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Re: XML cookbook questions

Sorry it took a while for me to comment on the replies I got.

> As it stands now, there's only one way to learn about proper structured 
> design criteria and EDDs and read/write rules and appdefs and templates, 
> and that's to jump into the Developer's Guide with both feed and struggle 
> through it, then create structured apps, and learn from your own mistakes.

I've already realized that, and I should have explained that I was looking
for a good introduction to using Structured Authoring and XML with FM,
explaining the user interface and the basics. I'm not in the need for a
complete run-through of creating a new XML application, but rather a
"tutorial" designed for writers using an existing XML application, but
still explaining the workings of FM behind the scenes (EDD, R/W rules, etc).

As a result, I've written my own overview of XML with FM, together with
a revised set of steps to run through the XML Cookbook in FM7. In that
process, I think I've come across another bug in the cookbook files:
The finalized XML file in the Completed folder seems to use the XML tags
with a different case compared to the original files and the DTD.
Chapter vs. chapter, TopicXRef vs topicxref, IndexEntry vs indexentry, etc.
If I'm not mistaken, XML is case-sensitive...

> > When describing how to add EDD format rules on pages 49-70,
> > there's a clear emphasis on specifying repeated formatting
> > overrides, instead of referencing tags in the template.
> > Is there a reason this method is preferred? 
> I've come to love the method of using just one (ONE) paragraph format in
> my documents, and relying on the structure for applying the correct
> formatting. In that way you can exploit the hierachy of the elements for
> formatting, and create hierachical formats (like Word?)
> When you apply a paragraph format to an element this inheritance is
> broken and all props of that paragraph format are taken as new starting
> point.

I guess you have to get used to it, but I still find it awkward and
contradictice to the idea of templates. When using Unstructured FM you're
supposed to always use pre-defined template formats with no overrides,
but when switching to "Structured" FM you're supposed to ignore the
formats in the structured template and always create overrides. Odd.
And the cookbook doesn't explain the benefits at all!

> Thomas raises some questions of accuracy and sense in the Cookbook. There
> are some errors in the material that causes examples to fail. Searching the
> FrameUser, User-to-User form, and free-framers archives, as well as the
> Adobe KnowledgeBase should provide the specific errors and fixes.

I was aware of the possible errors in the cookbook files, but when I
checked, the files in my installation didn't contain the reported errors.
Perhaps they've been corrected in later "builds" of the FM7 CD?

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Thomas Michanek, FrameMaker/UNIX/MIF expert
Technical Communicator, Uppsala, Sweden
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