RE: FrameMaker > Help > FrameMaker?

Subject: RE: FrameMaker > Help > FrameMaker?
From: Karen Casemier <karen -dot- casemier -at- provia -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 11:07:05 -0400

As Sean Brierley said:

"Some workflows just don't. Something probably has to
give, such as:

1) The expectations.
2) The software.
3) The timeframe."

As much as it may pain me to say it, in this situation it seems to make more
sense to keep the source in RoboHelp and use the Generated Printed Doc
feature to create the manual in Word. This is assuming, of course, that the
same information is included in the manual and the Help. And yes, I know
what printed output from RoboHelp is like. I also know what it is like to
try and maintain two duplicate sources.

Just a suggestion.

If this is not an option, would it be possible to train the developers to
use the Status list and Comments text box on the Topic Properties dialog to
establish some sort of tracking of changes? (Assuming you are using RoboHelp
HTML - it's been a few years since I used the Classic edition, but I believe
there is something similar there). I use this approach simply to keep track
of what needs to be changed for each release. After I release a new version
of the Help, every topic is flagged as Complete. When I start working on the
next version, I flag new topics and topics that need to be updated to In
Progress, and use the comments to refer to the new feature(s). This helps me
keep track of enhancements for release notes, and also for features that
will need to be documented in other documentation (our user manuals do NOT
contain the same information as our help files, but if features change or
are added, they will still need to be documented in multiple places -
documented in different ways, but documented). Yes, it is somewhat of a
PITA, but after a really REALLY weird year here where I went on disability
and our other writer was on military leave, I've learned that I can't just
rely on my own memory - sometimes other people are going to have to jump in
to help.

Karen Casemier


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