The ability to “port” or send one’s documents to other scholars and to publishers has always been a major concern for scholars. When typewriters ruled the industry, we ported our documents in the form of typescripts and photocopies. Since there were no alternatives, people were generally satisfied with this procedure.
In the last five years, however, more and more authors have shelved their typewriters and converted to electronic document development. Now we can send documents form our homes across the continent and around the world, often receiving acknowledgement of receipt within a few hours. Our colleagues, with our source files on their own machines, can use programs to search for keywords and can integrate our contributions into collaborative documents, free of the normal retyping or cutting and pasting. Moreover, publishers can use our files as a source for typesetting, eliminating the need for rekeying documents; and once the rekeying process is eliminated, so is the danger of textual corruption as well as the need to read proofs.