RE: [RMX:NL] Re: [RMX:NL] Re: Request for comments on my Structured Writing series

Subject: RE: [RMX:NL] Re: [RMX:NL] Re: Request for comments on my Structured Writing series
From: <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>
To: "'Slager Timothy J'" <Timothy -dot- Slager -at- dematic -dot- com>, "'Julie Stickler'" <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L Writing'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 May 2016 10:02:52 -0400

Thanks Timothy. It is good to hear that you are finding the series useful.

In Robert and Julie's defense, it is my fault that I waited till now to ask
for comments here. I was hoping the series would attract more comment than
it has, and so I am trying to widen the appeal for comments at a point that
is well into the series, which certainly does make things difficult for
people.

And Julie, you are quite right that this article does not really stand
alone. It is a chapter of a serialized book rather than a standalone
article. It is something I have always acknowledged about Every Page is Page
One: there are cases were long consecutive narratives are unavoidable. When
you are dealing with a set of complex ideas and the relationships between
them, particularly where you need to clarify or establish a vocabulary to
talk about then, you need a long consecutive narrative. I've tried to find
ways to make this material more EPPO, but have not yet found a way. The real
irony is that my Every Page is Page One book was itself a long consecutive
narrative of the sort that it argues against.

I've written lots of other stuff in EPPO fashion quite successfully, but
writing about EPPO itself turned out to require a longer format.

People's tolerance for long consecutive narratives is far less than it used
to be, now that we live in a hypertext world. A book-length narrative has a
higher hill to climb with the public than it used to, which is a good reason
to move away from them whenever we can. But sometimes we can't.
Communication is very diverse, and many different models are needed to cover
all the bases. The "every" in Every Page is Page One is not intended to
cover all forms of communication. Rather, it refers to how readers encounter
pages when they are in information foraging mode. The best a chapter of an
unavoidably consecutive narrative can do in an EPPO world is to make it
clear that it is part of such a narrative and provide the appropriate
navigation. (At least, that I the best I can come up with -- suggestions
welcome.) This article may well not be sufficiently contextualized. I'll try
to address that in the next one.

Thanks again for your comments.

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Slager Timothy J
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2016 9:42 AM
To: Julie Stickler; TECHWR-L Writing
Subject: RE: [RMX:NL] Re: [RMX:NL] Re: Request for comments on my Structured
Writing series

:)

I sometimes think that the naming is wrong. If every page is page one, then
that is unstructured. Linear writing is structured; it can often be made
more useful and flexible by breaking it out of that structure.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+timothy -dot- slager=dematic -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+timothy -dot- slager=dematic -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Julie Stickler
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2016 9:28 AM
To: TECHWR-L Writing
Subject: [RMX:NL] Re: [RMX:NL] Re: Request for comments on my Structured
Writing series

If "every page is page one" then it's really ironic to be told that I have
to read ten other articles before I get to this one.

Just sayin....

(And yes, I probably should go read those other articles now.)

On Thu, May 19, 2016 at 9:12 AM, Slager Timothy J <
Timothy -dot- Slager -at- dematic -dot- com> wrote:

> I get the feeling that Robert and Julie aren't acknowledging that this
> is chapter 11. If the chapter is taken in isolation, their comments are
valid.
> But they seem less valid in the context of the rest of the articles. I
> haven't read all of the articles and it has been awhile since I read
> them, but each chapter builds on or adds to the previous ones.
>
> The newbie picking up this book would have had the benefit of 10
> chapters of very well written explanations about structured writing
> before getting to this chapter. As a long-time technical writer whose
> experience, unfortunately, has mostly been limited to "unstructured"
> writing, I found the articles helpful. Mark explains basic concepts in
> ways that make more sense than most other articles I have read. (Plus,
> his writing is
> exemplary.)
>
> tims
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+timothy -dot- slager=dematic -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+timothy -dot- slager=dematic -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> ]
> On Behalf Of Julie Stickler
> Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 3:30 PM
> To: Robert Lauriston
> Cc: TECHWR-L Writing
> Subject: [RMX:NL] Re: Request for comments on my Structured Writing
> series
>
> 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).
> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content
> > strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com
> >
> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> >
> > You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com -dot-
> >
> > To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> > techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> >
> >
> > Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> > http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources
> > and info.
> >
> > Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
> > online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> >
> > Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our
> > public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Julie Stickler
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy
> and content development | http://techwhirl.com
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as Timothy -dot- Slager -at- dematic -dot- com -dot-
>
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>
>
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources
> and info.
>
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
> online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
>
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our
> public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
>



--
Julie Stickler
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and
content development | http://techwhirl.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as Timothy -dot- Slager -at- dematic -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and
info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online
magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and
content development | http://techwhirl.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and
info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online
magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


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
Re: Request for comments on my Structured Writing series: From: Julie Stickler
RE: [RMX:NL] Re: Request for comments on my Structured Writing series: From: Slager Timothy J
Re: [RMX:NL] Re: Request for comments on my Structured Writing series: From: Julie Stickler
RE: [RMX:NL] Re: [RMX:NL] Re: Request for comments on my Structured Writing series: From: Slager Timothy J

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