This old chestnut again

Subject: This old chestnut again
From: jopakent -at- comcast -dot- net
To: WORD-PC -at- LISTSERV -dot- LIV -dot- AC -dot- UK (Word List), techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com (TECHWR)
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 23:12:30 +0000

I've been looking through the archives for a bit now and I'm not seeing anything "recent" on this topic. The last post I found was back in 04.

I know (in my heart anyway) that the list of gruesome horrors one can unleash by using Word's master document "feature" has almost certainly not gone away. I'm almost certain that I've seen queries relating to Word 2003, not so sure about 2007.

The problem, Sharepoint is heading our way. That is NOT going to change. We'll deal with that. The problem is that one of the chief proponents of this roll-out is touting that because Sharepoint is so tightly integrated with MS Office, when we upgrade to 2007 in Q1, we'll be able to use Word to create xml-based, single source documents, relying on Words powerful master documents feature.

Seriously, that last sentence is not (intentionally anyway) designed to be considered as a Bulwer-Lytton contest entrant. I understand that the "xml" that we get from a MS product will not truly be xml. I also understand that Sharepoint is not (without ridiculous amounts of customization) going to perform the CMS functions we will need to perform true single sourcing. I also know that relying on master documents to document combination is just stepping into madness.

My problem? (sorry for the long setup) I'm trying to find a couple of posts that document the nightmarish scenario of relying on master documents to do actual work. I know there are 1 or 2 (maybe even 3) people who claim that there is a use for these (other than as a means of getting your writers to head for the exits), but I'm not looking for the outliers, I'm trying to tap into the main-stream, conventional wisdom.

Can anyone point me to an article, white paper, post, etc. that will help me avoid this cruel fate?

Thanks in advance,
J. Paul Kent

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