Re: "dummy" books to footnotes for definitions

Subject: Re: "dummy" books to footnotes for definitions
From: Chuck Martin <techwriter -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 1994 10:58:33 PST

The idea of footnotes for definitions seems a tad (highly technical term)
old fashioned. I'd prefer too see definitions in the margin, alongside
the term's appearance, a tactic I've often seen in textbooks.

That fits perfectly in the modern trend to have one wide margin, typically
on the outside of the page. And a reader's eyes don't have to travel
nearly as far. It's an idea I think I might include in my current docs--
if the tool I'm using will allow such things.

One question comes to mind: would such marginal definitions replace
a glossary, which would then be redundant? Do we make users look in the
index, which would point to the definition in the book, or would that
be violating reader's expectations to leave out a separate glossary

Chuck Martin
Information Developer (another highly technical term), IBM
TechWriter -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com

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