Re: Online docs in oil & gas

Subject: Re: Online docs in oil & gas
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Brierley -at- QUODATA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 11:06:40 -0500


From FrameMaker you can Save as and create a PDF in minutes. From FrameMaker
you can also create HTML. I advise you create a PDF, put it on a CD and then
Save as the HTML, and put that on a second CD. Ask which the managers

I am not saying that FrameMaker produces perfect HTML output, it doesn't, by
any standard you care to choose. However, there is no perfect tool. Any
documentation tool you choose, be it Word or Notepad, will require
considerable rework of the HTML output. Creating HTML from FrameMaker will
give a good idea of what HTML will look like when exported from other
documentation tools and will give you a good idea of what further work is
needed. Try and estimate the hours it will take you at your current skill
level to get the HTML formatted as you need. Also estimate the costs of any
training you might need.

In addition to the re-work effort (and training needed to get you up to
speed with HTML and Javascript and CSS, et al.), PDF is printable and is
contained in one single file. HTML is one file per graphic plus one file per
chapter, at a minimum. (Note, checkout Corel Ventura 8. You can run a Java
Applet called Barista that ties everything together pretty well in HTML. The
problem is that the user will need to be connected to your web site when
viewing the document to use the applet.) HTML books are difficult to print
and would be harder to organize for distribution, harder to update, and hard
for the customer to manage on their host PC.

I recommend that if you plan to use HTML, you hire a writer to do just the
HTML. Of course, this is a good opportunity for you to get HTML training,
Javascript training, and other experience to add to your portfolio ;?).

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: Karen Farrell [mailto:kfarrell -at- GXT -dot- COM]
>>>Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 1999 10:34 AM
>>>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>>>Subject: Online docs in oil & gas
>>>Hello all,
>>>I am the lone writer in a company that produces software for
>>>the oil and
>>>gas industry. We have recently moved some of our print documentation
>>>online in PDF form. (We are a UNIX shop, and I use FrameMaker.)
>>>Problem: Two of our developers HATE Acrobat and want our
>>>online docs in
>>>HTML. Should this matter? (They don't use the docs
>>>themselves.) No, but
>>>one of them is a VP, so it does.
>>>My boss has asked me to discover two things:
>>>1. What are other companies in the oil and gas industry (specifically
>>>exploration and production) using and planning to use in the
>>>near future
>>>for their online documents?
>>>2. What type of online documentation do customers (specifically
>>>geoscientists) prefer?
>>>Some of our documents are rather large. (A recent PDF was 60 MB.) I
>>>personally believe that we don't have the resources (one writer, five
>>>products) to produce these types of documents in HTML and
>>>print, but I
>>>was told to find out this information anyway and let the senior
>>>management decide what to do with the info.
>>>Thanks in advance for your comments!
>>>Karen Farrell
>>>Technical Writer
>>>GX Technology Corporation
>>>kmf -at- gxt -dot- com
>>>Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool. -Author Unknown
>>>Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g.,
>>>Find additional TECHWR-L resources at

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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