Re: FrameMaker > Help > FrameMaker?

Subject: Re: FrameMaker > Help > FrameMaker?
From: wpsynek -at- datadesignservices -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 13:53:19 -0600

Sorry if I seemed to be MIA after posting my first question. Some days
your biggest accomplishment is "I never actually fell asleep during an
endless stream of meetings..."

Many thanks to all who responded in the list and privately.

The main question/comment back seemed to be some variation of "why update
the help files and not the FrameMaker source". Dick Margulis and others
hit the nail on the head... my customer want's me to generate the baseline
docs/help files then let the software developers maintain the help files
using a software package they are already familiar with (RoboHelp). Then
they will move me on to other projects and bring me back periodically for
major revisions.

Right now I'm trying to convince them to skip the part about letting the
developers maintain the help. Let them code and submit the changes needed
to me and I'll update the files accordingly, which is how we've done
things for the past five years. The developers don't know Frame and aren't
interested in learning it.

There have also been suggestions of using other tools. The problem there
is we have FrameMaker and RoboHelp so that's what they want to use. I am
investigating things like AuthorIT, or using FrameMaker in conjunction
with Webworks Publisher or the rumored "Mustang" by eHelp.

I've never had to use RoboHelp before but now have X4. Does this not work
well with FrameMaker to create help files?

I also have Webworks Publisher and used it a bit to create some XML but
have to admit that app baffled the H*ll out of me (and of course there's
no budget for training). I have no idea if I'd be able to create help
files with that or not.

So, assuming no new software will be purchased, it looks as if the best
bet is for me to try to maintain control of the source files and try to
keep the software developers out of the tech writing business.

Bill Synek
Data Design Services, Inc.

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