Re: Creating indexex - was Re: Building index files in Frame

Subject: Re: Creating indexex - was Re: Building index files in Frame
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l digest recipients <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2000 19:14:54 -0700

Damien Braniff <dbraniff -at- iss-dsp -dot- com> wrote:

> I've been creating indexes for some time now and I've used concordance files
> and done the job manually. Over the years I've found that the latter method
> produces by far the best indexes. The first method is fine if all you want is
> a quick and easy method but the second gives you the control - entries can be
> put in according to context (not simply because the word is there). In
> addition, going through the doc allows you to add alternative terms for entry
> but gives you the option of NOT adding the alternative for every occurance of
> the word - I've had docs where what the word meant was dependent on the
> context.

The quality of an index done with a concordance file depends on
the entries in the concordance file. It takes time to produce a
thorough list of keywords. In fct, a really useful list is
usually easiest to generate as you write. I always keep a page in
a notebook in which I jot down keywords while I'm editing. If I
try to generate the keyword list in isolation, I simply forget
many of the words that I need on it..

I find it best to use a keyword list in the same way as I use a
spell-checker. That is, I use it to save time, but as a
supplement, rather than as a replacement for my own efforts.
Ultimately, in both indexing and editing, there's no replacement
for personal effort. However, I can reduce my effort to some
extent by using the keyword list. How much time I save is hard to
guess, but it might be about 33% if I've generated a really
useful keyword list.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"And we are right, I think you'll say,
To argue in this kind of way;
And I am right,
And you are right,
And all is right - too-looral-lay!"
- Gilbert and Sullivan, "The Mikado"

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