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Some Random Comments on the State of Documentation

When I run across a useful site, for whatever project I am involved in, I appreciate and bookmark that site, sometimes feeding back to the webmaster (occasionally with a suggestion, or a compliment, or even a correction). The tool that we have in the internet is a special one in that it is aiding (or promoting) the transition to change. Over the past few years, we have slowly been lead willingly down an unfamiliar path that will ultimately allow us to function in an ever-more-quickly changing world. This sounds a bit peculiar but I find myself realizing that even some of the reference material to which we can refer is non-static and changing, being refined, enhanced, and expanded possibly from one day to the next. This is both advantageous and confusing.

I am sure there are many occurrences each day where the paper document is out-of-date whereas the electronic copy is more recent and valid. It is interesting and exciting to follow the development of data handling. We live in a world where the quantity of data being generated could only be handled by computer. The sheer quantity makes review at detail level for all records by humans an historical idea no longer useful. Just think about the organization of your own personal information and records. If one keeps all "significant" data that one generates or receives in a lifetime, even this is not a datastore that one would look forward to searching without a sound search method. Hence the importance of great search algorithms and intelligent filtering. I am sure that this documentation transition to a full electronic period (where security and trust are no longer doubted) will be a most challenging accomplishment to finally achieve. I think we have our hands full with this one.

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