Re: Documenting Object Oriented Applications

Subject: Re: Documenting Object Oriented Applications
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 1996 08:49:04 -0500


>So, are we faced with the challenge of being "task-centric" while not
>knowing if
>the user is using a "a word processor, spread sheet, a 2-D drawing
>package, [or]
>so forth"?

It doesn't matter what the package is (except for grouping your
documentation). The concept of "Word Processor", "Spread Sheet", and so
forth is moot with O-O. It is the object not the program that is the

O-O applications are a shopping cart that you fill with the
functionality you desire. Items in this cart can be upgraded, removed,
or added individually. The entire application is not removed and
replaced to gain the advantages of new and/or improved functionality.

For example, in creating an O-O 2-D sketch package, you could include a
2-D line draw applet, a shaded rendering applet, print applet, and a
text applet. Later, you could add a raster import/editing applet. This
applet would be added without having to remove and replace the 2D line,
shading, and text applets.

With these applets, it is the object that carries the functionality.
The text applet carries the ability to set/modify fonts, text spacing,
paragraph formatting, and so forth regardless of whether the applet is
used in a 2-D drawing package to annotate sketches or is used in a
documentation package to produce the text for manuals. Vice versa, the
2-D line draw applet can be used in the documentation package to create
illustrations or in the 2-D sketch package to depict a building's floor

In an O-O application, the commands available change (observable on the
toolbars and menus) depending on the active object. In the
documentation package, the text commands are available while you work on
text. Activate the 2-D line diagram, and the 2-D line draw commands are
available. These commands are the same regardless of whether you
invoked the documentation package or the 2-D sketch package.

Being that the functionality is portable, the documentation must also be
portable. Therefore, the documentation for the text applet should keep
focus on text construction, formatting, and modification and not be
concerned with graphics, page layout, file format, and so forth (the
graphics and document handler applet documentation addresses these).

Mike Wing

>_/ Michael Wing
>_/ Principal Technical Writer
>_/ Jupiter Customization and Educational Services
>_/ Intergraph Corporation
>_/ 730-7250
>_/ mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com

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