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DOC Tables of Contents: 828384858688899091929394959697989900010203

ACM Eleventh International Conference on Systems Documentation

Fullname:Eleventh International Conference on Systems Documentation
Note:Getting In Touch -- Staying In Touch: Moving Online and Multimedia Systems Into The Workplace
Location:Kitchener, Canada
Dates:1993-Oct-05 to 1993-Oct-08
Standard No:ISBN 0-89791-360-1; ACM Order Number 613930; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: DOC93
  1. Speaker Paper
  2. Research Papers
  3. Solution Sessions Abstracts

Speaker Paper

Writing on the World: The Role of Symbolic Communication in Graphic Computer Environments BIBAPDF 1-9
  Jay David Bolter
The digital computer is often characterized as a "symbol manipulator." This definition, which emerged early in the history of computing, applies well to the most important uses of the machine from its invention in the 1940s into the 1980s. At first the symbols that the computer manipulated were numbers. But as early as the 1950s, business and government began to use the machine to store and retrieve names, dates addresses, and so on. In the 1950s, too, the artificial intelligence (AI) movement began, and, although the movement did not achieve its stated goals, it did make an effective case for the paradigm of symbol manipulation. AI investigators (Simon, McCarthy, Minsky, and others) insisted that all important knowledge could be represented and generated through a calculus of discrete symbols. By writing programs to solve problems, prove theorems, and process natural language, they broadened our understanding of what computers can do. The great popularization of this technology came of course in the 1980s with the personal computer, the word processor, and the electronic spreadsheet. Word processing in particular is trivial symbol manipulation, yet it has been perhaps the single most influential application. Word processing has made the computer indispensable for any organization and for most individuals who write. Furthermore, word processing is now combining with textual databases, communication networks, and hypertext to create a more challenging symbolic environment.

Research Papers

PLEXUS: A Hypermedia Architecture for Large-Scale Digital Libraries BIBAKPDF 11-20
  Robert M. Akscyn; Donald L. McCracken
This paper describes an approach to developing large-scale digital libraries using hypermedia technology. The research described involves the development of a digital library prototype, called "PLEXUS", that combines distributed hypermedia technology developed by Carnegie Mellon University and Knowledge Systems over the past twenty years -- along with advanced file system research done at CMU during the past ten years. The principal objective of the work is a design capable of very large-scale operation (both in terms of the size of the database and the number of concurrent users) at viable costs. The full-scale PLEXUS system is designed to exploit the architecture of the next-generation Internet -- in order to provide sub-second response for accessing any portion of a petabyte-scale database for at least one million, and perhaps as many as three million concurrent users. A specific goal of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of very high performance (a sustained service rate in excess of 100,000 transactions per second) at low cost -- approximately 100 times better than the price/performance of today's best commercial database systems.
Keywords: Digital libraries, Large scale hypermedia, Wide-area networking, Conversion to hypermedia, Hypermedia publishing
Multimedia Intelligent Documentation: Metadoc V BIBAKPDF 21-27
  Craig Boyle; Swee Hor Teh
The first efforts at putting technical documentation online did nothing more than replicate the book model online. Subsequent attempts with greater resources and imagination added passive reading tools such as graphical browsers, fisheye views and adaptive indexes. Reading paper documents demands that the reader adapt to the level of information presented, too little detail requires another text to be consulted, too much information requires the reader to skim. A better solution is for the document to adapt to the reader by applying/borrowing technology from artificial intelligence and intelligent tutoring systems [1]. Two systems that incorporate the adaptive approach are MetaDoc [2] and Hyperflex [3], each attempts to vary the content and detail of information presented to a reader according to his or her ability and requirements. Both systems proved successful in semi-commercial and exhaustive experimentation.
   MetaDoc V extends the text and graphics based user modeling capabilities of MetaDoc to include video based training. This is a natural and appropriate extension to current computer based information and training.
   MetaDoc V is an instantiation of the MetaInformation project architecture that defines computer based information as a first class object in the interaction process.
