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

Subject: Re: Word, Frame, xml authoring and work flow. Opinions? (long)
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 11:45:13 -0500

"David O'Brien" <OBrien_David_P -at- cat -dot- com> wrote on 11/26/2003 07:18:35 PM:
> El Miércoles 26 Noviembre 2003 22:53, escribió:
> > I'd stick with an out-of-the-box solution (like
> > Docbook) that everyone can
> > read about and refer to.

> This has also been recommended elsewhere. I'm looking into it now.

Seems so straight forward doesn't it. Go with the standard. Watch out though, it
sometimes costs a lot in time and development to work with a standard like
docbook. You have to learn what applies to you, what doesn't, and how to
add/workaround requirements the standard doesn't address. Lynne Price on the
Framers list can tell you how many clients she's helped rationalise Docbook

Personally, I guess it's often easier to first analyse your current situation
and implement something that works without changing the current environment.
Then, you can analyse how to make your current output transform/ conform to the
standards requirements. You can then determine if you will then move your
process to work to the standard from the get-go or if the standard is just one
of you final outputs.

> that would put too much
> formatting and layout on
> authors desktops (I'm unfamiliar with structured
> Framemaker so this may make
> little sense...)

You're right. It makes no sense at all. If you're using structured templates,
there's very little a writer can do to influence formatting that can't just be
set back to template settings before final output.

> and would require many people to learn
> Frame and the purchase of many licenses.
> Our parent company already owns Epic, so COO is
> zero.

Oh no it isn't. Epic licensing and maintenance costs are per user are they not?
Also, unlike Frame you MUST pay a yearly maintenance fee for the licence to
remain valid. FrameMaker might be MUCH cheaper and even more so if you also
purchase numerous Acrobat licences.

Learning Frame as a writer is a breeze. Structured Frame with a good template
even easier. If the writers are familiar with Epic, they shouldn't have any
difficulty. Even if they are completely unfamiliar with any structured
environment, if it's set up properly they can be productive in a half day tops.

Does anyone on the list have experience with Altova Authentic? It's a free XML
authoring application and comes either as a desktop application or a browser

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer



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