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Documentation question

 
Gregg Parmentier
Frequent Advisor

Documentation question


I'm wondering about how documentation updates are done for OpenVMS.

Part QA-001AA-WZ for OpenVMS 7.3 has 53 manuals, for 7.3-1 it has 27 manuals, and for 7.3-2 it has 20 manuals.

Are the 7.3-1 and 7.3-2 editions of that part number replacements for manuals in the earlier sets, or did they cut the size of the documentation set that much? Either way, it seems odd to not have a master index with 7.3-1 and 7.3-2 to cover changes, deletions, and additions.

Is 8.2 a further set of replacements for the set started in 7.3? I don't recall receiving any documentation updates between 7.3-2 and 8.2.
3 REPLIES 3
John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: Documentation question

Gregg,

I believe the part numbers you're referring to are documentation updates. It would be a bit silly to reissue manuals that hadn't changed. "Usually" complete doc sets are issued for major releases.

Hopefully, the dead tree editions of OpenVMS docsets will soon be eliminated altogether. Given the volatile nature of the informaion contained therein, it's painfully wasteful to print so many copies that will never be opened.
A crucible of informative mistakes
Gregg Parmentier
Frequent Advisor

Re: Documentation question


I find the dead tree version easier to use. I can have three manuals open at once and see all of them, I can visibly bookmark pages with notes, I don't have my session fighting for space with the manual reader(or readers), and I get whole page views with a font bigger than rice. I also don't have my eyeglasses prescription changing quite so often.

Apparently; if you order that part number from hp it's always the full doc set, but if you have full documentation on your support contract that part number isn't the full doc set every time. That makes things rather confusing. The part number should be a unique descriptor of what's in the boxes.

With only two incremental updates in the past four years, the support contract route is getting kinda pricey, too.
John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: Documentation question

Gregg,

>I find the dead tree version easier to use

I often have many more than three manuals open at the same time. Often the same manual open in several different places (try that with paper).

I tend to use the HTML, so I can carry a complete docset with me on a single CD, or access it via the web. That also allows me to cross check different versions, and always have the most up to date version available. It's free and accessible from anywhere with internet access and a web browser.

I can increase or decrease the font size as required, use FIND or a search engine to find the things I'm interested in, and copy & paste examples between windows, saving on typing and transcript errors. Cross references can be clicked to go directly, rather than page flipping (though the OpenVMS docset isn't as cross referenced as it could/should be - legacy of its paper heritage).

Why would I need to see a "whole page"? "pages" are a constraint of paper. Diagrams that won't fit on a single page can be scrolled, without the need for complex cross page joins.

I'd suggest you revisit online docs and think outside the book paradigm. I'm not advocating ALL reading material be moved to electronic media (far from it), but IMHO paper really doesn't do justice to technical documentation.

Get used to it, discover the advangates of electronic documentation over paper. My guess is the days of paper manuals for OpenVMS are numbered! Way too expensive, cumbersome and wasteful. Consider, what percentage of pages (or for that matter whole manuals) of the last docset you sent to the shredder had ever actually been looked at by anyone?
A crucible of informative mistakes