Re: "Mapping Hypertext": book and results

Subject: Re: "Mapping Hypertext": book and results
From: Richard Lippincott <rlippinc -at- BEV -dot- ETN -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 08:47:26 EST

Chet Ensign described a case of converting "Information Mapped" data to
hypertext, and the problems that followed.

From your description, it sounds as though the biggest problem you had came
from a faulty "Info Map" format. I don't think I would have wanted to convert
the document that you described, and I'm also fairly certain that conversion
process would have made me swear off info mapping forever.

Fortunately, the book that I'm working in was done -very- closely to the
"approved" method. I think the biggest problem is what you've described:
Some people think that if you do a wide left margin, hang some headers out
there, and put lines between the paragraphs, you've done info mapping.

What is far more important than that is the concept of "chunking" or breaking
the data down into blocks. There's a set limit on the size of those blocks,
and the tables you described seem to violate that.

Once you've chunked the information, you can make it into a neater hypertext
document by adding additional page breaks.

I'm finding that even in the book that was info mapped by my predecessor,
some of his procedures exceed this "7 (+/-2)" limit, and I'm going in and
breaking those down into smaller procedure blocks. Interestingly, it's those
long procedures that seemed to give him the toughest time when he did the
first hypertext version of the manual. I have a hunch that my revisions will
fit in just a little better.

I admit, I don't know yet how I'm going to handle flow charts. There were none
in the previous version of the manual, I've got a couple to include now.

Well, if our job was easy, anybody could do it. Right?

Rick Lippincott
Eaton Semiconductor
Beverly, MA
rlippinc -at- bev -dot- etn -dot- com

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