Keywords: Multimedia, Hypertext, Artificial intelligence, Multimedia projects, Sight and sound
An Object-Oriented Toolkit for ODA and HyperODA BIBAKPDF 29-41
  H. Brown; F. C. Cole; E. A. Oxborrow
This paper describes a simple persistent objectbase and object-oriented toolkit designed primarily to support structured multimedia ODA documents and simple hypermedia facilities. It outlines the object-oriented features of ODA and the facilities of the toolkit, discusses the support provided for structured document editing, and shows how the toolkit could support the recently proposed HyperODA extensions.
Keywords: Object-oriented toolkit, Structured multimedia document, ODA, HyperODA
Documents are Programs BIBAPDF 43-55
  Tony Cahill; Michael G. Hinchey; Liam Relihan
The availability of WYSIWYG word-processing systems has enabled relatively unskilled individuals to produce documents with very impressive visual effects. The rapid feedback associated with WYSIWYG editors has helped people to learn quickly the effect of various features and explore the many features available. Unfortunately, many have come to believe that this is all that is required to produce large complex documents.
A Multimedia Server for Remote Training: STIM BIBAPDF 57-63
  P. Camps; M. Jacob; P. Bazex; C. Bouysset
In this paper, we present the evolution of Distance Education in accordance with technology, especially with the advent of multimedia. We believe that multimedia resources can have high pedagogical content. As part of a Distance Education project, we decided to formalize a Teletraining Interactive Multimedia System called S.T.I.M. We try to use multimedia to palliate the main difficulties of Remote Training: distance and teacher's absence. We give a description of our system which is tested in our University: it is based on distance self-training, video use and teacher contact. Finally, we speak about perspectives integrating Artificial Intelligence technology and digital treatment of pedagogical contents.
Standards: How They Can Make or Break the Success of Your Electronic Documentation Project BIBAPDF 65-70
  Leonor Ciarlone
The transition from paper documentation to on-line systems, complete with hypertext and context-sensitivity, demands that standardization be brought to new levels. Departmental standards in the areas of technical publications, product engineering, and quality control are essential. More critical is the collaboration between these development-oriented areas in areas such as interface design, user feature implementation, and maintenance procedures. Standards in key areas relevant to all departments can ensure the success of a transition to electronic formats and the resulting benefits to users of the on-line systems.
   Hypertext. The key to our future? Or one of the dreaded albatrosses pulling us farther and farther from our true vocation, writing. Whatever your belief, hypertext is here to stay. And whether your department encounters it with open arms or stiff backs, there's no denying that this technology forces us to analyze and redesign the traditional development and maintenance cycles.
   The process of examination, of evaluating how writers do business before and after hypertext implementation, can be made easy or difficult by the strength or weakness of a familiar concept. Standards. This author contends that the development and implementation of on-line systems, complete with hypertext and context-sensitivity, demands that standardization be brought to new levels. This new level includes a stronger collaboration between members of a technical publications department, in addition to a more formal workgroup environment across publications, product development, and quality control.
A Windows-Based Help, Tutorial and Documentation System BIBAPDF 71-81
  Jean-Marie Comeau; Peter R. Milton
The Help system discussed in this paper is part of a four-year project (launched in 1991) to develop a multi-layered, client-server based Integrated Staffing System (ISS) incorporating a fully distributed data base. ISS is intended to reside on some seventeen hierarchically-linked local area networks (UNIX servers, WINDOWS clients) across the provinces and territories of Canada. The distributed data base is managed by INGRES. ISS itself is written in Ingres-Windows4GL.
   The Help system is based on the Windows 3.1 Help engine. Production of the textual components is realized via WordPerfect 5.1 for Windows (the organization's standard word processor).
   The Windows-based Hypertext-like bilingual Help utility comprises: an active component accompanying each screen display; a passive component activated by users including:
  • a context-sensitive immediate help facility embracing the minimalist
  • a full, exploratory, and hypertext-like user reference guide accessible via a
       help index;
  • the full "ISS" documentation indexed to the application screens, and
       cross-indexed in the screen scripts via on line documentation. A number of tools (macros) have been developed to support the development of the Help component text to overcome / compensate for some limitations of WordPerfect in the creation of files in the Rich Text Format (RTF).
