Re: Modular products...

Subject: Re: Modular products...
From: Ryan Pollack <ryan -at- clicksecurity -dot- com>
To: Sarah Blake <sarah -dot- blake -at- arieso -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 09:12:04 -0600

I'll agree w/others; both of my TW gigs have been at such platform/module
companies. Having some way of detecting what is installed is really useful.

At my former company, we were shipping CHMs, so we used JavaScript to do
this. We created one master JS file with a list of files to look for (that
all CHMs had), and each CHM included a unique JS that identified itself. We
could then write HTML that displayed itself only if a certain CHM was
present (e.g. a JavaScript variable evaluated to true); otherwise, the HTML
was hidden.

Since the CHMs were present only if the the accompanying module was
installed, this method worked great for us. It was a quasi-manual effort,
but we put enough checklists & testing in place to make sure things worked.

At my present company, which is also a platform/modules situation, no docs
ship w/the product -- all our docs are on the Internet, so we put all
documentation online, since we can't tell what people have installed.



On Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 8:52 AM, Sarah Blake <sarah -dot- blake -at- arieso -dot- com> wrote:

> Substantial dev effort would be a non-starter (isn't it always?), but
> communication shouldn't be a problem (I'm in the same office and chain of
> command).
>
> The alternative, obviously, would be a setup like David's or Anne's, but
> I'm currently relatively unconstrained by existing processes (or, to put it
> another way, 'I have to produce a doc set from scratch and have it ready
> last year') so nothing's off the table for consideration, and I can at
> least /look/ at ideal solutions.
>
> Sarah Blake
> Technical Writer
> Arieso Ltd
> Office +44 (0) 1635 232470 | Fax +44 (0) 1635 232471 |
> Email sarah -dot- blake -at- arieso -dot- com | Web www.arieso.com |
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Neilson [mailto:neilson -at- windstream -dot- net]
> Sent: 11 January 2013 14:40
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com; Sarah Blake
> Subject: Re: Modular products...
>
> Requires substantial consultation with the software engineering staff. If
> they are not local, or if their management is sufficiently disconnected
> from your chain of command, it's nearly impossible. If your own management
> cannot see how to get it through the company hoop-jumping, it's not worth
> the effort.
>
> On Fri, 11 Jan 2013 09:32:33 -0500, Sarah Blake <sarah -dot- blake -at- arieso -dot- com>
> wrote:
>
> >> The key is to make the documentation sufficiently integrated into the
> >> software, automatically configuring like any other aspect of the
> >> module, such as library or database requirements.
> >
> > That's what I was thinking, but I don't have the technical background
> > to know how difficult it is or what tools lend themselves to this kind
> > of dev/product integration. Obviously I can learn the skills
> > necessary, I just need a starter for ten :)
> >
> > Anne: is this the sort of thing you achieved with your FrameMaker books?
> >
> > Sarah
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--

Ryan Pollack
Senior Technical Writer | Click Security
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Writer Tip: Create 10 different outputs with Doc-To-Help -- including Mobile and EPUB.

Read all about them: http://bit.ly/doc-to-help-10-outputs
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References:
Modular products...: From: Sarah Blake
Re: Modular products...: From: Peter Neilson
RE: Modular products...: From: Sarah Blake
Re: Modular products...: From: Peter Neilson
RE: Modular products...: From: Sarah Blake

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