Yeah, the multiple customer/multiple product thing is easily managed
with conditional text already; it's more about the last-minute changes
to the content context, and the sheer quantity of changes that need to
be managed in a short period of time. Sorry if I wasn't clear -- my
brain is on overload right now!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gillian Flato [mailto:gflato at] 
> Sent: Friday, May 18, 2007 10:55 AM
> To: Lin Surasky; framers at
> Subject: RE: Do I need to jump into the Structured FM pool?
> I create similar release notes. I just use conditional text 
> for the different customers, (and yes, I have a Known Issues 
> section as well).
> -Gillian
> -----Original Message-----
> From: at
> [ at lists.frameuser] On Behalf Of Lin Surasky
> Sent: Friday, May 18, 2007 10:44 AM
> To: framers at
> Subject: Do I need to jump into the Structured FM pool?
> Or can I keep my inflatable ducky hiked firmly around my 
> middle and paddle around in unstructured FM?
> Over the past year or so, I've been poking around at 
> structured FM with no real goal in mind except to see if it 
> might benefit us down the road.
> For the most part, our process is pretty linear, and 
> structured FM isn't yet necessary for our regular user guides 
> and manuals. So I have a general idea of what we'd need, but 
> I don't have the full picture yet...
> I'm working on a new product with a new team, and each 
> customer gets their own version of the product with their own 
> customized release notes. When you all have stopped 
> screaming, I'll continue... The release notes are very 
> simple. There are three main chapters: Requested Customer 
> Enhancements, Bug Fixes, and Known Issues (bugs that we're 
> aware of that have not yet been fixed). Please don't start 
> screaming again; I really need your advice! The gist of the 
> situation is that on release day, I have to go into our bug 
> reporting system, and check all the Known Issues to make sure 
> they're still issues. If they've been fixed, they move to the 
> Bug Fixes section.
> So I'm thinking that structured FM must be able to help, in 
> that I could somehow create element tags for Fixes and 
> Issues, and then just change the element tag for the Issues 
> that have been fixed and somehow regenerate the documents 
> (how, I don't know -- do I need to maintain this in a 
> spreadsheet or database?) so that the content is moved to the 
> correct section along with its cross-referenced bullet (each 
> section has a bulleted list to make navigation easier). Oh 
> yeah, and can they be re-sorted by section into numerical order?
> This sounds like it should be so simple, but I'm lost on the mechanics
> -- any recommendations for how to set this up? Or if there's 
> a better way to manage this even in unstructured FM, that'd 
> be great too. The cutting and pasting is REALLY not my idea of fun!
> Thanks!
> Lin
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