Re: Single Sourcing and Thinking Bigger

Subject: Re: Single Sourcing and Thinking Bigger
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 14:04:07 -0600

At 02:42 PM 6/11/99 -0500, Graham Tillotson wrote:
>develop. I don't think we can begin to talk about single sourcing
>in its pure form until we treat all of our information (text,
>graphics, audio, what have you) like database data and store
>content/data in a platform-independent source completely apart
>from formatting.
>Any thoughts on this premise?

How about...Boy, I sure wish the tools were mature!

I think you're completely right about the ultimate
end to single sourcing, but there's nothing that I know of
with the needed flexibility, maturity, and ease of use
(not to mention reasonable cost) to meet those needs
right now. Effectively, though, you have to have the
rules governing content to single-source. Currently,
those rules are either presented through style guides,
Frame templates, or similar technologies for most of us,
or through XML DTDs or database rules for the rest.

I think, though, that writing according to
strict rules that effectively negate formatting issues
is the only way to single source.


Eric J. Ray RayComm, Inc. ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com

*Award-winning author of several popular computer books
*Syndicated columnist: Rays on Computing
*Technology Department Editor, _Technical Communication_

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