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RE: [xml-doc] content tools and XML

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  • melvin.freeman@afscn.com
    The easiest way to validate documents before passing them into a publications process is with a parser and a text editor ideally with an error stream that is
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 1, 2004
      The easiest way to validate documents before passing them into a
      publications process is with a parser and a text editor ideally with an
      error stream that is tied to the editing window so the editor can put you on
      the suspected error line. A submitted manuscript that needs more validation
      than this misses the point of submitting manuscripts in XML. I cannot
      imagine considering Word for this task.

      I admit to not being familiar with Serna and XMLMind, but I believe that you
      can rank editors as one of three types:

      1. Raw text editors with or without an XML parser hooked in. You are looking
      at tags and must be able to divorce yourself from the need to see formatted
      output in order to orient yourself and understand the document content. I
      have for years used Codewright in this fashion with simple colorization of
      the XML source and with a parser hooked in. Table editing can be very
      difficult using tools like this.

      2. The vast middle ground of structured editors that USE XML AS THEIR NATIVE
      FILE FORMAT and represent the XML document in some pseudo-wysiwyg way to try
      to facilitate authoring and editing. Arbortext EPIC is the most mature in
      this category. I suspect but don't assert that XMLSpy, Serna, and XMLMind
      would also be in this category. Implicit with this group and with the first
      group is that there is some other process that follows along to provide
      formatted output or other processing.

      3. Full WYSIWYG tools where XML is an available through export, but is not
      the native file format. These tools have as their primary purpose
      page-oriented formatted output. Framemaker is obviously in this group as
      would be Word and Interleaf. I think it is a misnomer to use the word "XML
      editor" to refer to these tools. Were I considering Framemaker as my tool of
      choice, I would be saying that I wanted to use it primarily for the purpose
      for which it was designed while still retaining the possibility of exporting
      to XML for other purposes. I say possibility because there is a fundamental
      difference between tools that have XML as their native file format and those
      that must rely on export. Import/export implies conversion/transformation
      that may not give you back what you put in. I concede that it is possible to
      get fairly clean XML out of Framemaker, but caution that doing so almost
      always requires a helper application and cannot be achieved through
      read/write rules alone. And, because these tools allow it, the author may
      stray away from the structure which results in, on export, something quite
      different than you expect. I haven't looked at the XML from Word 2003, but
      given the agenda that Microsoft has, I doubt that it is very clean. My
      suspicion is that Word will "supplement" the XML with what it needs to
      re-import the XML back in and make it a Word document again and that means
      post-processing and filtering the XML after export.

      If my assumptions are incorrect, correct them. It seems timely to explore
      these question further and formalize the result. Perhaps I should do that.


      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Kevin Dwan [mailto:kevind@...]
      > Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 10:30 AM
      > To: xml-doc@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [xml-doc] content tools and XML
      >
      >
      > I found the "Migrating from FrameMaker to XML Publishing?"
      > comments very
      > interesting.
      >
      > What I 'm going to be investigating is whether WYSIWYG tools such as
      > XMLmind and Serna, and perhaps Word 2003 (Word 11) are
      > suitable for use on
      > simple documents by authors who are not XML/FrameMaker/ArborText
      > professionals, but who want to be able to validate manuscripts before
      > passing them into the publication processes.
      >
      > On another subject, I am interested to know if others have
      > experience or
      > information about tools such as Miramo and Documentum.
      >
      > Kevin Dwan voice: 707-823-7077
      > kevind@...
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Eoin Campbell
      If you have authors who are not familiar with the tools that support structured authoring, why would XMLmind or Serna be any improvement on
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 2, 2004
        If you have authors who are not familiar with the
        tools that support structured authoring, why would XMLmind or Serna
        be any improvement on FrameMaker/Arbortext?

        If the documents are simple, do you need a structured editor at all?

        Based on my quick review of Word 11 (2003), it is not yet ready for
        structured authoring using its XML capabilities. Perhaps Word 13 (2007)?

        If you want authors to be able to validate structures,
        but avoid using structured/expensive/non-standard editing applications,
        you could consider introducing them to the concepts by writing structured Word
        first (using styles), and then migrate them upwards towards
        dedicated tools later, if necessary.

        Structured Word can be used for simple documents, and an Word-to-XML converter
        used to transform into XML.

        At 17:54 01/03/2004, you wrote:
        >From: Kevin Dwan [mailto:kevind@...]
        >Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 11:30 AM
        >To: xml-doc@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [xml-doc] content tools and XML
        >
        >I found the "Migrating from FrameMaker to XML Publishing?" comments very
        >
        >interesting.
        >
        >What I 'm going to be investigating is whether WYSIWYG tools such as
        >XMLmind and Serna, and perhaps Word 2003 (Word 11) are suitable for use
        >on
        >simple documents by authors who are not XML/FrameMaker/ArborText
        >professionals, but who want to be able to validate manuscripts before
        >passing them into the publication processes.

        --
        Eoin Campbell, Technical Director, XML Workshop Ltd.
        10 Greenmount Industrial Estate, Harolds Cross, Dublin, Ireland.
        Phone: +353 1 4547811; fax: +353 1 4496299.
        Email: ecampbell@...; web: www.xmlw.ie
        YAWC: One-click web publishing from Word!
        YAWC Pro: www.yawcpro.com
        YAWC Online: www.yawconline.com
      • Oliver Meyer
        Dear Eoin ... Eoin If you want authors to be able to validate structures, but Eoin avoid using structured/expensive/non-standard editing Eoin applications,
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 2, 2004
          Dear Eoin

          >>>>> "Eoin" == Eoin Campbell <ecampbell@...> writes:

          Eoin> If you want authors to be able to validate structures, but
          Eoin> avoid using structured/expensive/non-standard editing
          Eoin> applications, you could consider introducing them to the
          Eoin> concepts by writing structured Word first (using styles),
          Eoin> and then migrate them upwards towards dedicated tools later,
          Eoin> if necessary.

          Your unexperienced writers do not get immediate feedback on what they
          are doing correctly and what they I doing incorrectly. If they don't
          apply a style, but format their text instance based, they will be
          informed on what to change next time, only after you did the
          transformation step and gave them some feedback.

          I assume, that using a structured editor that does incremental
          validation is a better way to teach them what structured texts really
          should be. Of course they must still be allowed to derivate from the
          given structure while creating their text.

          Oliver


          --
          ------------ DISCLAIMER: I do not speak for anyone but myself. ----------
          Oliver Meyer omeyer@...-aachen.de
          phone: +49 (2 41) 80 - 2 13 13 Department of Computer Science III
          fax: +49 (2 41) 80 - 2 22 18 Aachen University of Technology
        • saqibfobia
          ... Hello, Here is a list of some XML editors that I found useful http://www.xml-dev.com/blog/#19 XMLWriter and XMLMind are very nice and are WYSIWYG Morphon
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 7, 2004
            > What I 'm going to be investigating is whether WYSIWYG tools such as
            > XMLmind and Serna, and perhaps Word 2003 (Word 11) are suitable for use on
            > simple documents by authors who are not XML/FrameMaker/ArborText
            > professionals, but who want to be able to validate manuscripts before
            > passing them into the publication processes.

            Hello,

            Here is a list of some XML editors that I found useful http://www.xml-dev.com/blog/#19

            XMLWriter and XMLMind are very nice and are WYSIWYG

            Morphon is a free opensource application, that is very easy to use.

            In Peace,
            Saqib Ali
            http://validate.sf.net (X)HTML / DocBook XML Validator and Transformer
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