Multi-Platform Help

Subject: Multi-Platform Help
From: Gillian Mcgarvey <Gillian_McGarvey -at- OVID -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 09:52:53 -0400

To: techwr-l @
Subject: Multi-Platform Help

Since my original post yesterday asking if there were other tech writers
out there who had to develop and maintain help systems for 4 or 5
different platforms, I've received several requests to keep the
discussion public to the list, rather than private. So, from now on, if
anyone has any input about this, and feels comfortable doing so, please
send your responses to the list, rather than to me privately (of course,
if you'd rather post to me privately, that's okay, too).

I have received two suggestions so far. One respondent mentioned that
her company supports just about every platform I've ever heard of! Her
solution was to use SGML, which requires a significant time and resource
investment (you have to develop the DTD, etc.). Another respondent
suggested Framemaker to produce help for several platforms, using add-ons
for HTML, UNIX, etc. I don't think that either of these solutions is
appropriate for my situation, however. I think we are going to end up
developing a "database" of help files, which will then be pulled into a
CGI help interface (developed here). At this time, we have separate help
files and/or systems for each interface, and each has to be updated
manually. If we can combine even 2 of these, thus knocking out one step
in the process, it would be an improvement.

Any other ideas?

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