Final Editing and Document Management

Next I had to save the paper into separate files. The paper was divided into separate sections and each individual file comprised a single section, or part of a section. Each section then needed a short summary, to go into the table of contents. This was a relatively simple task, though it did mean that some of the hyperlinks had to be changed - it would have been easier to do it before they were set up. Sub-division meant, however, that instead of having one paper to deal with I suddenly had several shorter files, and keeping track of them all became quite complex. There were twenty-four files in all for the Fife Ness report. Full HTML editors now have site management facilities that make this task much easier.

These files were all inter-linked, so that the reader could jump between them and revisit them in any order. I suddenly realized that this meant that the paper no longer had a beginning, a middle, and an end like a conventional paper publication. This is a crucial difference between hypertext and ordinary text (Landow 1992).

From then on I felt that in many ways it was a disadvantage to work from an existing conventional text and that a more satisfactory report would have been produced had I started to write hypertext from scratch. In that way I could have produced something that was more tailored to the circular approach that Internet publication offers.

I now had to start the tricky task of editing the HTML code so that the paper would conform to the Internet Archaeology housestyle once it was on screen. Of course this had to be done separately for each file, and though I got very clear instructions from the editors, this was the point at which I really began to flounder. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get rid of some rogue italics from my screen, and in the end the task was taken over by Internet Archaeology staff themselves. Though I understand that it would be useful for archaeologists to have this skill, I cannot help feeling that it is better left to those who have devised the housestyle for themselves. They are most practiced and experienced at it, and only in that way can they be certain that it is consistently applied. The use of templates or style sheets, as now recommended by Internet Archaeology, should make this easier in future. As a measure of my increasing confidence, I managed to submit the present paper as marked up HTML files using their guidelines, but was I successful? You will have to ask the editors.


© Internet Archaeology URL:
Last updated: Mon Sept 6 1999