RE: Technical Documentation solutions?

Subject: RE: Technical Documentation solutions?
From: "Lakritz, Andrew M." <Andrew -dot- Lakritz -at- Ruesch -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 11:45:22 -0400


We are only beginning to use C# here. I think when Microsoft releases Help
2.0 we should be in a position to use it in conjunction with C# to produce
applications with automated help built in.

Basically, we took the four tags that Document! X included and added about
10 or so of our own tags. I built a new database configuration template to
go along with the new tags. You can do this in an add-on tool that ships
with Document! X, which makes it easy to modify the template that ships with
the product. It is true, however, that the help documentation that ships
with the product is adequate but not perhaps sufficient for power users. On
the other hand, I was able to work with someone at Innovasys to get
questions answered and work on bugs. To fully create your own templates you
need to do the following in the Configuration Editor:

1. Create or modify the page layout properties
2. Add phrases to cover your own tagged terms
3. Add new HTML Scraps to format whatever new items you want to display
beyond the main ones.
4. Format the Table of Contents (or select a new one to use for your output)
5. Format your object diagrams (just a matter of selecting fill, text, and
border colors)
6. And optionally adding any variables you want (say when the page was last
edited)

Once you have done this, you don't need to do it again. The rest is writing
the comments themselves in the code. I use Visual Studio .Net to do this
primarily because we have our stored procedures locked in version control.
One could conceivable write the comments in any tool, including Query
Analyzer, or even NotePad. Visual Studio also provides easy access (for me)
to the extended properties of the tables, so that I can write summary
comments for each table and each column.

Regards,

Andrew

Andrew Lakritz
Senior Technical Writer
Ruesch International
700 Eleventh Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20001-4507
202-312-6279

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Klopfenstein [mailto:eklopfenstein -at- proclarity -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2002 11:23 AM
To: 'Lakritz, Andrew M.'
Cc: TECHWR-L
Subject: RE: Technical Documentation solutions?


Andrew:

Your wrote --
I use Document! X and RoboHelp 2002 for the automatic generation.

I'm building an automation system using C# code that bridges SQL Server on
the backend and XML/FrameMaker/Webworks front end. We wrote our type library
examination code for COM and .NET, so the whole thing works, but it would
have been nice to get into a turnkey system.

It sounds like you did.

We first looked into Document! X as an SDK development solution, but found
it lacking in documentation and support. Without an easy way to automate the
production of their XML files, no one in our shop wanted the risk of hacking
away on third-party software for what could be marginal returns.

For the SDK developers in the crowd, could you explain how you created your
automation? (i.e., XML manipulation? object-model tweaking using your own
code?).

Thanks.

Ed Klopfenstein


Technical Writer
ProClarity Corporation
PO Box 8064
Boise, ID 83707
eklopfenstein -at- proclarity -dot- com <mailto:eklopfenstein -at- proclarity -dot- com>
http://www.proclarity.com <http://www.proclarity.com>

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