Re: Giving up on XML

Subject: Re: Giving up on XML
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 12:56:45 -0700

----- Original Message -----
From: <eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com>

> Yes it should be addressed. But then the users must be aware
> of the paradigm and realise that the system used will be akin
> to using a FrameMaker or Word template As-Is out of the box
> with no modification.

I've worked with a fairly large number of companies whose
documents use the out-of-the-box formats in Word and
FrameMaker with little or no modification. At the very
least, it seems to me that someone confronted with the
need to create some sort of document out of a directory
full of XML topic files should be able to use a good tool
to assemble the topics into *a* document and apply a
generic document format with a minimum of fuss..
Every user is not looking to become a power user.

> You can?t allow the common reference to be a misrepresentation.
> Theres a basic minimum that needs to be learned. The relationship
> between XML, DTDs, implementations, and Tools would, IMO, be
> that bare minimum. Because only once that is understood can it be
> determined if the problems or misunderstandings lie in configuring/
> installing a tool, understanding the structure of a specific
> implementation (HTML, DITA, Docbook), or else where.

IMO, this is the equivalent of saying that learning Visual
Basic, Word macros or Framescript should be the basic
minimum before you can install Word or FrameMaker.
Any tool whose developers intend to become ubiquitous
needs to incorporate installation and configuration
schemes that will either automate the process or at least
walk the user through the necessary steps and decisions
required to arrive at a baseline level of usability.

> IE will display XML. So will FireFox. Now XML
> conforming to which structure and how it?s formatted,
> that?s another thing. It displays HTML, right? And there
> are XML compliant instances of HTML.

I wonder how many users this is even going to be an issue
for. I suspect that the majority of users will be loking at
XML-based document authoring either because they want
to take data topics that come from developers in XML or
because they can beneit from the reusibility/single
sourcing possibilities, but will still end up producing
their deliverable documents as PDFs or printed docs. As
long as the XML output from their system can be opened
and edited a year from now by the writer two cubicles
down the aisle, their needs in this area will be satisfied.

Gene Kim-Eng

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re: Giving up on XML: From: eric . dunn

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