Reuse (was RE: Converting Frame to editable format)

Subject: Reuse (was RE: Converting Frame to editable format)
From: Alexia Prendergast <alexiap -at- SEAGATESOFTWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 1997 13:44:37 -0400

I'm cross-posting this to Framers as well as techwr-l because
someone on Framers just asked about reuse as well...

We produce the following from Frame for one of our products:
-PDF (all books)
-Printed (some books, not all)
-Editable source files for our OEM customers.
-Source that we painfully take over to help. We use Word/Robohelp for
help, but will be evaluating a tool that may let us do help directly
Frame as well. (Please, oh, please.)

We use conditional text extensively to customize the following:
-The full-featured vs "lite" versions of the product
-The Win NT vs DEC alpha NT versions of the product (each for the
full-featured and the "lite" versions)
-Info that's for help only, common to help and docs, or for docs only

In short, one set of files produces 4 versions of docs and 4 versions of
for this product. We can also share similar information with docs and
help for
our other products.

We also use global variables for all of our product and company-specific
terms, so OEM customers can change them all just by importing new
variable definitions.

Other things we do to increase reuse are:
-Produce very structured docs
-Use naming conventions
-Use version control software (We use SourceSafe because it's what
we already had in-house. I set up and administer a docs db for the
frame docs and we keep the help source with the source code for
build purposes. Works well.)
-Use and maintain a company style guide and template
-Use editors

Our OEM customers use Frame, so that hasn't been a problem. In fact, for
the complexity of our docs, I'd insist on it. However, if we did have a
recalcitrant customer ;-), I'd give them RTFs that they can take into
(Frame's RTF export filter is lacking, but I believe the tool I
mentioned above
would allow for a much more robust RTF file. We'll see how it works


Alexia Prendergast
Senior Technical Writer
Seagate Software
mailto:alexiap -at- sems -dot- com

>-----Original Message-----
>Subject: Converting Frame to editable format
> For our next release on NT, we want to be able to convert documents
> done mainly in Framemaker (some in Word)to all of the following
> formats:
> -PDF (for the CD)
> -Context-sensitve HELP FILES
> -A form that is editable/customizable by the customer (many of our
> customers use MSWord)
> -Printed
> The multitude of documents will be distributed worldwide and many of
> our customers translate and customize the documents to their needs.
> Does anyone know how best to create editable files as well as
> accomplish the other requirements efficiently.
> I believe going to RTF from PDF makes it editable, but you lose the
> graphics (screenshots).

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