Re: RoboHelp 9 vs. Flare 7

Subject: Re: RoboHelp 9 vs. Flare 7
From: Rick Stone <rstone75 -at- kc -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 07 Feb 2012 12:19:54 -0600

Hi all

@Leonard - That's interesting. Perhaps we are just talking semantics here, but the "code" you pointed out seems to me to be HTML code, no?

I'm really NOT trying to instigate a flame war between the Madcap folks and Adobe or anyone else affected, but it would be seriously helpful for those of us trying to make sense of all this if we could all agree on some common ground when referring to these buzz terms. And I do think that some use them precisely as that so as to paint product N in a better light by claiming it's more modern because it's "XML based".

I stand to be corrected on this as I'm not really a person deeply rooted in XML (and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I can't fake being one) but it seems early on that the Flare folks were saying that all their content was stored as "XML" when in fact it was "XHTML". Now perhaps XHTML actually *IS* a valid XML format. As I stated earlier, I'm no XML guru. I've heard many claims that certain things "validate", so it must be XML. And other claims that the DTD doesn't reference a valid structure (or something like that) so the claim is invalid.

I believe RoboHelp topics (HTML Pages) are also stored as XHTML. And I know that the RoboHelp project files are now almost all based on the more open and actual XML format. I'm not a Flare user, but I'm guessing that Flare operates in nearly the same way.

It would just be rather refreshing to see something clearly explained in simple terms we can all understand instead of everyone beating each other over the heads with buzzwords and making nebulous claims that are shrouded in confusion. And I do mean all sides of this equation, not just one. ;)

Cheers... Rick :)



On 2/7/2012 11:14 AM, Porrello, Leonard wrote:

This is almost right. Flare is "XML-based." If you look at the actual code, however, you find that Flare uses proprietary tags (such as this: "p class="Bullet1" MadCap:autonum=""). This means you cannot simply reuse Flare content in non-Flare based systems. Help& Manual, in contrast, works with and enables you to author in only (well-formed) XML. It also saves all topics in XML.

Having said that, I would add that in itself Flare seems to work pretty well as a content management system.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Will Husa Documentation Solutions
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2012 8:30 AM
To: 'Julie Stickler'; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: RoboHelp 9 vs. Flare 7

The difference is that MadCap Flare is XML and RoboHelp is HTML.

> From a posting on http://www.w3schools.com/xml/xml_whatis.asp:

XML was designed to transport and store data, with focus on what data is.
HTML was designed to display data, with focus on how data looks.

That's why Flare is better for content management and RoboHelp is better for WebHelp.


=============================
Will Husa
Technical Writer
Will Husa Documentation Solutions
Phone: 708.927.3569
Skype ID: william.husa
will -dot- husa -at- 4techwriter -dot- com



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+will -dot- husa=4techwriter -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+will -dot- husa=4techwriter -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Julie Stickler
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2012 9:11 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: RoboHelp 9 vs. Flare 7

I know that. But I found Craig's recommendation, which mentions that both handle WebHelp well, was a bit confusing. Really, if they both handle it well, then what does he see as the difference?



On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM, Rick Stone<rstone75 -at- kc -dot- rr -dot- com> wrote:
RoboHelp offers Word format as an output option. Seem's it's always
offered that format. It does require that Word is installed in order
to offer that option. I'm not sure if Flare has the same requirements.


On 2/6/2012 5:13 PM, Julie Stickler wrote:
On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 3:20 PM, Cardimon, Craig<ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>
wrote:
If your output is primarily WebHelp, then RoboHelp is the better
selection.
By the same token, if your output is PDF, WORD and WebHelp, then
MadCap Flare is the better selection.
So, if you're not single-sourcing, buy RoboHelp, but if you are
single-sourcing buy Flare? Why not just go with Flare, because
sooner or later you KNOW someone is going to ask "Can you give that
to me in Word format?"



--
Julie Stickler
http://heratech.wordpress.com/
Blogging about Agile and technical writing ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


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Follow-Ups:

References:
RoboHelp 9 vs. Flare 7: From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: RoboHelp 9 vs. Flare 7: From: Julie Stickler
Re: RoboHelp 9 vs. Flare 7: From: Rick Stone
Re: RoboHelp 9 vs. Flare 7: From: Julie Stickler
RE: RoboHelp 9 vs. Flare 7: From: Will Husa Documentation Solutions
RE: RoboHelp 9 vs. Flare 7: From: Porrello, Leonard

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