Comparing DITA Support in XMetaL and FrameMaker

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  • Comparing DITA Support in XMetaL and FrameMaker

    1. 1. Comparing DITA support in XMetaL and FrameMaker <ul><ul><li>Simon Bate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scriptorium Publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.scriptorium.com </li></ul></ul>
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Authoring </li></ul><ul><li>Conditional processing </li></ul><ul><li>Generating output </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-references and conrefs </li></ul><ul><li>Map files </li></ul><ul><li>Specialization </li></ul><ul><li>Consider your needs </li></ul>
    3. 3. About the presenter <ul><li>Based in Research Triangle, North Carolina </li></ul><ul><li>Senior Technical Consultant at Scriptorium </li></ul><ul><li>30+ years experience in Technical Publications </li></ul><ul><li>Long-time FrameMaker user </li></ul><ul><li>Instructor for Scriptorium classes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>XMetaL DITA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>XSL in Publications </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. A note about Scriptorium <ul><li>Affiliated with Adobe as Adobe Authorized Training Center </li></ul><ul><li>Affiliated with JustSystems as a Certified Services Partner </li></ul><ul><li>Nonetheless, I think you'll find this presentation quite candid about each tool's strengths and weaknesses. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Questions <ul><li>Please ask questions. </li></ul><ul><li>I may defer some questions to the end of the presentation. </li></ul>
    6. 6. FrameMaker highlights <ul><li>High-quality print/PDF output </li></ul><ul><li>Formatting control is built in </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to &quot;tweak&quot; formatting, such as page breaks </li></ul><ul><li>WYSIWYG for print/PDF </li></ul>
    7. 7. XMetaL highlights <ul><li>Ability to edit XML directly </li></ul><ul><li>Integration with DITA Open Toolkit </li></ul><ul><li>Not WYSIWYG for print </li></ul><ul><li>Specialization support </li></ul><ul><li>DITA 1.1 support </li></ul>
    8. 9. XMetaL Authoring highlights <ul><li>Code (&quot;plain text&quot;) view </li></ul><ul><li>Structure view (block only)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Format-neutral WYSIOO presentation </li></ul><ul><li>No invalid content allowed </li></ul><ul><li>Elements grouped by type (Insert menu)‏ </li></ul>
    9. 11. FrameMaker authoring highlights <ul><li>WYSIWYG for print/PDF </li></ul><ul><li>Structure view is complete </li></ul><ul><li>Document window/structure view combination </li></ul><ul><li>Invalid content allowed </li></ul>
    10. 12. Conditional processing in FrameMaker <ul><li>Traditional FrameMaker conditions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 8.0, allows expressions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FM information is saved in XML output </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But the information is not DITA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use attributes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Special > Filter by attributes </li></ul></ul>
    11. 13. ditaval files <ul><li>FrameMaker: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only when using DITA Open Toolkit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>XMetaL: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>hidden by conditional GUI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Export to create ditaval file </li></ul></ul>
    12. 14. Generating output in XMetaL <ul><li>Open Toolkit </li></ul><ul><li>RenderX for PDF via Open Toolkit </li></ul><ul><li>HTML-based help </li></ul>
    13. 15. Generating output in FrameMaker <ul><li>PDF </li></ul><ul><li>Open Toolkit (install plug-in)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>FrameMaker book from DITA map </li></ul><ul><li>HTML-based help </li></ul>
    14. 16. Cross-references in FrameMaker <ul><li>FrameMaker <fm-xref> element </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only reference a selected set of elements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creates active links in PDF files </li></ul></ul><ul><li>DITA <xref> elements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can reference any element in any topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can contain alternate text (not just the title)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not create active links in PDF files </li></ul></ul>
    15. 17. Cross-references in XMetaL <ul><li>Insert > Link </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-reference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File reference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web link </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can change text in <xref> element </li></ul><ul><li>Converted correctly in Open Toolkit </li></ul>
    16. 18. conrefs in XMetaL
    17. 19. conrefs in FrameMaker
    18. 20. Map files in FrameMaker
    19. 21. Map files in XMetaL
    20. 22. Specialization <ul><li>XMetaL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many hooks for specialization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FrameMaker </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nothing built-in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could modify EDD </li></ul></ul>
    21. 23. Which has better DITA support? <ul><li>For print/PDF output: FrameMaker </li></ul><ul><li>For DITA authoring: XMetaL </li></ul><ul><li>For print WYSIWYG: FrameMaker </li></ul><ul><li>For output-neutral formatting: XMetaL </li></ul><ul><li>No clear winner. </li></ul>
    22. 24. How important is print publishing? <ul><li>It's much easier to produce high-end print/PDF from FrameMaker. </li></ul><ul><li>Print/PDF publishing through Open Toolkit is not satisfactory. </li></ul><ul><li>WYSIWYG presentation in FrameMaker is a plus for print-centric workflows. </li></ul><ul><li>WYSIOO presentation in XMetaL is a plus for authoring without focusing on print. </li></ul>
    23. 25. How much control should authors have? <ul><li>Because FrameMaker combines authoring and publishing, authors have more control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can create and publish with invalid content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>XMetaL enables DITA authoring; separates out publishing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not allow invalid content in normal authoring. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think workflow and sharing topics </li></ul></ul>
    24. 26. Do you need cross-browser, cross-platform help? <ul><li>HTMLHelp (CHM)‏ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not cross-platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>XMetaL and FrameMaker (3 rd -party or OT)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>XHTML-based Help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FrameMaker and 3 rd -party converters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Eclipse Help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>XMetaL and FrameMaker (via OT)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires Eclipse infrastructure </li></ul></ul>
    25. 27. Transition issues <ul><li>Current unstructured FrameMaker users will find structured FrameMaker easier than XMetaL (mostly). </li></ul><ul><li>Developer types may prefer XMetaL. </li></ul><ul><li>FrameMaker includes conversion utility. (Of course, you could convert in FrameMaker and then use the converted content in another XML tool.)‏ </li></ul>
    26. 28. Do you need to specialize? <ul><li>You will have to implement FrameMaker support yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>XMetaL supports use of specialized DTDs. </li></ul>
    27. 29. Graphics <ul><li>Many more formats supported in FrameMaker. </li></ul><ul><li>In XMetaL, PDF output with EPS images requires Acrobat Distiller. </li></ul><ul><li>Callouts a problem in either: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Layers in graphic file? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FrameMaker callouts are flattened on export to XML. </li></ul></ul>
    28. 30. Attributes <ul><li>Attributes Inspector (XMetaL) is easier to use than Attributes Editor (FrameMaker). </li></ul><ul><li>But...attributes show up in FrameMaker structure view and not in XMetaL structure view. </li></ul>
    29. 31. Summary <ul><li>Your priorities will dictate which tool is a better fit for your organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Each application has significant strengths and weaknesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Authoring paradigms are significantly different. </li></ul>
    30. 32. Resources <ul><li>DITA @ OASIS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/ tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=dita </li></ul></ul><ul><li>White papers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Available on CD at our booth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.scriptorium.com/papers.html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Please leave a business card or your email address if you want the handouts. </li></ul>
    31. 33. Contact information <ul><li>Simon Bate </li></ul><ul><li>Scriptorium Publishing Services </li></ul><ul><li>www.scriptorium.com </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>919 481-2701 x106 </li></ul>
    32. 34. Questions

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