[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next]
[Date Index] [Thread Index] [New search]

Re: XML cookbook questions


> > 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!
> From the end user's perspective, no formatting is an override if it
> is automatically applied. Why should someone using a structured template
> even be aware of whether the automatic formatting uses paragraph and
> character catalog formats or merely sets some properties?

Again, I'm just a beginner at this, and I'm trying to get a grip on
things without having to read the Developer's Guide PDF from cover to
cover. That's why I'm referring to what the Cookbook says (or doesn't).
Even though I'm not focusing on becoming a full-fledge XML application
designer, I still want to understand the basics. So, my comment wasn't
made from the perspective of a writer only using a structured template,
but from the EDD designer's.

I've only seen a few examples of simple EDDs and structured templates,
but it still strikes me as odd that the structured template does contain
a normal set of paragraph and character tags, which are then referred
to in only very limited ways from the EDD. For instance, in the XML
Cookbook files, the generic heading element <Head> is defined to have
different paragraph formatting depending on the heading level (by
counting ancestors). The text format rules set a number of formatting
properties explicitly, despite the fact that the structured template
already contains the exact same heading formatting defined as paragraph
tags! (which is true for all elements corresponding to paragraphs).
What's the point in defining *both* tags and EDD formatting properties,
identical in appearance? It seems like double work to me, espcially so
when the interface to set the properties in the EDD is quite cumbersome
compared to the Paragraph Designer. Maybe the idea is that you should
be able to create unstructured documents using the same template?

> I find it much easier to maintain a structured template when the EDD
> often uses hierarchical styles that set only relevant properties rather
> than referring to paragraph and character catalog entries.

I'll probably realize this the more I work in structured mode, but
wouldn't it be a good idea for a "cookbook" to emphasize the advantages?
In my case, the XML Cookbook is my first introduction to Structured
Authoring, and I actually did expect to receive good design advice.
The cookbook simply says: "Formatting can be applied by either
associating a paragraph format or by supplying specific property values."
It then gives examples of both approaches, without further comments or
mentioning things like formatting inheritance or hiearchical styles.

Thanks for all your help, I need it :-)

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

** To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@omsys.com **
** with "unsubscribe framers" (no quotes) in the body.   **