July 1991 - Vol. 34 No. 7

July 1991 issue cover image



Notes from COMDEX

Finally, new and interesting ideas about documentation. It is kind of funny, really. Most documentation is written by technicians—not professional writers. And most technicians would include documentation among their top ten complaints regarding the software they use. Physician, heal thyself. This column describes ideas and suggestions from current literature on software documentation. I hope they will change the way you think about documentation. If you are in the software field, it is almost certain that you will have to write documentation, for either your peers or your users. If you are designing software, you owe it to those you serve to gain an enlightened attitude toward documentation, recognizing the interconnectedness of the software, its documentation, and the help system. Otherwise, you are not a “practical programmer.”
Research and Advances

MediaView: a general multimedia digital publication system

MediaView is a multimedia digital publication system that was designed to be flexible and free from restrictions. It was also designed to take maximum advantage of the media-rich hardware and software capabilities of the NeXT [5] computer, especially the features of the NeXTdimension [17] subsystem. Rather than emphasize the work that is almost always paired with multimedia, presentation, MediaView emphasizes communication. The system does not tacitly impose the “publisher's” agenda on the reader, but structure and sequencing can be overlaid if appropriate. The result is a very general system—free of artificial structure and inconvenient metaphors.

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