RE: Automation vs. User-created

Subject: RE: Automation vs. User-created
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Ann Waterhouse <AWaterhouse -at- apg-neuros -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2011 17:14:23 -0500

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ann Waterhouse
> Sent: November-08-11 4:59 PM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Automation vs. User-created
> First of all thanks to everyone who helped me with my search for
> documentation automation software. It has led me to ask this question
> for all the techwr-l's out there...
> What are the advantages and disadvantages to having documentation
> completely automated as opposed to user created documentation?
> Let me give you an example.... A totally automated document assembly
> system that takes pre-formatted and stored snippets of information to
> make a document is rigid and leaves little room for 'on-the-fly'
> customization while picking and choosing snippets allows the writer to
> customize the order of information and to easily omit information that
> may not be needed.
> Your thoughts??

First, is 'on-the-fly' customization needed?
What would be the added value to the person paying the bills?

Second, who makes the snippets?

Whoever does that should ensure that each is self-contained
and has whatever keywords are needed, in order to call it
out of the database when needed... but not when it's not

The real hero in that scenario will be the database designer,
who will specify what the contents (snippets) must contain,
so that the scheme can actually work.

I think that the options are:

a) a big flop that doesn't do what was hoped, because the
necessary prep-work was glossed over, or

b) a really, really expensive success, because you (or the
hero) took the time to really, really plan and execute the
design and creation of the database.

- k

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Automation vs. User-created: From: Ann Waterhouse

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