  • Integrating Documentation and Training via Multimedia BIBAPDF 83-88
      Victoria A. Hailey
    Historically, information media have limited the delivery methods of both documentation and training. Until fairly recently, traditional training was limited to instructor-led classroom delivery, and documentation was limited to paper. While new technologies have provided additional media with which to design and present information, an even greater opportunity exists for information professionals with the advent of multimedia and its associated tools.
       This paper discusses how developers can use multimedia as a vehicle for integrating training and documentation. It deals with how instructional designers and information developers, working in what have been traditionally two distinct areas of user support -- training and documentation -- now have the opportunity via multimedia and hypermedia to integrate the different forms of users' information into a seamless working environment. The multimedia working environment will give users access to both learning and usage or reference information from a single entry point.
    Learnability in Technical Communications BIBAPDF 89-94
      Kathy Haramundanis
    In technical communications, aspects of our work span the continuum from legibility, readability, usability, to materials that are learnable. Beyond usability, the continuum extends to comprehensible, understandable, and knowable. This paper begins by briefly summarizing known technical communications concepts, then broadens those concepts into the discussion of learnability. In examples, this paper further explores where new technologies, including multimedia, can enhance learnability.
    Guidelines for Multimedia Usage BIBAPDF 95-106
      Roberta Hartley
    For the first time in the history of the written word, animation, sound, graphics, and scripting are readily available, and affordable, on the personal computer. This collection of tools, known as multimedia, provides communicators with the ability to present their messages as never before. "These wonderful and mystic gadgets ... [allow us] to put ideas into a form that lets them be understood and used by other people."
       However, with multimedia come a number of characteristics and/or enhancements to communication that when improperly used, can impede the message and make its understanding and use difficult. So then, the question that begs asking is at what point or saturation level, do these enhancements become detrimental and actually impair the learning process and obscure the message?
       In an attempt to answer that question, this paper explores the use of many multimedia features as they apply to on-line computer documentation and training, and multimedia presentations. This paper employs primary and secondary research and generates guidelines which are designed as recommendations.
    OSI Communication Services Supporting CSCW Applications BIBAPDF 107-115
      Bernd Heinrichs; Kai Jakobs
    This paper considers communication aspects if multimedia information (ie. multimedia data services plus interactive audio/video) is to be transmitted.
       A brief introduction to the communication world of OSI is followed by a discussion of communication requirements imposed particularly by CSCW applications. Finally, an overview of the research project EuroBridge is provided. This project aims to the development of a communication architecture particularly tailored towards support of multimedia applications.
    Ready. Fire!! Aim??? Visualization, Manifesto, Scenarios, and Requirements for the Future of Document Engineering BIBAPDF 117-134
      Jeffrey K. Holtzman
    Documentation specialists and tool vendors share a myopic view of what constitutes a "document," the tools necessary to produce it, and the required skills and methodologies. This paper presents a broad-stroke outline of document engineering, a new branch of engineering that intersects computer science, rhetoric, psychology, and the arts. As background, this paper discusses the historical and social context in which document engineering has emerged. In addition, it touches briefly on the qualifications and methodologies of document engineering practitioners. The main focus of the paper is to define requirements for the tools necessary to support the discipline.
    An On-Line Communication Print Service for the Demanding Client BIBAPDF 135-139
      Carla House; Dennis Quon
    The increased interest in on-line documentation is having a tremendous impact on commercial printers as volumes decrease but quality requirements increase. Not only are printers re-evaluating theft futures, but they are consulting with customers on how a new service offering would enhance the on-line document. This new service would allow users to submit files to an off-site printer as easily as using the desktop icon. The explanation of this solution will encompass not only the communication medium, but also the hardware and software available for any type of platform or network
       The Client/Vendor relationship has evolved into a partnership or alliance where the customer utilizes the printer as a resource. Printers must keep customers abreast of new technology which affects the quality and speed of output.
