Good points. In a message that crossed paths with yours, I granted that
the current standard fits all situations, and is therefore most
familiar. Perhaps it also adds credibility.

I would like to point out, though, that the argument about navigation is
a stretch. Most books also feature running headers and footers that
assist in navigation. You can easily navigate to the first page of the
first chapter, but once you start looking for the first page of the
*second* chapter, no numbering scheme helps. That is, no scheme works
unless you use chapter-page numbering, which I do not like all that

Your argument also assumes that one is reading a paper version of the
book. In an online book, the reader might find it easier to go to a
particular page with some command built into the reading software.
*THAT* is where the problem really lies. In the text, the author refers
to page 58. The reader uses the command to go to page 58, but the
software is not aware that the first 10 pages of the file are numbered
i-x. The jump to page 58 actually yields page 48!

Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin at
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.        

-----Original Message-----
From: Stuart Rogers [] 
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2006 12:46 PM
Cc: Joe Malin; Framers (FrameMaker List)
Subject: Re: Page Numbering Properties

I disagree. From a writer's or publisher's perspective, you are correct
that page numbering is no longer a technical or practical problem... But
from a READER's perspective, separate (roman) numbering for front matter
is valuable because it helps the reader navigate the book. If you're on
page 81 and you want to turn to the first page of the first chapter, you
turn to page 1 in a traditionally-numbered book. In your continuously
numbered example, you either hunt at random, or hunt for the first page
of the TOC and then hunt for page 19 or whatever it happens to be. Also,
readers have simply come to expect that front matter will be numbered
differently from the body of the book, and seeing a departure from that
tradition simply detracts from the professional impression and/or
credibility of the work.

There's lots of examples of traditions in methods and naming that are
technically outdated, yet still meaningful and useful. When was the last
time you actually heard a phone "ring"?

(And although you are cc'd in the address line, no "carbon" copies were
harmed in the making of this message ;-)


Stuart Rogers
Technical Communicator
Phoenix Geophysics Limited
Toronto, ON, Canada
+1 (416) 491-7340 x 325

srogers phoenix-geophysics com

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."
- Mark Twain

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