Re: Not allowed to change templates?

Subject: Re: Not allowed to change templates?
From: Karen Kay <karen -at- WORDWRITE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 21:38:47 -0700


What you're setting up is a conversion nightmare! When you change
templates, or move to SGML, or change to Word, or change to the Next
Hot Tool, you will have to hand-tweak 15% of your doc set. (10%
because writers deliberately made new tags, +/- 5% for general
misapplication of the template--we are all human.)

I don't feel passionately about many things in technical writing, but
having been through conversions big and small, this is something I
feel quite strongly about. You are creating trouble for yourself and
anyone who inherits your docs down the line.

I do think that a template review board (composed of writers) is the
way to go. Automated conversions r3Wl, but they aren't possible if
writers don't follow the template.

karen -at- wordwrite -dot- com
Tracy Shelby said:
> I think a lot of people are missing the point. The originator of the
> question does not want a new tag because of personal formatting
> preference, but because there is information that needs to be displayed
> that does not fit the mold, so to speak. I, too, worked at a company
> that had tight reigns on the templates, and ever so often I came across
> information that just didn't fit into the formats. When I first started,
> I just did the best I could, using the available formats (this means
> that the information was not displayed as effectively as it could have
> been). Then I discovered that the other writers in the department were
> creating formats when it was required, so started to do the same thing.
> So the collection of guides for the department varied by 5%-10% in
> formatting, the basic formats were the same. None of us were creating
> square bullets when the template had round, that would have been a real
> breech of the template. I'm with the other writers who suggest that you
> go ahead and create the format and ask for forgiveness later. My
> experience is that a new format is not even given a second glance and
> that nobody will notice.

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