RE: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 80, Issue 10

Subject: RE: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 80, Issue 10
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Bowes, Rebecca" <Rebecca-Bowes -at- IDEXX -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:24:50 -0400

Good point. On the origin side, we use <an industry standard> as a base, and that standard already does a good job of explaining itself.
Integration with major third party apps and systems comes in two flavors:

- install our stuff and configure the third-party app to recognize us, which is just some settings and options in the app, so no programming (this has become the most common case)

- create a bridge (which does need some coding, but which then mostly relies on the SDK of the unknown app to specify the where-and-how)

For customers who are coding their own apps (not relying on 3rd-party)... well, somewhere between <an industry standard> and our own "secret sauce" is the scope of the 'Best Practices' that somebody has decided they want.

For established third-party apps, our product presents as a standardized item (our name is picked up from a standard interface, so nothing to say there - the coder can pass it through to his/her user-visible interface or can translate it as s/he sees fit). For yet-to-be-written apps, the presentation is entirely at the whim of the application coder. We are a resource that they can present in any way they please... or that they can hide entirely from their users and run entirely under-the-hood.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-
> l.com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin.mclauchlan=safenet-
> inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Bowes, Rebecca
> Sent: June-11-12 8:37 AM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 80, Issue 10
>
> A Best Practices section doesn't necessarily need to cover best coding
> practices. It could include recommendations for how best to present
> your product within that third party app -- guidelines for the
> interaction, the display, whatever, based on your experience working
> with other customers. It helps new customers benefit from the
> experiences of others.
>
> Rb
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+rebecca-bowes=idexx -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+rebecca-bowes=idexx -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
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> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 80, Issue 10
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> 2. Developer "Best Practices" content (McLauchlan, Kevin)
> 3. Re: Developer "Best Practices" content (yehoshua paul)
> 4. RE: Developer "Best Practices" content (Erika Yanovich)
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 19:24:16 -0400
> From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
> To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Developer "Best Practices" content
> Message-ID:
> <D1E2C829C5011E4A84DAF8A184DD7CDA020D1681B3 -at- BEL1EXCH02 -dot- amer -dot- sfnt -dot-
> local>
>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> This is for list members who document software/hardware/firmware
> products where a customer might be expected to program an app that uses
> your product, or to integrate your product into a third-party
> application.
> In other words, with your product you supply a developer's toolkit.
>
> An inhabitant of a corner office has decided that our documentation
> lacks a page or section that would be Best Practices for programmers
> using our SDK.
>
> >From my point of view, the entire SDK docs are what a
> customer/developer might want to know.
>
> Some years ago, that portion of the docs included a Tips and Tricks
> page until I was asked to remove portions that had become outdated. The
> whole thing went away.
>
> I see no need - and I think even corner-office would agree - for
> material that any programmer should already know or can find in an
> O'Reilly book (do they still publish those?), in a C# for Dummies or a
> Java for Dummies book or similar.
>
> Our headers and sample code are as standardized as we can make them,
> and include comments relevant to each major language that we support,
> so there's nothing additional to say about compile options, etc.
>
> What do y'all do on this topic?
>
>
> - k
>
>
> The information contained in this electronic mail transmission
> may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected
> from disclosure. If you have received this communication in
> error, please notify us immediately by replying to this
> message and deleting it from your computer without copying
> or disclosing it.
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>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 07:20:48 +0300
> From: yehoshua paul <yehoshua -dot- p -at- technicalwriting -dot- com>
> To: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
> Cc: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Developer "Best Practices" content
> Message-ID:
> <CABz1xA1S7+2M77ygmVu8D8s8qC8ZtAmMrsVSFTYEMUO84sAqeg -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- c
> om>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> To me the answer is obvious: what do your customers say?
> Have you ever gotten any feedback from your customers saying that they
> need
> such a section, or that a Tips and Tricks page would help? Or do they
> agree
> with you and think that such information is redundant for expert users
> like
> them.
> If you can find out what your readers want than that is the answer to
> your
> question.
>
> Disclaimer: This is my generic answer for these types of questions. I
> personally do not document products where you supply SDK toolkits.
>
> Have a great day,
> Yehoshua Paul,
> Community contributor and documentation expert
> http://technicalwriting.com/
>
>
>
> On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 2:24 AM, McLauchlan, Kevin <
> Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > This is for list members who document software/hardware/firmware
> products
> > where a customer might be expected to program an app that uses your
> > product, or to integrate your product into a third-party application.
> > In other words, with your product you supply a developer's toolkit.
> >
> > An inhabitant of a corner office has decided that our documentation
> lacks
> > a page or section that would be Best Practices for programmers using
> our
> > SDK.
> >
> > From my point of view, the entire SDK docs are what a
> customer/developer
> > might want to know.
> >
> > Some years ago, that portion of the docs included a Tips and Tricks
> page
> > until I was asked to remove portions that had become outdated. The
> whole
> > thing went away.
> >
> > I see no need - and I think even corner-office would agree - for
> material
> > that any programmer should already know or can find in an O'Reilly
> book (do
> > they still publish those?), in a C# for Dummies or a Java for Dummies
> book
> > or similar.
> >
> > Our headers and sample code are as standardized as we can make them,
> and
> > include comments relevant to each major language that we support, so
> > there's nothing additional to say about compile options, etc.
> >
> > What do y'all do on this topic?
> >
> >
> > - k
> >
> >
> > The information contained in this electronic mail transmission
> > may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected
> > from disclosure. If you have received this communication in
> > error, please notify us immediately by replying to this
> > message and deleting it from your computer without copying
> > or disclosing it.
> >
> >
> >
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 05:13:51 +0000
> From: Erika Yanovich <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com>
> To: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>,
> "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: RE: Developer "Best Practices" content
> Message-ID:
> <B2076404CA044A4EAE79FFD4E4D136DC043271BB -at- EXRAD5 -dot- ad -dot- rad -dot- co -dot- il>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> Hi Kevin,
> We provide such docs and customers are always asking for lots of
> examples. Also, they need to know the right sequence of actions to
> accomplish a typical task and alternative ways of accomplishing the
> same.
> HTH,
> Erika
>
>
> ------------------------------
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References:
RE: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 80, Issue 10: From: Bowes, Rebecca

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