RE: FW: Which came first: the manual or the help?

Subject: RE: FW: Which came first: the manual or the help?
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Brierley -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "'mmorgan -at- intrepid -dot- cdg-hargray -dot- com'" <mmorgan -at- intrepid -dot- cdg-hargray -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 14:59:57 -0400


I'm with Melissa, but . . .

I use FrameMaker and WebWorks Publisher in exactly the way she describes.
However, the printed book and PDF are more important than the online help.
The styles were derived on the fly from the printed docs, pushed mercilessly
by the need to keep delivering and a shortage of time to stop and establish
styles, investigate, and re-design. Single-sourcing, in this manner, has
evolved from the printed docs. It was not created from nothing.
Additionally, FrameMaker is, truly, a printed-document tool. Thus, while I
am single-sourcing, truly the printed book comes first.

Having said that, I have modified styles, formats, and writing styles to
accomplish a single-source goal . . . AND AM THERE. However, I firmly
believe that the best solution is to have two efforts that are distinct
projects, online help and printed book. Single-source writing is a
compromise between online and in-print needs; it is optimized for neither.
Single-source writing principally addresses costs and shortages in staffing.

Nonetheless, I instituted single-source writing here, deliberately and with
malice, and am happy with the outcome. Very happy.

All the best.

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

-----Original Message-----
From: mmorgan -at- intrepid -dot- cdg-hargray -dot- com
[SMTP:mmorgan -at- intrepid -dot- cdg-hargray -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 1999 4:38 PM
Subject: Re: FW: Which came first: the manual or the help?

Actually, I'm getting ready to do both simultaneously.
It's not going to be easy, but I'm going to write them
in FrameMaker. My plan is to try and write in a style
suitable for both mediums, but in the instances where
this is not possible, I will put conditional tags on the
information suited for PrintOnly or HelpOnly. Then I'll
take the FM file straight into help using WebWorks
Publisher. What I'm shooting for is one authoring
environment for all types of output. I know some have
mentioned authoring in a database format, but I'm not
ready to cross that bridge until I become more versed
in the structure.

<snip, but the original is worth a read>

Melissa Morgan
mmorgan -at- intrepid -dot- cdg-hargray -dot- com

Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot-

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