Re. Numbered headings

Subject: Re. Numbered headings
From: Alexander Von_obert <avobert -at- TWH -dot- MSN -dot- SUB -dot- ORG>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 1995 08:48:02 LCL


* Antwort auf eine Nachricht von geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca an All am 14.07.95

gg> The discussion of using numbered headings (e.g., 1.0
gg> Introduction, 1.1
gg> Subintroduction, 1.1.1 Sub-subintroduction) raises another
gg> issue: I
gg> personally hate this format because it communicates very
gg> poorly to me:
gg> for example, is section 14.7.6 really clearer than
gg> "Results: Test
gg> subject number 7: Test parameter number 6"? The numbers
gg> simply don't
gg> seem to communicate any better than well-organized,
gg> well-chunked,
gg> well-designed non-numbered headings

sometimes, my customers force me to do something like a u.v.w.x.y numbering.
I myself think, that nothing more than two levels of numbering are really

But in reference books, numbering might really be helpful: Often, the user
remembers these numbers and finds often needed chapters easily this way. If
you number your pages by chapter, (s)he might even find the chapter bei quick
skimming through the book.

If I need another level of headings, I prefer to write these without any
numbering into the margin of the page. This has several advantages:

- Line length is reduced to a reasonable value on a DIN A4 page
(and what comes out of American laser printers is even wider).

- Cleverly used, the reader might find the right place simply by looking
along the margin.

- I have a low-level heading, that is always on the same level.
Otherwise, you would get something like u.v.z in the introduction
and a few pages on u.v.x.y.z

Don't shout: That's a wast of paper! It is much less so as you might think
because of the broad margin you need for this: Conventional headings need a
lot of paper, too.

Greetings from Germany,

|Fidonet: Alexander Von_obert 2:2490/1719
|Internet: avobert -at- twh -dot- msn -dot- sub -dot- org

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