RE: STC Competition Question

Subject: RE: STC Competition Question
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 15:21:50 -0400

Understood, but . . ..

> -----Original Message-----
> From: jgarison -at- ide -dot- com [SMTP:jgarison -at- ide -dot- com]
> 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).
>
Errrm, a PDF is created using the Distiller printer instance, which is a
color printer. The use of other printers is not supported, not advised, and
possibly not legal. <grin>Ghostscript users, as you were </grin>.

> 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.
>
I have no problem with that. Thus, if all entries stink, nobody wins. Or,
you could judge entries against each other, this being the more common
approach.

> 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.
>
And, PDFs have their own strengths. That is, if you find a particular PDF
has limited interactivity as a limitation versus some HLP document, surely
the PDF has better printability, which is a benefit. Then consider, is the
HLP poorly designed or well designed? How about the PDF? And so forth.

> 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.
>
I would be surprised to learn that HLP online help projects and Flash demos
are judged in the same category, but you are certainly the one in the know.
Again, the downside to the HLP would be, ummm, less flash <vbg> but
certainly its benefit would be the interactivity and the way it communicated
to its audience.

> 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.
>
Nor can the competing formats do what the HLP does. And, surely efficiency
of design and workflow is considered?

> 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
> category.
>
I'm not sure I could effectively compare a PDF designed for output only to
four-color press against a PDF designed for online delivery. Thus, I think
the books section in the online competition is a good place for PDFs
designed for online use wheras the books section in the non-online
competition is an excellent place to put the PDF designed for offset press .
. ..

Sean
sean -at- quodata -dot- com

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