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Subject:Re: Indexing dynamic text? From:"Dick Margulis" <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com Date:Fri, 14 Jan 100 09:04:24 -0500
Agreed. Absolutely. But indexers are few and far between. We just brought in a contract indexer (because we have management that can see beyond the end of their noses and because our doc manager, John Garison, knows everybody in Boston and half of everybody in the rest of the world, and because we were lucky enough to find one); but she is the second such person I've met in my life. If every company that techwr-l touches were to see the light, take your advice, and go looking for an indexer, I think the average quality of manual indexes would quickly sink below the quality of a decent full-text search tool.
The reason is that people who are perfectly competent tech writers, for example, would be pressed into doing something they find tedious and hateful, simply because the number of people who enjoy indexing and are good at is so very limited.
and full-text searches simply can't meet this need yet, and it'll be
some time yet before they can. Although generating information on
the fly is definitely more technologically sophisticated, it's not even
in the same league as the sophistication a skilled human indexer
brings to the job. Moreover, I've yet to see a text parser that has
even an idiot's grasp of context; the only indexes I've ever found
useful were human-generated, not mechanically assembled.