Re: Giving up on XML

Subject: Re: Giving up on XML
From: Janice Gelb <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 09:50:48 +1100

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:
> In that case I predict that you will eventually see the
> same problem even in an "imposed structure" work
> environment. Sooner or later some writer who is
> determined to impose his or her "view of the world"
> on the finished documents will find a way, and if that
> writer can't hack the authoring tool, you'll see PDFs
> altered in Acrobat or HTML source manually edited
> in Notepad.

There is no way to hack the documents. Our
documents are delivered through a corporate
web site that translates SGML source in an
archive on the fly to HTML, and delivers the
PDF source from the same archive.

> No automated system can ever
> accomplish what human managers are too cowardly
> to do in person, and people determined to break
> rules invariably will, even if they have to expend
> more time and energy than it would take to just
> follow procedure. That's the way the world *does*
> operate.
>

I agree that management support is always the
best bet. However, an authoring tool that imposes
structure goes a long way towards making sure
that consistent structure is used. Any writer
who is as determined to follow his or her own
vision of what documents should look like to
the extent of the hacking you predict above
would be likely to leave a company that is
using such tools rather than going to such
efforts to circumvent the authoring/publishing
system. Frankly, that outcome is better for both
the maverick writer and a company that is striving
for a consistent documentation presentation.

-- Janice

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Giving up on XML: From: Sean Hower
Re: Giving up on XML: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Giving up on XML: From: Janice Gelb
Re: Giving up on XML: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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