RE: Frame -> HTML

Subject: RE: Frame -> HTML
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Brierley -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "'Mark Baker'" <mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 14:18:03 -0400

No argument here.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Baker [SMTP:mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 1999 2:00 PM
> To: Brierley, Sean
> Subject: Re: Frame -> HTML
> Brierley, Sean wrote
> >You might call a single-source document a compromise
> >between online and in-print styles, you might call a single-source
> document
> >an evolution of both in-print and online docs.
> And you might call a "single-source document" a contradiction in terms.
Well, okay, one. Define this how you want but I recommend defining it
without any contradiction.

> If you are single sourcing, you are writing a source, not a document. That
> source is the input data for a process which creates one or more
> documents.
Okay, such that multiple output can be obtained without tweaking the source.

> Yes, this is a quibble about what the word "document" means, but it is an
> important quibble. The point is that single sourcing does not have to
> limit
> your choices or compromise your designs. (Though it does mean that you
> will
> have to design in a different way.)
You are limited by the output you desire. Your design is limited by that,
too. My output is driven by costs, concern for speed, concern for ease of
distribution, and usability by the customer.

> A single sourcing source should preserve the information required to make
> decisions about outputs. A single sourcing output process encodes and
> implements the decisions for a particular output.

> The Frame/Quadralay combo allows you to create a source which can preserve
> certain very specific pieces of information in very specific ways. It
> implements a predefined process which uses that information in predefined
> ways.

> If this is enough for you, great. Don't make your life more complicated.
> But
> it is only scratching the surface of what is possible in single sourcing.
> There are many other ways to create a source and many other ways to
> process
> that source to create documents, or web pages, or anything else you like.
Okay, true. Boy, you guys must be ISO certified! I have limited staff,
limited time, a backlog of documents (meaning usable information that I can
pass along to those who buy our software that describes how to use the
software). The limited output forms we have chosen are electronic and paper.
In choosing paper, our resources dictate paper-size, binding, etc. For
electronic output, commonly supported and easy-to-use formats in Windows
dictates our output media. For example, we could, I suppose, store chunks of
information carefully written on the heads of pins, and distribute a bundle
of pins with the software. This might be a tad unusable, though, and time
consuming for me to write. So, we pick the commonly used PDF and CHM formats
to distribute.

Now, we have to decide how to get the CHM and PDF output created, in the
most quick manner possible. I could build a database of all the known
information, sort and create a Word doc for each topic. However, we have few
customers, have a niche product, and the product changes often. So, I chose
to write a book. In ISO terms, a book paradigm implements knowledge transfer
that impacts the audience in a toooootally clear way. Thus, I choose the
most efficient way of writing a book . . . getting it printed . . . getting
it distributed . . . and getting it to CHM. Hmmmm, all without a net.

However, the vagaries of which you speak sound like an excellent topic for a
seminar, or my next quality meeting.


All the best.

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> ---
> Mark Baker
> Senior Technical Communicator

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