RE: Incorporating third-party books

Subject: RE: Incorporating third-party books
From: "Walden Miller" <wmiller -at- vidiom -dot- com>
To: <Jessica -dot- Nealon -at- handheld -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 09:57:49 -0700

Many years ago (early 1990's), I did this with CD-Burning products (CD-IT!),
and MPEG-1 encoding software. The purpose was to take European products and
re-brand them for American release. We had access to the original docs and
source code for the products for touching up the UIs. We needed to rewrite
docs fast, because the release cycles were short (only touching up UIs, not
writing the engines). Because all of the technology was new at that time
("burning" was a term that was just being coined).

As a strategy, we actually used the manuals we were provided to install and
use the actual software (1 day - 1 week), making notes on problems or holes
in the docs. We took the source docs and reformatted to our styles (we had
very strong templates and style manuals that allowed us to makeover the docs
quickly). We then determined what holes were required to fill, what screen
shots needed to be changed, etc. Then we got to work. Version 2 of each
software was easier, because any new features (CD-IT ALL! Supported burning
5 different CD formats) had to be clearly determined by the engineers to
update any UI changes. But because we had more time to fill holes between
releases, we were better prepared to write and test new features.

The issues as I see it for docs is keeping up with the GUI changes
(rebranding simple things like splash screens usually don't matter). Often
there is branding on screens within the GUI. Usually these change. Often
GUIs are cleaned up at that point. That's when the fun begins.

I suggest doing almost nothing other than cleaning up any install docs and
screen shots for v1 of your reproductization. Then work on the docs
between releases. Hope this helps.



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Incorporating third-party books: From: Jessica . Nealon

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