RE: What would you do? Part 2.

Subject: RE: What would you do? Part 2.
From: "Gordon McLean" <Gordon -dot- McLean -at- GrahamTechnology -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 13:22:48 -0000

If you fully understand the content, and how best to structure it then yes
you could do it that way.

But I'd suggest you spend more time than you think on the planning of the
structure and make sure your 'new' structure works. I guess you could,
possibly, take the smallest document and start with that as a prototype
(after your initial planning).

And it may sound insane but I understand the logic. You need to restructure
and rewrite anyway, so why not include a switch of format? Right?

Well remember that you are adding another layer of complexity to your
problem, and I always try and take the path of least resistance in such
matters.

Not sure any of that helps.

Gordon

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+gordon -dot- mclean=grahamtechnology -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+gordon -dot- mclean=grahamtechnology -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- c
om] On Behalf Of Kevin McGowan
Sent: 22 March 2007 13:13
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: What would you do? Part 2.

Thanks one and all...I've received a lot of feedback, and it's all
excellent.

How's this for a thought?

Since I'm in Word now, and I desperately need to (1) get out of Word and (2)
restructure/rewrite the information...would it be wise to come up with a new
structure (DITA, for example) and move everything into a new structure in a
new tool ... all while rewriting it?

It sounds pretty insane when I write it out like this...but just how insane
would it be? Let's say i wanted to rewrite everything in FrameMaker 7.2
(which is structured, and can be output to XML/DITA/etc). Can i kill two
birds with one stone here?

Kevin




>From: "Kevin McGowan" <thatguy_80 -at- hotmail -dot- com>
>To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>Subject: What would you do?
>Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 16:29:51 -0400
>
>Hi everyone...
>
>I'm in a bit of a bind, and I'd love to hear what y'all think I should do.
>:)
>
>I started this tech writing job last week. The company has several
>documents, all giant Word files. They want to move into an XML
>environment, so we can 1) maintain XML modules of information, and
>create printable user guides at will, 2) include some of these XML
>files as online help, clickable from the UI.
>
>Translation is also a concern...as they want to maintain multiple
>languages (English, French, German, Dutch, etc...).
>
>So, here I am...with a bunch of crappy and poorly-maintained Word
>files, and I need to create a state-of-the-art XML system. They keep
>talking about DITA...but I'm not convinced that the DITA format is the
>perfect way to go.
>Frankly, I'm not sure about much at the moment.
>
>Please share any advice/experience...
>
>Cheers,
>Kevin
>
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References:
What would you do? Part 2.: From: Kevin McGowan

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