Re: ranges in index entries

Subject: Re: ranges in index entries
From: Sue Ellen Adkins <sea -at- best -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 12:20:08 -0800

At 9:55 AM -0800 3/10/02, dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com wrote:

Sue Ellen Adkins wrote:

Where does the link take the reader? If the discussion goes from page
47-62, it should take the reader to page 47. If subtopics are
discussed within that page range, they should also have index entries.

We were talking about HTML files. What do page numbers mean in that context?

Why do page numbers appear in the HTML index? Probably because the tool that converted the file to HTML included page numbers in the index. Also, because page numbers provide the user a place to click when multiple page numbers are available. How should multiple locations be identified if not by page number?

> I'm not exactly disagreeing with this point, but ranges don't make
much sense in a hypertext environment anyway. For example, conside
an index entry like this:

terriers 47-62

If the range "47-62" is a single link, where does it go? I guess if
they're in a single file, you could somehow highlight or select the
range, but you still only *go* to one location. (Also, if the range
is large, the selection is pretty ungainly. If the range is small
enough to fit in a reasonable window, you might as well just jump to
> the beginning and let them read.)

The link *should* take the reader to the start of the entry. So, if the entry started on what had been page 47, the reader would go to that HTML page and be able to scroll to the end of the entry, which would have been on page 62.

>
If "47" and "62" are separate links, it's really "47, 62". You
might as well present it that way.

When I was writing computer software manuals, the pages were numbered within each chapter. So a reader could see that there were several iindex entries in chapter 4 and then look at the TOC to see the title of chapter 4. The page numbers gave the readers an indication of where in the book the entry was located. When an entry in printed book index contained "47, 62", so did the HTML entry.

>
> Most important, though, what do page numbers actually mean in HTML?
>

Page numbers provide an indication of where in the book the entry occurs. Some people find it helpful to know the context of the information. Think of it as being similar to a map of a web site.

sue ellen



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