall
Sr. Technical Writer
SchlumbergerSema RTEMS

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