[ntp:questions] Re: Latest changes toTWikiGettingStarted

Brad Knowles brad.knowles at skynet.be
Mon Oct 6 09:47:54 UTC 2003


At 3:00 AM +0000 2003/10/06, David L. Mills wrote:

>  Kind sir, please don't lecture me on my personal torque of the English
>  language, which I have been practicing in public probably since before
>  you were born.

	It's your language.  You are free to use it most any way you want 
(that is not prohibited by law).  However, if you choose to use it in 
ways that you know could be easily misinterpreted, then you need to 
be prepared for the consequences.

	You pays your money, you takes your chances.

>  Having said that, I don't agree at all with your assumption the target
>  machine has to be set up and presumably secured before a browser is
>  installed. Why assume the documentation is viewable on the target
>  machine at all?

	If it's a plain text file, then it's pretty much guaranteed to be 
viewable on the target machine, regardless of what type of OS it's 
running and what type of utilities they may have provided 
out-of-the-box.

>                                                                    The
>  reason for this is both to slim the bloat and to make sure the original
>  reference pages are never obscured by translation unless the translator
>  fully understands that ambiguities and mistakes can occur.

	There is also the issue of synchronization.  If you have multiple 
formats, they can get out of sync, unless you have methods that you 
use to ensure this doesn't happen.  Of course, that can make the 
whole installation process even that more complex -- a classic 
trade-off of space over time.

	That said, I remain a very strong advocate of plain text files 
always being available, regardless of whether they are the original 
source format or generated by tools from some other format.  If they 
are generated, I believe it should be relatively easy to add in some 
hooks to indicate where the original source documentation can be 
found, in case of ambiguity or mistakes.

>                                                              Multiple
>  translations would require each one be officially vetted (by me I would
>  assume) to insure meaning was not lost. That's hard to do when working
>  from a hypertext to flat documents.

	The in-depth vetting should only have to occur once, and doesn't 
necessarily need to involve you.  With that done, if there are any 
documentation changes then those parts would need to be re-checked, 
but again that wouldn't necessarily need to involve you.

	Your only involvement would be whatever you required of yourself.

-- 
Brad Knowles, <brad.knowles at skynet.be>

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
     -Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

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