On-Line & Manuals

Subject: On-Line & Manuals
From: Sheila Marshall <sheila -at- STK -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 10:09:22 -0500

Hi All!

For several days, I've been reading divergent opinions about single sourcing
on-line help and printed docs. Although it's all very interesting and I can
see points made by both sides, I don't seem to have a choice about single
sourcing documents.

At our company, development continues until the 25th hour -- at which time
the tech writers are trying to document features as they are being built.
Once we're down to the 23rd hour, we convert all printed manuals into
on-line help (albeit organized a bit differently with some stuff left out
altogether) then try to maintain both for the next few down-to-the-wire
hours. When that software ships, we still have a chance of updating the
printed doc but NO WAY to change the stuff on the CD. Since there's only 2
of us and about 10 docs, there is no easy way to maintain and update both
files during the process.

I really would like to develop on-line help differently but with only two
writers it's inefficient and virtually impossible to do so.



Sheila R. Marshall, sheila -at- stk -dot- com
Documentation Lead
Analytical Graphics, Inc.
325 Technology Drive
Malvern, PA 19355
610-578-1118, FAX: 610-578-1001

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