       Customers are concentrating on their core business and leaving all output and reproduction functions to the specialist. Any printer who has chosen to move with this new technology must now have experienced technical support people who can provide a training and consulting service to bring new customers on-line. They are expected to recommend equipment, do the installation and troubleshoot problems. Many printers are moving to selling a turn-key solution which includes the hardware and software for a LAN to LAN connection.
       This paper will describe working solutions for on-line/offsite network connections and the level of quality and expertise which should be expected. We will try to evaluate the future for printers in a global, international market place.
    An Integrated Solution BIBAPDF 141-147
      Michelle Hutchinson; Ann Rockley
    Today's users require an integrated solution to support their learning requirements. They must be "up and running" as quickly as possible. No longer is it possible to create detailed and broad-based documentation for all aspects of a product. It is often too costly to produce, and may not even meet the user's need for rapid access to relevant information.
       What does meet the user's needs? An integrated solution that provides an appropriate document -- whether printed or displayed on a computer -- with as little duplicated information as possible.
       After carefully understanding the audience and analyzing the audience's learning requirements, a team of instructional designers, writers, online experts, and CBT specialists designed a strategy to address the multiple learning styles and the business culture of the work environment to prepare users for an overnight systems conversion. 10,000 users had to be trained -- without the benefit of a classroom setting -- so they could perform their responsibilities with no break in performance or customer service.
       This paper describes the process of analysis, creation, and implementation for a particular case study where users moved to a GUI (graphical user interface) from a command-based mainframe environment.
    Information Organization in Multimedia Resources BIBAPDF 149-162
      Rick Kazman; John Kominek
    The advent of multimedia documentation has hastened the rise of video, line art, graphics, image, and sound libraries as "natural resources" for writing. And yet, the potency of today's "mining tools" are little better than the pick axe and sifting pan of the 19th century gold prospector -- a shortcoming to be overcome if we are to release the informational value and potential of multimedia. Quite simply, while we have access to ever increasing bodies of information, finding a specific item within these bodies is problematic.
    HyperRef -- Online Support for Research Literature Assessment and Documentation BIBAKPDF 163-175
      Rudolf K. Keller; Anurag Garg; Tao Tao
    Evident and effective assessment and documentation of scientific papers is an important and challenging task. We have addressed this task by applying principles and techniques from software process engineering and have developed a comprehensive paper process model. This model has been applied, improved and validated over the past two years at weekly discussion sessions. The model captures paper selection and discussion, as well as the recording and retrieval of the discussion results. The focus of this paper lies on HyperRef, a system that provides on-line support for many facets of the process model, in particular, for its discussion part. HyperRef gives guidance throughout the paper discussions, supporting the systematic and detailed classification, analysis, and evaluation of research papers, and guaranteeing that all relevant information of the discussions is retained in an annotated bibliography database. The initial motivation for this work was to train graduate students; our approach and supporting system is now applied by several research groups as well as by individual researchers to scientific papers and research literature in general.
    Keywords: Documentation tool, Discussion technique, Bibliography database, Computer-supported cooperative work, Education, Software process
    Online Documentation: Evolution Rather than Revolution BIBAPDF 177-183
      Marilyn Kirschen
    It has been said that it takes a minimum of seven years to fully move to an online documentation system. If that is the case, we at Interleaf are fast approaching that point. We have been involved in our online effort for almost six years now, from the online help screens in Interleaf's Macintosh Publisher, which shipped in December, 1987, to the fully integrated seamless help and documentation system in Interleaf 6 for Motif.
       At each stage, we have tried to expand our online offering. In some releases, the technology seemed ahead of the literary aspects; in others the writing seemed ahead of the technology. We actually skipped the stage of topical online help, moving from basic command-based help to the point where more of our documentation is online than printed. We have found that the move toward online documentation is evolutionary rather than revolutionary in several respects: the technology, the writing, and the evolution in writers' and editors' mind and skill sets.
