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Reviews and Opinions

Finally, my comments on this excellent book would be incomplete without a note on its index, which is outstanding. The cross references make it almost impossible to miss a topic, and they've avoided entries that start with words like "Using," or "About." Whoever created this index gets an A+.

From Frank McGowan's review of Word 97 Annoyances in WindoWatch. (See the ASCII version of the full index, written by Seth Maislin.)

One reason Seth is a good indexer is that he understands his job both practically and theoretically.

From Frank Willison, editor-in-chief of O'Reilly & Associates, personal communication (March 1999).

My systems administrator at the UMass Biology Department paid you a heartfelt compliment today. We started talking about cross-platform programs such as Framemaker and got on to indexing, and he said I should look at the O'Reilly books because they had far and away the best indexes of any computer books, in fact the indexes are what make O'Reilly's the best books. And I said proudly, 'I've met their indexer.'

From Sally Klingener, personal communication (May 1999).

On March 18, the [ASI Golden Gate] chapter held its annual all-day meeting in San Francisco. ASI Board member Seth Maislin came from Massachusetts to give his workshop, "Indexing Electronic Media," to about 45 Golden Gate members and guests. The focus was on Web site indexing. As one attendee put in a report for the chapter newsletter, "The strongest message Seth conveyed is one we all know but which cannot be repeated to often: creating a finding aid for topics in any resource is a human task of interpretation, not a computer-generated list of words, a concordance, or a keyword search." A well-designed Web site or index leads the user easily into and back from the various pages in the site. This requires a Web designer who undertands the compexities of information access; the process would be enhanced through coordination with the index. As Seth says, "Site design is indexing."

From the ASI Golden Gate Chapter report in Key Words, a publication of the American Society of Indexers.

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