Re: Indices in FrameMaker

Subject: Re: Indices in FrameMaker
From: Frank Stearns <franks -at- FSATOOLS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 1994 14:25:34 -0800

> > >I've seen a couple different index programs for FrameMaker, and
> > >I'm not impressed. I have not found a program that will do
> > >what a talented, human indexer can do.

> I'm a big believer in indexing. It's going to take a really
> powerful AI program to replace a human indexer. Merely selecting
> keywords or grabbing terms from headings is completely inadequate.
> And putting the associated page numbers of ALL keywords in an Index
> can include many meaningless hits.

You're right on all counts. The *primary* design goal in our toolset for
index building in FrameMaker was never to replace the human, but to
improve the tools used for indexing in FrameMaker. Right in the
introduction of the manual for our tool, IXgen, we state that hopefully
with good tools, there will be time to do real indexing, rather than

To quote ourselves :) -

"Indexing, in its most pure form, is an art. Creating a good index takes
practice, several iterations, and a broad knowledge of the subject
matter... Because IXgen makes the mechanics of marker placement so much
easier, creating a genuine index will be feasible where perhaps only a
concordance was practical."

Know that there is at least one vendor who has been "in the trenches".
Our tool design was based on experience, not marketing guesses or glitz.

While some of the IXgen tools do just the very basics, such as grabbing and
permuting headings, IXgen also has a unique keyword mechanism. User-tunable
filters are included to reduce bogus hits; plus the keyword system can
run interactively or in batch mode.

Perhaps of most value to pro indexers, though, is the tool which allows
essentially "free editing" of a marker list.

There are other tools we will add as time goes by, but for anyone who has
done FM indexes with just the marker window, IXgen is an enormous help.

+ --------------------------------------------------------------------- +
| Frank Stearns Associates | Developers of Tools for FrameMaker(r) |
| franks -at- fsatools -dot- com | Developers of Custom Software Tools |
| 206/892-3970 fx:206/253-1498 | Makers of IXgen, FM2A, & Hypergen |
+ --------------------------------------------------------------------- +

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