    Wide-Area Distribution Issues in Hypertext Systems BIBAPDF 185-197
      Cesare Maioli; Stefano Sola; Fabio Vitali
    Distributed hypertext systems are becoming increasingly common. Many complex problems must be solved for a hypertext system to work on a large scale network. Wide area network distribution seems to be the natural evolution of future hypertext systems and a necessary interface and integration tool to access and exploit current world-wide network services. Among the problems that have to be solved are concurrency problems, security, transparency and availability. Links play an important role in the possibility of distributing hypertext on a large scale; different link polices have different merits and defects.
       RHYTHM is a distributed hypertext system currently being developed at the University of Bologna. Its main feature regards inclusion, which allows the system to implement efficient versioning and multi-authoring mechanisms. The RHYTHM write-once approach to hypertext data, its external anchoring mechanism, user and group accounting and data replication are in our opinion interesting starting points for a discussion about some structural issues for the next generation distributed hypertext systems.
    An Interactive Online Process for Developing and Producing Policy and Procedure Documentation BIBAPDF 199-207
      Elwin N., Jr. McKellar; Ginger Dwyer; Thomas LaJeunesse; Jeffrey Liimatta; Diana Risdon
    ADDOC stands for ADministrative DOCumentation and we developed the process to produce task-oriented documentation of the policy and procedure changes wrought by implementation of new administrative software at Michigan Technological University.
    Software Usability: Choosing Appropriate Methods for Evaluating Online Systems and Documentation BIBAKPDF 209-222
      Brad Mehlenbacher
    The objective of this paper is to bring users to the foreground of on-going system and documentation development efforts by doing five things: (1) outlining existing methods to elicit user reactions to software; (2) describing how to design informal usability tests employing each method; (3) discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each method given the time and resource constraints facing technical communicators and software designers; (4) recommending times during the software development cycle, when certain methods are particularly fruitful in providing valuable design feedback, and; (5) providing an extensive bibliography on usability testing methods.
    Keywords: User-oriented design, Quality, Usability testing, User behavior
    One Proven Methodology for Designing Robust Online Help Systems BIBAPDF 223-232
      Angela Patrick; Andy McGurgan
    An online help system is robust when it anticipates the user's behavior, offers swift access to the right information, and is user intuitive. As with all good user documentation, an online help system requires you to devote significant effort to design. However, because an online help system is integral to the software it supports, it also requires a number of up-front decisions about how it will be implemented.
       We have developed a planning methodology that ensures we do the research and analysis required for robust online help design and implementation. Our methodology has evolved over the last year and has helped us develop over 7,000 screens of online help spanning 15 software applications. In this paper, we describe our methodology and provide guidelines on how to implement it with your writing teams.
       The online help systems we discuss here are dynamic, or context sensitive. The contents of the help topics are determined by the user's current location within the supported application or function being used. Our methodology can be streamlined for static online helps, and expanded for multimedia tutorials. For purposes here, though, our scope will be help systems that are integrated with the application and have robust linking capabilities.
    GNU Info: A Decade of Hypertext Experience BIBAPDF 233-240
      Roland H. Pesch
    Proprietary software vendors are beginning to awaken to the benefits of online hypertext documentation. Meanwhile, for over a decade, users and developers of free software have been exploiting the hypertext Info documentation format (first introduced by Richard Stallman around 1976).
       GNU Info formatters and readers are highly portable, running (at least) on all Unix systems, DOS, VMS, Commodore Amiga, and Atari ST; they support hypertext links both within and between documents, including a rich structure of automatic links between the sections of a manual; they provide both integrated index generation and dynamic, arbitrary text search; and they permit generating both printed manuals and online hypertext from a single source file.
       This paper itself was first written, and circulated for review, as Info hypertext; if formatted and installed for the Info system, its references to other documents (and its own internal structure) are live hypertext links.
    Constructing Reality: A Comparative Analysis of Print Media Interpretations of Messages Regarding Technological Risk BIBAPDF 241-257
      Douglas A. Powell; Norman R. Ball; Mansel W. Griffiths
    Print media stories arising from three perceived risks to human health and safety are analyzed in the context of risk communication theory. Relationships between public, regulatory and scientific communities are examined, and the challenges to developing accurate and comprehensive risk messages are explored. The study confirms the idea that uncertainty in scientific assessment is often translated into apprehension in the public arena.
