in search for better tools

Subject: in search for better tools
From: GILLIOTTE Valérie <vgilliotte -at- mega -dot- com>
To: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2009 11:24:41 +0100

Hello,

We are currently using Frame 7.1 and WWP2003 + ePro for single-sourcing our documentation. When I mean single sourcing, I mean having the same source for Pdfs and on-line help, that's all. We are now up against a new problem : having to produce different outputs based on the same source but with slight differences in the names of concepts etc (for example, according to the framework customers are using, a cat could be called a dog .... (but the principle of use of the tool remains the same).

Right now, we would have to duplicate large portions of texts, changing them slightly, which is insane. I know Frame 7 is not ideal for managing multiple conditions and and I don't find text insets common to all products that easy to manage.

I wonder what the best tools are and the easiest to implement for this now ( unfortunately, we have fewer human resources and more texts to duplicate).

I considered using Frame 9. I kwow it handles conditions much better than Frame 7. Then, the question would be structured or unstructured ? I guess structured would be a better way as it enforces structure but requires more time to implement .... as our documentation is not always topic-oriented (sometimes we have to show examples of processes).

To sum it up, years ago we implemented medium-level single sourcing with Frame and Webworks for print and on-line help. Now we need a bit more but we still can't afford high-level single sourcing (XML-XSL, etc), at least I guess so (if some small structures have sucessfuly implemented an XML solution without too much cost, I would be glad to hear about it).

I wonder what the best compromise is ... Is it still Frame? (Or are there other tools that could be worth investigating ?)

Thanks in advance for any feedback. You can reply off-list as I am on a digest.

Valerie


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