Re: Concurrent writing & editing

Subject: Re: Concurrent writing & editing
From: Sybille Sterk <sybille -at- BOFFIN -dot- BEYOND2000 -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 21:17:16 +0100

At 08:28 28/07/98 -0800, Nancy Hitchcox wrote:
>I would like to hear from editors who allow authors to work in a document
>throughout the publication process. I edit proposals and am finding that,
>more and more, subject matter experts (the authors) want to continue
>working in the document (on a shared file server) until just before it goes
>to Repro. I feel we have to find a way to accommodate their needs and
>still maintain control over the document. We are using MS Word Office 98
>and have considered having them work with revisions turned on, but haven't
>worked out the logistics. Any ideas out there?

We had the same problem - the software used to edited the last minute and
we either couldn't put the changes in anymore because the documents were
already off to the printer or being proof-read or we didn't find out about
the changes before it was too late (i.e. nobody told us about the program
being changed yet again).

There are a few things we did:

1. The authors are informed about the release date of the software and any
changes to this date.
2. We have a deadline when changes to the program can only be bug fixes
but not
changes to the user interface or the functionality of the program.
3. We put a clause in our printed and on-line documentation saying that the
information was at the time of printing (release) up-to-date.
4. If there are any changes to the program interface or functionality
which cannot be
avoided, this goes into a release document which is supplied with the
(either in the help or as a separate document).
5. Proof-readers get printouts (chapter by chapter) of the documents
whilst it is being
written (we have at least three proof-readers and still typos... I am
sure the printer
puts them in...).

This so far, touch wood, has worked fine for us.

Hope this helps,

Sybille Sterk
Technical Author and Translator (German)
Boffin Technology Ltd.

Email: Sybille -at- boffin -dot- beyond2000 -dot- co -dot- uk

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