    Formal Methods for Evaluating Information Retrieval in Hypertext Systems BIBAPDF 259-272
      Yuri Quintana; Mohamed Kamel; Rob McGeachy
    One common method for organizing and retrieving information is hypertext. Hypertext user scan search for information by selecting association links from one item to another, following an association trail towards the information they seek. This paper examines the nature of association searches in hypertext systems and proposes a formal model that can be used to evaluate information retrieval from hypertext documents. One of the main motivations for the development of a hypertext search model is that it can be used to influence the early design of a system or document. For example, each time a new design of a hypertext system or document is created, the model could be used to estimate the information retrieval time of users. The model we present can be used to determine the time needed to find specific information in hypertext documents, based on the structure of the document, the experience level of the user, and the design of the hypertext system's user interface. A preliminary set of empirical observations is described that reveals the strengths and limitations of our model.
    Putting Large Documents Online BIBAPDF 273-281
      Ann Rockley
    Large documents are the most suitable for online viewing. They can be stored compactly on the system and they can be searched in ways not possible in their printed form using full text search retrieval methods or by making the underlying structure of the document accessible. Large documents can be searched more accurately and more completely by users, making their tasks easier. This paper reviews some of the issues that must be considered when putting large documents online.
    From Ground Zero to Multimedia Product Support: A Real World Example of a Phased Transition to Online Information BIBAPDF 283-292
      Mimi Saffer; Dee Stribling; Jesse Chavis
    SAS Institute is midway through a transition from hardcopy customer documentation to electronic product support systems with multimedia functionality. The first part of this paper discusses SAS Institute's long-range strategy for implementing online documentation and business factors governing that implementation. The second part analyzes the transition process and offers ideas for coping with change.
    Practical Content Analysis Techniques for Text-Retrieval in Large, Un-Tagged Text-Bases BIBAPDF 293-299
      Ray Siemens
    This paper intends to provide a practical response to concerns regarding the retrieval of specific information from electronic text-bases which have no or minimal text markup. It proposes that standard techniques employed by social scientists and others involved in computer-assisted content analysis be adapted to assist in text-retrieval, and provides the context necessary to employ such techniques.
    Document Structure Extraction for Interactive Document Retrieval Systems BIBAPDF 301-310
      Kazuo Sumita; Kenji Ono; Seiji Miike
    We have developed an automatic document structure extraction system for interactive document retrieval. The system realizes an efficient and dynamic full-text retrieval system. By analyzing document structures based on linguistic clues, such as connectives and idiomatic expansions used in each retrieved document, the browser extracts important parts of the document and then automatically summarizes it. The system extracts the document structure, which represents logical chunks of sentences in each section and rhetorical relations between them, based on two kinds of rules: restriction rules for segmenting the text and preference rules for determining the local structures. The abstract generation cuts out unimportant parts in the extracted structure to generate abstracts of various lengths. This dynamic process generates abstracts consistent with the original document since it looks at the extracted document structures unlike conventional word-frequency-based abstract generation systems. Results of an experiment on the generated abstracts proved effective for utilizing this abstract generation process as a document browser for full-text retrieval systems.
    Postcards: Hypermedia for the Travel Industry BIBAPDF 311-324
      T. Tejani; V. Konstantinou; P. Morse
    In this paper we will discuss the development of a hypermedia application called Postcards, for the travel industry. Postcards is an interactive travel guide to California that incorporates digital video, animation and graphics with a highly flexible hypertext engine. The main objectives of this project were to create an interface and set of tools that would increase usability, and reduce disorientation; to test if the inclusion of the multimedia elements would actually improve the usability and functionality of the information; and finally to produce a commercially viable product.
