Single Use Release Documents

Subject: Single Use Release Documents
From: "Kelly E. Halbritter [C]" <halbrttr -at- CIG -dot- MOT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 14:16:18 -0500

I am searching for the best possible way to manage a single-use release
document program.

This is the gist of what we need to accomplish:

We have master documents that pertain to four different software release
series. The master documents are updated and republished every 6-12
months, and contain information on all software releases. In the
interim, each software release writer needs to be able to add and modify
units (i.e. commands, features, problem reports) in the master books and
then print only the units with only the changes he made.

Our customer will then insert these units into their master documents
(three-ring binder format) and update their our manuals until the next
revision of the master document. Yes, I know that many tech writers and
customers hate this strategy, but our customers have requested that we
do this.

Problems:

If we did a typical page numbering scheme of 125a, 125b, 125c, etc. the
page numbering in the entire document will shift, and the page numbering
will be off for consecutive software releases.

The typical page numbering scheme of 125a, 125b, 125c etc. does not
accomodate the fact that inserts would apply to one software release and
not others. For example, we may need a page 125a, 125b, and 125c, for
Software Release A, and also need a different page 125a, 125b, and no
125c for Software Release B. Then, when the time comes to revise the
master document, we would reintegrate all of the new software release
information back into the main text.

Solutions:

One possible solution we've found is to switch our Interleaf DTP to
Framemaker, as Framemaker has a conditional text feature which would
accomodate our need to use a single document as a basis for creating and
printing information specific to different releases. We could use
Livelink Intranet as a vault system for managing the documentation.

Do any of you know of alternate methods for managing this program?
Needless to say, converting to Framemaker would be a major undertaking,
and I'm interested in hearing any strategies (software or
administrative) that could be used in concurrence with Interleaf.
However, solutions using other packages are welcome as well.

Please e-mail me privately, and I will summarize posts to the list.

Thanks.

--
Kelly Halbritter
Motorola

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