Re: Saving as html using FrameMaker fmbatch

Subject: Re: Saving as html using FrameMaker fmbatch
From: Chris Despopoulos <cud -at- telecable -dot- es>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2001 11:25:30 +0200

Two things...

First, you should probably move over to the Frameusers list... Subscription info can be found at
I have seen TechWhirlers get a little miffed (no pun intended) over messages that are too tool-specific.

As for saving as HTML, I have had success using the FrameMaker feature, rather than using 3rd party (will dispute that possibility.) You need to get into setting it up, though. Read the manual, because it talks about setting up HTML reference pages. Basically, save as HTML uses information on reference pages to configure the translation. If dealing with books, there are two sets of these ref pages - one for the individual doc, and one for the book. But since the configuration lives with the document, I would guess that using fmbatch should not make a difference.

One thing this doesn't handle well in Maker+SGML is nested elements of the same tagname (GI?). It doesn't seem to notice the nesting - the mapping is 1 - 1, element to element. I believe the "preferred" method (which I find difficult to prefer) is to strip structure, then apply formats automatically to everything, then map HTML to those formats. Yeech! So if you're going from SGML to HTML, you might consider using OmniMark or some other scripting to make the translation. I'm not sure what the other options are.

But if your documents are flat, save as HTML is pretty good. You can include things like banners above/below the page, you can split a document or book at whatever level of heading you like, you can even include markers in your document that insert HTML via a macro... For example, you can use them to include JavaScript, or to call an applet. (The docs are a bit spare, so you will have to have your inferrence engine running.)

The HTML formatting seems to rely on CSS pretty heavily, though.

So it depends on how exquisite you want your HTML to be. One trick I have used is to manually make the exquisite stuff in a parent frame set. Then I save my Maker book as HTML and with very minor hand tweaking (one or two lines of HTML to set a TOC in the non-main frame) I get them all into my frames.

Finally, if you also have a need to do this on Windows, I have a freeware batch utility that will save as HTML, XML, other filtered formats, and will invoke properly setup FDK clients, to boot. Sorry, but the syntax is not the same as fmbatch. Find it on:

Hope this helps.

Cheers cud


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