    Personalized Information Structures BIBAKPDF 325-337
      Scott R. Tilley; Michael J. Whitney; Hausi A. Muller; Margaret-Anne D. Storey
    When moving linear documentation into a hypertext system, it is important to distinguish between referential and structural links; both are needed to model the literary paradigm. In particular, structural links facilitate navigation, tailoring, and information retrieval by imposing structure on large documents. Without them, users face the well-known "lost in hyperspace" syndrome due to disorientation caused by a tangle of referential links in the hypertext web. To be truly effective, hypertext systems should support a level of customization at least equivalent to paper-based documentation systems. The hyperdocument's structure must be malleable and user-customizable. It should be the reader who decides what is the best document architecture -- not the writer. This paper describes a flexible reverse-engineering approach to creating, representing, and structuring online documentation. The approach permits the construction and maintenance of personalized information structures: multiple virtual documents over the same hypertext database.
    Keywords: Hypertext, Information structure, Layered graphs, Online documentation
    Hypertext Syllabi in Cognitive Science BIBAPDF 339-344
      Saul Traiger
    Cognitive science is fertile ground for the study of on-line information delivery in academe. While the existence of most academic disciplines predate the computer, cognitive science owes its existence to it, embracing the power of the computer, both as a model of cognition, and as a tool in the delivery of the results of the investigation of such modeling. Every documentation delivery system makes assumptions about how individuals acquire information. Cognitive Science studies those assumptions directly, and so promises to inform the development of computer-based tools for the acquisition of information in all fields.
       Cognitive science, however, is not a univocal field, but an interdisciplinary umbrella, under which fall at least philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and cognitive neuroscience. In this paper I will discuss hypertext applications in cognitive psychology and philosophy, the two fields in which I've developed such applications for use by undergraduates.
    HyperFrame: A Hypermedia Framework for Integration of Engineering Applications BIBAPDF 345-355
      Taiji Tsuchida; Hironobu Abe; Mikio Sasaki
    This paper describes the "HyperFrame" system and its functions. "HyperFrame" is a hypermedia construction system for the integrating on of application systems (AP).
       "HyperFrame" main features are: (1) It proposes a hypermedia model for integrating applications (2) It provides a clear classification of anchor information, linkage information and expression information to construct a hypermedia framework that can be shared among applications.
       HyperFrame generalizes the hypermedia system to include the utilization of the existing applications, while conserving its main advantages, e.g. easy handling of link node information. The system was applied to a conventional facilities management system, and the usefulness of its basic functions was confirmed.

    Solution Sessions Abstracts

    Information Sharing: Collaborating Across the Networks BIBAPDF 361-362
      Phyllis S. Galt; Susan B. Jones
    How do writers and developers who are physically separated, i.e., in different offices, different buildings, and different cities, collaborate on projects, gain the benefits of sharing information and ideas, make decisions, raise and resolve issues?
       How do writers use electronic networking capabilities to share info with other writers, project team members, and other interested parties?
    The Eurobridge Service Platform -- An Approach to Integrated Multimedia BIBAPDF 363-365
      Bernd Heinrichs; Kai Jakobs
    The Commission of the European Communities has established a number of research programmes in the area of information technology. RACE (Research into Advanced Communication in Europe) is one of these programs. Despite the "R", RACE is strongly market oriented. That is, RACE developments need not only be technically sound and novel, but must in the first place prove a commercial potential. Within this program, EuroBridge is supposed to provide advanced communication services which may be exploited by other, more application-oriented projects.
    Examples: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and How to Identify Them at a Glance BIBAPDF 367-368
      Lori E. Kaplan
    In 1992, Apple Computer published a new edition of human interface guidelines for the Macintosh computer, which included updates to the existing guidelines book and information covering technologies released since the previous version. In doing research to develop this book, "Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines", I discovered that developers, the target audience, consistently asked for examples. The examples they desired would be both verbal and visual, depicting the guidelines and principles developers are expected to follow in creating products for the Macintosh computer. Therefore, I endeavored to increase the number of visual examples in the book to address this request, believing that pictures are worth thousands of words. Furthermore, a review of recent research found that "graphic illustrations of the user interface components and style were central to conveying the sense of the guidelines both in general and in detail. They were cited spontaneously and almost universally as the preferred vehicle for learning." (Tetzlaff and Schwartz, 1991)
    Working Alone: Finding Surrogate Coworkers on the Nets BIBAPDF 369
      Laura Praderio
    With the explosion of computer networking, there now exist electronic forums and resources for technical communicators. As so many technical communicators break ground at a company by being "the first and/or the only" there are often times vast amounts of energy spent on educating coworkers and helping to strengthen or redefine a company's philosophy toward technical communication. These "stand-alone" technical communicators need to be very responsive to a variety of tasks as they may function as document manager, writer, editor, designer, graphics artist, desktop publishing expert, and so on. Technical communicators with few or no in-house collaborators, and often limited printed resources, need an inexpensive and responsive method to gather a variety of information.
