RE: xml tool questions

Subject: RE: xml tool questions
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 13:53:22 -0700

Dear Devdra,

To summarize, you want
* reuse
* easy customization
* easy translation
* multiple output formats for the same information

You implement reuse with a variety of approaches, but the key one is
management buy-in. Having your head of tech pubs say it's a "good idea"
is not sufficient.

I think that easy customization demands content management more than
XML. Of course, since XML is a text format, you can do content
management much more easily than with .fm files!

XML lends itself to easy translation. I've seen "translation" mentioned
as one of the main arguments for using XML. I happen to have a
background in internationalization and localization, so I agree!

Multiple output forms for the same information is easy to do with XML,
but XML is not the only source format that can do it. Also, multiple
output formats don't "magically" come when you use XML.


Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: devdra darke [mailto:devdra -at- sympatico -dot- ca]
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 1:44 PM
To: Joe Malin; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: xml tool questions

Hi Joe,

Thank you for the information. I would never have thought of
Dreamweaver, but I will certainly take a look at it, as well as XMetal,
XMLSpy and Arbortext.

I appreciate that you took the time to mention schemas and transformers.
I suppose this is why I keep hearing about 'DITA' as a possible choice
for technical writers using XML.

The problems I am trying to solve are:

* a lot of reusable content that is not being reused and has become
* a lot of custom guides and help files desired as our cilents tend to
pick and choose modules in our application
* a lot of custom information as our clients often received information
tweaked for their specific instance of our software
* simplified translation
* simplified single sourcing of pdf and help materials as well as
editable source material for internal clients.

I appreciate the help!



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