Fred Ridder wrote: > Marcus, Marcus, Marcus. > In the abstract, I completely agree with what you say. My > postings in this thread, though, have been written to address > the specific context of the original poster, who is a sole writer > at a company which has a significant body of unstructured > documentation, and who is thinking about experimenting > with structure. As you say, the kind of far-reaching information > integration you are talking about requires disciplines and > resources that span the entire company, and that simly didn't > seem like a possibility in the context of the OP's query.
It's a bit chicken and egg though, don't you think? If we don't tell tech writers that what they're interested in doing for their own purposes might also potentially be very valuable for the organisation for entirely other reasons, they don't know how to make a business case for it. Their superior may recognise the wider value of structured documents, but then again if they did, they might already have started moving down that path. It's no good just telling tech writers that "structure makes for better, more consistent documents" - it blatantly ignores both existing benefits and a reasonable prediction about the future direction of information. On top of all that, it could be detrimental if the right information isn't being structured the right way - it might just mean that it all gets thrown out in another year. No matter what, flagging the possibilities to management is never going to be a bad idea. Marcus Carr