Re: Some thoughts on "Dummy" books, and HyperMedia

Subject: Re: Some thoughts on "Dummy" books, and HyperMedia
From: Andreas Ramos <andreas -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 1994 14:05:19 -0800

Your thinking got me thinking too.

When a reader doesn't understand something, they skip over it, hoping to
figure it out later. I've asked readers about manuals: why don't you read
them; the answer's here, why don't you understand it (i ask in a gentle,
non-threatening way, because i really want to know, so that i can write
better). (they usually say 'well, there were words which i didn't
understand, and, well, you know, my eyes sorta glazed over, and you know...")

Hypertext sounds appealing in that one can delve into a word. maybe this
would help the reader who doesn't understand a word or procedure, without
boring the advanced user.

But for written text, so what ever happened to footnotes? Maybe I'll try
these in my next documentation; and put them at the bottom of the page,
instead of the back.

Any of you'all remember Max Weber's original edition of "The Spirit of
Capitalism and the Protestant Ethic"? Each page was 10% text and 90%
footnotes! He spent ten years working on one book: his wife threw up her
hands and said "ach! the book's finished years ago! it's the footnotes!"
Old Max would have loved hypertext!

Andreas Ramos, M.A. Heidelberg Sacramento, California

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