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: Sun, 16 Jul 1995 23:23:00 LCL


there have been no more responses by mail, but eight people got the checklist
through my gateway. So I will continue to discuss my check list. The final
touches to this checklist are to be made in November at the Forum 95

To repeat it: This checklist is intended to define how you, as a writer of
online documentation, will interact with the programmers of your project.

Here is the second installment:

B) Discuss with your programmers which of the artefacts
defined in the style guides will be used how and under which
names. Names means two things: how to talk about them (even to the
program users) and what symbols will be used for them in the

In theory, it should suffice to get a few copies of the Microsoft
Design Guide, the CUA guidelines or what else is appropriate.
But the Real World is not so:

- Many programmers don't know exactly what each element is meant for.
- If you develop a multi-platform application, you are to serve
several masters.
- The programmer's perspective is quite "different" from everyone

C) Discuss the artefacts that are needed in addition to these
standard elements. These should be as few as possible as the users
will have to learn them. They are not in the standard "vocabulary"
of the user interface.

Even Microsoft applications do not cohere strictly to MS style
guides. There might be reasons for that. But don't let the
programmers invent new controls in front of their screens. Often
the need "lies in the air" and different programmers invent the
wheel over and over again. That costs money, but, more importantly
as coordination costs money too, it makes the user interface
inconsistant. And you will have to describe, what this "fabulous"
thing is all about.

Any additions or clarifications for this?

If you wish to receive the check list in its present unfinished form, send an
empty message to onlchecklist -at- twh -dot- msn -dot- sub -dot- org

If you wish to join the Forum 95 mailing list, sent a message to
listserv -at- twh -dot- msn -dot- sub -dot- org -dot- the message should contain one or more of the
following lines:

subscribe frum95-l
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Greetings from Germany,

|Fidonet: Alexander Von_obert 2:2490/1719
|Internet: avobert -at- twh -dot- msn -dot- sub -dot- org

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