I am new to this list. I was lurking for a while and I finally decided
to show up.

My main interest in FrameMaker is for XML-documents authoring tasks. I
am quite new to FrameMaker (few weeks experience, 7.2 installed), but I
have a good background and experience working with XML technologies.

The first impression when learning Structured FM is double:

-          An impressive tool.
-          Weird and complicated way of dealing with XML.

Maybe the troubles I've found come from my inexperience developing
structured applications in FM, but I cannot fully understand the aim
behind the (so called) "XML-roundtrip" editing

1)       I cannot understand how to clearly separate structure from
presentation in FM. If EDD contains structure and presentation
information we are against the main principles of SGML/XML document
design!!

2)       It seems like there are two placeholders for storing
presentation information: Templates and EDD documents. This could be
redundant, I mean, the same presentation definition data could be store
on both places.

3)       In addition to this, Template document could have structure
associated with it (via importing EDD document). Then we get just
another way of associating structure to documents, apart from the DTD
specification!!).

4)       When working with XML applications like DocBook, I don't
understand the need for "Rules" just to change capital letters. It seems
like FM is not working internally in XDocBook when you choose to work
with an XDocBook application. In fact, the structure generated by FM is
not even DocBook 4.x compliant.


 It seems to me that this roundtrip is  trying to match a mature legacy
product (Structured FrameMaker) with the new emergent XML technologies,
but it is not intended for XML authoring (as its main objective). At
this point, (it seems)  it is easy to me to produce XML documentation
(using whatever DTD I'd like) by means of more "developer-oriented" XML
editors like XML_Spy or Oxygen together with XSLT+CSS style-sheets then
all the burden of taming Structured FM for this purpose.

I'm sure I should have misunderstood something in this picture, and
that's the reason why I ask for the help of the experienced FM users.

Thank you very much.

Pedro Pastor
Software Engineering Department.
University of Alicante
Spain


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