TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Single Source Docs From:Damien Braniff <Damien_Braniff -at- PAC -dot- CO -dot- UK> Date:Thu, 23 Oct 1997 12:38:25 +0100
I'm sure this has been covered before but I'm having problems searching the
archives at the moment. Has anyone any comments on single sourcing hard
copy docs and online help. Looking at this for a new product (hopefully
save work) but I'm not convinced of how "good" it will be - we use Word and
HDK. The main reason for my doubts is the style - online tends to be (?)
stilted and "chunky" with no need to "flow". Hard copy, however, needs to
be more readable. I've seen a few single source docs and the paper copy
was very stilted, though all the information was there. Something like
SGML would probably do where the relevant bits could be selected for use in
the help but I don't know enough about it and the only authors I know who
have used it did so because they had to!
Perhaps Frame? However most of our lit is very modular and relatively
small. Our largest product comes with lit in a binder in 13 sections with
each section a separate document - largest is less than 80 pages, smallest
1! Not sure Frame would be justified, plus the standard arguments that
everyone else uses Word etc.
Any comments or pointers to Archives - weeks, days, years (!!) welcome.
Hopefully I'll get search facilities back again. Anyone else had problems,
I seem to remember reading about some recently?