Re: Writing for web applications

Subject: Re: Writing for web applications
From: David Castro <thetechwriter -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 06:45:19 -0800 (PST)

> Does anyone have any experience with writing for web applications and how
> they differ from software applications?

The others who posted the other day in response to your question bring up good
points. In my last job, I documented a web-based application. My experience
was somewhere in the middle of the following-the-spec and the
fly-by-the-seat-of-yer-pants spectrum. One aspect that I didn't see mentioned
is that, if my experience was typical, you tend to get a copy of the newest
build a lot faster with a web-based application than you do with a
desktop-based app. There's no need for them to create an InstallShield program
for you to view the latest and just go to the development URL.

One benefit that I also didn't see mentioned is that you can do really cool
things with your documentation when it is web-based that you can't do when it
resides on your users' computers. With web-based documentation, you can use
server-side technologies to customize the documentation to the individual user,
collect feedback via forms in your doc (aren't we always looking for ways to
get more user feedback?), and much more. The WinWriter's 2002 Conference has
several sessions planned that deal with server-side technologies (one of which
I will be co-presenting). You can also learn more about how to leverage
JavaServer Pages technology in your documentation by visiting my tutorial
web site at

-David Castro
email -at- davidcastro -dot- com

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