Forum 95: Checklist Online-documentation

Subject: Forum 95: Checklist Online-documentation
From: Alexander Von_obert <avobert -at- TWH -dot- MSN -dot- SUB -dot- ORG>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 1995 14:23:00 LCL


Forum 95, the international conference for technical communicators, will
be held in Dortmund, Germany, on 13-15 November 1995. I am about to finish my
paper for the "Preseedings", the first volume of papers all participants will
receive well in advance of the conference.

My topic is called "A Writer Programmer Interface" and I will try to develop a
checklist. This cheklist is intended to help in the first phase of a project,
when you decide who does what and when. The following is the introduction of
my paper. If some of wish to participate in the developement of this
checklist, I will publish parts of may paper in TECHWR-L.

Greetings from Germany,

1. Introduction

Online documentation forces programmers and technical writers into
a close relation: From a user perspective, they produce two parts
of the program. The aim of my participation in the Idea Market and
a follow-up Sort and Build Group is to develop a check list to
ease the design of this cooperation.

There are many details that should be agreed upon beforehand. If
you do not talk about these topics, you might intrude into grounds
the programmers traditionally considered as their own. Or you
leave large areas uncharted, containing lots of holes to fall into

More than ever before, the technical writer should be part of the
whole developement process. Experience shows, that the technical
writers should take part in coordination and quality control. This
is especially important, when several programmer teams work on the
project. E.g. the technical writers are the first to see the user interface
and nothing but the user interface of the program. Product management and
programmers primarily see functionality, i.e. the internal workings of the

[Should I continue?]

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