Re: Cross-platform development

Subject: Re: Cross-platform development
From: Dan Brinegar <vr2link -at- vr2link -dot- com>
To: Karen Neeb <KNeeb -at- Winnebago -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 09:00:57 -0700 (MST)

At 9:43 AM -0500 10/4/99, Karen Neeb wrote:
>Our company develops software that is used on both Windows-based and Mac
>computers. [....]

The manual and help for FrameMaker 4 handled this very effectively, if ya
ask me (plugging instructions for both platforms in one paper manual, and
building seperate help for each platform 8-)

This is, of course, something Frame was designed to do.

For small manuals and/or total-newbie users, I usually go ahead and do
seperate manuals for each platform.

If the application is done well, once the manual is mapped out it's not
terribly time-consuming to do the book for each platform (you won't have to
write each book from scratch)...

>I don't know what impact this [using one set of instructions for both
>had on Mac end-users, who then had to use a UI with unfamiliar standards.

Well, the biggest problem I could forsee as a Macuser is that if the
application is pure windoze, and doesn't bother to behave like a Mac app
(say, f'rinstance, that it required me to 'Hit-F4' to close a window,
insteada "Apple-w' I'd get annoyed and wouldn't use the thing anyway, no
matter how well-written the manual or help were...)

But that's just me....


>The developers are now considering the effort it would be to create a
>separate UI for each platform. I would be interested in hearing from anyone
>who has to document in this environment.
>- How does this affect your printed documentation? Do you print two
>separate manuals? Or do you keep one manual and write separate step
>instructions or even keep one set of instructions and say, "in Window, do
>this" and "on the Mac, do this"?
>- How does this affect your online documentation? (same questions)

Dan Brinegar Information Developer/Research Droid

"Leveraging Institutional Memory through Contextual
Digital Asymptotic Approximations of Application Processes
suited to utilization by Information-Constrained,
Self-Actualizing Non-Technologists."

vr2link -at- vr2link -dot- com CCDB Vr2Link Performance S u p p o r t Svcs.

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