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Subject: RE: DOCBOOK: Modular Documentation

There's no easy solution. Certainly, it will take much longer than a week of
study. Given your situation, you first have to go through your complex pile
of information, and figure out what kind of modularization structure it can
fit into.

There are many possible modular documentation structures you can use
(DOCBOOK is one of them) as starting points. You might be able to use one as
is (unlikely), modify one to suit your needs, or use one as a guide to
create a new one.

In your case, it might be best to start small and simple. Start with a
document (or set of documents) that are very simple/similar in structure
(ThAparts list might be a good example of a relatively simple structure--it
doesn't fit your situation, but it gives an example). 

Designing, building, and using a modular system are all complex issues far
outside the scope of this reply.

You will probably find very quickly the task you are tackling is potentially
quite an undertaking, but take heart: If you DON'T BEGIN MOVING toward a
modular documentation solution, it will never happen. And every day until it
does, more UNMODULAR information will continue to pile up, adding to the
problems you are attempting to address.

Good luck,

Bob Mueller
Compuware Corp.

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