RE: Of myth and reality

Subject: RE: Of myth and reality
From: "Sean Brierley" <sbri -at- haestad -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 09:01:01 -0400

Sean Brierley
Software Documentation Specialist
Haestad Methods
203-805-0572 (voice)
203-597-1488 (fax)

-----Original Message-----
From: SteveFJong -at- aol -dot- com [mailto:SteveFJong -at- aol -dot- com]

>> What would a 1-page MIF file demonstrate?

> It would demonstrate how easy (or difficult) it is to write within the

> single-source discipline.

One page would demonstrate very little. Single sourcing requires a
structure for an entire document, it's a global thing rather than a
page-by-page one. I recommend you attend a conference or two, maybe
WinWriters in the Spring or STC Annual, to see examples and
demonstrations of the big picture. If you are curious about formatting
or structure on the single-page level, you are focusing on the wrong
thing: probably multi-sourcing.

>>> [Steve] My concern, based on watching working
>>> writers confront [the issue of granularity], is that their answer
>>> "I don't | want to be that granular."

>> But they *will* get that granular.

> Unless they are compelled to work in a single source, they
won't--that's my
> point. [Perhaps you're thinking of an environment where there's no
choice in
> the matter, in which case my point is moot. I'm thinking of the case
> trying to adopt the methodology, in which it's not.]\\\

Well, I don't know what to say. The performance of employees to a
standard or requirements is beyond the scope of single sourcing. If
single sourcing is a change in workflow, there are several techniques to
getting your employees to change to the new method, from building
consensus to firing all who don't comply. If you implement single
sourcing and then everybody refuses to single source, your failure is
one of management and not of single sourcing.

>> Why does [writing two different text blocks] not count if
>> you do this a single source environment?

> Because then you're losing the advantage of single-sourcing.

No you don't. At the very least, keeping content in one set of source
files lets you improve accuracy over trying to synchronize multiple sets
of source documents.

>> Why would you try to [thread together pedagogical material,
>> and reference material into a single block]? Pedagogical, procedural,
>> reference material often go in separate documents, never mind about
>> separate text blocks. I don't see a connection to single sourcing

> Even if the sides had agreed, the central-committee
> approach to tag definition would have doomed their best efforts.

Single sourcing requires more structure and thought and planning, not
less. Single sourcing cannot make up for failure in planning,
assessment, or management.



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