Re: Author-it [was: Single Sourcing tools]

Subject: Re: Author-it [was: Single Sourcing tools]
From: Jan Cohen <najnehoc -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 06:42:29 -0400

Thanks for that link, Marie.

The page you pointed out really sums up the only drawback I can see in using Author-It to develop and maintain documentation across releases: "Author-it's version control is not the ideal solution, as only one version of an object can be active at any one time." That said (now that I think of it), I also think that such a caveat is really dependent on the working environment.

Anyway, duplicating source content for the mentioned purpose can work fine where a small number of writers make up the documentation group, and the repository is relatively small in size. It's been my experience though, where there are a large number of writers, especially a mix of RFTs, vendors, multiple PMs and Resource Managers, folks just somehow seemed to have trouble with certain conventions (as in file names, how to number major and minor releases, when to up-version a major or minor release, etc. ). Our situation was exactly that. And for whatever reasons, it always seemed like a number of those writers had trouble following established guidelines (read: they probably didn't RTFM). So, in the end, with our choice of Epic and a lot of rhetorical head-pounding, we got to where we needed to be.
But all that's probably irrelevant now. Short and sweet, in the end, the smart writer (or group of writers) chooses the right tools for the job, budget allowing. And if that tool just happens to be Author-It, Epic, or what have you, then... :^)

jan c.

----- Original Message ----
From: M. Palmieri <mailinfodd-wrt -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2007 10:32:31 AM
Subject: Re: Author-it [was: Single Sourcing tools]


Author-itʼs knowledge center has detailed instructions
about duplicating a book to maintain documentation for
multiple, concurrent versions of software:

For topics that need to change in the new release, you
can either embed existing content and add to it, or if
the information requires extensive changes, you can
create a new topic.

The other topics are the same in both books.


Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

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