Subject: Online/print
From: Mark Levinson <mark -at- SD -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 1994 10:14:30 IST

Chuck Martin remarks how much easier it is to make a book from
online documentation than vice versa. It's also easier to make
a book from a movie than a movie from a book; but only because
it's easier to ignore the advantages a book can provide than
to try to imitate them in another medium.

"Your information is nicely chunked" for online, Chuck observes.
Fine if you don't want your book to explain anything bigger than
bite-sized. But some subjects are better explained in a fairly
long, sequentially structured fashion.

"You don't want users to scroll" on the screen, but the book
can make much more information visible simultaneously without
problems of size or resolution. Even fold-outs if necessary.

In addition, the book gives a better sense than most online
systems of where you are in the topic, a better sense
of how big and complex each topic/subtopic is, an easier
way of flipping back and forth between topics, and a better
chance of remembering where you saw the explanation next time
you need it.

Mark L. (for Luddite) Levinson
mark -at- sd -dot- co -dot- il

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