"roll you own" manuals

Subject: "roll you own" manuals
From: Matt Craver <MCraver -at- OPENSOLUTIONS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1999 17:06:19 -0400

We've already decided to break down our current manual set into documents
that are focused on specific tasks, or groups of tasks. Our current manuals
are focused on the applications we support, which meant that to accomplish
an activity, a user needed a small part from multiple manuals. It also
resulted in redundancy and duplication as we tried to anticipate which parts
were need in each manual. The decision to focus on the actual tasks the
users perform with our systems will, I feel, result in a much better user
Now comes the question all this self-congratulation was leading up to. Does
anyone know of an interface that would allow our users to create manuals out
of a library we'd provide? IOW, for one customer, job X may do tasks
1,3,5,6,9 and 10, but the same job title at another customer may only
perform 1,3,5 and 9. I'd like to be able to distribute a CD-ROM and have
the clients specify which "documents" make up a "book". I don't
particularly care whether it's HTML, PDF, W97 or FM files. Anyone know of
such a system, or am I going to have to do my own macros/ programming to
make this happen?

-Matthew Craver,
Documentation Supervisor
Open Solutions Inc.
Mcraver -at- opensolutions -dot- com

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