[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [OM] re: FAQ

Subject: Re: [OM] re: FAQ
From: "R. Lee Hawkins" <lhawkins@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 15:12:10 -0400
Cc: lhawkins@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
In your message dated: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 11:33:10 PDT you write:
>Gary Schloss said something like:
>Meanwhile, I'd like to point out that even the Shipman text is
>broken down into chapters and pages, and comes equipped with a
>table of contents and an index.

Unless I am grossly mistaken, the FAQ has a complete table of contents.

>I'm not sure what you're using to create the FAQ, but about 18 months ago I 

I use a text editor called vi under unix.  It works for me ;)

>reviewed a program which did a very nice job of converting Word documents to 
>HTML, including a TOC, index, frames if desired, etc.

I'm not interested in converting the FAQ to Word.  Our web pages are
served on a Unix box, and this would add yet another step to revisions.

>Basically if you designed your document using standard Word formatting for 
>chapters, etc, it would handle the rest. I'm afraid I don't recall the name, b
>could find out if it's something you're interested in.
>I think the FAQ is great, but like I'm finding with the archives, a bit of htm
>l work 
>can do wonders for ease of use.

I'm open to any tool that does the following:
        1) Runs under Unix (specifically, Dec Unix).
        2) Is free.
        3) Will take a plain (and I mean plain) text file
        and magically convert it to an HTML version with
        no user interaction.

Short of that, I'm hesitant.  I don't want to start maintaining two
separate versions of the 4 FAQs I maintain.  Why?  It doubles the time
that I have to spend revising the FAQ, making it less likely I will do
it, and it introduces the very real problem if ending up with versions
that are inconsistent, which I am sure none of us want.  Lest you think
I'm not a fan of HTML, have a look at the rest of the Wellesley Astro
site.  I wrote it all.  I know how to do HTML, that's not the problem.
But I also know where it is appropriate and where it just gets in the
way.  The "find" command in most web browsers works great for finding
topics in the FAQ.  Finally, HTML/hyperlinks discourages people from
reading the entire FAQ.  By trying to get people to read through the
entire FAQ from cover to cover, I hope to cut down on people asking the
same questions over and over in the list.

Now, with all that said, I *do* see the benefits of a fully (or even
partially) hyperlinked FAQ.  In the future, I might start developing a
more HTML-ized version, but only if I can be convinced it is worth the
extra effort.  I wouldn't do it all at once, either.  I'd phase it in
over time.  Soooo, let me know what y'all think on this matter.  But be
warned... I'm hard to convince :)


< This message was delivered via the Olympus Mailing List >
< For questions, mailto:owner-olympus@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx >
< Web Page: http://Zuiko.sls.bc.ca/swright/olympuslist.html >

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
Sponsored by Tako
Impressum | Datenschutz