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RE: Need Help: How to put big documents on the Web

From: Pat La Claire <pat@excalib.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 16:05:41 -0800
Message-Id: <c=US%a=_%p=Excalibur_Techno%l=CARLSBADPO2-970116000541Z-4956@carlsbadpo2.excalib>
To: "'Vai Roberto'" <r.vai@fstsf.it>, "'Stephanos Piperoglou'" <spip@hol.gr>
Cc: "'www-talk@www10.w3.org'" <www-talk@www10.w3.org>
PLEASE unscribe me.

From:  Stephanos Piperoglou[SMTP:spip@hol.gr]
Sent:  Wednesday, January 15, 1997 2:58 PM
To:  Vai Roberto
Cc:  www-talk@www10.w3.org
Subject:  Re: Need Help: How to put big documents on the Web 

On Tue, 14 Jan 1997, Vai Roberto wrote:

> Hello,
> I need to put on Internet / Intranet big documents (even more then 100
> pages long) that will be read and also printed by the users.

I believe the distinction between Internet and (oh I hate this word)
Intranet is very important. If you want these documents to be available to
the general public, then the tools you can use are more or less restricted.

> I'm looking for some tools (or rules) that can be useful in structuring
> and editing those documents to reach the following objectives:

I'd like to address your issues in two categories:

> *	Automatic generation of table of contents and related links to
> all the pages and to each intra-page heading.
> *	Easy updating of the fixed parts that are present in all the Web
> pages  belonging to the same document (Updating of Logos, Copyright
> string, etc..).
> *	Easy downloading (by a single request) of all the pages that are
> members of the same document.
> *	Pretty document print-out, as close as possible to the quality
> we can achive by the mean of an word processor.

These four objectives coupled with the "do not re-invent the wheel, use it"
rule mean that your document should, in my view, be built in a word
processor. Any modern word processor worth its salt can do automatic
generation of table of contents, pagination, layout of headings and
sections, and have excellent print quality. Thus your document should be
available in print-out format if you want these. If you're talking about
public usage (Internet availability) then I would suggest PDF as a format,
alternatives include Postscript and TeX (though TeX is too Unix-oriented, if
you are not, and Postcript too non-standard in my view, but this is rather a
matter of taste). If you are talking about an Intranet where everybody using
the document will use the same word-processor more or less (be that LaTeX or
MS Word) then a good idea would be offering the original format.

> *	Automatic insertion in the document of useful intra-page links
> to give the possibility to the reader to go directly to the next or
> previous chapter avoiding to scroll many pages.
> *	Be able to split the document in more Web pages.

Now this means you want an HTML version out. This merely requires a good
converter from your native format to HTML which will, as most converters do,
split major headings into seperate web pages, include headers and footers,
and provide a hyperlinked ToC and Next/Previous/ToC links in all the pages.

So what you do is create the document in a word processor so you can edit it
easily in all the ways you mentioned, convert it to HTML using a good
converter so people can easily browse it online, and offer the original
document as an alternative for people who want to print it with high
quality. The tricky part will be the converter, but you are DEFINETELY not
the first person to want the above requested facilities, so there should be
one around for a format your word processor knows well.

I hope I've helped.

  Stephanos Piperoglou aka Sneakabout - http://users.hol.gr/~spip/index.html
  All I need in my life is a little love and a lot of money. In that order.

                                               ...oof porothika! (tm)
Received on Wednesday, 15 January 1997 19:09:00 UTC

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