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Subject: Re: [dita] Framemaker and DITA compliance

On 7/15/09 2:48 PM, "Dana Spradley" <dana.spradley@oracle.com> wrote:

> It's been awhile since I used Framemaker - but as I recall it used to use
> non-standard configuration files, but loosely related to standard DTDs, and
> require read/write rules to output standard XML.
> Is this still the case?
> If it is, the it's got me wondering: in what sense can they claim compliance
> with either our document or our DTD module specifications?

Framemaker's proprietary configuration mechanisms cannot, of course, be
conforming vocabulary modules, but I don't see that that's a problem.

A more useful question would be: is there an automatic process by which you
can get from a conforming shell document type and set of vocabulary modules
to a working Framemaker configuration set via some automatic process? The
theoretical answer is "yes" but I don't know if such a tool exists. That
would be of interest to potential Framemaker users who want to be able to
develop and use new vocabulary modules and have the cost of their use with
Framemaker be as low as possible (helping them to realize the general
promise of cost savings that DITA's standardized module implementation
approach enables).

Framemaker in particular is hampered by a poor architectural decision made
20 years ago in the design of the EDD that did not allow the binding of
style to elements based on attribute values, only tag names. This makes it
impossible to have a single EDD that will handle any DITA document in the
normal DITA class-based way. One has to ask why Adobe has not fixed this
aspect of Framemaker. I know others have worked or supply tools that will
generate EDDs for specific specializations and that should work fine,
although it adds effort to the task of adapting Framemaker to specific sets
of modules.

But I think the more important question for editors is: does is it or can it
*directly* produce conforming DITA documents?

The answer for Framemaker should be "yes", but again I don't know if it
is--if you have to put a transform between the output of an editor and
conforming DITA, then the answer is "no".

Because Framemaker also does composition and is sold as a DITA-aware
composition system, the other conformance question is "does it's composition
conform to the processing requirements of the DITA standard?"



Eliot Kimber | Senior Solutions Architect | Really Strategies, Inc.
email:  ekimber@reallysi.com <mailto:ekimber@reallysi.com>
office: 610.631.6770 | cell: 512.554.9368
2570 Boulevard of the Generals | Suite 213 | Audubon, PA 19403
www.reallysi.com <http://www.reallysi.com>  | http://blog.reallysi.com
<http://blog.reallysi.com> | www.rsuitecms.com <http://www.rsuitecms.com> 

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