RE: Online or print for SDK material?

Subject: RE: Online or print for SDK material?
From: Matthew Horn <mhorn -at- macromedia -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 11:02:19 -0500


+1 one providing printable manuals as opposed to only online help for SDKs. I may be in the minority, but as both a writer and programmer, I prefer to have a book BESIDE me while I code in FRONT of me. Sure, I could attach a second monitor to get more screen real-estate or constantly hit Alt-Tab to switch between the application and the SDK documentation, but I prefer not to do either.

Cutting and pasting of code samples is overrated. I will have to adapt the code samples to fit my particular application anyway. Usually I just need to see an illustration of a method's use anyway, and not have to copy everything.

If you provide both a printable and online reference help, you should change the structure of the help to fit the medium. For the online reference, I like a Javadocs-like interface with tons of x-refs to related classes, objects, methods, interfaces etc. This is best done with an automated tool.

For the PDF, each chapter should address a particular topic and then using examples of the APIs that are related. Make the PDF more of a conceptual grouping and the online help more of a hierarchical grouping.

Matthew Horn
Sr. Technical Writer
< m a c r o m e d i a >

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