A quick response is to ask if you have already printed and reviewed the
structure developers guide PDF that ships with FM. It's in the OnlineManuals
folder of the installation directory and is called Structure_Dev_Guide.pdf
That's a pretty good start. As for some of the others... Depending on the time
you have available I can suggest that you get Kay Ethiers book "XML and
In either case, look up the following:
A sample of some of the table rules that you need to consider are in the
Structure_Dev_Guide.pdf file in the CALS table model. The big warning on
working with tables (thanks to Lynne Price for this one when it drove me nuts)
is to ensure that the DTD you are referencing also contains the attributes
required for properties such as the number of columns, their width, span
properties and so on. If not, then you don't get the right output. That drove
me crazy since I thought I had all of FM working right (and I did) but I failed
to get the table coded in the DTD correctly.
If you are dealing with docbook then I strongly suggest starting with
read/write rules that knock out the 8317 elements you don't need and keeps the
stuff you find useful. I also found a ton of the attributes to be overkill and
dropped them as well.
Hopefully this gets you started. If it's not enough and you are at the DITA
conference in March in North Carolina, look me up and we can run a test or two
(assuming it's not too late). Finally, there are enough consultants (myself
included) on this list that someone can always be hired to pitch in on the
All the best,
Publishing Technologies Expert
bernard at publishingsmarter.com
From: framers-bounces+bernard=publishingsmarter.com at lists.frameusers.com
Behalf Of John Pitt
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2006 5:34 AM
To: framers at lists.frameusers.com
Subject: Docbook and Frame 7.2
After successfully avoiding structured Frame for the last 14 or 15 years, I now
have a client who wants me to get DocBook xml produced from his product's code
into Frame. The end result is to be used for a number of manuals and pushed
through WebWorks ePublisher Pro.
While my reservations about structured Frame were not *totally* unjustified --
it is a very steep learning curve -- and many of the elements in my client's
xml are not accepted by Frame, I am making headway.
But there are still many gaps in my knowledge; the most worrying being tables
that refuse to behave, and whitespace throughout. The latter "should"
(according to the Frame doco) be removed automagically, but they are not. What
does seem to work, paradoxically, is to remove all of the spaces in the xml
My questions. How do I:
@ control column widths in tables?
@ control the total width of tables?
@ prevent the last column in multi-column tables appearing as the first column?
@ remove whitespace elegantly?
@ get Frame to accept the schema in the first two lines of the xml file?
(I have tried many different versions, most of which should work, but Frame
@ find an easily understandable guide to using DocBook/Frame? I have tried the
online doco that somes with 7.2 and got some benefits from the Steve Whitlatch
stuff on the net (and accelerated learning from Bernard Aschwanden's tutorial
-- thx again Bernard!)
Not much is it? :)
John Pitt, technical writer
47 Gottenham St
Glebe NSW 2037
Ph: 02 9692 8096
Mob: 0438 92 8096
john at pitt.net.au
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