       Computer networks allow technical communicators to gather information quickly, right from a desktop computer, usually from the experienced and the expert, and often within minutes or hours of making a request.
       This contribution provides technical communicators with handouts on and discussion of how to connect to a computer network and what network resources are currently available.
    Information Retrieval from Hypertext Documents BIBAPDF 371-372
      Yuri Quintana; Rob McGeachy; Mohamed Kamel
    Current hypertext systems have no intelligent means for finding specific information. When searching for specific information (as opposed to browsing), users can get disoriented in large hypertext documents and may end up following a path that takes them farther away from the information they seek. In this session, we describe an information retrieval system called HRS (Hypertext Retrieval System) [1] that allows users to retrieve information in hypertext documents based on its semantic content. A formal evaluation of the HRS [2] system is also described.
    The Heartbreak of Online Documentation; What's a Technical Communicator to Do? BIBAPDF 373-374
      Leo Sell
    Until recently, technical communicators were responsible for clearly and concisely meeting the information needs of a target audience. For instance, in one organization the Technical Writing Department had the following goals:
  • identify the purpose and audience for a manual
  • make certain the documentation is understandable and meets the needs of the
       identified audience
  • make certain the written word says what it is intended to say
  • act as a user advocate, making sure users of documentation services get the
       accurate documentation they need, written at a level of understanding that
       is useful
  • have a proper and consistent style, quality of writing, and format
  • The SIGDOC'93 Electronic Mail File Server BIBAPDF 375
      Sanjay Singh
    For rapidly changing documentation that needs to be distributed quickly and cost effectively on a world-wide scale, there are few better choices than an electronic mail server. One of our primary goals in this Solution Session is to provide conference attendees with a context that will show where this particular form of on-line documentation fits into a heterogeneous computing environment. Our secondary goal is to provide a meaningful introduction to the software technology that drives the information processing in the list server so that information managers can ascertain both the computing and human resource requirements necessary to set up and maintain such a server for their own organizations, as well as customize it if necessary.
    Personalized Information Structures BIBAPDF 377-378
      Scott R. Tilley; Michael J. Whitney; Hausi A. Muller; Margaret-Anne D. Storey
    Over the past six years we have been developing Rigi, a system and framework for analyzing evolving software systems. Some of our early work resulted in a graph model for software structure, and a graph editor supporting the model [1]. More recent work has focused on methods and algorithms for summarizing software structures by building hierarchies of subsystems [2]. We have successfully applied this approach to the redocumentation of software systems using graphical representations of the resultant structures [3]. However, until now we had not addressed the problem of incorporating the large body of existing textual documentation into our online system. We have rectified the situation by augmenting Rigi to work directly with existing linear documentation, specifically, documents tagged with descriptive information (for example, via LATEX or SGML).
    Maintaining Document and Project Quality using Checklists BIBAPDF 379
      Gordon Varney
    For most technical writers, maintaining consistency within a publication is a never ending personal struggle. If there are two or more writers working on a single publication, there is the additional task of maintaining consistency between the writers. Over time, as old projects are completed and new ones started, consistency between projects becomes an important issue.
       Is a checklist a practical (non-usability testing) method to measure the quality of a publication as compared to past documents or competitor's documents? Do checklists work?
    Multimedia: From Novice to Expert (Almost) BIBAPDF 381-382
      Carol Wiest; Dov Lungu
    What can someone new to the field of multimedia achieve in a short period of time? Is it possible for a novice to create a working, presentable multimedia application over a three-month time period?