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RE: Imported Graphics (was copied graphics become grey boxes)

At 03:29 PM 10/27/98 -0600, Paul Schulte wrote:
>Some of these documents we produce in FrameMaker at Medtronic are FDA
>regulated (as well as the European/Canadian/Australian/Japanese
>equivalents). They are under engineering control, which is a further
>regulated process. At any time (the US law uses a phrase, "...in
>perpetuity..."), the archives of these documents must be re-produced either
>electronically or via microform.
Why not archive as PDF? That meets the legal requirement
>In the past, due to limitations in systems, we had no choice but to copy
>the graphics in instead of importing by reference. And on Unix, this causes
>very little performance degradation. And because we receive graphics from
>every platform and application (several CAD programs), we need to be able
>to make sure that the graphics remain in document if unchanged. We can't
>risk import filters not working between versions.
>Because of the multiplicity of systems and graphics types, I cannot always
>agree with Jeremy's blanket statement. If we choose to build up the
>document management systems capable of handling every situation (and none
>of them out there seem able to do this with the complexities inherent in
>Win95, Mac, and several flavors of Unix), then we can chose to migrate
>towards such a blanket statement. But we have suffered no ill-consequences
>and profited from NOT following such advice.
>Jeremy's advice works well for many situations. It just doesn't fit this
It's difficult for me to see how importing graphics by copy helps to meet the
configuration management requirements you describe. In fact, that approach
confounds proper configuration control.

In the type of environment you describe, all graphics, whatever their source
(including graphics created with Frame's drawing tools), should be subject
to individual configuration management and version control. If you import
graphics by copy, you lose the graphic's configuration audit trail, because,
once it's copied into the Frame document, it loses its separate identity.
When you import graphics by reference, FrameMaker provides you with the name
and location of the imported graphic file, allowing you to verify its

A proper configuration management system would assure that the
subdirector(ies) containing the graphics for a particular document set
always contain the applicable versions of those graphics. In this way, you
are assured that, when you open any Frame document in which the graphics are
imported by reference, it will always contain the correct versions of all

And besides all that, what happens when an imported-by-copy graphic gets
inadvertently deleted (or turns into a gray box)? You must go back to some
archived version of the same Frame document (which also has its graphics
imported by copy) to recover the deleted graphic. But since neither the old
graphic nor the deleted graphic has a configuration audit trail, how can you
ever be certain the old graphic is the same as the one that got deleted? 

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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