RE: Formatting Docs On-The-Fly

Subject: RE: Formatting Docs On-The-Fly
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "Tony Markos" <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "CB Casper" <knowone -at- surfy -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 10:07:30 -0800

I'm not sure what you mean by "style". The style standards that
structured FrameMaker helps enforce are those of formatting and
organization. I can't think of a situation in which modifying these
would help mask a lack of understanding. My experience with structured
FM was that it helped writers immensely. They no longer had to agonize
over style issues, and no longer had to search for style screwups they
had made.

Keep in mind, though, that I used structured FM at Oracle, which has a
corporate technical writing style. Oracle also publishes its books
online in HTML and PDF. Structured FM makes HTML publishing particularly
easy and error-free. Some writers worried a bit about conversion and
learning, but everyone I knew applauded the result.

Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Tony Markos
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 8:15 AM
To: CB Casper; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Formatting Docs On-The-Fly


Thanks for your (below) very informative response.

You stated:

"Structured FrameMaker limits the ability of individual authors to get
creative with the company style."

My comment and a question:

On a past TW assignment, I had edited/rewrote alot of procedures written
by network engineers. As the job was at a DOD agency, we had a standard
However, that format/style was often violated. In correcting these
situations, I noted that the reason for such violations was almost
always the same:
Getting creative with the format/style was an easy way for the writer to
mask "holes" in his/her understanding of the subject at hand (i.e, if I
do not fully understand the subject, then a way around the situation is
to "modify" the style so that it fits what I do know).

Is not such modifying the style on-the-fly such a wide-spread issue that
structured Framemaker is bound to be of limited use?


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