Re: Online docs -- was RE: PDF vs HTML

Subject: Re: Online docs -- was RE: PDF vs HTML
From: Shmuel Ben-Artzi <sba -at- NETMEDIA -dot- NET -dot- IL>
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 22:50:32 +0200

Eric,

Your point is apt enough (and all too true), but it doesn't go to the matter
at hand. The fact that non-developer pubs are probably used by more people
than those provided by the software companies is a sad commentary on the
state of the docs being supplied. But this really has nothing to do with the
online vs. printed pub argument. If it could be reliably shown that the
sales of third-party pubs went up significantly when the shift to online
docs began, then a case could be made for a direct corelation between the
two. I seriously doubt, however, that this is true.

Since the same people are hiring the "TC's" to do the online docs as the
printed ones, the standards of quality will probably be pretty consistent
across both the printed and the online variety. (May we observe a moment of
silence.)

But any day now we're going to see a *major* move toward third-party pubs
going online as well. CD's are already being sold for this purpose now, Web
docs will come next. The security apparatus for limiting online access to
subscribers/purchasers are already being used by major pubs (newsletters,
e-zines, Britannica Online, and others). In such rapidly-developing fields
as the Internet and software releases, being able to make periodic updates
without the need for whole new printings will be a major boon to both the
publishers and end users.

But, to return to your point, Eric, I suspect the use of third-party online
docs will probably far outstrip those provided by the developers just as is
now the case with printed docs. Sad commentary.

Shmuel Ben-Artzi
Netanya, Israel
sba -at- netmedia -dot- net -dot- il


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