What do you programmers use for printed documentation?
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17-10-2012, 09:55 PM
What do you programmers use for printed documentation?
Don't have a Tech forum here, so this is as good a forum as any I guess.

Since I apparently have been promoted to the unenviable task of documenting my team's code instead of coding myself, I have been exploring various software packages and would like other opinions.

We're primarily a .NET shop (got some Android and general Java projects as well but they're not relevant to this discussion) so I inline the documentation using NDoc tags and use Sandcastle Help File Builder to build the .chm file. The .chm file is great as an electronic help system but sucks balls for hard copy documentation. I've been looking at Adobe's RoboHelp, MadCap's Flare, and EC's Help & Manual to generate printed documentation.

Any opinions? Other options?

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18-10-2012, 06:37 AM
RE: What do you programmers use for printed documentation?
Dur, don't ask me Tongue I only found out about SandCastle a few weeks ago. So far I've hardly done any docs at all - major pain in the near future No Stackoverflow.com should be the place to find the good answers though Big Grin I'd suck even worse than I do now without that place.
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18-10-2012, 04:21 PM
RE: What do you programmers use for printed documentation?
(17-10-2012 09:55 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Don't have a Tech forum here, so this is as good a forum as any I guess.

Since I apparently have been promoted to the unenviable task of documenting my team's code instead of coding myself, I have been exploring various software packages and would like other opinions.

We're primarily a .NET shop (got some Android and general Java projects as well but they're not relevant to this discussion) so I inline the documentation using NDoc tags and use Sandcastle Help File Builder to build the .chm file. The .chm file is great as an electronic help system but sucks balls for hard copy documentation. I've been looking at Adobe's RoboHelp, MadCap's Flare, and EC's Help & Manual to generate printed documentation.

Any opinions? Other options?

It has been so many years since I have seen any documentation worth printing. Angry

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18-10-2012, 05:50 PM (This post was last modified: 18-10-2012 05:55 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: What do you programmers use for printed documentation?
After spending a week trying to get some reasonable results with importing a .chm I've concluded they all suck balls. Today I gave up and just started cutting and pasting the text from the Help viewer into a blank Word document. I'm almost fucking done after 1 day. Only tricky part was I wanted to preserve the syntax highlighting of the code and XML snippets in the Help file. Had to first cut and paste from the Help viewer into Notepad++ and then use the Notepad++ plugin "copy and paste preserving syntax highlighting" to paste into Word. And yes excors canis, I did get that answer from StackOverflow. Big Grin It's also now the official forum for all things Android. StackOverflow for the motherfucking win. Thumbsup

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18-10-2012, 10:08 PM
RE: What do you programmers use for printed documentation?
Documenting code and have it printed.... interesting.... so what's it like living on a planet other than earth? Big Grin

Really though, back in 2000 when I was to "document" code things and have it printed, I printed the source code (with a built-in thing for some slightly different formatting--it was built into Microsoft's program) as I documented everything in-code. We had a technical writer who wrote things... and no one ever looked at it. It was so out of date (keep in mind, the software documented started on day one, it was documented by month four, and so far out of date nothing really applied by month six), that we just scrapped it. User interfaces were built to be intuitive, so no documentation was needed, just tool tip things if there could be confusion. But yeah, the programmers never looked at the help files (we wrote them, but then no one else looked at them either). We just paid attention to comments within the code.

But then I worked at a place that believed if you needed help files or documentation, something wasn't written properly. Although we still had to, but like I said, no one ever looked at them--but we did use microsoft-based ones because it was an "approved software" provider for us. Now, if I do any documentation, it's web-based, and displayed in-program.
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19-10-2012, 04:23 PM (This post was last modified: 19-10-2012 05:09 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: What do you programmers use for printed documentation?
(18-10-2012 10:08 PM)elemts Wrote:  Documenting code and have it printed.... interesting.... so what's it like living on a planet other than earth? Big Grin

It's kinda like planet Earth, only different, PeriodicTable. It's the planet Federal Government where in order to get release and distribution authority for our software we need to provide them with some sorta printed material. ... On the upside, they compensate us well ,we get good benefits, and they couldn't fire us even if they wanted to. Big Grin

Note to self: Add PeriodicTable to my list of programmers here.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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