:: urbansheep (urbansheep) wrote,
:: urbansheep
urbansheep

[ L ] HTML Indexer

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Purpose of the HTML Indexer

With a background in print documentation, we were used to embedding index entries in our source files and letting the index compilation tool do the mechanical work: keeping track of page numbers, sorting and formatting the output, and so on.

As we began working with HTML files, we were surprised that no tool existed to help us create and maintain comprehensive, reproducible indexes for them. We had to do it all by hand: setting up internal navigation aids, typing URLs, testing links (and retyping URLs), and formatting the results. If the directory structure changed, we had to retest every link or count on "search and replace" to catch every change.

HTML editors and site management tools have improved since then, and it's a little easier to create accurate links and to update them when files get moved around. But those improvements only solved some of the problems with the mechanics of indexing.

There was still no way to view and edit all the index entries, or subsets of entries, to ensure consistent treatment; no easy way to see all the potential targets of links in the index; no integrated environment in which to concentrate on making the best possible index. So we designed HTML Indexer to handle all that and more.

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indexing

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