Strategies For Conditional Content

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Comparison of the different ways you can specify conditional content in both regular and structured FrameMaker 8.

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Strategies For Conditional Content

  1. 1. Strategies for Conditional Text in FrameMaker 8 Terry Smith DITA/TECHCOMM November 2008
  2. 2. About the presenter Technical Consultant, Scriptorium Publishing, based in Research Triangle Park, NC FrameMaker ACE Authored updates to Publishing Fundamentals: FrameMaker 8
  3. 3. Agenda Purpose of conditional content Marking text as conditional Options for processing conditional content in unstructured FrameMaker Attribute filtering in structured FrameMaker
  4. 4. Determine the conditional text “dimensions” you need
  5. 5. Which content can be conditional?
  6. 6. Marking conditional content in regular FrameMaker Choice 1: Never allow condition tags to overlap Choice 2: Always (or just sometimes) allow overlapping condition tags
  7. 7. Regular FrameMaker Show/Hide conditions: Each condition is either showing or hidden (despite misleading Conditional Text dialog box that implies other options). Conditional expressions: These let you combine conditional operators (those used in Boolean expressions) for more flexibility.
  8. 8. Traditional conditional text: applying one tag only Good: Easy to see which condition tags are applied. Bad: May need lots of condition tags.
  9. 9. One tag only: up to 32 condition tags needed
  10. 10. Traditional conditional text: layering every condition tag that applies Good: May need (somewhat) fewer tags. Bad: Difficult to manage the tags.
  11. 11. Layering condition tags: only 18 tags (not 32)
  12. 12. Layered tags hard to manage
  13. 13. Demo of Show/Hide conditions Applying conditions Show/Hide Showing condition indicators
  14. 14. Conditional expressions require minimum number of condition tags
  15. 15. Conditional Expressions Mix of condition tags (some layered, some not) = Challenging conditional expressions Consistently layered tagging = easy conditional expressions
  16. 16. Demo of conditional expressions Building an expression Showing “as per expression”
  17. 17. Condition tags retained in XML, but not part of structure
  18. 18. Structured FrameMaker Attributes and filtering available for structured FrameMaker only. Filter which conditional content shows in output based on attributes. Filtering is at the element level.
  19. 19. Marking conditional content in structured FrameMaker Specify only one value for a single attribute. You can specify values for multiple attributes.
  20. 20. Attribute filtering goes beyond conditional text functionality Can filter on multiple attributes. Product = “Pro” AND Output = “Print” AND Platform = “UNIX” Conditional tags are always combined as OR. Excellent approach for content with numerous conditions.
  21. 21. Downside: Visual indicators not available You Cannot use colors to indicate attribute filtering unless you add on to FrameMaker: ABCM Sourcerer Custom FDK client FrameScript
  22. 22. Structured FrameMaker setup Your document's structure must allow some attributes you can use for your conditional content.
  23. 23. Add attributes for filtering to EDD Add attributes to all elements you may want to make conditional. For XML, you need to change the files that make up the structured application to process any attributes you add. No additional changes needed for print and PDF (Save As PDF).
  24. 24. Marking structured content as conditional Specify one value for attribute. Structure may allow multiple values for a single attribute, but filter by attribute doesn’t process multiple values on a single attribute. You can specify both condition tags and attributes, but you can only use one to set which conditions show in FrameMaker.
  25. 25. Demo of filter by attribute Specify attribute values. Build filter. Apply filter. Validate for each attribute filter.
  26. 26. Contact information Scriptorium Publishing Research Triangle Park, NC, USA www.scriptorium.com tsmith@scriptorium.com 919-481-2701, x113

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