Miriam asked about the benefits of structured Frame. Fred Ridder 
suggested that the payoff for a small writing group might not be big.

This question comes up periodically on this list, but I guess it is 
always new to someone and therefore always worth answering.

I too am a sole writer. I've been using structured Frame since Frame 7 
came out. I think it is well worth the effort even if you don't have to 
do any of the things that Fred mentions in his list of good reasons for 
structured authoring.

Unless you are really good about following a style guide, an 
unstructured doc set eventually accrues all sorts of inconsistencies, 
both deliberate and unintentional. The process of designing a good EDD 
and migrating your files to it will help weed out these inconsistencies 
and get your doc set into real good shape. Then, going forward, the 
formatting rules built into your structure will help ensure consistency. 
You won't have to remember which of all your para and char formats you 
have to use in which situations. You just have to remember that a para 
goes under a section, a listItem does under a list, and so on. You wrap 
a class name in a class element and so on. Everything works.

You will also be able to take advantage of a variety of plug-ins that 
take advantage of structured Frame and make life easier.

You should expect to continue to revise your EDD over time, since you 
won't think of everything the first time through. Sometimes that forces 
you to do some revising of manuals, because you've come up with a more 
elegant structure, but often you just have to reimport the EDD and 
everything magically works.

Just think of it as a better work environment than an unstructured app 
and don't worry about single-sourcing and translation, etc. (unless you 
really do have to worry about those things.)

Fred Wersan
Senior Technical Writer
MAK Technologies
68 Moulton St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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