This Thursday and Friday is the UA Europe 2013 Conference in Manchester, UK. It promises to be another fun packed, information filled couple of days with the leading lights of the user assistance industry presenting and attending. Here is my personal preference of the sessions I’ll be attending. If you are presenting and aren’t listed, it is not too late to get me to change my mind! We can discuss it over a beer. If you are just attending the conference, do come up and say “Hello”. For those who can’t attend, I’ll be tweeting using the #uaeurope hash tag.
This is the first in a series of posts covering my evaluation of Adobe RoboHelp 10 against Madcap Flare 9. For a list of all of the posts, see my “RoboHelp v Flare: The process” post.
In order to do a proper evaluation it was necessary to list what requirements our tool of choice must (and could) have. The idea was to focus our minds on what really matters, thereby ensuring we made the right decision. Once we had this agreed, it was time to compare what was on offer. So what did we decide on?
My first thought on reading it quickly was, why is it telling me to respond to an email address if it is unattended? On taking a closer look, I realised I had fallen into the trap set for me by bad punctuation. Of course you will have spotted that the single sentence should be two. For example:
“Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. This mailbox is unattended.”
Yet as I found out, even that is open to misinterpretation. Exactly which mailbox is unattended. Not the one you have just asked me to email obviously. So it should have made clear that the unattended mailbox was the one being used to send the email in the first place.
Regular readers will know I love language. It intrigues me how it changes with time. English has grown enormously. The problem for people learning it is that whilst words get added to dictionaries, they rarely get dropped from them. They may become unfashionable, but they still exist. German on the otherwise does drop words and today it has dropped its longest 65 letter compound noun. What is it?
Last week I wrote about how I had been tasked with comparing Adobe RoboHelp 10 with Madcap Flare 9. We had outlined our requirements and measured them against the two products. Our requirements are not really earth shattering. Perhaps they meet the requirements of a lot of users in a similar working environment. As such I thought the process of evaluating the applications would prove useful to others.