RE: Need help with Help

Subject: RE: Need help with Help
From: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 10:27:09 -0400

ID mapping can be a sensitive topic (pun intended), and the tech writer
doesn't always get to control it. One solution is to have the mapping
file maintained in the source code configuration management system*.
You'll still have to import the updated mapping file into your local
help project, but at least you'll avoid version conflicts.

*AKA chicken control

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Downing, David
> Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 9:59 AM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: Need help with Help
>
> Don't feel too bad. I've been working as a tech writer for
> almost 17 years and have only worked on one major help project.
>
> The main thing to keep in mind is that information must be
> organized completely differently in a help file than in a
> printed manual. It has to be organized as a set of small
> chunks, each of which addresses a very specific topic, such
> as a specific control or field on a screen. You can create
> help topic for introductory/background material, but these
> must be kept separate from everything else.
>
> I remember one big bug-a-boo that I ran into was having to
> depend on the developers to give me ID numbers to assign to
> the help topics. Sometimes I wasn't sure which control they
> were referring to for a given ID number, and sometimes I
> would get lists of numbers from multiple developers that
> conflicted with each other. But even if I hadn't had those
> two general problems, the loss of autonomy was a major issue.
>

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References:
RE: Need help with Help: From: Downing, David

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