Re: WordPerfect Advice

Subject: Re: WordPerfect Advice
From: Carl Rudorf <crudorf -at- CCMGATE -dot- MBSBOOKS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 08:52:24 CST

TO Marilynne Smith (with empathy):

I have been using WordPerfect to create end-user documents for years. Yes, the
Master Doc feature is poorly designed. Currently I'm using WP 6.1 DOS (I tried
6.1 Windows, but failed to get it to run under OS/2). I've found the Master Doc
feature to exhibit the same problems over and over again -- regardless the
version. One significant flaw in the design is that when you generate ToC, CRefs
, & Ndx the procedure invariably looks for an Index Concordance file. In other
words, even if you don't specify a path/file name when defining the index, the
Generate procedure looks for one. When generating huge (500+ pgs, 3-7Meg) files,
WP often gets stuck in a program loop and/or simply crashes. Rather frustrating.
Especially since the procedure takes hours to run. (My hardware is sufficient:
P100, 32Meg RAM, 1.2 Gig Hard Drive.) Additionally, when the moon and stars are
finally in alignment and you succeed (!), you're apt to discover the procedure
has thrown out spurious hard returns, thereby destroying your page layout.

The strategy I've developed over time is ugly and time consuming. In essence, I
create an index and ToC for each chapter and then compile the information
"manually" for the entire document. (CRef's that explicitly make reference to a
page number are limited to the chapter; CRef's that make reference to info in
other chapters simple say, 'see chapter x') I just finished a multi-volume manua
l for a retail management system developed for the AS/400 that consisted of 3600
pgs over 12 chapters; it took months -- literally months -- to pull the doc into
shape for release.

WordPerfect has been no help whatsoever on this front. Indeed, tech support reps
have told me that -- unofficially -- my attempts to create documents that exceed
500k are foolhardy. Gee, maybe I'm using the wrong tools. Also, my having sent
corrupted files to Orem proved fruitless. I was on my own. You can do it. (I
feel confident that I've wrested a lot from WP (5.1, 6, & 6.1), but my sanity ha
s suffered. And to what end? Where on earth am I ever going to need to use this
product the way I do now?) But patience is needed.

Note -- if you're using 6.1 DOS, a patch file exists on the WP BBS. It doesn't
help Master Doc problems, but . . . .

Thankfully, the boys in the front office here at TinkerTronics (sic) bought my
proposal to upgrade to Frame 5.1. Let's see if their hype holds up to scrutiny
-- or just a couple large, complex documents requiring a comprehensive index.
Good luck.

Carl Rudorf
crudorf -at- mbsbooks -dot- com


Sarcasm is a defense against feelings of powerlessness within the organization.

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