RE: DITA possible for start-up/lone writer?

Subject: RE: DITA possible for start-up/lone writer?
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "Cathy MacDonald" <camacdonald -at- core -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2006 10:28:01 -0800

Well, first of all don't blame XML. It is such a buzzword product that
people want to use it even if they don't know what it does. Your PHB is
an example of this.

The data fields probably match some database or other data collection;
that's why they're so weird. I wouldn't change them.

XML is useful even if you can't validate it. Having a DTD or schema is
nice, but XML does not *require* you to have one. If you don't have one,
you can not do some of the cool things.

Apache Ant, for example, is an XML language that does not have a DTD.
Programmers are allowed to extend Ant, and for other reasons one can not
develop a constrained DTD for it.

I happen to know that Oracle has a free version of JDeveloper, which not
only edits DTDs and schemas but also converts DTDs *to* schemas (or at
least used to).

Somebody else may be able to provide you with a free tool for it.


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: techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Cathy MacDonald
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2006 4:59 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: DITA possible for start-up/lone writer?

So, I'm trying to follow their rules and procedures, but am heartily
confused about what they've given me in the way of direction. They sent
me several documents containing what look like tables full of data
definitions, comments, and, surprisingly, data fields that are limited
to 2 characters or 4000 characters, alphanumeric or numeric, etc. This
seems contradictory for an XML document where elements could contain
entire novels. There are no attributes, entities or notation.

I feel compelled to retrofit a DTD to the list of elements they gave me
(about 35 in each "table") because I can't imagine how the XML can be
valid if there is no governing DTD or schema. Our fine firm is too busy
pinching pennies to actually give me any tools to use for this effort,
so I'm relying on stuff I dig up on the internet (which, as we know, is
about as reliable as the local weatherman).


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