Re: Online help for GUI/web-based config app of HW telecom

Subject: Re: Online help for GUI/web-based config app of HW telecom
From: Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2016 07:54:34 +0000 (UTC)

I know somebody who worked for Harmonic Inc, which makes AV stream encoders. This is probably a level beyond what you're talking about. They delivered full-blown help systems with their products, but setting up multiple streams to be encoded to different protocols, and perhaps spliced together -- that's non-trivial. They might have lower-level (less complex) hardware that also includes online docs.
A question -- in spite of how annoying I personally find it when people ask,"Why do you want to do it THAT way?" -- Why do you want to do it that way? If your mgmt is married to delivering a separate PDF, then why not compromise? Write the docs, generate a PDF, generate hosted HTML5 output... Hey, why not generate a phone app? And have your help link bring down the hosted HTML doc. Then your field people can access the docs in any way they like... Print, Web, Phone.
I suggest this in spite of my personal religion, which mandates that all content should be distributed with the device. How do you know what version of the docs you need? If the docs are with the device, the version is correct by definition. But the combination of device and culture/infrastructure might make distributed docs inappropriate. Also, I'm a firm believer in embedding as much content as possible in the GUI itself. Make explanations that expand out with the GUI. Not useful for CLI, but isn't CLI fading?Â

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