Re: SGML (short)

Subject: Re: SGML (short)
From: Chet Ensign <Chet_Ensign%LDS -at- NOTES -dot- WORLDCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 09:58:44 LCL

Michael Priestley gave the following example when discussing the separation of
content and presentation:

> Example (global): Each of my descriptions has a section called
> "portability considerations" at the end of it. How should I flag this
> info (heading, icon, change in text colour)? What format should the
> information be in (itemized list, table showing diff platforms)?

Similar example. While doing doc analysis on a large manual for a programming
language, I found that command syntax definitions were formatted six different
ways throughout the book. Six radically different ways -- so different that no
one had ever really thought of them as describing the same thing. The reason
that the presentations were so different had nothing to do with the benefits to
the readers. They had to do with the fact that six different writers had solved
the same problem six different ways on six different occasions over a period of
years.

Certainly better style standards were called for in this case. But style
standards must be applied and few companies go back and redo the existing
manuals because the process is too costly.

Best,

/chet

Chet Ensign
Logical Design Solutions
571 Central Avenue http://www.lds.com
Murray Hill, NJ 07974 censign -at- lds -dot- com [email]
908-771-9221 [Phone] 908-771-0430 [FAX]


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