Re: Review tools

Subject: Re: Review tools
From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2018 13:06:56 -0700

Confluence Server + Scroll PDF Exporter + Scroll HTML Exporter +
Source Editor was as good as any set of tools I've used. There were a
few glitches and limitations I had to work around, as with every other
toolchain I've used, but I didn't have any of those problems.

I've never used Confluence to host customer-facing docs and never will
if they don't change the licensing model.

Confluence Cloud is unusable for various reasons.

On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 12:36 PM, Wright, Lynne <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- kronos -dot- com> wrote:
> Yeahh... i tried using the two-browser window solution, but i was hoping to come up with a way to author and output to pdf in one easy-to-use interface that doesn't require a bunch of workarounds to get where I want to go.
> Regarding what output from Confluence has to do with reviews... well, once I've gotten approval on the content on Confluence, I need to produce a pdf of that content (I'm talking release notes) that can be delivered to our customers (our company has very strict network security rules, so currently, its not possible to give our clients access to a space on Confluence; and even if they COULD access pages of content, they'd probably still want us to provide a pdf).
> So I was authoring on a Confluence page so that people could add review comments, then I'd output to Word, then I'd have to make all these manual formatting corrections, add logical page breaks, then output to pdf.
> Problems I had with tables: some column headers were bold, some were normal (I wanted them all normal); and it wasn't possible to have content in the first table of the column flush left, and content in all other columns centered (I'm talking about tables that list software components and version numbers). Or even to have centered column headers and flush left body table content: all cells in the table have to use the same alignment. (Or maybe it IS possible, but the tech support people that were trying to troubleshoot my problems didn't really seem to understand much about how any of this works either).
> I also had same random font changes in body text; phrases that were converted to italic, or a bigger point size, etc.
> Another downside to Confluence: The text editing tools are kind of glitchy and weird, so reviewers who tried to add content or make edits right in the text (which I asked them NOT to do, preferring that use the in-line comment bubbles, but there you go) would throw everything out of whack. And I was getting a billion page update notifications, because reviewers would make a change, then go back and make another change, then need to update a JIRA ticket number or something. Basically, the process was a confusing mess that caused me a lot more work and grief than just using Word.
> I ended up authoring in Word; uploading the content to a Confluence page, then once reviews were complete, copying and pasting paragraph by paragraph back into the Word doc. And that's just crazy.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: robert -dot- lauriston -at- gmail -dot- com <robert -dot- lauriston -at- gmail -dot- com> On Behalf Of Robert Lauriston
> Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 12:22 PM
> To: Wright, Lynne <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- Kronos -dot- com>
> Cc: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Review tools
> You can have view mode in one browser window and edit in another.
> Confluence's native PDF output is crude, but what does that have to do with reviews?
> When I was using Confluence Server as my main authoring tool, I found Scroll PDF Exporter's output up to my high standards. What sort of problems did you have with tables?
> On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 7:58 AM, Wright, Lynne <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- kronos -dot- com> wrote:
>> I've tried using Confluence for reviews, but ran into the following limitations:
>> - Unless I'm missing something, you can only see reviewers' in-line comments when the page is in view mode; when you switch to edit mode to actually make the changes, you can't see the in-line comments anymore. So I either had to take a screen shot of the comments, or compare page versions to see what changed, and/or refer to a series of notification emails to try to figure out what changed. Is there really no way to see people's comments on the page while in edit mode?
>> - The page output to pdf is problematic. I tried using the Scroll Office for pdf plugin as a conversion tool, but there were so many glitches in the conversion (especially with tables) that it was less labour-intensive to just copy and paste content from the confluence page into a word document, then make a pdf. Which is also crazy.
>> Can anyone suggest solutions to these issues?
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Review tools: From: soniaferns2004
Re: Review tools: From: Rick Lippincott
Re: Review tools: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: Review tools: From: Wright, Lynne
Re: Review tools: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: Review tools: From: Wright, Lynne

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