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ODE - requirement for Editors

--- Forwarded message from mwheeler on Mon, 10 Jan 2000 13:50:18 +0000  ---
|>From mwheeler Mon Jan 10 13:50:18 2000
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 13:50:18 +0000
From: "Martin S. WHEELER" <mwheeler>
To: kim@dfusion.com.au
Subject: ODE - requirement for Editors
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Kim __

I'm CCing this to ldp-discuss@lists.debian.org, and hoping that by some 
mixture of magic and osmosis it will eventually end up in the in-trays of 
interested readers of:


as I fear that cross-posting to all would be counter-productive at the moment. 
But I have no idea how to hit all interested parties in one go.
Anyone offered to host ode-discuss@<wherever> yet?
[Debian?  OSWG?  Any offers anyone?  Haven't the resources myself or would 

One point I have not seen discussed (or even mentioned) so far is the 
inevitable necessity of having a team of editors involved in this initiative.
(All writers can benefit from working with a good editor -- I'm a writer; I 
Not only to correct the typos, orthographic errors, dubious grammar and 
semantic ambiguities any writer eventually becomes blind to, but -- far more 
essentially -- to ensure that coherent form and structure are maintained and 
understood by all members of a hugely disparate team, usually working in 
(almost) total isolation from one another.

It's a QA control no serious writing project can afford to be without -- 
when properly applied, the benefits are a massive impact on reader perception 
of professional credibility. (Which, I believe, was your concern in the first 
place in calling for greater co-ordination).
As a group, we would be foolish to ignore this.

In this particular instance, assigning an (SGML-savvy) editor to each and every 
document in the repository would, I believe, solve a great many problems 
(while causing a few others, I have no doubt). I'm perfectly prepared to take 
on this type of contribution to the initiative; any other takers care to join 
me in an editing team?

(Retires gracefully under a hail of rocks, to shouts of: "Get off!/Texinfo 
rules!" etc. etc. etc.)

To make myself perfectly clear -- I see the writer's job as producing clear, 
unambiguous authoritative text for local document purposes; I see the 
collaborating editor's job as helping the writer ensure that that text 
conforms to the overall structural needs of the [global] documentation 
project. (SGML-based or otherwise.)

Obviously, if the writer were able to mark up text appropriately, this would 
be a bonus; but I feel we should make provision for coping with cases where 
this is either not the case, or where legacy texts require translation.
A single editor could probably quite easily cope with marking up and 
maintaining a number of different documents.

I'm also assuming that we can agree on a single markup format for all master 
documents -- my own suggestion would be SGML [docbook DTD], as being the most 
appropriate for the purposes of editing / publishing; electronic or 

Thoughts, anyone?

Martin Wheeler       -       StarTEXT - Glastonbury - BA6 9PH - England
mwheeler@startext.co.uk                      http://www.startext.co.uk/

Martin Wheeler       -       StarTEXT - Glastonbury - BA6 9PH - England
mwheeler@startext.co.uk                      http://www.startext.co.uk/

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