RE: Of myth and reality

Subject: RE: Of myth and reality
From: "David Knopf" <david -at- knopf -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 11:19:13 -0700

SteveFJong -at- aol -dot- com wrote:

| In my last group, we talked about (but didn't implement)
| converting FrameMaker files into online help by grabbing
| blocks marked with specific tags; for example, everything
| formatted with "Headline," "Summary," and "ProcedureStep"
| tags could be pulled out to make a usable Help file. You'd
| be missing content in the online version (mainly
| illustrations), and you'd have to do something with cross-
| references as well; but that way, at least, you'd
| only have to write the procedures once to use them both
| ways, and the double-entry bookkeeping Lisa bemoans would
| be avoided.
| Can you have a "single-source" document where the
| print and online versions are proper subsets with
| significant overlap?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, this is really the whole point. What you
describe above is not far off the typical FrameMaker/WebWorks single
source process. Different groups make different distinctions about where
the overlaps begin and end, how much variation there should be between
the printed content and the online content, and so forth, but the
overall answer to your question is an emphatic yes. You create a single
source document which includes print and online versions that are proper
subsets with significant overlap.

If there is not significant overlap, you cannot meaningfully single
source, as you pointed out in your post. But in the vast majority of
printed and online information sets intended as documentation and online
Help for software applications, there is *always* significant overlap.
It is the elimination of redundant in creating and maintaining the
overlapping content that provides one of the most significant benefits
of single sourcing.

So, you see, I don't think you really do agree with the article that
appeared in Intercom. :-)


David Knopf / Knopf Online / San Francisco, CA
mailto:david -at- knopf -dot- com /

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RE: Of myth and reality: From: SteveFJong

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