Re: Structure: Was...What sayest me...

Subject: Re: Structure: Was...What sayest me...
From: "Dan Roberts" <droberts63 -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "David Chinell" <dchinell -at- msn -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 18:42:29 -0500

ok, shooting from the hip here...

Structure does not depend on a set of text-processing (Bookie, SGML, HTML,
XML) tags. The last 2 places I've been used Word styles to define structure,
along with an understanding of when to apply those styles. Structure depends
more on an acceptance of certain recurring, repeatable elements in a doc,
and rigourously writing with those elements in mind.

For example, at my previous job, we developed a set of fixed elements that
could apply to almost any given topic: Concept (basic information), Syntax
or Procedure (depending on whether you were coding or clicking), Reference
(additional "oh by the way" stuff, eg "don't do this under a Fool Moon,
unless you sacrifice a black chicken beforehand), and Example. Applying this
set of elements to a topic helped me turn a morass of text into bite-sized
pieces of information. And the structure of the elements were pretty
obvious--you dont explain a detail of something before you explain the basic
idea, you don't give an example of syntax before you give the general syntax
code. Which, otoh, is not to say that every topic had every element; fluffy
Intro chapter stuff, for example, was mostly Concepts and Examples. And
generally, a Procedure would not use Command Syntax style, nor would a
Syntax element generall use a numbered list. we applied those elements using
predefined Word styles. which our Online folks used to generate WinHelp and
HTML code.

hth




-----Original Message-----
>How would you suggest defining document structure
>for documents that will never be cast in XML or
>SGML?







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