Re: IBM syntax diagrams: how do they do it?

Subject: Re: IBM syntax diagrams: how do they do it?
From: winnga -at- us -dot- ibm -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 14:05:02 -0500

At 08:04 10/12/99 -0400, Chris Hamilton wrote:
>Does anyone know what IBM does to create these diagrams? Is there an
>quicker way, maybe an automated way of creating this?

Jean responded:
<<Those syntax diagrams were probably produced using IBM's markup language,
BookMaster. It has a detailed set of markup commands covering all the
arguments, sub-arguments, and stuff I don't remember the names of. The
BookMaster compiler turns all that into the tidy diagrams you see in their
manuals.
>>

I had to do a bit of research to find out how we did create those diagrams,
which is why my response is a bit late in coming.

They are called c-graphics (character graphics) that were created in an OS/2
notepad-like editor. This is much the same as signature files in e-mail (just
ASCII text with the appropriate lines, etc). These were then pasted into the
SGML editor we use. Prior to the editor we use now, IBM used Bookmaster, where
you could do the same thing.

However, many c-graphics have been converted into plain old images.

So Chris, you can create them using a plain text editor like Notepad, then
import them into an SGML document, OR you can create simple graphics that do the
same thing. The graphics would probably be the easiest way to go unless you use
an SGML editor that can handle these kinds of graphics.

If you have any questions (I am writing this very quickly), let me know.

Garrett

"The force is like Duct Tape - it has a dark side, it has a light side, and it
binds the universe together!"
Garrett Winn
Technical Writer
Dept. 533 004-1/J102
3-6918






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