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Re: XML DTDs -- offtopic?

I'm no expert on this subject, but you would be better off with the SGML
version.  And you might want to ask yourself this question.  How many days
of your time making a custom solution with regular FM before you've chewed
up the cost of FM+SGML and still don't have a working solution?  Not many.
Not that many hours in fact.  You may even be able to get an upgrade price
if you move from plain vanilla FM to the SGML version.  If you had FM+SGML
and a good database, then you stand a fighting chance of creating the home
grown kind of system you describe.  If you're starting from FM you've got a
much tougher job.  Being able to export the document as an SGML instance
will get you very far down the road.  If you author in plain FM, then have
to move to something else to wrap your document to comply with your DTD,
then on to a database, you've got more work to do and may even lose most of
the benefit of authoring in FM.  I'd take a serious look at re-evaluating
my budget if I were you.  You could kill a month of work getting to first
base, which is where the purchase of FM+SGML will get you.

- web

At 1:29 PM -0600 12/10/98, manderson@amlibs.com wrote:
>Um, this is sort of offtopic, but I couldn't think
>of a better group to ask -- the XML listservs are
>all clogged up with "Why Standard XYZ sucks/rulez" posts
>and don't seem to be interested in the sort of question
>I've got.
>With that in mind, here's my question:
>I am starting to design DTDs for the set of manuals I
>support. One of my design goals is to support "revision marking"
>at the paragraph level -- so that each paragraph can store a
>number that indicates how many times it has been revised since
>the last full manual release, as well as who revised it and when.
>So, does anyone have any recommendations regarding how this
>might be achieved (ideally, in an efficient and elegant way, but
>I'll settle for anything)??
>I am considering giving every element in my DTD a "RevNum"
>attribute, but that seems kind of brute-force -- and then I'm a bit
>worried about the implications for parent/child elements.
>I am also considering using an XML+Database solution for some of these
>docs, if that makes a difference . . . I'll be custom-building one, since I
>can't even afford FM+SGML, never mind a full-blown DMS.
>HOW this relates to Framemaker:
>Well, I'm writing the docs in FM, and will be using the XML capabilities
>(or lack thereof) that are supposedly found in the next version of FM.
>Anyway, does anyone have recommendations? I expect that this sort
>of thing has been handled for *ages* in the SGML world, which I'm
>not even remotely familiar with right now.
>Martin Anderson
>ALS Evanston
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