Re: Dual-Platform Documentation Software

Subject: Re: Dual-Platform Documentation Software
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2001 10:09:02 -0800

"Gerald R. Posey" wrote:
> I've searched the archives and I have not found exactly what I am looking
> for. Does anyone know of a software package for developing documentation
> that will run on Linux as well as Windows. I am currently using FrameMaker
> 6 on Windows but I am not tied to this for future development. I have also
> tried Star Office 5.2, works on both platforms but does not work for large
> projects. Should I pursue an additional copy of FrameMaker 6 for
> Linux/Unix? Should I work with Star Office a little more? Or, should I try
> something new like OpenDoc or concentrate on html, xml, etc.? Questions,
> questions, questions :-/

First, some bad news: The beta of FrameMaker 5.5.6 for Linux expired
at the end of 2000.

You're right that StarOffice isn't much good for large documents,
but the same is true of MS Word, and that doesn't stop people from
using that tool. You should be able to work around the shortcomings.

Other programs to consider are WordPerfect for Linux and Applixware
Words. Chilliware's iceSculptor is an interesting attempt at a
WYSIWYG XML editor, but it's not ready for documentation work;
believe it or not, despite being based on XML, it doesn't even have

Having batted this question around for some time, I have found that
the easiest solution is an XML or SGML one. Either one is both
platform and tool independent.

Of course, "easiest" is a relative term, since you still have to
setup a DTD (I suggest using a sub-set of DocBook) and style sheet.

Bruce Byfield 317.833.0313 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com
Director of Marketing and Communications,
Progeny Linux Systems

"The Queen was in her chamber, a-weeping very sore,
There came Lord Leicester's spirit and It scratched upon the door,
Singing, "Backward and forward and sideways may you pass,
But I will walk beside you till you face the looking glass."
- Rudyard Kipling, "The Looking Glass"


Develop HTML-Based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 ($100 STC Discount)
**New Dates!!** San Francisco (Apr 16-17), San Jose (Mar 29-30) or 800-646-9989.

IPCC 01, the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference,
October 24-27, 2001 at historic La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

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