Re: Not allowed to change templates?

Subject: Re: Not allowed to change templates?
From: Fabien Vais <phantoms -at- POP -dot- TOTAL -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 08:15:37 -0400

I also believe that "review boards" whose role is to change a template are
an excellent idea. I was once instrumental in starting some sort of review
process for any modification proposed to the templates used in our

When I arrived at that company, I was the only tech. writer on staff. One of
the first things I did was create a few templates for the different
documents that we had to produce. Then I went to my boss and asked him
permission to LOCK these templates, so that NOBODY would be able to modify
them without some sort of discussion and consensus on the changes proposed.
That was accepted.

There were very few minor changes brought to the original templates over the
next few months, then they stabilized and became LAW.

Several writers (on staff as well as contractual) later, the templates
remain an excellent start, and something one can depend on. No one has ever
complained that they couldn't simply add a tag to a template without
justifying it. They accept the fact that any modification needs to be justified.

Usually the "review board" would consist of myself and the other writers. I
would usually invite my boss, but he traditionally trusted us to do the
right thing and was satisfied with being notified of our decisions.

Fabien Vais
phantoms -at- total -dot- net

At 05:50 AM 5/5/98 -0500, you wrote:
>>> Gerd Ballenberger wrote:>
>>> Our (big) department has a standard set of FrameMaker templates, and we
>>> "NOT" allowed to change them. Now we're writing a department style guide,
>>> and found e.g. that there is no paragraph tag for a literature list, and
>>> xref format for referencing the list items, like [1]. Of course we
>>> these formats (plus some others), and now we have to defend our decision.
>>> How did others handle the need for special-purpose formats in a rigid
>>> environment?

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