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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] "WYSIWYG Writer" Friendly Editing Tools

Hi, Eric:

My organization here at Sun uses FrameMaker+XML for authoring DocBook-compliant
documents. We use a subset of DocBook, not a complete DocBook installation.

For those items that Frame cannot handle directly, we use the FDK to perform
any adjustments we need when exporting XML output, and importing XML back into
Frame.  We rely on a standard set of Sun-specific templates/formats for styling
and applying formats to the XML elements.

Like the group you are working with, our writers have used FrameMaker for years
and like the WYSIWYG capabilities that FrameMaker has, especially for
structured authoring. It was one of the deciding factors for remaining
with Frame for XML authoring.  Many of our writers have been exposed to native
XML editors and were adamant about sticking with a WYSIWYG editing tool (that
in addition to the fact that not all of our documents are XML-based).

If you'd be willing to share what those "items are that FrameMaker cannot
handle yet," we might have some suggestions for you.  If you'd like to take
this communication off the alias, please feel free to contact me directly.


Patricia Gee
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
SG Technical Publication Services
Authoring Environment Lead
Austin, Texas

> One of the issues facing the writing group with which I work is
> finding tools that are "WYSIWYG writer" friendly so that the majority
> of writers in the group don't immediately give up on writing
> documentation in XML because "it looks ugly", "I don't know what it
> will look like when I'm done", "it looks too much like code", "there
> is no support for automatically keeping track of cross reference
> anchors", and so on. There is a long history of Frame Maker use in the
> group and an ongoing effort to make Frame Maker, using a template that
> looks and feels exactly like our old unstructured Frame Maker
> template, edit Docbook XML. The effort to make Frame Maker work as a
> Docbook editor has gotten close, but  there are a number of things it
> just cannot handle yet and I'd much rather spend my time, and that of
> the other writers, getting comfortable with a lighter weight tool that
> actually is built for working with XML.
> Does anybody have suggestions for either an XML editor that is close
> to WYSIWYG and supports text entities? XXE does a great job with
> WYSIWYG, but does not support text entities.
> Suggestions about how to break the dependency on WYSIWYG would also be
> greatly appreciated.

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