Re: Script to Wordperfect conversion

Subject: Re: Script to Wordperfect conversion
From: Chet Ensign <chet -at- LDS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 15:04:45 -0400

William J. Hartzer writes"

>We here at Fischer International have hundreds of documents
> in Script format, which we use on VM. In our emphasis to move
> down to the desktop, we are in the process of converting
> our Script (SGML) documents on VM to Wordperfect5.1/5.2,
> and have to convert them manually.

Actually, part of your difficulty is that Script files *aren't* SGML.
Script is a mainframe-based tagging language much more
like Troff or Tex than SGML. (Script et al are procedural markup. They
tell the processor "put out text... put out text... now change the format
to this... put out more text, etc." SGML is object-oriented markup that
defines text as being one kind of text element or another -- actually,
that's a bit too simplistic, but for this explanation, it will do.)

Part of the problem with languages like Script (and word processors as
well) is that any power user can come along and define a new Script
macro to do something unique for their document. When you come
along, developing a conversion routine, you haven't planned on that
new macro and **boom** -- no more converting going on.

At my last job, I faced a fair amount of Script conversion. Some of our
authors were serious Script fans, and they'd managed to put together
documents with recursive calls to other documents four or five macros
deep. There's a real world limit to how much you can automate the
conversion of something like that.

If you really had SGML, you'd be in much better shape. You could
purchase Intellitag from WordPerfect and write rule sets to turn
your SGML input into WordPerfect files.

Or better yet, you could use SGML for what it is really made for; program
and product independence. You could get a PC-based SGML editor
like Author/Editor from SoftQuad or InContext from XSoft, download the
SGML files from your mainframe environment, open them up and go
back to work.

Short of that, you might try contacting a service company that specializes
in this sort of work. The one I've used is Data Conversion Laboratory in
Queens, NY. You'll probably find their ad in one of the STC publications.
You could contact them and ask for Tom Brady. He could explain what
they can do. (If you do call him, tell him I gave you his name. I'm sure
by now I owe him some favors.)

Hope this helps.


Chet Ensign
Director, Electronic Publishing
Logical Design Solutions, Inc.

Phone: (908) 771-9221
Email: chet -at- lds -dot- com

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