Re: Is Anyone Using XML for single sourcing help and docs?

Subject: Re: Is Anyone Using XML for single sourcing help and docs?
From: Pineapplesoft Mailing List Account <bulk -at- pineapplesoft -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 16:32:49 +0100

At 09:00 AM 1/22/00 , TECHWR-L digest wrote:
>Can someone walk me through their process of creating help files and manuals
>(single source) using Interleaf or another XML authoring program?
>I have looked up XML info on the web and found it complicated and technical;
>I don't want to read lengthy comparisons of Html, sgml, and xml; I just want
>to know what tools are out there to do the job, how it's done, and whether
>it's feasible to consider this a single source option either now or in the
>future.

At this stage, unless you have in-house expertise with XML for
documentation applications (which is not exactly the same thing as XML for
data/e-commerce application), building such a system is best outsourced to
consultants.

Mind you, none of the tasks are so difficult that you could not acquire the
expertise in-house but you must be willing to learn new tools and technologies.

As to when you should consider XML, I'd say whenever you find yourself
"wasting" too much time on formatting and re-formatting a large document base.

Last year, I decided to switch to XML for my web site as an experiment.
So far, I have 25% of the site in XML (I only work on it during my free
time) but it pays off already. Beginning of the month, I had to change the
navigation bar. This would normally require opening all of the 100+ HTML
pages and cut-and-pasting the new bar in place. Instead I changed the
stylesheet and regenerated the HTML. In total, it took me less than 1 hour
-- including the time to upload the new pages.

--ben
Benoît Marchal, Pineapplesoft

As eCommerce Grows, Understanding XML Becomes a Key Job Skill
XML by Example / $24.99 / ISBN 0-7897-2242-9 / www.worth-it.com




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