Re: What sayest me... on Worthless TC Degrees

Subject: Re: What sayest me... on Worthless TC Degrees
From: "Jon Huxtable" <jzh -at- cyberscience -dot- com>
To: <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 10:25:21 +0100

John Posada wrote:

> Spend a little more time on the structure of the
> content and maybe, just maybe, some of the idexes that
> are created can be shorter, less detailed, or not
> necessary.
>
> Then if the document has been created right and it
> still needs an index, knock yourself out.

Time to delurk I think. John, I think you still have it wrong.
You are trying to imply that your document can be so 'good'
that an index is not required. Your carefully structured
body of information may make that information easy to find;
your ToC may help the reader to understand how your information
is structured - but all of this ASSUMES that YOUR approach to the
information is exactly the same as the reader's. Take word usage
as an example. A good writer will always use the same word to
mean the same thing. Your manual may have a whole section on
saving files - but if the reader knows only that the concept they are
seeking is called 'archiving' they could conclude that your manual
cannot help! Cross referencing from non-preferred terms is just
one of the many functions of an index.

>
> I'm now returning to my 5th arrangement of a document
> so I can eliminate the need for an index in this
> document.

Perhaps the time spent on a couple of those iterations would have
been better spent on an index!

Jon
--
Jon Huxtable jzh -at- cyberscience -dot- com
Documentation Manager Cyberscience, Hoddesdon, UK




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