TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Queries on Single Sourcing From:"Mark Baker" <listsub -at- analecta -dot- com> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Fri, 13 Feb 2004 10:28:00 -0500
Lyndsey Amott wrote:
> whole point of ss is surely to to reduce the time spent on doc by allowing
> the author to create multiple docs from a single source. As I see it, by
> definition, the content must be the same, and only the appearance
Lyndsey, you do not single source documents, you single source information.
If a document is published in more than one media that is simply
multiple-media publishing. However, two quite different documents, aimed at
different audiences, or audiences in different situations and roles, or even
documents addressing different products, may nevertheless contain common
The point of single sourcing is to isolate this common information and hold
it in a single container so that it is easier to create, verify, and
maintain. The information is then used in different documents (or help
systems) as needed. There are many different ways to accomplish the
collection and isolation of common information, and many different ways to
use that information in different documents. It need not even be the case
that the information is organized and presented in the same way in all the
documents in which it occurs. Significant processing of the information may
take place to prepare if for inclusion in a particular document to meet a
When you think about single sourcing, therefore, think information, not