Re: Electronic Style Guides

Subject: Re: Electronic Style Guides
From: Chet Ensign <Chet_Ensign%LDS -at- NOTES -dot- WORLDCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 11:57:19 EDT

On Sat, 6 May 1995, Ina Bechhoefer <inab -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM> wrote:

> I hve always used the Chicago Manual of Style but would love to have an
> Windows-based electronic style guide.

> Are there any Windows-based products available?

How timely. This is the nudge I needed to ask some questions of members of the
TECHWR-L mailing list.

We are developing a product like this now. It will provide the person in charge
of maintaining stylistic consistency in an organization's documents with an
interface for building an automated style guide. The guide will have rules that
describe the proper usage as specified in the style guide, and one or more
patterns of text that have a high likelihood of being infractions of the style.
When a writer runs a document through the rule set, annotations will be
inserted where infraction patterns are recognized.

A simple example of a rule might be "Chapter and section titles should be no
longer than seven words." or "List items should always start with a capitalized
letter." Infraction patterns would then be things like eight or more words in
a title, or a lowercase letter at the beginning of a list item.

Do members of the list think this product would be useful? If so, could you
give some examples of the types of rules you need to enforce in your
organizations? For those of you with Web sites, would you find this useful for
HTML? Also, I've never seen a product like this on the market. Is anyone else
aware of any?

We have demo'ed an alpha version of the product and we are hard at work on
getting a beta version ready, focusing a lot of energy on making the
rules-building interface intuitive and easy to use. I'd like to hear from those
of you with opinions on the subject so that I can make this a product you'll
find useful.

Thanks for your feedback and best regards,


Chet Ensign Phone: (908) 771-9221
Director, Electronic Publishing Email: chet -at- lds -dot- com
Logical Design Solutions, Inc. Email(home): censign -at- interserv -dot- com

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