Re: Request for comments on my Structured Writing series

Subject: Re: Request for comments on my Structured Writing series
From: Julie Stickler <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2016 15:30:27 -0400

Who is the audience for this book, developers? Because I agree with
Robert, I've been single sourcing via tools for over a decade now, so I'm
not really all that concerned with the algorithms used to transform my
source into different media. Your article feels way too technical to me
(and I'm the sort of nerd who likes getting into the code).

If I were a newbie technical writing picking up this book to learn about
single sourcing, you would have scared me off entirely with this approach.
Single sourcing really not all that hard to do (at least it hasn't been for
me). Especially if you never got too attached to the idea of writing
linear documents. I was trained to "chunk" right off the bat in school,
which makes assembly and re-use much easier concepts to adopt than if I'd
spent decades writing book format manuals.

On Wed, May 18, 2016 at 2:35 PM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
wrote:

> It feels very dated, like it was written in the 90s, when structured
> writing and single-sourcing were new concepts rather than standard
> practices embodied in off-the-shelf tools that have been evolving for
> 20 years.
>
> Thus the presentation seems backward to me. We're not starting from
> zero. People single-source using off-the-shelf tools, in some cases
> enhanced with custom code that has been in place for a while. Most of
> us write in a WYSIWYG editor in Flare / FrameMaker/ Oxygen /
> Confluence / whatever, then generate web help, PDF, static web site
> pages, etc. from templates. It's interesting to know what's going on
> under the hood (and essential if you're developing templates or custom
> code), but starting the piece with such a low-level explanation
> exaggerates its importance over more crucial considerations, such as
> total cost of ownership.
>
> On Wed, May 18, 2016 at 10:56 AM, <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com> wrote:
> > TechWhirl magazine has just published the latest in my series on
> structured
> > writing (http://techwhirl.com/single-sourcing-algorithm/), which is
> > scheduled to become a book from XML Press. A big reason for serializing
> the
> > book on TechWhirl first is to get feedback that will help me improve the
> > book. I'd be really grateful if anyone who is interested would be
> willing to
> > read the latest article or any others in the series and give me some
> > feedback, either on the site or to me personally (mbaker at analecta dot
> > com).
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--
Julie Stickler
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Request for comments on my Structured Writing series: From: mbaker
Re: Request for comments on my Structured Writing series: From: Robert Lauriston

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