RE: Object-Oriented Documentation

Subject: RE: Object-Oriented Documentation
From: "Mike Hiatt" <mhiatt -at- vocaldata -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 09:39:10 -0500


You might look into using text insets to share information between documents. This allows you to put shared information into individual files and then import the files into the container documents. This also provides a method of making sure that all documents have access to the latest updates. The one thing it doesn't do is track where text insets are used.

You can use the text insets in conjunction with limited conditional text to provide additional customization as needed.

We're using this technique to share information between two or more documents.

Mike Hiatt
Manager, Tech Pubs
VocalData, Inc.
Dallas, TX (yep, that one)
mailto:mhiatt -at- vocaldata -dot- com

-----Original Message-----
From: Julia Stein [mailto:parkside_studio -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2003 3:52 PM
Subject: Object-Oriented Documentation

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?


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