SCO doc web site

Subject: SCO doc web site
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 15:35:27 -0400

>I got this from another list, and it seemed of interest to my colleagues
>here. SCO has its own special brand of help that they're showcasing at
>website. The original posting was to a usability list, but the author
>that I could share it here. SCO is soliciting feedback on the usability of
>their new product.
>Tim Altom
>Simply Written, Inc.
>Creators of the Clustar Method for task-based documentation
>-----Original Message-----
>From: mww -at- sco -dot- com <mww -at- sco -dot- com>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <utest -at- hubcap -dot- clemson -dot- edu>
>Date: Friday, April 17, 1998 4:36 PM
>Subject: SCO doc web site
>>An invitation to review our documentation web site (but first, some
>>SCO has released its new UnixWare(R) 7 product, which is based on
>>UNIX(R) SVR5. UnixWare 7 includes a complete online documentation system
>>called SCOhelp and a set of documentation packages corresponding to
>>major feature areas. These are shipped with each copy of the product.
>>Over the past two years, technical writers at SCO have been extensively
>>involved in designing SCOhelp, in merging documentation from two
>>product lines (SCO OpenServer 5 and SCO UnixWare 2.0), and in creating
>>new documentation to support new features. Over 25,000 hardcopy pages of
>>documentation were merged and filtered to HTML for use with SCOhelp.
>>Additional feature documentation was contributed by various partner
>>companies. As part of this effort we:
>> - designed a new SCOhelp interface based on a customized NetScape
>> Navigator Gold(TM) 3.0 browser. Note: SCOhelp uses frames.
>> - mostly abandoned the book paradigm and implemented a ``Topic
>> View'' -- users can seek information by burrowing down into the
>> general topic of their choice instead of having to know which
>> book information is in.
>> - implemented use of a Verity search engine to help users locate
>> - tried to optimize the documentation for online use -- particularly
>> the topic view and use of appropriate links to related material.
>>The Invitation
>>The issues involved, from web site usability to online documentation
>>have all been subjects of discussion and interest to members of this list,
>>we decided to invite UTEST members to visit our web site. The web site
>>reflects the SCOhelp product that is shipped with each copy of UnixWare 7.
>>The SCO UnixWare 7 documentation web site is open to public access at
>>Please feel free to browse this site and comment regarding usability
>>We're proud of what we've accomplished, but this is our first release and
>>we know there is more to do. We'd appreciate your feedback and ideas!
>>any discussion that might result on the UTEST list, we'd appreciate it if
>>you'd copy comments to mww -at- sco -dot- com and davew -at- sco -dot- com -dot-
>>Of course, all documentation at this site is copyrighted. Please
>>respect our copyrights, and those of our partner companies...
>>Yet more Background Information
>> - Our users tend to be experienced UNIX system and network
>> integrators, and hardware and software developers.
>> - Some documentation, particularly from partner companies, remains in a
>> traditional book format. Navigation within these books is not always
>> consistent with general SCOhelp navigation.
>> - Much more work needs to be done before the entire docset is truly
>> optimized for online use...
>> - Though not evident while using the site, there is context-
>> sensitive help available: various managers and applications have
>> hooks directly into relevant SCOhelp documentation.
>>Future Enhancements: (things we know we need to do...)
>> - Enhanced print capability from SCOhelp: the ability to select
>> any arbitrary collection of topics, and print them.
>> - Enhanced navigational aids: we want to better assist users with the
>> ``Where am I'' question. Expanding/collapsing TOCs are one possibility.
>> A site map is another. Other ideas? This is a tough one...
>> - An online master index for the entire docset. There are various
>> about how useful this might be...
>> - Continued optimization of existing documentation for online use.
>>Thank you all.
>>Matt Wood
>>mww -at- sco -dot- com

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