Re: Chapter-page numbering, reasons for

Subject: Re: Chapter-page numbering, reasons for
From: <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2009 11:20:29 -0600

During the printed-docs era we used page numbers in the form of 7-12 to enable the use of update packages. That style of numbering is now unnecessary, but page numbers (or some other kind of numbering) can still be quite worthwhile.

A larger document should be split into chapters. Whether or not the chapters need numbers, or whether the paragraphs need 7.2.3, 7.2.4, etc. numbering depends upon the purpose of the document. Some reference manuals, in which one section closely resembles another, need paragraph numbering to distinguish particular entries. Laws and military manuals come to mind. For other books the fancy numbering is superfluous or worse.

Numbering also allows rewriting to be done by people who are not in charge of the entire document. "Harry, please replace section 7.4 with Jimmy's description of the new model. Make the numbering works the same way. I think MS Word has some way to do that." "Sure, boss. I'll figure it out. (I hope.)"

On the other hand, documents that are prepared as HTML or blogs generally have no numbering at all, and sometimes (for that very reason) are hard to comprehend if there are many detailed sections some of which look like others. "Enabling the Builder Dialog" and "Enabling the Dialog Builder" might well be retitled as "Section 3 - Enabling the Builder Dialog" and "Section 4 - Enabling the Dialog Builder"

---- Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com> wrote:
> My preference is to get rid of chapter numbers entirely. I don't see
> any purpose for them.


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Re: Chapter-page numbering, reasons for: From: Robert Lauriston

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