RE: What would you do? Part 2.

Subject: RE: What would you do? Part 2.
From: "Ole Andersen" <ora -at- dita-exchange -dot- com>
To: "Kevin McGowan" <thatguy_80 -at- hotmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 14:31:12 +0100

Kevin - with +10 years experience from converting documents in sophisticated software tools in the EU and the US for large companies we can say the following:

Don't do it!

Instead of shooting 2 birds you will end up shooting yourselves in the foot (both feet).

Here is how to do it (once you have decided to convert to structured writing):

1) Pick the tool chain, tool, CMS or... you want as a potential tool/system
2) pick somebody you trust to convert your existing documents to structured documents - you may end up with a better result than you expect. (Normally we get 80%+)
3) Import the converted documents to the system/tool you prefer
4) Use ALL your energy on repairing the content components and then re-structure/re-chuck for future objectives.

So system first, then import and then re-writing!

Hope you can use this advice and avoid spending night after night trying to do what you just suggested.

Ole


Best Regards
>< Content Technologies ApS
Ole Rom Andersen
Director, Co-founder
Harevej 23
DK-8660 Skanderborg

Mobile: +45-4044-0553
ora -at- dita-exchange -dot- com <mailto:ora -at- dita-exchange -dot- com>
www.dita-exchange.com <https://www.webexchange.dk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.dita-exchange.com>


________________________________

From: techwr-l-bounces+ora=dita-exchange -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com on behalf of Kevin McGowan
Sent: Thu 22-Mar-07 14:13
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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_________________________________________________________________
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Spaces. http://spaces.live.com/?mkt=en-ca

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include single source authoring, team authoring,
Web-based technology, and PDF output. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList

Now shipping: Help &amp; Manual 4 with RoboHelp(r) import! New editor,
full Unicode support. Create help files, web-based help and PDF in up
to 106 languages with Help &amp; Manual: http://www.helpandmanual.com <http://www.helpandmanual.com/>

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include single source authoring, team authoring,
Web-based technology, and PDF output. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList

Now shipping: Help &amp; Manual 4 with RoboHelp(r) import! New editor,
full Unicode support. Create help files, web-based help and PDF in up
to 106 languages with Help &amp; Manual: http://www.helpandmanual.com

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Follow-Ups:

References:
What would you do? Part 2.: From: Kevin McGowan

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