Hi Ben

Years ago, during my first single sourcing project for a client (when I
hadn't even heard the term...grin), we started with the help file design. We
ALWAYS started with a map of the components we wanted to include in each
deliverable type and documented what each category of information would
include. And we always created in Frame and exported to the help tool. To
this day, that is the way I do single sourcing. My initial analysis provides
the framework for the content, FrameMaker is my source for the content, and
I output to another tool for other deliverables (help, etc.). In my opinion,
it is the analysis of your content and what goes where, what the differences
are and the like that are the most important aspect of this type of project.

The big question I ask myself first is "how do I define what is included in
each deliverable?". Then, *why* am I including/excluding the information on
my list. Then I move on from there.

Don't know if that helps...and please do feel free to send a private email
or give me a call at 317-508-2898 if you need someone to chat with.

A note: My background is in using unstructured FrameMaker to create single
sourced projects. There are others on this group who have amazing talents in
various tools and techniques and I stand in awe of their gifts!

Jerilynne Knight

On Wed, May 21, 2008 at 10:07 AM, Ben Hechter <bhechter at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hi All,
> Competent in Framemaker but new to Robohelp, with the following question:
> If you had to design roundtrip documentation and help (Framemaker/Robohelp)
> for a constantly evolving product, would you:
> a) begin in Framemaker and export to Robohelp
> b) begin in Robohelp and export to Framemaker
> c) prototype in both and iterate as you go
> Certainly interested in tools integration war stories from the battlefront,
> but even more interested in the information design perspective...
> ...potential benefits of the chunking constraint of starting with help
> first (to keep the user guide tight), vs. needing to hammer down expanded
> user guide content into help topics.

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