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Re: Word vs. FrameMaker Information

Marcus is on the right track here. The only way to stop the forced
infiltration of MS Weird into the TW community is an end run. XML/SGML is
that end run, because it is the one and only viable universal standard, not
only for document interchange, but also for direct storage of
mission-critical documents as parsed structures in object-oriented database
repositories from which they can be retrieved for delivery in any form for
any purpose.

The use of such repositories will become the next paradigm shift for many
segments of the documentation community, and adoption of XML/SGML as the
standard is the only feasible way to accomplish it.

Microsoft's attempt (described below by Marcus) to corrupt XML is quite
similar to its attempt (now defeated) to corrupt Java. Both attempts were
for the same purpose: Perpetuating the Microsoft monopoly at the expense of
the end-user and developer communities.

If the documentation and developer communities quickly get behind the
adopted and undiluted XML/SGML standards, MS-Weird will be relegated to its
proper role as a secretary's tool, at which point it will begin to rapidly
fade in signicance ala WordPerfect and WordStar. Microsoft will then have to
respond by reversing course and jumping on the XML/SGML bandwagon, which
means they'll buy some company that's already a player in the XML/SGML
arena, just as they did to produce their internet browser.

If the ensuing period of internal confusion within Microsoft lasts long
enough (something we should all fervently hope for), Adobe and other players
have the opportunity to refine and improve their XML/SGML software products
to the point where Microsoft will never be able to catch up.
XML/SGML, combined with Java, could become the achilles heel in Microsoft's
house of cards.
Marcus Carr Wrote:
>Another concern that is a much bigger issue on some of the XML groups is
>Microsoft's propsed handling of XML via "data islands" - essentially blobs
>of XML embedded in HTML documents. In XML circles, some are of the opinion
>that Microsoft would require a fundamental change to their approach in order
>to be able to deal with XML properly; an expensive and embarassing backdown
>based on their browser. Despite their mass, Microsoft likely wouldn't have
>the clout to have their approach gain market acceptance, particularly if
>products such as the new browser in beta out of Citec in Norway is as good
>as it appears to be. Adobe on the other hand, have apparently done a very
>good job of their XML integration - not surprising one would think, given
>Frame's fairly lengthy experience with SGML.
>The upshoot is, there may soon be another reason to reject Word, and this
>one would be very difficult to refute. Frame is now able to save files in a
>common, open and accepted format useable by other word processing and
>typesetting applications, databases, the web and others. Word will not have
>the same level of support, as Microsoft will be forced to save the work that
>has already been spent on IE 5.0 at the expense of the w3c recommendation.
>Currently, the best reason to standardise on Microsoft products is their
>ease of use with other tools in the office suite, but the same argument may
>used against them when they aren't able to properly cope with data accepted
>as a defacto (or actual) standard by a wide range of applications serving
>diverse needs. Although it may not appear that XML is getting to this level,
>the discourse on other groups clearly indicates otherwise.
     | Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory@primenet.com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

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