Re: On-Line Vs. Print, Single-Sourcing, and how to ignore the obvious
One is physical the other is not.
That doesn't mean the information needs to be different.
One can be interacted with, the other is static.
Actually, online help rarely changes it's content based on being interacted with (so the information is also static), and books are (in fact) quite easy to interact with -- you turn pages.
People have preferences, of course. But how we consume information is variable.
People consume electronic data differently then printed data.
They do -- that's why online help conversation tools make it possible to present information online in a usable way -- navigation buttons, different ways to search the information, ways to access related topics, etc..
making the two media share the exact same information is doing a disservice to
one or the other. And in my stupid opinion, printed documents are getting more
and more useless. There is less and less conceptual information. And I am a
person who likes to read concepts. I can figure out instructions on my own. I
want to hear the concepts so I can fit the technology into my needs.
Conceptual information also belongs in online help. Some people don't agree, but there have been studies that indicate that people go to online help looking primarily for conceptual information, and not "Put your name in the name field" sorts of help (which is utterly useless).
The last Winhelp conference had several great sessions underlying this fact.
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Re: On-Line Vs. Print, Single-Sourcing, and how to ignore the obvious: From: Andrew Plato
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