RE: GitHub for writers

Subject: RE: GitHub for writers
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: techwrl <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2013 12:02:54 -0400

If I understand correctly, you download and install an app on your local PC, that lets you create a local repository.
I'm not quite sure what that gives you, except that you can then "Push to github" which lets everybody in the world see your employer's/contractee's code-or-docs, unless you pay for a private account.

So, to test out the system in any real way (to find out if the workflow and other constraints agree with your situation), you need to pay to play.

As a rather committed user of MadCap Flare (it's our corporate standard for techpubs), I'm not clear on what Prose will do for me... since I haven't gotten there yet (see the pay-to-play step above).

I guess I can afford $7/month to try it out (GitHub, with or without Prose), off the public stage, but I'd need to take advice from management as to whether I could put company doc source onto an uncontrolled service that I'm privately paying for. (Chances of that being agreed are perilously close to zero.)

The other option would be to create an entire bogus set of docs that mirrored the functionality (size, shape, templates, linking, etc.) of the employer-owned docs, but without the content. I include "size" in that list, because we know that increasing numbers of files and the size-and-number of attached things like graphics can have a big effect on daily operation, when there's uploading and downloading involved. It wouldn't be fun if I basically had to stop work every time I did a push or pull, but I'd need to test big, in order to find out. Unless somebody already has and can say??

Of course, I already have to stop work for more than 20 minutes, each time I run a build-publish cycle in Flare... per project, so frequent pauses/slowdowns would not be unprecedented, but we don't want to add more without major benefit. The Flare instance that is building/publishing is 100-percent committed to that. Any other Flare instance on the same computer slows to a crawl for the duration. If you tell two instances of Flare to publish simultaneously, you can go for a leisurely, extended lunch.

I mean, this is interesting and all, but I'm not clear where/whether I should start with GitHub for techpubs.

The other option is wait-and-see until the company gets going with their setup, and then see if techpubs fits in among the coder infrastructure any better than we did when the content/versioning/bug system was MKS (or ClearCase, before that) - which was "not all that well"... sorta like a wart on an appendage. :-)

Can somebody who is using GitHub and Prose in anger please lay out your workflow and what other tools you use?


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