Re: Glossary structure

Subject: Re: Glossary structure
From: Sandy Harris <sandy -at- storm -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 15:14:39 -0700

David Tinsley wrote:

I would like to solicit opinions on glossaries, We have recently
consolidated our glossary terms from long explanations to one or two
sentence definitions. Our rationale is that we believe that the subject
should be discussed in detail at the appropriate place in the text.

Yes, if it is in your scope. In that case, your glossary
should link to the longer explanation in the main text.

What if it is out of your scope, a term you need to use
that is not particularly specific to your product? I'd
say in that case, give an external link for anyone who
needs it.

We had
instances where the glossary was as large as the main text!

Here's a glossary I wrote that was the largest single
file in the doc set:

To really understand all aspects of that product you'd
need to be expert in at least three things:

Linux system administration
TCP/IP networking

Almost no-one is actually good at all those, but most
readers would be moderately familar with one or two.

I wrote the main text assuming reasonable familiarity
with all of them, but with lots of links -- glossary,
bibliography, web links file -- for background.

I suspect many products are a bit like that. You cannot
be cetain what users will know, so you need a lot of
supporting material beyond what a mythical perfect user
might require


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Glossary structure: From: David Tinsley

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