SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] When Should a Manual be We
Re: [Sigia-l] When Should a Manual be Web-based?
From: Martin Langhoff (martin_at_cwa.co.nz)
Date: Tue Feb 25 2003 - 15:49:24 EST
Bollaert, Jodi wrote:
>Does anyone have any tips for deciding when a manual should be web-based
>(vs. in a PDF or Word format)?
When the product is _only_ a website, I guess it is probably ok to have
a web-based only manual.
The rest of the time, write the manual in a display independant format
(TEX, DocBooc, whatever) and generate multiple outputs: PDF, website,
RTF, etc. Also allows you to do what the Linux Documentation Project
does: supply a large HTML doc or one HTML per chapter.
The only reason not to do it like this would be... cost... and maybe
lack of expertise of your technical writers... but I would never trust a
technical writer that cannot see beyond MSWord. Indeed, the LDP has a
host of resources to help you in the 'cash/expertise strapped' scenario.
They run a wiki that allows you to edit a large document with a
web-based interface, and crank out DocBook SGML out the other end. And
there is a howto on how to do it yourself. Perrrrrrfect.
Team Leader RHCE
martin_at_cwa.co.nz Phone: 64 4 382 6523
CWA New Media http://www.cwa.co.nz
Phone: 64 4 382 6500 PO Box 19-090
Fax: 64 4 382 6509 Wellington, NZ
All parts should go together without forcing. You
must remember that the parts you are reassembling
were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can't
get them together again, there must be a reason.
By all means, do not use a hammer.
-- IBM maintenance manual, 1925
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