RE: Current trends in Authoring Tools?

Subject: RE: Current trends in Authoring Tools?
From: "Dori Green" <dgreen -at- associatedbrands -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 11:46:50 -0500

Collin wrote:

Wow Dori...

Not to sound too intense here, but I think you just insulted a whole
host of non-Frame using TW's!

I think the art of Tech Writing has more to do with Skill than the
Tools you use. Agreed? Even a butter knife in the hands of MacGyver
could produce amazing results! ;)

No insult intended, just stating the reality in my neck of the woods (and
most of the woods in which I have travelled). I've used Frame and I'm not
using it on this job.

As the TW I can review a process and mark required changes on forty existing
documents in an afternoon. I usually also end up sitting at the keyboard to
make those changes and do the nit-picking administrative trivia associated
with recording them.

My boss is just now beginning to grok how much the project might be moved
forward if he provides me with some temporary clerical help for some of this

We are located in rural upstate New York. We would almost certainly have to
reach to Buffalo or Rochester to find a trained Frame typist to make those
changes, and he or she would probably require payment higher than my salary
to entice them into the 40-mile commute each way. Makes it very hard to
convince Management to provide clerical support.

I have elected instead to use Word on this project, and to create "dossiers"
of small documents to assemble larger "process manuals". We can get a local
Word-using temp for less than $10 per hour (to the agency), and they don't
need more than half a day to provide a talented candidate.

Right tool for the job. McGuyver finally got one of those 50-in-one pocket
tools and look at him today -- built himself a stargate and he's zipping
around multiple universes.

Dori Green


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