RE: Oh so many wikis

Subject: RE: Oh so many wikis
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 11:22:08 -0700

Dear Brian,

You're trying to get feedback on your documentation from customers or
from internal reviewers? If you want feedback from customes, then I
would recommend a separate initiative to encourage customers to contact
you. I heard a speaker from Cisco's documentation department outline
their strategy, which I thought was excellent.

If you want feedback from internal reviewers, then given the
documentation's current form, I suggest having them review PDFs using
Acrobat 7.x features. The reviewing features are "free" once you have
Acrobat Pro to create PDFs.

If you're set on wikis, then I'm sure most wikis allow you to create a
page in HTML. Unfortunately, that means you have to edit it in HTML as
well. You may be able to write a script that converts HTML to "Wiki

I think the PDF route is the most cost-effective. Even if you don't
currently have Acrobat, your company would spend much less by buying it
than by having its writers and engineers spend hours searching for and
customizing an open-source solution.

My motto is "There is no such thing as a free lunch!" You do have to
prove this from time to time, by comparing the cost of people's time to
the cost of software. An important corollary, though, is "some lunches
are not worth their cost." For example, Microsoft software (IMHO) is
often overpriced and "under-functioned."


Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-216553 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-216553 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Brian
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2005 10:28 AM
Subject: Oh so many wikis

I'm looking for some advice, and knowing the depth of knowledge and
understanding on this list I thought this would be a good place to
start. I've been researching the use of a wiki for obtaining feedback
for our documentation, but it would seem from what I can determine that
most seem to require users to create the content in the wiki.
Presently, we create all of our content in FrameMaker 7.1 We then create
PDF to allow users to print, and use WebWorks Publisher to create HTML
Help. We would prefer to continue with these tools for our formal
documentation. Our need then, when using a wiki, is to be able to import
already prepared documentation, without losing all of the cross
references within the documentation set. Ideally, we would like to
import the already prepared HTML Help, and make this editable in the
wiki. There are many, many wikis from which to choose, but in looking at
the feature sets of those that I have examined, I don't see any
references to this kind of import.


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