Re: Management disagreement RE: HTML

Subject: Re: Management disagreement RE: HTML
From: John Posada <jposada -at- NOTES -dot- CC -dot- BELLCORE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 09:05:29 -0500

in our Information Technology Department. This manager's background is
in sales. He is not familiar with technical communication or the new
changes taking place in the field.

My background is 15 years of sales, and I have no problem with technical
communications...he wrote proposals, no?
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This top manager I refer to wants our Technical Communication group to
write our documentation in MS Word (which we use only with RoboHelp) and
then give the files to the Web Technology group. Then the Web Technology
group would convert the files to HTML and publish them on our intranet.
He thinks this should be a two-step process (instead of one) and that
the conversion to HTML and publishing on the intranet should be done
AFTER we write our documents.

Anytime you convert from one format to another, there will be tweeking. If
both formats were the same, then you wouldn't need more than one application.

Anyway...I write proposals for very large systems..between 500k to 100 milion
or more. We write those documents in either Word or Frame. Sometimes, the
customer will want the hardcopy and also in electronic form. Sometimes this
electronic form is the native format (*.doc) and sometimes it is a markup
(html, sgml).

If you don't care that the html document contains that same information but
isn't formatted the same (as if you are looking at two different documents),
then yes..you could do it in two steps. However, if you need the markup
version to look like it is the same document, just in two different mediums,
then yes, the converted document ALWAYS needs rework.

In general, try to create the final version in the application that will
display that final version. Only get other applications involved if there is a
need. The reason we write in Word or Frame instead of directly in html is that
for hardcopy otput, a word processor just has more tools than an html editor,
and our documents are too complex to rely on html capabilities.

John Posada
- Central New Jersey Employment Manager
Society for Technical Communication
http://stc.org/region2/njc/

- Technical Proposal Writer
Bell Communications Research
(908) 699-5839 (W)
jposada -at- notes -dot- cc -dot- bellcore -dot- com

"Its wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago"
- Vice President Dan Quayle, 4/30/91
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