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Re: Illustrations in FrameMaker+SGML

Simon Bate is concerned that callouts prepared in FM for screen shots, etc.
won't be managed in FM+SGML.

I referred the problem to our FM+SGML master gurus, and they reminded me
that SGML is an application independent standard for documentation. What you
have been doing with the proprietary FM system is a neat trick, but it isn't
SGML. This is a semantic markup standard designed to be understood by ANY
SGML compliant editor.

Callouts can be referenced in your graphics by number or other appropriate
keys, referencing a numbered or list in the figure caption, assuming that
these are appropriately defined in your DTD.

At least where defence technical documentation is concerned, there are also
systems designed especially for horrendously complex graphics like
illustrated parts lists that will recognise the part numbers or text in your
graphic and match this against the parts list. If this is particularly
relevant, I will try to track the information down for you.

So, there is no doubt that you will need to rethink the way you manage
callouts, but I think you will find the advantages from working in the
structured SGML environment far outweigh the loss of your neat tricks with
FM.  If you think about it, what you can do with SGML in a content
management environment (assuming that you have managed callouts the way I
suggested) could be much more sophisticated than the workarounds you have
been using. It just requires learning to think in the new structured
paradigm rather than in the format paradigm you are used to.

Migrating to SGML unavoidably will require lots of changes in the way you
work and think about documents.

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

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