Re: Defining Tutorial etc.

Subject: Re: Defining Tutorial etc.
From: Shannon Ford <shannon -at- UNIFACE -dot- NL>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 1994 14:59:22 +0100

Hi Y'all,

I'm glad Bonni has offered this opening:

> I don't know the answer offhand to how to solve this -- time for more
> brainstorming?

Maybe it is time to *redefine* these terms? Or start fresh if we think we
agree already?

Here's my problem: We have user guides and reference manuals. Our reference
manuals don't necessarily repeat information in the user guide, which is
somewhat against the norm for software products, but there you go.

Now we are introducing a tutorial (more along the step-by-step variety), and
beefing up our online help. So we have

1. context-sensitive help on things displayed (What is it? What can I do with
2. Task help online (such as FrameMaker's help). (How do I do it? Glossary)
3. Tutorial, currently paper-based. Online later? (didactic How do I do it?
Like a mini training course)
4. User Guides (to some extent, 1. and 2. above. Also task oriented)
5. Reference Guides (other stuff :-))

We are also considering how to get the doc set on CD-ROM with good viewing
capabilities and cheaper updates.

I'm not sure anymore that this is an effective system of distributing
information. Maybe it's a problem of moving online; maybe it's a problem
of trying to use categories like User Guide and Reference Guide and Tutorial
that are no longer valid. Maybe it's a problem visualizing how we can reuse
the information in all these ways without maintaining everything separately
(I know about SGML, but I need to see a concrete example before I believe
it fully).

Any thoughts?

fords -at- uniface -dot- nl

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