RE: STC Competition Question

Subject: RE: STC Competition Question
From: jgarison -at- ide -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 15:09:21 -0400

Sean and others,

I stand by my original comments. But there's some rationale behind it.

Whenever I am reviewing a PDF in an online category of a competition, it
rarely measures up to the other entrants on either the degree of
interactivity or the use of the medium (both are things we rate online pubs
for). Conversely, it rarely measures up to print documents because it's
subject to the printer the person used (color v. b&w, for example).

In a competition, ideally, documents are rated on their own merits and not
compared with others, but judges, being human beings (usually <g>) find it
hard not to do that.

Regardless, a PDF document is both, and as such, it has its own set of
limitations. I think the best solution would be to have a separate PDF
category where all things are equal for all entrants.

We have encountered similar problems when someone submits a perfectly good
Help (.hlp) entry and it's stacked up against Flash demos, fully fledged Web
sites, and such. The Help file is limited by its very nature, and cannot do
all the things its competitors can. I feel in that case that the help would
be judged more accurately and equally if it were in its own category.

That's really my bottom line - things should be judged as fairly as
possible, and IMHO the best way to do that is to give PDFs their own

My 2¢,


-----Original Message-----
From: Brierley, Sean [mailto:Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com]
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2001 2:27 PM
Subject: RE: STC Competition Question


If I may, I disagree completely: PDFs are _really_ print and _really_
online. To say they are not ignores the reality of how this file type is
being used extensively to present information online, with hyperlinks, and
yet in a printable form. Even considering switching XSLs or CSSes in the
middle-of-things, can you tell me which other format meets the need that is
met by PDFs? PDF certainly does allow you to get a wide range of documents
online and lets millions take advantage of online media . . ..

Seriously, while I understand and could probably be persuaded to agree with
you that PDF might need a separate category--though there is fair room for
debate on that--I am completely surprised and a tad disappointed that a
veteran STC judge would consider PDFs to neither be *online* nor *print*.

Best regards,

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: jgarison -at- ide -dot- com [SMTP:jgarison -at- ide -dot- com]
> As an experienced STC judge (print and online) it's a tough place to be.
> PDFs are not *really* online and not *really* print. In order to excel as
> an
> online publication, they need to truly take advantage of the online
> medium,
> and honestly, PDF doesn't really allow that to happen. OTOH, PDF isn't
> really print either.
> IMHO, they belong more in the print category, though, but be prepared
> that,
> when you submit a bunch of laser printed single-side pages, you're
> probably
> not going to win.
> If I had my druthers, they'd have a separate PDF category.


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