Okay, open mouth and insert foot.  I know they are different, but I made a
sloppy jump in logic and communication.  Still have not grown out of that
habit. : ) I was thinking that a cross reference might solve a problem that
I have with text insets.  I will open that in another thread.

Nancy Carpenter
Lead Technical Writer
GENCO Distribution System
100 Papercraft Park
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15238



                      "Fred Ridder"                                             
                                                       
                      <docudoc at hotmail.        To:       carpentn at 
genco.com                                                            
                      com>                     cc:                              
                                                       
                                               Subject:  Re: Variables vs 
Cross-references vs Text Insets [WAS: HidingPages?]          
                      06/09/2006 11:23                                          
                                                       
                      AM                                                        
                                                       






Umm, I think you're comingling two different things. Text insets
(content inserted by reference) are quite different than
cross-references. Eric was talking about cross-references, but
in your reply you seem to be talking about text insets although
you use both terms.

Text insets are used to import the content of a named text flow,
usually in a separate, external file. There is no limit to the size of
text insets; they can be as small as a single word, if that is all that
is contained in the referenced flow (although in this case you
have to remember to choose the Insert as Plain Text option) or
can be as large as hundreds of pages.

Cross-references generate a text string in the local document
based on the location of a cross-reference marker that exists in
some FrameMaker document (either the current file or a separate
one). The content of the text string can br defined in the cross-
reference format, and can inlcude literal text as well as picking
up various properties rlated to the marker, such as the page
number of the page where it's located, all or part of any
auto-numbering that is applied to the paragraph containing the
marker, or the text of the paragraph itself. There is no possibility
for a cross-reference to pick up more than a single paragraph's
contents (the paragraph where the marker is located) although
there is no real limit on how big that single paragraph can be.

Fred Ridder
Intel
Parsippany, NJ


>From: nancy carpenter <carpentn at genco.com>
>To: framers at frameusers.com
>Subject: Re: Variables vs Cross-references vs Text Insets [WAS:
>HidingPages?]
>Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2006 10:39:11 -0400
>
>This might work better than text insets.  I use text insets for
definitions
>of fields on screens and for introductory paragraphs that are used in more
>than one chapter.  Is there a limit to how much text you can insert with a
>cross reference?  My introductions often are two or three paragraphs.
>
>Nancy Carpenter
>Lead Technical Writer
>GENCO Distribution System
>100 Papercraft Park
>Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15238
>
>
>|---------+------------------------------------------------------->
>|         |           eric.dunn at ca.transport.bombardier.com       |
>|         |           Sent by:                                    |
>|         |           framers-bounces+carpentn=genco.com at lists.fra|
>|         |           meusers.com                                 |
>|         |                                                       |
>|         |                                                       |
>|         |           06/09/2006 09:58 AM                         |
>|         |                                                       |
>|---------+------------------------------------------------------->
>
>
>----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

>   |

>                       |
>   |       To:       "Ridder, Fred" <fred.ridder at intel.com>

>                       |
>   |       cc:       framers at frameusers.com

>                       |
>   |       Subject:  Variables vs Cross-references [WAS: Hiding Pages?]

>                       |
>
>
>----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

>
>
>
>
>"Ridder, Fred" <fred.ridder at intel.com> wrote on 06/08/2006 11:57:39 AM:
> > In a situation where only the name changes, I find that it is *much*
> > more maintainable to use a variable for the product name because
> > you only have to make a change in one place (the variable's value
> > definition) when one of the names changes or when a new variant
> > is added to the list.
>
>Personally, I don't like conditional text. Usually it gets far too complex
>very quickly and you're hobbled by the limitation of OR logic for
>overlapping conditions.
>
>But, are variables the right answer? Why not Xrefs instead?
>
>Perhaps this idea isn't terribly Earth shattering, but it came to me in a
>flash and I've been using it successfully for some time now. The idea
>struck me as more of a 'DUH' kind of realisation when I implemented it,
>but after giving a FrameMaker class, I was amazed at how foreign the idea
>seemed to so many.
>
>The situation was this: hundreds of components, multiple ways of writing
>their descriptions, abbreviations, and specifications which led to an
>unmanageable mass of variables.
>
>So, I turned to cross-references.
>
>A stand-alone document contains a three column table.
>Column 1 - CB Number
>Column 2 - CB Placard
>Column 3 - Complete description
>
>ex:
>CB1     LIGHTING        CB1, LIGHTING
>
>Three cross-reference formats are used:
>1 - CBNumber
>2 - CBPlacard
>3 - CBPlacard (Num)
>
>So, depending on the requirements I can include CB1, LIGHTING, or LIGHTING
>(CB1) in my documentation.
>
>If the placard or information changes, I change the source document and
>that's it. A generate update of all books ensures the data is correct.
>
>I've actually begun using the same approach for terms and equipment names.
>Any text that needs to maintain consistency is grouped with like terms in
>a file.
>
>So three HUGE advantages IMO. First, no need to maintain a MIF snippet of
>variables or using a script/plug-in to import user variables only (because
>invariably, one or more of the system variables are defined differently
>for different sections/files). Second, instead of hundreds of variables, I
>have 3 Xref formats. Third, generating and updating is already a step in
>the publishing process. So, the step of importing variables is skipped and
>not there to be forgotten.
>
>What are the downsides? Well, so far nothing. But I have an itch in the
>back of my skull concerning Xrefs and character formatting that I just
>can't shake. Something as to whether character formatting applied in the
>source (all character tagging is done using catalogue formats common to
>source and destination) is kept in the destination or not...
>
>Anyone know what I should be worrying about?
>
>Eric L. Dunn
>Senior Technical Writer
>
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