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Documentation for software product

Basic advices How to write the documentation for software product.

Document: External specification

Document: whatsnew

If your program is equipped with whatsnew then

  • users see that you are working hard and support your activity,
  • they are waiting for special fixes and announcements,
  • they get news about new features of your program.

How to update whatsnew?

  • You have todo list. Move executed tasks from todo list to whatsnew file.
  • Don't write long paragraphs of text, 1 line - for 1 big-fix

Document: known issues

Если программа большая, чтобы избежать проблем, публикуйте Known-issues (Release notes)

Какие ограничения у текущей версии? если мы предупреждаем, что виснет в случаях: a), b), то все ОК. если юзер сам нарывается на вис - вот где он звереет.

Document: .HLP/.INF files

It's possible to write simple IPF code directly with an text editor. For more complex and highly-linked documents, that would be a very uncomfortable option.

Examples: there are many .ipf in toolkit → samples x:\PROG\Toolkit45\SAMPLES\PM\IPF

There exist a couple of suitable IPF preprocessors:

  • Html2Ipf uses HTML as its source file format. As its biggest advantage, any HTML editor can be used, even a WYSIWYG one. It does a good job, but also has disadvantages: You'll have to maintain countless HTML files (one file per IPF page). Moreover, there exist some minor issues with vertical spacing.
  • Vyperhelp has a GUI, but unfortunately produces poor output. Lists are not handled correctly in the IPF files. That will lead to hardly portable help file sources.
  • Hypermake is in some cases more powerful than HyperText/2, but costs a shareware fee. Additionally, its IPF output has a few spacing issues.
  • HyperText/2 doesn't come with those drawbacks, but you have to “learn” another new language. That language is simple, but you have to read at least a few pages of this doc (or look at the examples) before being able to use it. Its input source files are highly readable, especially with an text editor supporting syntax highlighting for HyperText/2. So WYSIWYG editing is not required. Moreover, the Ipf2Htext compiler allows for using source files, that were originally not written with HyperText/2 and exist only in the IPF format. Compared to other IPF import solutions, manual postprocessing is not required in most cases.
  • How to write URL in .INF?
    :link reftype=launch object='netscape.exe 'data=''.http:&slr.&
en/documentation_for_software_product.1256570448.txt.gz · Last modified: 2009/10/26 13:20 (external edit)

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