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

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




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