Subject: Re: XML
From: HALL Bill <bill -dot- hall -at- tenix -dot- com>
To: "'Techwr-l (posting)'" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 14:33:49 +1100

Another point about Tenix's use XML/SGML for technical documentation for
reusable text is that we needed to CONTROL the authoring environment to
ensure that documents were consistently structured.

This requires a tool such as FrameMaker+SGML, Adept Editor, InContext or
possibly BladeRunner (which claims to control Word), where documents are
written in an environment which is constantly under control of the DTD
(Document Type Definition). Such authoring environments display the document
structure as well as the content, and will normally prompt authors to show
them what new elements are allowed at the current point in the document.

Once the editor is configured for a particular DTD, authors no longer have
any control over formatting (this is applied automatically by the viewer or
as part of the output process). In the controlled environment, authors only
need to worry about the wording and logical structure of the document -
which should enable them to produce better text in less time than if they
are also constantly fussing with formats.

I would be very wary of trying to author in an uncontrolled tool, and expect
to produce valid SGML or XML after the fact. It is much better to invest a
little more in your authoring environment (to use a fully controlled tool)
and be sure that you are producing validly marked up text as you write.

Bill Hall
Documentation Systems Specialist
Integrated Logistic Support
Naval Projects & Support
Tenix Defence Systems Pty Ltd
Williamstown, Vic. 3016 Australia
Email: bill -dot- hall -at- tenix -dot- com

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