Re: OT: (almost) Blank Pages

Subject: Re: OT: (almost) Blank Pages
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 17:59:21 -0500

Victoria Camgros wrote:

>(look them UP if you're too
> young to remember).

Great line. I'm going to make an effort to remember it, but at my age, I
don't know how effective that will be.

Sometimes pasted-up pieces could slip off the page, due
> to hurry or to abuse or to aging wax.
> Few people (if any) work this way anymore. I doubt any letters or words can
> fall off the page in Word or FrameMaker. So why on Earth is anyone doing
> this anymore?
> Anybody have a justification for the "page left blank" convention any longer?

It depends on the environment. A few years back I worked in a department
that produced documentation sets for large industrial equipment (think
in terms of how big a building, rather than how big a machine). These
sets typically filled several feet of bookshelf and comprised several
hundred individual documents, most of which were prints of scanned
images of documents that had originally been created decades earlier.
The material was printed on a high-speed laser printer that jammed

One contract might require, say, nine copies of this documentation set,
which filled numerous four-inch binders and incorporated hundreds of
z-folded drawings that had to be printed on a secondary printer and
slipped into place behind tabs that were printed in another building
altogether. Assembling these sets was the job of a sheltered workshop (a
company that employs persons who are variously challenged).

Beyond the sheer bulk and complexity of all of this, the equipment was
such that if a maintenance procedure were not properly completed
(because the last several steps were omitted), large numbers of people
might die.

So in that situation, you bet your bippie we used the "page left blank"
convention. And facing a similar situation today, I still would.

For a software manual, though, I agree it's a bit of overkill.


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