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Subject: FW: [dita-translation] DITA FrameMaker AP and index markers

Title: DITA FrameMaker AP and index markers
Apologies for not forwarding this email last week.

Best Regards,

Gershon L Joseph
Member, OASIS DITA and DocBook Technical Committees
Director of Technology and Single Sourcing
Tech-Tav Documentation Ltd.


From: Farwell, Kevin [mailto:Kevin.Farwell@lionbridge.com]
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 10:38 PM
To: dita-translation@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [dita-translation] DITA FrameMaker AP and index markers


Gershon or JoAnn, could you please forward this to the extended list?

Since I had FrameMaker on my list for today, I went ahead and looked at some of the things we were talking about this morning. It might save others looking at the same thing. What I found was some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news. As expected, the feature of highlighting text and making it a marker is still there. Also as expected, that procedure doesn't convert the marker to markup, and the saved file has a typical unconverted index marker processing instruction (<?FM MARKER [Index] xxxxxx?>). Of course, this can be fixed with a custom DLL, but that isn't desirable in most cases.

The good news is that index markers can also be created by simply adding an empty <indexterm> element. This behaves like a marker in FrameMaker, starting with the marker dialog popping up, but is saved in proper markup. If a word is selected and the <indexterm> element applied, FrameMaker behaves just like any other XML editor. The selected text is wrapped in <indexterm> and is removed from the flow of the sentence.

To be clear in what is good and bad about the news, as far as marker handling goes, these application packs add nothing, but neither do they take anything away. FrameMaker works just like it did on September 6th. The good part is the structured applications work as they should, at least as far as index markers are concerned. That isn't always something you can hang your hat on.

It seems to me that this still isn't an issue that needs to be addressed with best practices, and it also seems to me that users will teach themselves very quickly that they should break the habit of selecting text to build an index. If they try to make indexes as they've done for years, they get a visual clue, in the form of a line break (at least out of the box) where other inline elements don't break, that their markup is not correct. On the other hand, if they intend to use DITA markup but stay in FrameMaker, which is what I assumed from the start was Adobe's marketing strategy, they can make indexes any way they want.

Since I'm up my elbows in this for the next couple of days, if you have any questions you can send them over.


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