Indexing HTML documents

Subject: Indexing HTML documents
From: Gretchen Toth <glt -at- ICONOVEX -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 10:03:53 -0500

We've had the online vs. paper documentation discussion
on this list; did anyone inquire about how indexes are
handled for online documentation, specifically when
the medium is HTML documents?

In considering the option of moving our documentation
to some online form (WAY in the future, probably), I
was wondering how writers have dealt with indexes for
online docs. Do you just stick with a search engine
and glossary or do you develop an 'index' page that
acts like an index in the back of a paper manual?

What kinds of tools are you using to make online docs
useful for the user? I'm glancing at a list of
HTML editors here and it LOOKS like most of them
just help you create a basic HTML document or convert
from some other format (I'm gleaning this from two-
sentence descriptions, mind you). 4W Publisher is the
only one that mentions indexes-- keyword indexes.

With all the hyperlinking in HTML documents, is it
necessary to create an index as in a paper manual?
I've heard some say that a Web site was so well
organized they didn't really see a use for any kind
of index page.

Lori Lathrop, if you see this before your next trip :-),
do you discuss creating 'indexes' for online documentation
in your workshops?


Gretchen L. Toth
Technical Writer
The Iconovex Corporation
gretchen -dot- toth -at- iconovex -dot- com

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