Re: PDF v paper

Subject: Re: PDF v paper
From: Max Wyss <prodok -at- PRODOK -dot- CH>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 15:45:20 +0100


It depends....

There are parts of the documentation which are way better on paper. First,
everything which is needed to be known before the "seal is broken". Then,
there are Quick Reference Guides and similar documents which are better on
the user's desk, and not running as an application.

Another reason for some printed documentation is to proof that ther
actually is documentation. When checking the completeness of the shipment,
many organizations require (in some places it is also the law requiring)
that there is documentation. With documentation on the CD only, it is not
possible to verify that there is documentation before inserting the CD ...
which means normally, that any obscure licence agreement has been accepted.

However, do not forget the advantages of paper documentation: Unless the
user has Acrobat Exchange (for the PDF example), it is not possible to add
notes or bookmarks. Also, so far no "electronic book" system fulfills the
"4-B requirement" (the book should be easily readable in Bed, on the Beach,
in the Bus, and in the Bathroom ...). So, for material which can/should be
read without actual access to the software, printed documentation is

Hope, this can help.

Max Wyss
PRODOK Engineering AG
Technical documentation and translations, Electronic Publishing
CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland

Fax: +41 1 700 20 37
e-mail: mailto:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch

Bridging the Knowledge Gap


>Why is there a need for paper doc. to be shipped with a software product?
>For example: I write the doc. in Word, I convert it to PDF and put it on a
>CD. The final user can then view the doc. or print the doc. if need be.
>Production costs are reduced. No printing and lighter packages to ship.
>Am I over simplifying the situation?

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