Re: Are You Using Structured Framemaker?

Subject: Re: Are You Using Structured Framemaker?
From: Phil Gochenour <phil_gochenour -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 11:59:52 -0800 (GMT-08:00)

I use RoboHelp for most of my documentation, but am interested in Structured FrameMaker and DITA. I think the Structured/XML/DITA approach is best in those cases when you have documentation that may need to be parsed as topics for different audiences and outputs, which can be achieved in large degree by using conditional tagging in FM or RH. The other use would seem to be where you are creating document templates for use by others within an organization where strict document guidelines need to be followed (where there are regulatory requirements, for example, and all writers need to conform to those requirements).

My interest in the XML approach is based on the idea that you could take all the topics for a given product, load them into a database, and then output "on-demand" documentation, like a knowledge base. Currently I'm not in an environment where that's necessary, but may shortly be working on a project where this is one product that is customized for different clients. In that case, rather than getting into conditional tagging, it may make more sense to create a set of topics for the product and run them through an XSL parser in order to create both customized documentation and a customized knowledge database.

All these comments are based on my very recent research on these topics, so I would welcome any corrections or further information from folks who've actually worked on these kinds of projects.

As for whether or not the writing needs to be structured, my general approach to writing Help documentation, at least, has been to chunk it up based on topics/tasks, so I don't know that I would have to re-structure the content signficantly to move it into a structured environment.

Phil
relieved that his dentist appointment has been postponed under February


-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Markos <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Sent: Dec 8, 2005 11:06 AM
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Subject: Are You Using Structured Framemaker?

To all listserv members:

Is structured Framemaker(vs unstructured
Framemaker)being used alot?

Is a structured writing prerequisite to using
structured Framemaker?

Thanks


Tony Markos



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Now Shipping -- WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word! Easily create online
Help. And online anything else. Redesigned interface with a new
project-based workflow. Try it today! http://www.webworks.com/techwr-l

Doc-To-Help 2005 now has RoboHelp Converter and HTML Source: Author
content and configure Help in MS Word or any HTML editor. No
proprietary editor! *August release. http://www.componentone.com/TECHWRL/DocToHelp2005

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