RE: Online or print for SDK material?

Subject: RE: Online or print for SDK material?
From: "walden miller" <wmiller -at- vidiom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 00:20:40 -0700

Call me old-fashioned, but I think you need to offer both.

When I wrote an SDK for a large middleware company, our biggest customer of
manuals were departments of the same company that used the SDK for writing
applications. The SDK was huge (5000+ pages). But, when I cruised through
the applications group area, you could see the multiple manuals laying open,
Visual C in the main window on their monitors, and the PDF of the SDK open
in a window.

I don't advocate printing manuals for most purposes, but...

One way around this issue is to provide one manual per order. Then provide
pricing for more manuals. Often SDK's are purchased en masse. 5 or 10 at a
time. Given a reasonable price ($150-500), more manuals are purchased and
you might surprise marketing into making docs a profit center.

This is not always the case. I would definitely talk to people that use the
SDK. I would also not necessarily trust the answers they give. Watching
people work that have access to both print and PDF is very interesting.

Good luck on your decision,

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Online or print for SDK material?: From: Stevenson, Rebecca

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