--- Steve Rickaby <srickaby at wordmongers.demon.co.uk>
> Surely the answer here is 'horses for courses'?
> There are many areas where numbering is either
> appropriate or essential (engineering manuals,legal
> documents, political documents, medical documents,
> repair manuals, ya-de-yah), and others where it is
> not. Legal is one special case: due to its density,
> every *paragraph* is often numbered.
The essence of the reason for numbering in the
document types I (and you) cited is multi-fold:
1. It eliminates ambiguity
2. It facilitates rapid access
3. It minimizes mistakes, and speeds up access,
particularly when you are working off-line with a
paper copy, in which case hyperlinks are unavailable.
When you reference something by its title instead of
by an unique number, it creates two problems: (a) How
do you find it in a large document, whereas
referencing by a number tells you exactly where it's
located, and (b) technical manualsoften have many
instances of very similar titles, and users are more
likely to go to the wrong one.

For these reasons, I contend that that nearly all
technical manuals fall into the same category as
engineering documents, legal documents, medical
documents, etc., because all of those types share the
urgent necessity of avoiding mistakes caused by
looking up the wrong reference.

Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
<danemory7224 at sbcglobal.net>

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