Re: Chapter and page numbers

Subject: Re: Chapter and page numbers
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2009 13:26:56 +0200

Yes, Robert, they were using Frame--but very, very poorly.

I did mention "format overrides", right? They had a succession of
incompetents, judging from the state of the docs I inherited to update--and
there were at least two or three format overrides per page, on average,
throughout a doc that was in three volumes. (At Nortel, their rules required
any doc that ran over a thousand pages to be separated into another this monstrosity ran in total about 2200 pages at the time,
IIRC. You can do the math to determine the number of format overrides I had
to try to deal with.)

So, the kicker is "...have set up your page numbering correctly" in this

They also had a total shambles in their file system, with no document
control to determine with precision which were the cononical versions of
previously released docs. Each writer had their own directories--even
writers that had been gone for five years or more--and each one appeared to
have multiple copies of all the documents squirreled away.

Since the tech support assigned to that department was MIA, I wound up
having to rebuild their entire file system, juggling space so we could get
the software release out the door. You see, they totally ran out of space on
their SAN allotment less than three weeks prior to software release.

Meanwhile, I was having to correct enough of the formatting problems to get
the revised document properly updated where it needed to be as well as to
finish the review of my own piece of it all.

If you would care to suggest how it could have been any better handled, I
would be all ears. The memory is still not a comfortable one after all this
time--and, again, it speaks volumes regarding why Nortel failed so
massively, if that one small docs department was any indication of larger
systemic problems.

(Of course, in the midst of all this I also discovered that the activity
database maintained by the VP in charge of the division was not accurate,
which in turn led to the discovery that a contract engineering firm had
ripped them off of about $4 Milion in spurious charges just on that one
relatively small switch product, but that is a story for another time.)

We are not always able to expect that colleagues and especially predecessors
have done anything "properly" in Frame or elsewhere.


From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> Subject:
> If you're using FrameMaker, and have set up your page numbering
> correctly, that takes about two seconds, and the renumbering is
> automatic.
> When I take over a FrameMaker project, I import styles to make sure
> that page numbering etc. is consistent throughout the book.
> On Sat, Dec 5, 2009 at 12:58 AM, David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> > I suppose this never has happened to you..
> >
> > You are facing a tight deadline for a new release...and suddenly, the
> > manager decides that the book should be re-ordered a bit--moving a
> chapter
> > to another location in the book.
> >
> > (Don't laugh--it has happened to me several times over the years).
> >
> > Suddenly, you must go to each bloody chapter and renumber pages--or at
> least
> > be sure it is all renumbered properly, depending upon how it was done
> > originally and the software you are working with for authoring. ...
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