Single-step procedures

Subject: Single-step procedures
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 15:47:15 -0500

My first reaction to the notion of numbering a single-step
procedure was that this represents a textbook example of
foolish consistency. But upon reflection, it starts to make
an increasing amount of sense. There's one particular case
where it would be absolutely essential; if you're working
in SGML, you wouldn't want to incorrectly tag the
procedural step as (say) "body text" just to get around the
number if the correct tag would be "procedure". You could
write your way around this, but making exceptions can come
back and bite you hard when you least expect it.

If you're not using SGML, it might be worth creating an
unnecessary second step so that the numbers wouldn't look
so odd. Even something as simple as "open file" could
become "1. pull down the File menu; 2. select the Open
command". It's not elegant, and I don't like it much, but
it might be a reasonable compromise in some situations.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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