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>I've encountered this problem, too. The company I work for develops
>electric and magnetic field simulation and signal integrity simulation
>software. Our basic documentation set consists of an installation
>guide, a reference manual, and one or more "getting started" tutorials
>for setting up problems. Since our products are fairly complex
>(especially the signals product), there's a lot of documentation for
>each package -- the reference manuals in particular tend to be very
My company has the same problems that you both do. I am beginning
to suspect that the problem is not the documentation complexity
but that the software itself is to blame.
Our installation guide is over a 1000 pages...Just to install the software.
The writer on the project got a commendation because of her great
work in making the installation process more manageable. (she
really did put in a great effort...and still the result is quite
frustrating to the users.)
However, you can user the concepts of progressive disclosure and
redundancy elimination to whittle down the wall of documentation
that makes the software product learning curve daunting.
Good luck...Just imagine what the customer's would think if you didn't
even try to tackle this problem...
(Rent the movie "Brazil" to see what a blizzard of paper really is)
The views expressed in this e-mail are entirely my own
and are not the views of Mentor Graphics Corp.
Send replies to: john_veneruso -at- mentorg -dot- com