Re: Electronic Review (fwd)

Subject: Re: Electronic Review (fwd)
From: LeeAnn Smith <spillman!lsmith -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 16:25:24 -0700

> In article <30C5D7BF -at- admin -dot- eicon -dot- com>, Lazarus Slater <lazaruss -at- EICON -dot- COM>
> writes:
> |> We are looking for some feedback on electronic review of documentation.
> |> We are presently in a Windows and OS/2 environment and would like to know
> |> if anyone has any experience or comments with electronic reviewing of
> |> documents. We have been exposed to both Adobe Exchange and Frame Viewer.
> |> Any feedback on these or any other products would be greatly appreciated.

> Gary Merrill said:

> In general, reviewers felt that the online review process offered
> some significant advantages. Paper copies didn't have to be
> shuffled back and forth, there was no delay in producing multiple
> copies on paper, reviewers had immediate access to the latest
> version of their colleagues' comments (and on the basis of this,
> discussions could take place -- often in email -- to raise
> issues and resolve points of confusion or dispute). We
> felt that online review streamlined the review process
> and contributed to a greater degree of interchange among
> the reviewers and writer.

We also found that even though we only had E-mail, conflicts were
settled far faster. Our key players settled most of the problems
either over the phone or E-mail without our intervention.

> Some reviewers felt that having a paper copy of the document
> in addition to the electronic one was essential. I ascribe
> this partly to the fact that old habits die hard and partly
> to the very limited capabilities of BORED. Better software
> for electronic review would support the attachment of comments
> directly to the document itself and allow for various ways
> of viewing and managing these comments.

I've also found there is not much (at least about a year ago) that
allows electronic review. There are some packages: Perfect Office
came out with Informs, a package that allowed for electronic
signatures--but I don't know how useful it would be for large documents.
I think Folio also allows for electronic review and
signature now. (I used an older version.)

There was resistance from users against changing from paper to on-line
documentation, but they were happy when they saw our time for
releasing a document shorten. Eventually only those who could not
(would not?) understand computers complained.

Just so you don't get discouraged with the limited number of electronic
review packages available, at one point we used plain vanilla E-mail on
Perfect Office because some users only had 286 machines. E-mail allowed
us to immediately distribute multiple copies
of documentation, and the receivers could review it on line or save and
print it themselves, and make changes from WordPerfect. We took screen
shots of our Out boxes when they received and opened the mail (a
feature not available with all mail packages, I've since learned) so we
could at least prove they had received and opened the mail.
Then they would E-mail us back their comments and follow up with the
marked-up hard copy. So take heart :>

LeeAnn Smith
lsmith -at- spillman -dot- com

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