I need HELP documenting customizable software, too

Subject: I need HELP documenting customizable software, too
From: "Sigrid A. Schoepel" <sas -at- WIGGINS -dot- PENTATECHINC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996 10:08:31 -0600

David Castro asked for helpful hints and advice for documenting his =
company's customizable software. I feel for him. My company is changing =
from a character-based (DOS) user interface to a Windows-based user =
interface. Along with the move to Windows, the customer is going to be =
able to change the field names ("Job" Id to "Project" Id) in the =
software.=20

The company president wants world-class documentation. We are looking at =
CD-ROM, online help, paper, and possibly the Internet for ways of =
distributing the documentation. There is no plan for any of these, but =
the company is looking at creating a Mac version, selling the software =
internationally (translation concerns), and either providing customized =
documentation or allowing the customer to customize the documentation.

Documenting the character-based software was sporadic and the =
information is very out-of-date except for release notes.=20

Questions:
Can you/how do you create online help for Windows that will work on the =
Mac?

What issues should the president/programmers/writers be aware of when =
translating the software and the documentation?

Are there ways to distribute and update documentation to which a =
customer has made changes? What is the best method? Is it better to give =
them the software documentation and let them create separate =
company-specific documents?=20

Are there programs/ways to let customers change online help?

The software is a large accounting/project management package with =
multiple audiences. How do you determine what audience/level to write to =
when many types of people will be using the same module/part of the =
software?

Does anyone have a preferred method/package for planning and tracking =
documentation projects? I am looking for something that lets me plan but =
also allows writers to enter their tasks on a daily basis.





The views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent =
those of Penta Technologies, Inc.


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