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RE: SGML Unique IDs


We are currently creating unique IDs for all objects we wish to link to at
the content management level - one of many areas where it pays to have a
content management system sitting over your authoring environment. This is
easily achieved in our SIM content management system (http://www.simdb.com),
and can easily make all of the links two way.

Probably the single greatest benefit from content management we are
beginning to realise is that these links vastly simplify (and reduce the
costs, cycle times and risks of) assessing the impact of engineering change
on the documents. When an information source is (or may be) modified in an
engineering change, assuming the source documents have been linked, we can
produce a "where used" report in seconds identifying all potential impacts
of that change on our deliverable documents.

Most of these links are created in the form of SGML "author annotations"
maintained separately from the document itself, which are retained as our
proprietary knowledge. The annotations include the link to the unique ID in
the deliverable document and one or more links to source documents
identified in our source document registry, plus comments against the
link(s) where the author describes what information in the source document
was used. This process preserves the author's tacit knowledge as to how the
document was authored to declarative knowledge that can be accessed long
after the author who wrote the section has left the company.

Tenix already deployed this capability in an extension to our SIM system
that is going live this week for the ANZAC Ship maintenance procedures. (See
my May 2001 Technical Communication article
(http://www.tenix.com/PDFLibrary/91.pdf). Our original implementation
provided two way links for explicit Document references. The extension
allows the annotation links to be added at the level of arbitrary elements
(document, procedure, and para level for the maintenance procedures). Tenix
is currently exploring the best path to follow for extending the capability
across a larger range of our corporate documentation (e.g., for managing
tendering and contract documentation - where changes are extraordinarily
difficult to manage over excruciatingly short cycle times).

For the record, SIM has several active users in the US and Canada, and I
understand that SAIC (http://www.saic.com/) is currently setting up a
division specifically to support and market the system in North America
(details on the SIM Web page).

If anyone wishes more information on how to set up such a system, please
contact me. (Note: I will be on holiday from 15 December through mid
February, but I can be contacted at home (mailto:bill.hall@hotkey.net.au).


Bill Hall
Documentation Systems Analyst
Strategy and Development Group
Tenix Defence
Level 10, Yarra Tower
World Trade Centre
Flinders Street
Melbourne Victoria 3005
Tel: +61 3 8662 7939
     +61 3 8662 7600 (switchboard)
URL: http://www.tenix.com

-----Original Message-----
From: edunn@transport.bombardier.com
Sent: Thursday, 22 November 2001 8:49
To: Framers@FrameUsers.com; Framers@omsys.com;
Subject: SGML Unique IDs

We currently have a documentation set in which multiple IDs are identical.
are lucky in the fact that no external cross-references are used so the fix
consists changing the ID attribute and then changing the various REFID
attributes to the same.

My questions are:
Is there any way to have FM generate the new ID value?

My idea was to create a book of all files then just systematically change
IDs and REFID attributes. Roughly as follows:
-For each file in book parse elements and:
  - Find ID attribute
     - Put old value in list
     - Generate new value << but how?
     - Apply new value
     - Put new value in list
  - Find REFID attribute
     - look for old value in list and get new value
     - apply new value

Has anybody ever developed a utility or script to ensure IDs are unique and
update those that are not?

Eric L. Dunn

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