Cheicken and eggs scenario for structred writing

Subject: Cheicken and eggs scenario for structred writing
From: David Harrison <dharrison -at- moldmasters -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2013 08:36:11 +0000

Many of you have already gone where some of us are just looking to start. But we are looking to a new Documentation group (of two) and a new methodology to unify a couple of Tech Writers either side of the big pond.
We have broad higher-level agreement (and a promised budget) that we need to move into something like xml and CMS to cope with
* similar user manuals,
* same user manuals with subtle variants
* similar manuals with different delivery (print and online help)
* different styles
* 12 or more languages

My question - is there anything worth doing while waiting for next year's budget allowance to buy new tools etc.
We did think about creating the corporate style guide - common chapter structure, common language, common visual style, common writing rules, common terminology and glossary.

But although it seems fairly logical, I do wonder how much we should learn about xml, structured writing, DITA - and even Arbortext (which is 99% certain to be the production tool) before we put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).
Is a prepared but possibly uninformed structure going to save us lots of work when we get the new tools? Or is it likely to fall over like a pack or cards and need a complete work-over (only to lose much of the good intent that was garnered together in the early period)?

Or is there some half-way house that we may not have considered that would pay handsome dividends - something that we can roll-out now while using MS Word and Adobe In-design as our existing tools?

Thanks
David


______________________________________________________________________
David Harrison | Controllers
Mold-Masters (UK) Limited | Global Hot Runner Technology |
Netherwood Road | Rotherwas ind. Est. | Hereford | HR2 6JU | United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1432 265 768 | Fax: +44 (0) 1432 263 782
mailto:dharrison -at- moldmasters -dot- com | www.moldmasters.com
Registered in England No. 191861
______________________________________________________________________
Sent on 24.07.2013 10:36 by David Harrison


*****************************************************
This email and any files transmitted with it are
confidential and intended solely for the use of
the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.
If this email has been received in error please
delete it immediately and notify the sender.

Mold-Masters (2007) Limited
www.moldmasters.com
*****************************************************


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
New! Doc-to-Help 2013 features the industry's first HTML5 editor for authoring.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/ZeOZeQ

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


Follow-Ups:

Previous by Author: Rules for creating large documents in Word
Next by Author: STC's Summit -at- aClick
Previous by Thread: Re: how to handle power point slides?
Next by Thread: Re: Cheicken and eggs scenario for structred writing


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads