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Re: Single-sourcing: the possible dream? Mif2go, etc.

hedley_finger@myob.com.au wrote:
> Framers:
> Have any of you gone down the path of single-sourcing FrameMaker
> documents
> to produce Win HTML Help, generic Web pages, etc?

We produce:
- PDF for paper
- PDF for online (blue underlined xrefs and other links)
- HTML online docs using a 3-frame frameset (for web or CD)
- Context sensitive online help using DHTML
- Can produce, but no one has requested it, WinHelp and HTML Help 
  (Most target systems are UNIX for us)
- Working on JavaHelp and XML

All from a single source and not once do we have to leave FM to do ANYTYHING
except ftp the ZIP file to the target system or create the CD.

> Specifically, what tools would you recommend?

We use:
- mif2go 
- vanilla FM 5.5.6
- MasterBook Plugin from Prairie Systems (builds a composite book of all open
- IXGen from Frank Sterns
- Well designed template set that includes custom marker definitions used to
  build our Help files

Cost of CORPORATE WIDE license for mif2go costs what "ONE" HTML transit license

Assuming all FM authoring operations are complete and correct, It takes less
than 10 min to produce an HTML version of even our largest documents.

> How did you accommodate the terse topic-to-a-small-page style of
> on-line
> help with the more discursive style for printed books?  

We use a template set designed for structured writing as defined by Information
Mapping INC.
This allows specific information maps to be tagged as "help" maps, and reused in
the Help product. For online docs, each map lives in its own HTML file. A 60
page chapter can be broken up into as many components as there are maps. Using
the HTML version of the generated TOC in one of the frames allows the user to
select any of the maps in any order. Each HTML file has forward and back buttons
for proceeding from map-to-map.

>How did you
> design
> the book pages so that the output has appropriate navigation: Next,
> Previous, Back, Forward, To Contents, To Index, Help/Web Home, etc.

Our frameset looks like this:
| -chaptitle   |                 Issue#   |
| -chaptitle   |                 IssueDate|
| -chaptitle   |                 <- go -> |
| -chaptitle   |                          |
| -chaptitle   |                          |
| -chaptitle   |                          |
|------------- |                          |
| Search       |  "Main Content Frame"    |
| Library      |                          |
| BookMap      |                          |
| Comments     |                          |
| How to Print |                          |
| Library Help |                          |
| Glossary     |                          |

-Upper right is the navigation frame using the chapter level (H2) entries of the
FM book TOC. Selecting a chaptitle displays a list of the map level (H3) entries
from the chapter TOC in the main content frame. 

-Lower right is the common button frame. Most buttons do what you would expect.
The Comments button displays a form, BookMap is like a superset of the TOC,
functioning like a site map for the document.

-Right hand frame is the main content frame with Issue info and the forward/back
buttons at the beginning and end of each HTML file.

All of this, including the frameset, is built by mif2go. There is absolutely no
need for a separate HAT.

The title page for each online doc has links to any websites associated with the

> Our bright-eyed team of eager writers awaits your wisdom.
> Regards,
> Hedley
Greg Henderson
Lucent Technologies

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