re Print vs. Electronic Trends for Documentation

Subject: re Print vs. Electronic Trends for Documentation
From: David Lenoir <david -at- OLIVE -dot- CONTEX -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 16:04:22 -0400

Diane,

The recent trends, IMHO, are for software companies to put as much
documentation online as they can. From what I have heard, customers have mixed
feelings about this. Some don't like online documentation because they have to
print it out and make copies of it. Others like it because they _can_ print it
out and make copies of it. The positives and negatives seem to cancel each
other out.

At my present company, we are going to start using a combination of online
documentation (such as release notes, user guides. etc.) delivered on CD as
PDF files and hard copy documentation (such as installation guides). This will
help cut printing costs for us plus ensure that customers will get up to
date documentation quicker. We also deliver context sensitive online help with
one of our products.

We are also exploring the idea of using a print on demand scenario in the
future. I believe a print on demand scenario is the most fair to customers
because it lets them at least obtain hardcopy if they want it without having
to print out all the online doc. A print on demand scenario is fair to
the company because it helps reduce or even eliminate printing costs.

We have not gotten very much feedback from customers about our recent change in
how we deliver documentation. However, our off-site employees really like it
because they get up to date documentation quicker.

Hope this sheds some light on the subject for you!

David Lenoir

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000====
David Lenoir, Senior Technical Writer Contex Prepress Systems
Phone: (617) 245-4100 x 5378 101 Edgewater Drive
e-mail: david -at- contex -dot- com Wakefield, MA 01880
http://www.contex.com (work page)
http://www.tiac.net/users/dalcap/lenoir (personal page)

DISCLAIMER: My opinions do not reflect those of my employer.

--
David Lenoir, Senior Technical Writer Contex Prepress Systems
Phone: (617) 245-4100 x 5378 101 Edgewater Drive
e-mail: david -at- contex -dot- com Wakefield, MA 01880
http://www.contex.com

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