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A theory of presentation and its implications for the design of online technical documentation
©1997 Detlev Fischer, Coventry University, VIDe (Visual and Information Design) centre

Editorial note

The exposition of the theory is incremental. The text contains a number of concepts which after their first introduction may be used without further illustration. (In the paper-based version of the thesis, a subject index alleviates this problem. This index is currently  not available in the online version.) The sequential form implies that apart from a short exposition of the main concepts in the introduction, concept terms are in some places used as a token before being fully expanded in later chapters.

References are relegated to footnotes to minimise spread of the exposition of the theory. While those references to authors that are rendered in normal text style jump to the respective source quoted in References, links in bold style contain URLs linking to online sources and will only work if the reader is online. Although links have been validated at the time of editing this online version of the thesis (July 1997), I cannot promise validating them in the future.

Although the theory is not dependent on readers' familiarity with the cinegram prototype that was the practical outcome of the research project, I recommend exploring [1] the cinegram before reading this study, particularly since many concepts and examples refer to animated views. The difficulty of illustrating such dynamics in print are obvious. The reader without access to a suitable Macintosh is advised to read appendix I-Cinegram which is provided as a substitute for interactive exploration.

Footnote to Editorial note

[1] Due to the size of the prototype (ca. 80 MB) and the partly proprietory nature of its content, there is currently no provision for downloading or viewing the cinegram online. Interested readers may contact the author for further information. Minimum requirements for viewing the cinegram are an Apple Macintosh or PowerPC with at least 8 MB RAM, 256 colours (8-bit), and screen size of 640 x 480 pixels. The machine should run Macintosh operating system 7.0 or later,  QuickTime 1.6 or later, and Hypercard 2.5 or later. Satisfactory speed of animation is achieved on Macintosh Quadra's or more recent machines.

Last update: 08 November 2007 | Impressum—Imprint