Re: Questions About Arbortext.

Subject: Re: Questions About Arbortext.
From: "Paul Nagai" <naglists -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 22:53:30 -0700

On 3/28/07, richard -dot- melanson -at- us -dot- tel -dot- com <richard -dot- melanson -at- us -dot- tel -dot- com> wrote:
>
> Hello TechWR-L,
> I am on my second day at a new employer and they use Arbortext Editor
> (Epic) and SiberSafe Client for all of their documentation creation. I am
> pretty much a Framemaker writer, also having used Word and PageMaker on some
> projects. Can I get anyones/everyones opinions on these products, what are
> your experiences like, should I try and convince them to go to Framemaker,
> should I run away screaming :-) Any input you can give me on these products
> is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
> Arbortext Editor (Epic)
> SiberSafe Client
>

I support an Arbortext "shop" using Editor, Styler, Publishing Engine, and
other PTC/Arbortext products. I have no familiarity with SiberSafe (we use
Documentum for our Content Management System). The Arbortext suite is highly
capable and customizable. Editor is one of the premier XML editors. To be
sure, it isn't the cheapest and initial deployments for a company often
require consulting services on top of the licensing. I don't think Editor is
any simpler or harder to master than FrameMaker.

Further, it's possible that the way documents are authored using XML will
have a greater learning curve than Editor (or any other XML authoring tool).
You will likely lose a lot of control over formatting as well as how to
construct and organize a document. Some authors like the "freedom" from
those concerns, others hate it.

Recommending a conversion into XML *or* out of XML really ought to have a
financial basis. By doing X, we will save $Y (or be able to deliver Z). Can
you make an argument like that after two days on the job? I'd be surprised
if anyone could who wasn't specifically brought in to support such a change.

Finally, if you don't run screaming, figure out how to subscribe to
adepters, a mailing list specifically for users of Arbortext products. (
http://www.ptc.com/support will get you close, but I'm not sure how your
company manages PTC support IDs and/or adepters subscriptions.) Adepters is
a very quiet (compared to techwr-l) but incredibly useful mailing list with
a great bunch of folks who are equally eager to help with basic questions as
they with esoteric ones.

--
Paul Nagai
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Questions About Arbortext.: From: richard.melanson

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