RE: What Program Do You Use For Software Documentation? + WikiQuestion

Subject: RE: What Program Do You Use For Software Documentation? + WikiQuestion
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Paul Weir" <Pweir -at- bju -dot- edu>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 10:13:09 -0400

Paul Weir said:
> Thank you all very much for letting me know what program(s) you use
> documentation. It seems like Word might suit my needs for now. I was
> pretty excited about potentially having a reason to learn and use XML,
> though!

Why not use OpenOffice? Version 3 is out. Its native file format is
open (non-proprietary). The software can open Word and other MS Office
files - now including Office 2007, as well as save in those formats.
The price to use it in a commercial environment is the same as the price
to use it in any other environment... zero dollars... or at least no
more than the cost of your time and bandwidth to download the software.

There's lots of knowledgeable and helpful support via the OOo Users
mailing list:
To subscribe, e-mail: users-subscribe -at- openoffice -dot- org
For additional commands, e-mail: users-help -at- openoffice -dot- org

As well, the website has tons of tutorials and other

Being open-source software, it encourages you to request changes, and
the developers (thousands of them, around the world - the bench is very
deep) actually act on such requests. That is, if you see the need for a
feature or a functional change, and you can persuade others that it's
worthwhile, you'll actually get it AND you can participate in the
testing and proving of it, if you like. You don't wait years for it to
happen, either.

The Writer component (equivalent of Word) has most of the capabilities
of Word, and some that Word doesn't, and it emphasizes the use of styles
for everything. It exports to PDF without additional plug-ins... not
that plug-ins are a problem.

And did I mention that it's free?

OOo is supported on Windows, Linux (where it was born), other Unix
platforms, and Mac OSX.

I routinely use OOo to create and edit documents that I then interchange
with Word users and Excel users, here at my office, and nobody notices.

And did I mention that it's free? :-)

Also, isn't its native format basically XML?
It spits out credible, clean html if you like - not polluted with a lot
of proprietary junk and strange tags that certain other office suites
are known to output.

And, um, it's free. Not to belabo[u]r a point...

- Kevin
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