RE: Giving Up on XML

Subject: RE: Giving Up on XML
From: "Gordon McLean" <Gordon -dot- McLean -at- GrahamTechnology -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 15:48:52 -0000

-----Original Message-----

Imagine for a moment that you had no publishing or editing software. How
much time will it take to select a product, set it up, and then design your
templates for it? How long will it take you to learn the TOC features and
scripting possibilities? How much will it take to get the workflow right so
that you produce consistent professional results?

-----End of Original Message-----

Ouch. Your foot must hurt.

Switching from one desktop publishing application to another is not that
huge a leap. I've gone from nothing to Word, to FrameMaker and recently to
InDesign with comparatively little downtime.

Why? Because those tools already take care of the file level information.
Sure I COULD learn about how a .doc file is technically structured
(presuming MS allows such a thing), just as I once did for Postscript files.
But I don't need to, the tool takes care of that for me, leaving me to worry
about working practises and, you know, the content.

YES I think XML has many advantages.

But until there is an application that offers the ease of use that something
like Word, or InDesign, has, in other words an application that hides the
highly technical 'stuff' and allows me to leverage the benefits of single
sourcing from XML, then it will remain just another option for those people
who have the time and inclination to learn it.

I have some inclination (and some understanding already) but I cannot invest
the time.

A side thought: Is the popularity of RoboHelp because it's the best, or
because it could take in multiple formats INCLUDING FrameMaker??

The first XML vendor who gives me a layer of abstraction AND allows me to
'easily' migrate my content wins, says I.

Am I neglecting my company by not future proofing my content? Maybe and at
some point their will be a BUSINESS need for me to address that, I just
don't think that time is here and now. XML in publishing seems to be stalled
at the 'early adopter' stage, I'm still waiting for the tipping point.

Just my tuppence,


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RE: Giving Up on XML: From: eric . dunn

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