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RE: CODES: Electronic Version Should Be Provided

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Searchable electronic documents are very useful, but nothing will ever
replace paper for usability.  You can make notes, draw sketches, make
corrections, etc., in the margins.  Yes, I know you can also do that with
some electronic documents, but it's just not the same.

Also, (to me at least), it's just plain easier to read a book than a
computer screen.

If I were to purchase the 2003 IBC on a CD, the first thing I'd do is print
it double-sided on paper and stick it in a 3-ring binder (or maybe have
Kinko's do it).

Jason Kilgore
Leigh & O'Kane, LLC
Kansas City, Missouri
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Monday, September 27, 2004 10:46 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: CODES: Electronic Version Should Be Provided
> Regardless of whether or not one is required to purchase a copy of a
> design
> code or standard (building code, material-of-construction design standard,
> etc.) I believe that an electronic version of the document ought to be
> provided, preferably in a standard format such as Adobe Acrobat.
> I say that for one very important reason: It gives one the ability to do
> text searches.
> As codes and standards grow in complexity, the effort required to "keep
> up"
> with what they actually say also increases. Most standards do not have an
> adequate index provided. For example, I have found the index in the 2000
> International Residential Code to be almost worthless. The Table of
> Contents
> provides more relevant information when you are trying to find something
> in
> particular.
> Even the most thoroughly indexed standard is going to miss something. And
> indexing doesn't necessarily help you find inconsistencies in the
> document.
> A searchable electronic version allows more relevant searches, and also
> may
> help uncover inconsistencies which (while I'm sure it would be a short-
> term
> PITA to the code-writing body) would help to stamp out bugs and possibly
> reduce the amount of errata required.
> Anyway, my two cents' worth on a Monday morning still under the gun.
> Regards,
> Bill Polhemus, P.E.
> Polhemus Engineering Company
> Katy, Texas, USA

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