RE: Baiting for the single source rant

Subject: RE: Baiting for the single source rant
From: "Jennifer Westerberg" <jen -at- kurant -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 10:19:08 -0700

The question was:

>>So, have some of you applied single-sourcing strategies to improve
>>work outside of the classic "1 source, many outputs" paradigm?

>>How have you applied single-sourcing strategies to improve manageability
>>complex docs?

In addition to the 1 source, many outputs, I've recently implemented single
sourcing to solve the issues of reducing translation costs, and the issue of
rebranding. We develop an application that can be rebranded (including
changing the names of and even organization of some of the application
functionality), and single-sourcing significantly reduces the overhead in
maintaining the documentation, and more importantly, increases the level of
accuracy (updates to one version get applied across all rebranded projects
automatically, for example). We're using XML and the IBM DITA for our doc

And while I'm here, I too, have been a little surprised at the intensity of
objections to the concept of single sourcing. Its definitely not the right
solution for all, and if done poorly, can seriously reduce the users access
to help. But if done right, it can get the right information to the user at
the right time in the right format, and reduce some of the overhead for the

Jennifer Westerberg
Kurant Corporation
jen -at- kurant -dot- com


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