Object-Oriented Documentation

Subject: Object-Oriented Documentation
From: Julia Stein <parkside_studio -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 13:52:12 -0700 (PDT)

Our group is looking at ways to make our technical
documentation more object oriented.

Currently, we use FrameMaker 7 to write user manuals,
which consist of conceptual explanations and
procedural steps for using features.

Our requirements are to be able to extract only the
conceptual information, or only the procedural
information, at a moment's notice. Granted, one way to
accomplish this is to use conditional text. However,
that is not very scalable, because in the longrun,
we'd like to be able to offer a variety of manuals,
not just the two kinds we're envisioning now. For
example, we could get a requirement to create a book
without any of the screen captures, or one with screen
captures only--like a tutorial. Development also wants
to be able to change the UI at the last minute, and a
higher level of "automation" would help us keep up.

I was wondering if anyone is doing anything like this
now, and if so, with what kind of solution? I have
heard that Interleaf offers some of this
functionality. I'm also toying with the idea of
staying in Frame 7, but creating a relational database
to store the different excerpts of information. This
would be very involved, though <sigh>. Anyone else
trying this kind of thing?

Thanks very much!

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