Last modified: Jul 25, 2000
Author: Scott Cox, 497-4710, email@example.com
Audience: MSL-WRM technical writers
This document is available in HTML from the following location:http://mslwrm.rsn.hp.com/iss/procedures/doclfcyc.htm
I intentionally leave acronyms undefined. Mentors should go through this lifecycle with new writers--explaining acronyms as they go.
FrameMaker products and templates:
Mentors should explain to new writers where to access FrameMaker products and templates.
When you start a new project, you should:
DART schedules are available on the web at:
You need a login and password to access this web site. Request the login and password before you need them--it may take several days to get them.
LP milestones to look for include the following:
Man pages are submitted with the software and are due when the software is due.
Your project may also submit release notices with the software.
DART releases are 3 months apart. So, if your DART schedule is not currently available, you can estimate.
Training needs to be addressed. Please discuss with your manager.
Ask the project manager whether the project's documentation needs to be localized (translated into languages other than English). The project manager may be able to point you to localization contacts.
You can get a FrameMaker5 docplan template by selecting the following from FrameMaker5's File menu:
New -> Convex/ -> admin/ -> docplan.template
Information on how to fill in the template is included in the template itself.
Before beginning the docplan:
Discuss with your manager how you should get part numbers. Products that were developed outside Richardson then moved here may continue getting part numbers through their original sites.
For products that are developed in Richardson, to request part numbers for software manuals:
For products originally developed outside Richardson that moved to Richardson, request doc part numbers following the lead of the project manager. Specifically, if the project manager continues getting part numbers from the original development site, you should do the same. However, if the project manager uses the local procedures to get numbers, you should also use the local procedures.NOTE: Once you have your part numbers, forward them to the PSP author.
If your documentation is being released independently of a software product, submit an ECN request for the documentation. To submit an ECN request:
You will probably perform the RAPID submittal after you begin your documentation effort. Read the RAPID Submitter's Guide (accessible through the URL given below) before your first submittal.
Check your DART milestones to determine your RAPID submittal schedule. For information on DART milestones, see the Determine DART milestones section.
Fill out the RAPID forms on the web to inform ESI that you have docs coming their way.
You need a login and password to access the RAPID web site. Request the login and password before you need them--it may take several days to get them.
Access RAPID at
Access RAPID's online help if you have any problems.NOTE: RAPID does not work with all web browsers. Check the RAPID page for information on which browsers you can use.
If you have issues during or after RAPID submittal, contact the person listed on the RAPID web page.
The development of documentation differs according to an individual writer's work style. However, the practices recommended below can be incorporated into most documentation projects.
Meet with Barry Lyden in a checkpoint meeting to verify that your documentation matches the RAPID input.
Bring the following items to this meeting:
This meeting typically takes about ten minutes.
You use the IR to submit SGML and PostScript versions of your documentation to ESI.
If you are not producing an SGML version of your book, skip Step 3 and Step 7. However, you do still need to create the directory mentioned in Step 3, Substep 1.
To prepare for IR submittal, you should generate the SGML and PostScript for your book or release notice and evaluate how they look in the IR. To prepare for an IR submittal, follow these steps:
Tip: After you start the SGML save, click the "Info" button on the FM+SGML button bar. As soon as the SGML save is complete, the Info window pops up--letting you know the SGML save has finished.NOTE: If your SGML save produces any errors or warnings, alter the document in FM+SGML until no error or warnings are generated. You cannot submit to the IR if your SGML save has errors or warnings.
This processing can take a few minutes.
If there are formatting problems, first check the structure of your document in FM+SGML. If the structure is appropriate, the style sheets that govern how the SGML is rendered online may need adjustments.
Submitting to the IR requires you to have already performed the RAPID input, which is discussed in the Submit RAPID data section.
Inspect the SGML and PostScript versions of your documentation for proper formatting before you begin an IR submittal.
You submit SGML and PostScript files to the IR. These files are then used to create the Instant Information and hardcopy versions of your document.NOTE: Be sure to request proofs of your manual and release notes.
To submit to the IR:
If you have problems with the IR submittal, contact Camille Krug (camille, x4226) or Susie Blackstock (seads, x4544). Also, you can contact ESI for help.
Add PostScript and PDF versions of your manual and release notes to the PASL USE library web page.
For example, the book with part number B3947-90013 would have a PostScript version named B3947-90013.ps and a PDF version titled B3947-90013.pdf.
You should receive proofs within 4 business days of IR submittal.
If you do not receive a proof within 4 days, call the print vendor directly. The current (Jan 99) print vendor is US Print. Their phone number is 925.634.6700.
Try to review the proof and return comments within 2 business days.
An overview of the proof process is online at http://emperor.mayfield.hp.com/~carol/proof.htm.
Because ESI does not archive the books it receives, archiving is done locally. Archiving is initiated by filling out a form on the web. Your FrameMaker files must be on the machine where you launch your web browser.
For release notices, use the link titled "Check in a release notice" on the page at:
For books, use the link titled "Check in a book" on the page at:
Your files are copied to the directory presskit:/work2/submit/part_number.
Also, email is sent to Judy Palma, who then creates the directory presskit:/work2/archive/part_number and archives the submitted files.
Judy Palma also sends a form to SMO informing them that the book is available for ordering.
ECN meetings bring together the parties related to a product release. These parties officially agree (or disagree) that the product is ready for shipment.
These meetings, which take place near the LR date in the DART release schedule, are short and consist mainly of people signing papers.