Re: Shareware and Re: Interesting XML discussion

Subject: Re: Shareware and Re: Interesting XML discussion
From: HALL Bill <bill -dot- hall -at- tenix -dot- com>
To: "'Techwr-l posting'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000 08:44:07 +1000

On the "Shareware" thread, Chasity McWilliams requested information on how
to obtain cheap access to a good structured authoring tool in order to
demonstrate to her University managers that it would be cost-effective to
use it.

My group is currently evaluating alternatives to FrameMaker+SGML, and have
been looking at XMetaL and Adept. XMetaL included a slightly disabled copy
of the system as a freebee on the Proceedings CD for the US XML conference.
ArborText, via their local distributor, has provided us with a full-featured
version of Adept Editor on a two month evaluation license - which I gather
is standard policy. Two years ago they made the same arrangements through a
different dealer.

I think this scenario would also fit Chasity's needs if she explained to the
supplier that she wanted an evaluation license for the purposes of
demonstrating to her employer the value of the product.

On the "Interesting XML Discussion" thread, Lonie McMichael was also looking
for alternatives to FrameMaker+SGML for an early switch to XML publishing.
We have already demonstrated that the Australian-developed XML content
management database we are implementing (see works
equally well with any of these three authoring products without modifying
the authoring product in any way. Users interact with content manager via
the default web browser. For viewing a document, the database launches the
document to the browser as HTML. Wizards help with the tedious job of
building a template for the XML to HTML view - all the XML -> HTML logic is
already built in. For editing, Check-out/Check-in and document metadata are
managed via the web browser. On Check out, the database simply launches the
document as a mime type plus its associated components to a known location,
and leaves it up to the user's NT configuration to select the application
for doing the work. The default authoring tool takes over from that point.
The document is checked back in via the browser. We won't get functionality
for sharing XML components and automated revision and release controls until
the next release, but the workflow and repository functionality we are
currently acceptance testing will be enough to allow us to go live and throw
out our obsolete WordPerfect 5.1/5.2 merge database environment.

Although we have no immediate need for Internet functionality, for companies
thinking of employing telecommuters, this architecture would work as well
over the Internet as it does within a single corporate network. Given that
SIM has been adopted by security intelligence organisations and is used in
Web-based E-commerce and grant review applications, the security
capabilities provided to support session-based Web access and feedback are
extensive and robust.

From our point of view, the main advantage to this Web-based architecture is
that we are not tied to any authoring tool. If we do decide to switch to
another product for our wider corporate roll-out, as long as the tool works
with XML or SGML against a DTD, authors will be able to work with whatever
tool they are most comfortable with.

Hope this helps.


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

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