Re: Style and Procedure Schema?

Subject: Re: Style and Procedure Schema?
From: "Trese, Timothy G." <Timothy -dot- G -dot- Trese -at- SAICSeals -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 15:08:19 -0500

Keith says:

>What advantage does this offer? The TOC and index should tell readers
where to find the infomation they seek.

>Why is it important to know that, for example, punctuation will ALWAYS
in Chapter 3?

The key benefits that I see in structuring this information are:

1. When the arrangement is populated, anybody familiar with the rules of
arrangement knows where to look for desired content.
2. You can very easily cross-reference someone else's content that's
arranged in the same way, and manipulate it, make exceptions to it, or
amplify it further.
3. Easy access to structured information of this sort will significantly
reduce the countless hours of duplicated effort that quality-minded
technical writing teams put into drafting guidance for their
documentation process. Producing a comprehensive style manual or
procedure manual customized to your industry/company could become a
simple matter of selecting desired elements from a database of publicly
available, granulized manuals and and adding your own spin where

Here's a for instance. In my current gig, I'm contractually bound an
USAF Technical Instruction about procedure manuals. It's a mess, as far
as accessibility goes, with various layers of rules located in different
areas. The TOC is kinda okay, but no index. Now suppose I had a standard
template I could drop this into, and augment the weak areas with, say,
the Chicago Manual or Read Me First, using an algorithm that took the
rules I had to follow and only added the ones I needed. If the
information were structured identically, it wouldn't be a big a deal.

That's just my for instance, Keith. What I'm asking is, who else finds
utility in such an initiative?

Tim Trese
Documentation Specialist

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