Reproducing your own work
The first stage of active documentation is to prepare a document to a form where you yourself can reproduce your own work a year or more later by ``pressing a single button''. Many SEP students are now at this stage. Of those who are not, reasons can be
Reproducing the work of coworkers
Now we are working on the next stage of active documentation. This stage is learning how to leave finished work in a condition where coworkers can reproduce it. We are experimenting with a variety of documents and learning various ways to connect the figure caption to the makefile.
As documents grow, they need to be handled in parts. For more complicated documents such as a thesis, textbook, or a large report including multiple topics such as by multiple authors, we developed the concept that sections of the document be associated with directories. Analogous to a table of contents is a file written in LaTeX language that ``includes'' the various directories. An unresolved issue in our present work is how to allow directories within directories.
Exporting a document
The next stage will be exporting an active document to another site. We'll need a receptive site willing to install all the software that we use--environment, file system, compilers, graphics, textprocessor, fonts, etc. Probably the first export will be a former SEP student. After a few such exports we may attempt to export an active report to sponsors, knowing full well that most will be unable to run it all, though all should appreciate the organized files.
Interactive document workbench
The ``interactive document'' is a concept. Beyond this concept are realizations of ever increasing completeness and utility. As underlying interactive software becomes more powerful and more friendly, we may see the i-doc become the ``desktop'' of interactive computing