Bottom line - if you are teaching your students to save their documents in one central location - fantastic. If you are teaching them to categorise their files in folders and sub-folders in that location, they will be streets ahead of the average
And if they are using a version management system to lock files to ensure there are no overwrites when someone treads on someone else's changes, they will be in nirvana and their price beyond jewels. TortoiseSVN** plus Subversion is a
production-quality open-source VMS that is free and easy to learn. I repeat myself from a few days ago ...
What is the KEY skill requirement for all technical communications jobsX** (pshaw! wash yer mouf out!)? No, it's not that. A damn good haranguing? Not that either. An ability to use regexps? Not this time round.No, it's version management ... ta-da!Are you writing the Great Australian Novel? Ghosting Peter Costello's second book? Propounding a 10,000 page rebuttal to the necessity of X**? Then you need to be able to be able to recover that file that Windows/Mac OSX/Word/OpenOffice.org just trashed. Or, to roll back to an earlier version which was actually better than the most recent draft.Because you will almost certainly have to use Rational ClearCase, Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, Perforce, CVS, or one of the many other version management systems (VMSs) around. And if you have some private projects where it is important to be able to have good back-up, then you can do no worse than get your hands on Subversion and TortoiseSVN** (Google is your friend). That way, you can learn the principles of version management and impress your new client or employer at how quick you are on the up-take when learning one of the industry VMSs.TortoiseSVN works within Windows Explorer and all operations on files and folders are done by right-clicking on them and selecting the appropriate operation from the context menu. As long as you remember that all operations such as deleting or renaming a file or folder MUST be done with the TortoiseSVN commands -- NOT the Windows Explorer equivalents -- you will find TSVN very easy to learn and use.Suppose you are going hell-for-leather to get a documentation set out for BloatApp 3.0 while your colleague is to start work on the set for BloatApp 4.0. Simple, just branch the fileset and work in parallel until the BloatApp 3.0 documentation is finished, label a release milestone, and merge the BloatApp 3.0 and 4.0 branches together into the mainline. Course, the files will need to be in plain text so that they can be diffed and merged, or conflicts viewed and resolved. X** would be an obvious contender ...But you can still store all your binary files -- Word, FrameMaker, PNG, JPEG, etc. -- and version them by locking them, although you can't branch. There is a nifty diffing tool for graphics which shows each graphic half-transparent on a white background. Where they are identical, the details of lines, shades, and text appear full strength. Where they differ the details are faded.So there you are, an absolute requirement for all technical writers even it the client or employer does not specify it. Because it can save your hide when you have totally managed to stuff up a project.So don't even think of all that X** malarkey -- version management is your man.
TortoiseSVN plus Subversion can be used on a local drive, network drive, or remote computer via the svn:// protocol or the svn+ssh:// secure protocol. You can set up a server on your own machine and access your project via svn://localhost/myProject/, a good way to learn how a remote server VSM works. Many X** editors have a GUI client built in (e.g. Eclipse and the many IDEs such as Aptana web IDE that are built on it).
Regards, Hedley ** TortoiseSVN is a Windows-only GUI, unfortunately. -- Hedley Finger 28 Regent Street Camberwell VIC 3124 Australia Tel. +61 3 9809 1229 Fax. (call phone first) Mob. (cell) +61 412 461 558 Email. "Hedley Finger" <hfinger@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> ************************************************** To view the austechwriter archives, go to www.freelists.org/archives/austechwriter To unsubscribe, send a message to austechwriter-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with "unsubscribe" in the Subject field (without quotes). To manage your subscription (e.g., set and unset DIGEST and VACATION modes) go to www.freelists.org/list/austechwriter To contact the list administrator, send a message to austechwriter-admins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx **************************************************