Re: Documenting Floating windows - how would you do it?

Subject: Re: Documenting Floating windows - how would you do it?
From: Paula Puffer <techwrtr -at- CEI -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 11:03:55 -0500

At 11:28 AM 5/22/97 -0400, you wrote:
>Dear techwriters,
>Here's a dilemma many of us face often....What would you do in this
>I'm documenting a product which has floating windows (windows that can be
>accessed from several points in the software).
>The documentation is by module in the software and includes field
>descriptions. However, window X can be accessed from module A, B and C.
>Different users may use each module but it is possible that the same user
>use all modules. The documentation will be delivered as a whole, not by
>Where would you document the description of window X?
>* In module A and then provide a cross-reference from B and C?
>* Would you repeat the exact description in each module?(this may increase
>translation costs)
>* Or, would you make a new chapter called Floating windows at the end of the
>book (where it may not be seen by a user) in an appendix and just mention
>the existence of these windows and refer users to the appendix in each
>module for more information?
>I wait for your enlightening answers.

When I worked as a contractor last summer, the system I helped document
sounds very similar to the one you are describing. Depending on what part
of the system you were in, you had a sequence of screens that you accessed,
and some of them were common across the system. Although I worked mostly on
the online help portion of the documentation, I did help with the paper

We documented each screen as it appeared in the processes for the
subsystems. The reasoning was that the worker in subsystem A was not
necessarily going to have access to the documentation to other subsystems.
So we covered our bases. It was not necessarily how I would have done it,
but I wasn't there for the initial planning sessions.


Paula Puffer Old Town Theatre Centre:
techwrtr -at- cei -dot- net UWC Online:
6200 Asher Ave. #250
Little Rock, 72204

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