Re: First Thoughts on MadCap Flare

Subject: Re: First Thoughts on MadCap Flare
From: Amy Gale <amyg -at- grammatech -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 16:43:49 -0500

Bill Swallow wrote:

1) I couldn't import my test RH project until I stripped out all the
instances of
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html">
This is not a great thing to be unable to cope with!

Flare's not the only tool that barfs on that. What you're looking at
is malformed markup.

Firstly, I've just checked the HTML 4.01 spec and as far as I can tell this is a correctly formed meta tag. (I never checked before, because the validator I use never complained.) What is wrong with it, in your reading?

Secondly, this is a meta tag with a beginning and an end and easily parsable contents. Don't understand it? Fine, ignore it and go on with the job at hand. How on earth will the software cope with actual problems?

(If you want malformed markup, on the other hand, try running MCF output through a validator. Brrr.)

2) It did one of the things that I find most profoundly unlovable about
RH: rewrote my CSS
to something that is both technically ugly and nonequivalent. Minus a
zillion points.

Can you elaborate?

I have a (validatable) style sheet. MCF rewrote it. Frankly, I don't think any further details are even relevant - the fact that the rewrite was clumsy is the insult, not the injury. RoboHelp did this too, and it's inexcusable. If I write an enterprise-wide style sheet and test it under all the use conditions, then I shouldn't have to do an end run around the help software to use it.

If - and this is a big if - there is namespace collision between their stuff and mine, then it should be resolved by changing MCF-originated content, not by changing user content.

3) [Weird XML conversion]

That's a good one. You should report that.

This one affected the way I feel about MCF more than any other. Parsing standards-compliant HTML is not exactly a peripheral task. Or, frankly, a difficult one.

I'm going to ask Santa for an intern to make us a homebrew system.


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First Thoughts on MadCap Flare: From: Amy Gale
Re: First Thoughts on MadCap Flare: From: Bill Swallow

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