How can an author verify that his writing says what he means and means what he says? Authoring systems are generally specialized in document content creation and pay little attention to techniques for making communicative intentions more explicit. The new idea defended here is that the authors of technical or educational documents can improve access to, comprehension and reuse of documents, if they can explicitly add the intentions behind their writing process. A model called ‘writing intentions’ based on Speech Act theory, which analyzes and represents the author’s intentions is described here. The intentions are coded as a set of metadata and inserted in the document. SABRE (“Système Auteur Basé sur la REutilisation”, an Authoring System Based on Reuse) is a prototype based on the model of writing intentions. It has been implemented and used by authors of educational documents. Authors can express explicitly and edit their pedagogical and communication intentions. The usefulness of such a system is measured in terms of helping authors and readers find documents more efficiently by querying in terms of authorial intentions. Authors can also benefit from such query system to find existing documents for revisions and recycling.
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