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Subject:Re: Binders vs. Books From:Lynn Gottlieb <lynndeg -at- U -dot- WASHINGTON -dot- EDU> Date:Tue, 4 Mar 1997 20:56:09 -0800
See imbedded comments
On Tue, 4 Mar 1997, Ginna Watts wrote:
> Hi All,
> Last year's software manual was the first to be 'perfect bound', as opposed
> to in a binder, and got rave reviews. Apparently though (I was't here then),
> the decision was quite the holy war.
> NOW - with only five weeks left to go, they are now 'revisiting' the binder
> idea. The theory is that we will have several new modules of the software
> released throughout the next six months, and these could simply inserted
> into the binder. The software side is also suggesting that if we have a
> binder, we can send out updates to the body of the text. Currently, we
> produce oddball module docs in a small saddle-stitch booklet.
> My orignal reaction was 'yick - binders', but I have been asked to ignore
> emotion and aesthetics. (!?) I am dutifully costing both solutions, but I'm
> coming up blank on the work / time end of the estimates.
> Is it possible to update sections of an existing manual that is numbered in
> one flow, or will it have to be reformatted to chapter numbering? (i.e.
> 2-34, 6-21). I am having trouble seeing how it can be done without breaking
> pagination, indexes etc., but I will bow to your knowledge.
It is possible to update sections numbered in one flow by adding
pages and numbering them using the
decimal point in page numbers (i.e., 26.1). I ALWAYS put the revision
date in the outside bottom corner (i.e., rev. 3/4/97)
> Has anyone had any experience sending out change pages? Do users actually
> insert them? Are change bars or some such necessary?
Clients will insert them if they believe that the manuals are useful, and
the updates are necessary. The energy expended has to be worth it. Also,
I always include a page with each page number being updated, what the
change is and if appropriate, why the change was done. I ask the clients
to file that page in the back of the book. They do, according to reports.
> I'm having nightmare about keeping track of all these bloody versions -
> Harder to maintain change in a binder, or update booklets?
Depends on how big the books are, and who keeps track of the versions.
Huge books ("Boeing-size" documentation here) are much cheaper to do as
binder updates, especially if the updates are frequent (lets say,
quarterly or less).
> Finally, getting into emotions, how do people feel about binders vs. bound
> books? I'd like to get a tally.
There are advantages to binders (besides cost). Easier to open a binder
flat and read it while doing task X.
> FYI the manual will be about 400 pages, in FrameMaker. (Not including the
> 'new' modules, which haven't even been written - don't ask.) Most of the
> text will also be in Windows Help, which will be updated as necessary. PDF
> is not an option - I'm already 'way' over my budget.
> TIA, Ginna
> Ginna Watts - Technical Writer
> Pacific International Mapping Corp.
> gwatts -at- pim -dot- bc -dot- ca
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