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: Fri, 28 Nov 2003 09:31:21 -0500

"David O'Brien" <OBrien_David_P -at- cat -dot- com> wrote on 11/27/2003 06:12:47 PM:
> I'll keep that, and Lynne's name, in mind, thanks. I did wonder
> about the extent of docbook, and if we could use a pruned version.

Have to say that my exposure to DocBook has been minimal, but for the sanity of
your writers, a simplified or pruned version is the way to go.

> I wonder... A couple of people here would pick it up ok, but there
> are others who can't get their heads around using styles in Word
> and keep applying boldface, underlines, font sizes, etc., to get
> what they want. This is my first look at structured Frame so maybe
> that will give me a better view.

Well, they could still apply styles in FrameMaker. But they would be lost as
soon as the EDD was reimported or the content was exported to sgml and
reimported to FrameMaker. But you can always do what we did and use the FDK to
limit FrameMaker functionality when working with the official structured

> Are you saying here that, costs aside, Frame and Epic are on a par
> as far as ease of use is concerned (when working in a structured
> environment in Frame)? Most of the engineers here write xml on a
> daily basis; if they can write doco in the same way they'll
> probably be more inclined to contribute.

Well, after years of using FrameMaker the presentation from the Arbortext people
didn't convince me that Epic was certainly not worth considering if a FrameMaker
workflow was already in place. Their claims/accusations of Frames shortcomings
were blown out of proportion and in several cases outright lies, and their
booting of Epic was just FAR too rosy. Especially when I dug a little further
and found the yearly licensing costs, the cost of Arbortext training, and the
number of additional products support that was required to gain all the
functionality they demonstrated and that we required.

> > 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 plugin.
> >
> Is this something you're familiar with?
> Thanks for all the input.
> David

Actually no. I'm not familiar with it at all. But, it would seem that the IT
group here is looking to move us to a solution based on that product. I would
really appreciate input from anyone familiar with the product to know how I
should react to the presentation that they are going to give.

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer



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