Re: Providing documentation source files

Subject: Re: Providing documentation source files
From: Tim O'Neill <budjit -at- DATAPLUSNET -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 1996 12:20:51 -0600

Karen Gwynn/Datatel wrote:

> We are faced with what may or may not be a unique situation and I'd like to
> hear from others about this.

> We are a mid-sized software development company with a specialized (not off the
> shelf) product. We are very close to our customer base and work with them in
> many ways. We currently offer as a "service" and for no extra cost, PostScript
> files of our documentation. Primarily this is so the user can print as many
> copies of the documentation as they need, instead of photocopying the copies we
> send them (we publish 8 1/2 x 11, three ring format). Some of our more
> sophisticated and technically advanced clients have use the PS files to create
> online doc.

> Anyway, we now have a request for our FrameMaker source files. The client
> making this request wants to take the move to online doc a step further and use
> tools that require the source, and not PostScript. The issue here, however, is
> whether or not we should just give away the documentation in this format. Our
> clients can purchase the source code to our software product (and purchase a
> license for our software development tool), and there are some of us in the doc
> area who think that we should have a similar arrangement for documentation
> source.

> BTW, this is not the first time this request has been made. However, typically
> the clients who inquire want a format other than FrameMaker, and we tell them
> we cannot easily or "cleanly" do that, so the request usually dies. This one,
> however, hasn't.

> Suggestions and comments are appreciated.

> Karen

> --
> Karen Gwynn, Senior Documentation Specialist
> Datatel, Inc.
> 703/968-4556
> e-mail kwg -at- datatel -dot- com

You could do like Microsoft and put it on a quarterly CD-ROM. You could charge a nominal subscription fee to recover your
costs of burning the cD. You could have ps, mif, doc, pdf formats on the disc, cover all operating platforms and satisfy
current and future needs. You could get as fancy as you want with an interface, but that would definitely run up your cost.

Good Luck, let us know the outcome.

|Tim O'Neill New Media Publishing Services|
|BudJit Graphics budjit -at- dataplusnet -dot- com|
|Howards Grove, Wisconsin USA |

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