Re: Web Server & Documents

Subject: Re: Web Server & Documents
From: Robert_R_Sidman -at- NOTES -dot- FMSO -dot- NAVY -dot- MIL
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 12:22:57 -0400


There are several approaches for you and your company to consider. The
determining factor, as always, is how much money the company is willing to
throw into the pot.

First, can you estimate the total printing/distribution cost? This works
best if you are figuring the cost to company people/offices wherever. If
you're farming out the printing, the cost of one ream of black on white
will run from $30 up. The big thing that affects this cost factor is the
office copier. Most copier reps I've talked with say any given piece of
paper will be photocopied 10-12 times during it's lifetime, at a rough cost
of 10 cents per reproduced page. If you can do this rough estimate, you now
have something to show the bosses and money people -- potential savings
over "x" years/months. And that's the money you'll want to spend on your
new system; in theory it pays itself back to the company in reduced
operating costs.

At the recent Documation conference in Santa Clara, CA, I ran into various
companies that have hardware/software that take your document, no matter
how it was prepared, and converts it to SGML, which will work on every
known browser. Drawback is you must learn SGML, of which HTML is a subset.

If your documents are to last a long time between revisions, SGML is the
way to go, I do believe. If you are constantly changing documents, you
might want to consider something like Lotus Notes, which converts documents
to HTML on the fly.

Your company can also hire "systems integrators" -- consultants in document
writing/printing/etc. They will research your business and how it now does
program documentation, and all other forms of typed communications, and
recommend a solution to improve the business process.

If you have questions from the above, and you should, contact me offline.

Robert Sidman
Internet Editor, U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command
<robert_sidman -at- fmso -dot- navy -dot- mil>

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