Re: How to say "DRAFT" in WebHelp

Subject: Re: How to say "DRAFT" in WebHelp
From: "Richard G. Combs" <richard -dot- combs -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 16:01:57 -0700

/kevin wrote:

> I know what I used to do for documents that had to go out the door before
> the official "GA" release of a product (a big DRAFT "watermark" on every
> page).
> Now, 80% of my documentation has become WebHelp. Several hundred pages of
> it, per product.
> What do most of y'all do to show "Not ready for prime time" status, while
> incurring the absolute minimum of work for applying and later removing the
> disclaimer?

Are your WebHelp files going "out the door" before the product's released,
like the draft docs did? Usually, online help is more tightly tied to its
software product than printed/PDF docs are -- it's included in the software
build and part of the software installation.

I put "DRAFT" on PDFs for internal review because:

-- I know they have a way of being unofficially "shared" outside the company
at times.

-- I don't want anyone confusing a preliminary draft with the final PDF of
the same name.

But, I haven't felt it necessary to watermark the few help files I produce

-- Most are created from subsets of another deliverable (manual/PDF), and
their content is distributed and reviewed in that form, not as the final
help output.

-- The help files are part of the software build, so builds that aren't
"ready for prime time" naturally include help that may also not be "ready
for prime time."

-- It's unlikely that someone would "share" a directory full of HTML files
in the same way they might a single PDF.

At least, that's how I've rationalized not doing it, and so far, no one's
objected. :-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Voyant, a division of Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
richardDOTcombs AT voyanttechDOTcom
rgcombs AT freeDASHmarketDOTnet


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