Re: Giving up on XML

Subject: Re: Giving up on XML
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 16:09:31 +0900

**In the mid-1990s there was a very successful product called Internet
in a Box. I can't remember how good the software was but the name and
the idea of it were perfect. Before then different parts of the Internet
such as e-mail, web browsing, ftp, gopher and telnet had to be set up
and maintained separately by someone with knowledge, patience and fair
bit of spare time.

I guess Gene is describing 'XML Publishing in a Box'. IBM and other big
companies already have one of these boxes, but the box is so big it took
dozens of people to build it and it still takes several people to (as it
were) lift it. What's needed is a box that can be lifted by one or two
TWs with relative ease.

The box might include many scripts and components from various sources,
but this should be more or less invisible. To the author it sgould just
look like an editor with some menu options to publish the output in
various formats. We should be able to install the software, then within
half an hour import or create a simple project and publish it to PDF,
HTML Help, Eclipse, ASCII, or whatever.

AuthorIT actually does most of this, except that it doesn't use XML to
store the source files.


Gene said:
> Actually, for the authoring tool examples you cite, the answer is
> none. Each of them comes with a reasonable set of default templates
> and is able to import content and styles from other authoring tools
> in a usable form with a minimum of fuss. You may not be able to
> make them jump through hoops right out of the box, but you can
> use them to create a document.
> I personally have confidence that some day some company is going to
> roll out a tool that enables us to import a Word or Frame template
> into XML-usable style definitions, import content from same and
> convert paragraphs into XML blocks, then build structure out of
> them and move them around by dragging and dropping, at a price that
> competes with tools like FrameMaker. It just hasn't happened yet

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