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Subject:Re: IM alternative From:"Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com> To:"TechDoc List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Fri, 19 Nov 1999 06:57:04 -0500
The Clustar Method you refer to is Simply Written's methodology. You can
read about it on our website at www.simplywritten.com. We're a technical
communications firm, and we developed Clustar precisely because of our
disenchantment with IM and similar systems.
Unlike IM, the Clustar Method is designed expressly for processes and
manuals, and it's optimized for single sourcing. You can use it with any
tool you wish, although FrameMaker is preferred for true single sourcing.
Like IM, Clustar starts with user analysis, but it then moves on to task
analysis. Task analysis then leads into the manual structure. It's perfectly
feasible to entirely construct an entire "shell" manual in advance, with no
content at all. We're doing that now for a local client. Using Clustar, we
break down the work flow into discrete tasks, get those tasks blessed by the
client, then make each task into a cluster. With no content at that point,
the manual is already more than a quarter done. We can then assign clusters
to writers and illustrators. When we're done, we'll generate a help file in
a matter of an hour or so, using ForeHelp to check the file and generate the
code. But we could just as easily go to XML, SGML, Java Help, or almost
The Clustar process is, of course, a bit more complex than I've painted it,
but that's the basis. But also unlike IM, we don't pretend to have created
something awesomely new. Clustar is, at its heart, a bundle of best
practices for single source.
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar Method(TM)
"Better communication is a service to mankind."
----- Original Message -----
From: <ian -dot- saunders -at- vf -dot- vodafone -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 1999 4:04 AM
Subject: Thanks for the IM info, but what are the alternatives?
> Many thanks to all of you who replied to my original mail about
> Mapping, and for the pointers to all the stuff in the TECHWR-L archives.
> Your impressions about IM were mostly positive (unlike some of the
> opinions!), but nobody mentioned any alternatives to it (by name, anyway).
> In the archives I stumbled across something called the "Clustar Method",
> although I don't know whether this is comparable to IM. Does anyone know
> anything about this or any other proprietory methodology?
> Ian Saunders
> Vodafone Airtouch Plc
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