Re: Printed vs. Online - what mix?

Subject: Re: Printed vs. Online - what mix?
From: K Watkins <kwatkins -at- QUICKPEN -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 1995 18:27:18 EDT

On 26Sep95, Mike Starr (mike -dot- starr -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com) wrote:
|How do you vote?
|1. Comprehensive printed/comprehensive online
|2. Minimal printed/comprehensive online
|3. Comprehensive printed/minimal online

In general, I think they should both have much the same CONTENT - that is,
comprehensive - although, as others have already pointed out, that content
needs to be ORGANIZED quite differently for the two media.

Audience circumstances could create an exception to this, especially when
being comprehensive means covering a huge amount of information. For
instance, if you know you're writing mostly for people with, uh, well-aged
equipment and cramped disk space, they might refuse to load a very large
Help file. Similarly, if a paper doc set containing comprehensive
information would be dauntingly huge and your audience resents reading
anyway, minimal printed docs might stand a better chance of getting used at

Circumstances have constrained me to produce the only two on-line documents
I have yet done as mere modifications of the printed docs. Most of the
modifications consisted of re-chunking the information and reworking
cross-references/links/pop-ups, but they are still much the same shape as
the paper docs. Even so, they're better than nothing...MUCH better, to
judge from the enthusiastic response of certain users who apparently loathe
anything resembling a [shudder of revulsion] book. Still, I hope to widen
the difference in future projects.

K Watkins
kwatkins -at- quickpen -dot- com
speaking for myself, not my employers

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