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Re: EDD Format Design Approaches

>> The paragraph mapping regimen imposed by WWP and similar products is a 
>> dinosaur approach fraught with difficulties, and ought not to drive EDD 

>> development. When a better approach comes along, old tools should be 
>> abandoned. The better approach is to export structured docs to XML, and 

>> create XSL/XSLT instances for each document type.
> I don't care to attempt to redo WebWorks Help in my spare time. XSL/XSLT 
> a good approach in the case where you need plain HTML, HTML Help, or 
> JavaHelp, but both Quadralay (WebWorks Help) and eHelp (WebHelp) have 
> created very nice, very slick cross-browser, cross-platform HTML 
> There's significant value in being able to use these canned solutions 
> instead of reinventing the wheel.

Perhaps if your definition of "cross-platform" is "Works on Windows 98,
Windows 2000, and Windows XP." :-) At least on the content generation 

WWP-crippled runs on MacOS, at least currently, and is at least good
for generating a skeletal XSL file from a structured Frame document
(quite useful with a little taxidermy). I don't remember whether it
runs on any other commercial Unix at all. OTOH, there are plenty of
XSLT tools that run on both commercial & free Un*x systems, including
OSX, that don't require using Windows to do anything useful.

I've experimented with WWP, and would guess that the amount of effort
required to do anything beyond its canned output formats would be
similar to that required to set up a decent XSL transform. If you
have unstructured docs, WWP is probably the way to go though.

Larry Kollar, Senior Technical Writer, ARRIS
"Content creators are the engine that drives
value in the information life cycle."
    -- Barry Schaeffer, on XML-Doc

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