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Subject:Re: TW and grad school -Reply From:Barb Philbrick <caslonsvcs -at- IBM -dot- NET> Date:Thu, 12 Feb 1998 00:05:58 GMT
It's not just formatting. It's also organization.
Online help is excellent for brief procedures for software. It's
horrible for conceptual or theoretical information and for hardware
Well-done online help also takes advantage of navigation tools, such
as pop-ups, hyperlinks, and wizards. Organizationally, these things
don't fit neatly into hardcopy documentation.
>The real problem as I see it--and maybe this is what people were trying
>to say--is formatting. The problem is not fundamentally content,
>audience, or anything else. Formatting that looks good in a book is
>rarely best for online viewing, searching, etc.--or vice versa. Since
>the vast majority of word processors, desktop publishing programs, and
>markup languages embed formatting information in the text itself, rather
>than embedding references to the text within the formatting information
>(which would allow you to modify one copy of the text while maintaining
>two different sets of formatting information), this is a problem for
>which I see no short-term resolution.
Barbara Philbrick, Caslon Services Inc.
Technical Writing. caslonsvcs -at- ibm -dot- net