Re: Author-it [was: Single Sourcing tools]

Subject: Re: Author-it [was: Single Sourcing tools]
From: Jan Cohen <najnehoc -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Christine Leisgen <Christine -dot- Leisgen -at- gmgcolor -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 01:00:56 -0700 (PDT)

I haven't used Flare or Author-It, so I'm not sure what you can and can't do with them. But I have used Epic Editor extensively, and it's my understanding that the reuse or sharing of source content is not necessarily a function of the authoring tool itself, but more of the CMS used in conjunction with the tool and the rules that are established within a group to share source files.

For instance, we used a combination of Epic, Documentum, DCAM and E3 in our environment. Strict rules for sharing were carefully laid out, as well as product specific profiles and entities, which were used to manage any differences that might be required in a single-sourced object (e.g. branding, product name, differences between releases, etc.). Among those strict rules were mandates that our authors check out their source files when working on them, check them in when they weren't, and that authors collaborate closely with authors that shared the same source content.

Once we were beyond the learning curve, with initial, constant monitoring by a few personnel who were experienced at working in this kind of environment, we made the move from a Frame SGML environment in which source files were dedicated to individual docs, to an XML environment where they could be shared. All-told, with the time it took to iron out most of the bugs, we got there in 18 months. We are talking about a large depository (10,000+ docs) though, and 300+ writers who were (for the most part), unfamiliar with the tool set and how to work in an XML environment.

Getting back to whether you can do all that in Flare, Author-It and similar tool-sets, if it were me I'd go straight to the tool's developer and ask those questions. I suspect you'll find that they might come back to you and say that's it's doable, but costly to implement. We did have a large budget.

jan cohen

----- Original Message ----
From: Christine Leisgen <Christine -dot- Leisgen -at- gmgcolor -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 3:01:25 AM
Subject: RE: Author-it [was: Single Sourcing tools]

Dear Marie,

I guess you are right, I think the problem is that you cannot access the
same project file by multiple authors in Flare, and therefore reuse of
topics is either limited or more difficult to set up. [I have not tried
it though, if somebody else knows it's possible, please correct me.]

I guess the access control (who "wins" if the same file is changed at
the same time) is done automatically by the server in Ait?

Best regards, Christine

Message: 13

Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 08:05:55 -0700 (PDT)
From: "M. Palmieri" <mailinfodd-wrt -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Subject: Author-it [was: Single Sourcing tools]
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Message-ID: <923040 -dot- 63786 -dot- qm -at- web82308 -dot- mail -dot- mud -dot- yahoo -dot- com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

Dear Christine,

Thanks for the additional information.

It seems that the ability of multiple authors to
access Flare files stored in a source control server
is different than the use of shared topics in

What I have observed in Author-it is that a topic (or
part of a topic) can be placed on a shared directory,
and then 2 or more authors can drag and drop the topic
into one of their TOCs. If the shared topic is
changed, the changes are propagated to wherever the
topic is used in multiple authors? table of content
structures. There is not a check-in/check-out process.

Of course it seems that shared topics need to be
planned for carefully, and from what I understand some
users recommend giving a limited number of authors
access to the shared topics. Authors using shared
topics could discuss in their team what kind of change
is needed to a shared topic before a change is
actually made.

The benefit seems to be that once content for a shared
topic is decided on, the content is consistent no
matter what author uses it.

Best regards,



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