Re: Structured HTML (was: Is it possible to single-source online in HTML?)

Subject: Re: Structured HTML (was: Is it possible to single-source online in HTML?)
From: Mark Baker <mbaker -at- OMNIMARK -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 17:11:44 -0400

David Locke wrote


>The debate about this tool or that tool is largely missing the point. If we
>are single sourcing to save costs, then we shouldn't single source. You
>won't save any money single sourcing unless you ignore the differences
>between how print documents get used, how online documents get used, and
the
>fact that those differences make the content of those documents inherently
>unsimilar and un-single sourceable.


This is to narrow a view of single sourcing. If you simply output the same
presentation to different media, then no, you won't get media appropriate
design and behavior in the target media. If you single source content and
synthesize and present appropriately for different audiences and different
media then you will reap a huge economic benefit. And you will reap a huge
quality benefit as well because you will be able to address the specific
needs of more audiences and the specific characteristic of more media.

In our own system, content authoring is independent of synthesis and
presentation issues. We can and do make great changes in the design of
outputs for different audiences and different media without changing our
content. Output design is on a separate parallel track from content
creation. This is also a great way to manage collaborative authoring, and
greatly increases author productivity. All content formatting is automatic,
which means we can go down to hours before delivery before we finalize
content. We have more and better content and more forms of presentation than
we could achieve without single sourcing.

---
Mark Baker
Manager, Technical Communication
OmniMark Technologies Corporation
1400 Blair Place
Gloucester, Ontario
Canada, K1J 9B8
Phone: 613-745-4242
Fax: 613-745-5560
Email mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com
Web: http://www.omnimark.com


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