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#2 tutorial difficult to access

open
nobody
None
5
2003-02-13
2002-08-14
Rich Morin
No

http://www.opencyc.org/doc says "In order to get started learning
about OpenCyc, complete the sections of the Cyc 101 Tutorial
titled ...". In order to work my way through the tutorial, I decided
to download and print the PDF files. Even with a reasonably high-
speed Internet connection, this took me a few hours. I consider
this to be a significant barrier to entry for new users and think the
tutorial should be made quicker and easier to access. Here are
some specific suggestions:

file size - The PDF files for the tutorial are far larger than they
should be, ranging from a few MB to well over a dozen MB in a
few cases. The documents should be reprocessed to create PDF
files of reasonable size.

downloading - In order to download the PDF files, the user must
"open up" several topics on http://www.opencyc.org/doc/tut/, then
individually download 30+ files. If the files were of reasonable
size, as noted above, it would be possible to provide zipped
archives containing the entire PDF and PowerPoint versions.

format - You might want to consider providing an HTML version of
the tutorial. Looking over the downloaded material, I saw little that
required PDF. An HTML version would provide a lot more
immediacy and could easily be linked to other documentation.

nits - A few incidental issues also came to my attention while I
was downloading the files:

"Errors with Constants, Variables and Reliance on NL" =>
"Errors with Constants, Variables, and Reliance on NL"

"Errors with Specialization, Generalization & Rules" =>
"Errors with Specialization, Generalization, and Rules"

"Fundamental ExpressionTypes" =>
"Fundamental Expression Types"

The file name "SpatialPropertiesAndRelations.pdf" was truncated
by Mac OS X during the download process.

Discussion

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    These documents are PDF printfiles of PowerPoint slide
    shows (with notes). If you know how to make such things
    smaller, please let us know.

    As for creating HTML versions, we'd like to, but it will be a ton
    of work to turn the PowerPoint into graphics that can be
    inserted into the HTML. This wouldn't be necessary for all the
    slides that simply contain bulleted lists, but we'd need it for
    the slides that actually have graphics, such as graph
    diagrams.

    What we'd like to do -- what we're doing with some other
    documentation -- is to create XML files with the content and
    then use XSL to generate HTML. We could also (but haven't
    tried it yet) use XSL-FO on the XML to generate PDF. This
    PDF would be more like the size I think you're talking about.

    We welcome volunteers to help peel apart the slide-based
    files and build the XML files.