Re: Word, Frame, xml authoring and work flow. Opinions? (long)

Subject: Re: Word, Frame, xml authoring and work flow. Opinions? (long)
From: "David O'Brien" <OBrien_David_P -at- cat -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 10:12:34 +1000

thanks for the comments here...

El Jueves 27 Noviembre 2003 00:32, escribió:
> David,
> Wow. I'm an absolute raving fan of XML and Epic is a nice product, but I
> think you're heading for big trouble with this approach. XML can have a
> steep learning curve. I've worked for two large organizations that used
> Epic and it's predecessor Adept. In one company, I was the "tools guy"
> who wrote the XSLT scripts, trained the writers, etc., so I have a bit
> of experience in bringing XML-based publishing into an organization.
> Given your time constraints and at least one group of authors that don't
> want to even tackle Frame, I'd say going this route would be highly
> risky.
We probably have less of an issue getting these authors to xml than to Frame,
for a couple of reasons.
The people being targeted as the "new authors" are engineers and SMEs with
engineering background, so xml is not new. Epic is new, but not actually a
requirement for authoring. If they produce valid xml against the accepted
schema or dtd then Epic should handle it fine.
Frame for them would be a whole different kettle of fish. I've already had a
couple of instances of "How do I make this bold and underlined?", which I had
a hard time removing from their thought patterns and replacing with "Use
style X". A couple would be ok, but the balance would find it a new word
processor that they probably wouldn't see the value in because they are at
the wrong end of the process, and would resist it.

> Perhaps Epic can work with the new Word, but I'd want to do a
> significant amount of testing before I staked the project on that. I'd
> also want to be an absolute wizard with XML, XSLT, and a scripting
> language such as PERL, just so I had enough tools in my "bag of tricks"
> to handle anything that came up. If that doesn't describe your skill
> set, I'd be doubly cautious about using an XML solution.
I'm a little more inclined to have faith in Word 2003's xml abilities because
I read about them in Arbortext material, not Microsoft. At the moment that's
a possibility, not a recommended path. We're still on Word 2000 and need the
whole company to upgrade. It might even be preferable to use Contributor,
the browser front end to Epic.

As for toolkits, skill sets, etc., we can actually assign skills from the
developers to do certain tasks, but I would push for my own development. This
is quite common in this group, mainly due to its size (25 ish) and the
variety of work that we do.

thanks again
> Bill Lawrence
> Senior Technical Writer
> Matrix Solutions

David O'Brien
Sr. Technical Writer
Caterpillar MineStar Solutions

617 3329 8122
davido -at- cat -dot- com
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they go by.



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RE: Word, Frame, xml authoring and work flow. Opinions? (long): From: Bill Lawrence

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