Fwd: Structured FM versus Arbortext Editor

Subject: Fwd: Structured FM versus Arbortext Editor
From: Paul Nagai <naglists -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 11:56:56 -0700

Completely missed that I replied directly, not to the group. Fixing that
here.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Paul Nagai <naglists -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: Structured FM versus Arbortext Editor
To: Michael Johnson <k7rvx -at- yahoo -dot- com>


I used unstructured Frame a long time ago (3.x to 5.x). I have been
supporting Arbortext technology since 2002.

Learning the ins and outs of SGML will be more or less the same regardless
of whether or not you choose FM or Arbortext. With FM, you obviously bring
your experience and familiarity with the way Adobe "thinks." If you are able
to meet the SGML requirements of your customer(s) with FM, then this does
seem, at first, like the better path. Because, however, FM does not edit
SGML natively, you will need to develop rules for import (opening files) and
export (saving files). (I have never done this, only read about it, so I
can't really comment on how easy/hard this is ... but I think it varies
depending on your SGML requirements.)

Arbortext bypasses this issue since it is a native SGML / XML editor.

You should explore whether or not you will need to produce paper or PDF or
other output (HTML? RTF?). FM is complete in this regard (at least as far as
paper / PDF). Arbortext can be complete depending on which products you
license. The Editor ... alone ... will not produce delivery-ready output.
You will need to license either Print Composer (stand-alone) or Publishing
Engine (server based [and priced]). If you require the ability to apply
style to your output, you will want Architect and/or Styler.

It is possible that your customer will have an environment and all of the
configuration information you will require for Arbortext. I think it is less
likely that they will have this for FM.

A nit: PTC didn't invent Arbortext technology, they acquired it back in '05
or '06.

I took Arbortext training back in '02 and found it very good. The products
are incredibly powerful and complex, however, and the training covered all
the material in depth. I needed to know a lot about 20% of the
functionality, so it would have been really nice to have had customized
training that focused on those areas. Now, PTC University delivers a lot of
training online. I haven't taken any of those online courses, so I can't
comment, but I'm assuming it would be possible to spend your time on the
module(s) you are interested in and skip / skim the rest. The face to face
courses I have taken recently (other PTC products, not Arbortext) are
exceptional, in my opinion. They are clearly developed by and delivered by
training professionals ... not developers in love with the code ...

Good luck!


On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 8:17 AM, Michael Johnson <k7rvx -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:

> Hi Folks,
>
> In the near future the small company I work for will be creating new USAF
> tech orders in SGML for inclusion in a large database. From what I
> understand, aviation manufacturers, the military, and the IRS are among the
> few organizations that still use SGML technical content.
>
> It looks like I will be the writer who will compose the SGML. I have read
> what few books are still in print on the subject, and have a rudimentary
> understanding of what's in store.
>
> I am looking for recommendations on which editor to use. It looks like the
> options are structured FM and Arbortext editor. I already have FM9 and have
> a couple of years of experience generating unstructured FM, but the boss
> indicates he is willing to purchase the Arbortext editor and whatever
> technical support is necessary to get us up and running.
>
> I would certainly appreciate any advice or war stories you are willing to
> share, particulary with classroom training from PTC (the inventors of
> Arbortext).
>
> Thanks,
>
> Mike Johnson
> Syracuse, Utah
>
--
Paul Nagai








--
Paul Nagai
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References:
Structured FM versus Arbortext Editor: From: Michael Johnson

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