Thanks Russ, and everyone else who has responded.

It's good to get confirmation that we'll need to head down the bespoke
custom path for now. Although I'd challenge the vendors to come up with the
goods ASAP. There is obviously a need for SOMETHING in the market..


-----Original Message-----
[mailto:framers-bounces at] On Behalf Of
russ at
Sent: 13 March 2008 12:02
To: framers at
Subject: RE: FrameMaker DITA and CMS

Hi Gordon,

If you want to publish instantly, you'll probably have to build something or
pay somebody lots of $$$ to customize something else. There is a conspicuous
absence of off-the-shelf, dynamic publishing systems that also support
multichannel publishing. There are things like Wiki pages which are good for
quick publishing and revision management, but they certainly lack the
information management and layout features that a professional techcommer
would demand.

I've done something similar to what you suggest, albiet with a fair amount
of effort. We had a need to publish PDF manuals at normal release intervals
as always, but there was also a need to view the current information in real
time, as products were being developed. The ultimate solution uses
FrameMaker to author the content in XML and produce the PDFs from it. On the
web side, we built a Java-based publishing system that takes the same XML
and delivers it over a website, making heavy use of XSLT. This is an example
of an end-to-end system that works very well and was worth every second we
put into it, but it certainly isn't something you can just go out and buy.
We don't use DITA or a CMS.

There is unlimited potential to do cool things if you have the will. And,
you don't necessarily need DITA or a CMS to make amazing things happen, but
you may find that one and/or the other turns out to be the best solution.



Message: 3
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008 09:52:55 -0000
From: "Gordon McLean" <>
Subject: RE: FrameMaker DITA and CMS
To: <framers at>
<000301c88426$d87885a0$61284d0a at>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

DITA isn't a publishing standard, it's a content structure standard I

Perhaps I need to state my question more clearly.

Does anyone have an example of all the applications (names!) used in an end
to end publishing system that is based on XML single source (DITA is a bit
of a red herring I guess, it's a standard, not an application).

I know FrameMaker 8 supports DITA, and I'll be evaluating that soon (I
presume it handles the transformation from XML to 'FM editable' and back?).
But what CMS are people using? And what publishing engines? Webworks? Or
something from the DITA Open Toolkit?

I'm wary of getting sucked into a proprietary path, and also of having an
overly complex build system (ultimately we want to publish on a schedule as
well as instantly to a website). I've visited and read up on a lot of vendor
propositions, and I'm aware that consultancies will have favoured solutions,
so I'm asking the Framers for THEIR recommendations if they have such a
system in place.




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