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Re: Web-based docs and help (from JavaHelp perhaps?)
Subject:Re: Web-based docs and help (from JavaHelp perhaps?) From:Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> To:Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com> Date:Fri, 10 Jun 2011 10:38:19 -0700
I just bought a new printer.
I did a fair amount of pre-sales research, but ultimately discovered that in
the price range I was shopping most of the features and ratings were
similar. Ultimately, the decision hinged on two points. One was a KISS
user interface that requires very few trips to the detailed documentation
once the printer has been set up using the quick-setup brochure; the other
was the fact that even with this onboard UI the manufacturer still provided
detailed documentation, in printed book form AND online as a PDF I could
download and review prior to making the purchase.
I have browsed the printed book several times for hints on the various ways
the UI defaults can be customized since getting the printer up and running,
but even though the PDF version and a help file were installed on my
computer with the printer utilities I have yet to use either of them.
On Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 9:48 AM, Dan Goldstein <
DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com> wrote:
> We can all tell you our "current thinking," but it doesn't mean doodly
> compared with your customers' current thinking. Of course, it's easier
> to get our opinion than to get your customers'... But we do know that
> they've received both printed manuals and onscreen PDFs in the past. It
> would be great if you could at least informally survey them as to which
> format they prefer.
> Either way, a lot of us think that for onscreen Help, PDFs are a lousy
> choice. This has to do with indexing and searching, linear vs.
> non-linear presentation, etc. The HATT archives are a good source for
> this information. PDF is good for printing and lousy for onscreen Help;
> HTML is lousy for printing and good for onscreen Help.
> And one more thought: When a company sends me a PDF file and
> _suggests_that_I_print_it (yes, I've really seen this!), I know they're
> incredibly cheap. So I assume they also skimp on things like developer
> skills, support staff, etc.
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