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Re: [HATT] Re: Online Help: OmniHelp

At 12:48 PM 1/21/03, Jeremy H. Griffith wrote:
>On Tue, 21 Jan 2003 15:07:21 -0500, "Srikonda, Sanjay x31420"
><Sanjay_Srikonda@adp.com> wrote:
> >reasonable enough.  however, isn't that a bit much to explain to users who
> >are used to typing a phrase and then clicking search?
>Yes, it *is* different.  The alternatives we investigated that would
>allow phrase search had one of two consequences.  If you indexed the
>phrases, the index became very, very large, into many megabytes for a
>project like the 500-page User's Guide example.  And if you didn't,
>the search became very slow, even with CGI available on a server.
>So we had to pass on it.

This approach is much more useful in the long run than the phrase search 
approach. Not speaking for other languages, just English, there are so many 
phrases possible that _DO NOT_ represent the wording the author might have 
chosen that making good search is almost impossible with complex concepts.

My only objection to this "leggo" approach is that the subject-object 
relationship is not there.

It would be useful to have classification parameters involved as well, such 
as "noun," "verb," or "adjective" to delimit context.

The whole subject-verb-object model that we write in is not an easy thing 
to create a search for but is what is needed if it is combined with a 
synonym/associative listing as well.

Yes, this takes more effort to build your search, but it is much more 
likely to return real, useable results.

Allen Schaaf
Sr. Technical Writer

May all of the "some assembly required" toys and gadgets you or your 
children got for Christmas actually have manuals that you understand.

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