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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

DOCUMENTS: an interactive online solution to four documentation problems


An adequate delivery system for user documentation addresses the problems of easy access, versatile publication, convenient administration, and good document quality. At the National Magnetic Fusion Energy Computer Center the DOCUMENT program helps solve these problems by providing a high level of service through strategies that can readily be exported to other contexts. Dividing machine-readable documents into keyword windows permits fully online, subject-oriented access to all passages. An adaptive, three-tier user interface extends flexible viewing control to novices and experts alike. DOCUMENT also supports online subject, title, and date catalogs, and provides on-demand output of hardcopy and microfiche. Several other document delivery systems are compared with DOCUMENT, and all have more rigid human interfaces, more structural display units for text, or more cumbersome output options.

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