RE: Is a bad index better than no index?

Subject: RE: Is a bad index better than no index?
From: "Lydia Wong" <lydiaw -at- fpoint -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 09:47:27 -0400

David Castro asked the subject question, and Jo Francis Byrd replied:


I have done documentation without an index, but these are specific
instances, and
usually have such a comprehensive TOC that the index would be redundant.

My background includes amateur historian and librarian (confessing the
latter sends
those who know me into gales of hysterical laughter: YOU? a

I agree with Jo Francis Byrd and the many others who said to provide even a
marginal index vs. no index. Many people made excellent points about why
this is a good idea.

I'd like to add one more point: it's good for you! You'll start learning
another skill for your resume, and it will help you remember to think like a

Indexing is a skill; therefore, it takes practice and some training. Don't
get discouraged, David. Check out the excellent books that folks on the list
recommended, and do your best given the time you have. You'll probably get
frustrated, and certainly this won't be the best index ever produced. But
next time you'll remember what you learned here, have more questions to take
back to these resources people suggested, and you'll do a better job. Each
index you create will be better, and in time, you might come to enjoy
indexing (you never know!).

Oh, and I was a liBRARian???!!! too! Unfortunately, people seem to think
that's quite in keeping with my personality. What can I say?? In any event,
it was good training for many aspects of being a technical writer.

My two cents!

Lydia : )
Lydia Wong
Technical Writer
FarPoint Technologies, Inc.


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Is a bad index better than no index?: From: David Castro

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