Re: Frame&SGML: looking for opinions of current users

Subject: Re: Frame&SGML: looking for opinions of current users
From: Chris <cud -at- telecable -dot- es>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 09:54:01 +0200


Either I don't understand your issue, or I haven't stated my point clearly. There is no reason whatsoever that you must necessarily deliver a structured document if you're working in structured mode. In fact, in order to deliver a structured document, you must do the *extra* work of importing an EDD into the document. So if your customers don't want structured documents, just implement unstructured templates and build the docs in them. In other words, implement your templates as usual, and don't do the extra work of developing and importing an EDD.

I'm a contractor, and I do that all the time. I actually had to explain this *once* to a contracting house I often work for - but when I finally delivered, there was no further need for explanation. If I deliver an unstructured document that I created in structured Maker, you will never know whether I did it in structured or unstructured mode (for earlier versions, FrameMaker or FrameMaker+SGML). In that sense, the issue just isn't there.

You can test this if you wish. Take one of the docs you believe you must edit in unstructured mode. Edit the doc in structured mode. Then open it again in unstructured mode. You will see that the doc has absolutely no structure information added to it. Editing the doc in structured mode did nothing to the doc that cannot be done in unstructured mode. The *only* way you could have had a "structured" effect on the doc would have necessarily begun with importing an EDD into the document.
If you create structured templates, use them for your docs, and deliver them to a customer with unstructured Maker, then when that user opens the docs he/she will get an alert warning that unstructured Maker will strip out the structure information. That's quite natural since unstructured Maker doesn't have the capacity to save any of that structured information. But that *only* happens if you have an EDD imported into the document. If this is the issue, then I believe a STRIP STRUCTURE command would solve your issue - you would then be able to *use* structure for your own benefit, and deliver those documents for customers who don't want the structure. Except for this scenario, I see no reason that you need to switch from structured to unstructured in order to control your output. And I also think this is unlikely - if you've been using structure to edit your documents, then you'll have to re-apply the structure if they ever send you their source for changes. So you would be better off using templates that don't include an EDD - in which case the issue simply isn't there.

That said, I want to point out that the structure/SGML/XML capability is
a strict superset of the unstructured product. What that means is, you have no *need* to switch to the unstructured mode - ever. If you want to edit an unstructured document, just edit an unstructured document. (Note that opening a structured doc in unstructured Maker will strip the structure data out of it on SAVE.)

That's exactly why you'd want to switch - to control the output. If you work for one company, that might not matter, but if you're a contractor, it can.

Chris Despopoulos, maker of CudSpan Freeware...
Plugins to Enhance FrameMaker & FrameMaker+SGML
cud -at- telecable -dot- es

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