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Re: FrameMaker 5.5.6 and XML experience?

At 06:02 PM 10/27/98 +1100, Marcus Carr wrote:

>Search engine optimisation is a long way from my sphere, but I've never
heard that
>attribute searching was a selling point.
It's not a matter of search engine optimization. It's that attributes (or
what I call metadata enrichment) can greatly increase the search possibilities.

Suppose, for example the container element for a "chunk" has a "strings"
type attribute that permits the author to list keywords (or phrases) which
(s)he considers relevant to that particular chunk. It's not necessary for
any of those keywords to physically appear in the text of the chunk in order
to get a hit on that chunk, because the author (or a librarian) has
intelligently analyzed it, and determined what keywords/phrases are
applicable. That's far more powerful than blindly searching for every
occurrence of a particular word or phrase, which usually produces far too
many hits to be useful.

Suppose another attribute identifies Engineering Change Order (ECO) numbers
that caused revisions to be made to that particular chunk. These ECO numbers
don't appear in the text, but a search for a particular number in all ECO
attributes would yield a hit on every chunk whose text was affected by that ECO.

Suppose other attributes provide correlations of the content of a chunk with
external documents (e.g., specifications, regulations, policies &
procedures, requests for quotations). Once again, these external documents
are (usually) not identified in the text of the chunk, but the chunk bears
in some manner the "imprint" of those external documents. At the time the
chunk was written, the author knows of those correlations, because (s)he
referred to those external documents while writing the chunk. Attributes
provide a way to preserve those correlations.

I can think of numerous other examples where such metadata enrichment could
help users to conduct searches in a far more focused and intelligent manner.
>> Using attribute values in EDD format rules for producing printed documents
>> is a common practice, and there's no reason attributes couldn't be used in
>> the same way to format documents for on-line viewing in XML, which could
>> become another major advantage of XML over HTML.
>I believe the use of XSL will become the standard means of associating
>information with XML documents. By keeping the formatting out of the
document, you
>facilitate multiple views of the information through an external mechanism,
>you to tailor the view to the user.
Keeping all formatting out of the document is an unavoidable byproduct of
the SGML storage paradigm. It doesn't facilitate anything except the
increased possibility that a document will be inadvertently (or
intentionally) formatted in a way that impairs its meaning. Formatting
attributes provide one way for the document originator to declare: "The
meaning of this paragraph (or string) will be best conveyed if it is
formatted thusly."

The W3 working group declares that XSL is not intended to replace DSSL and
other printed document formatting methods (such as FM+SGML). The use of
attributes that specify formatting embellishments ought to be included in
the XSL methodology. XML documents will be printed as well as viewed, and it
should be possible to produce high-quality print output from an XML document
that fully replicates the way it was intended (by the originator) to look in
printed form. 

Using attribute values to determine formatting works beautifully in FM+SGML,
and there's no reason not to eventually have such a capability in XSL. 

Dan Emory
Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design
and Database Publishing Specialists

Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971
E-Mail: danemory@primenet.com
10044 Adams Ave. #208
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

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