I concur with Bill.  What I cannot understand is that this was trumpeted as a
FrameMaker killer yet its functionality falls far below.  FM is very 
powerful but
still needs a lot of work.  For one, the presence of so many indexing add-ons
indicates that better indexing and index management needs to be built in.

The Adobe DITA support is woeful; thank god Leximation and Silicon Publishing
are addressing that with their plugin.

At Friday, 21/03/2008, 02:26 AM;, you wrote:
> >  One of the biggest differences in Blaze - and really, Flare - is that you
> >  are not authoring long documents, but rather you're authoring 
> topics. Then,
> >  using Outlines, you put together the topics into the deliverables; for
> >  example, a User's Guide and an Admin Guide.

Then why didn't you just do DITA from the beginning?  It has a much more
robust model of technical communications documents -- and you can specialise
your own models for specific requirements.  The XHTML-based model is foolish
because you are simply implementing a good old unstructured document
no better than Word, unstructured FrameMaker or Notepad.

One of the bugbears in a team environment is ensuring everyone is using the
same structure and styles/formats appropriately.  You can employ an editor
to ride herd on everybody -- or just implement a DTD or schema which 
enforces conformance.

> >  There's nothing to prevent you from authoring just like you do in Word of
> >  Frame in that you can open a new topic in Blaze and then write a 200 page
> >  document in one topic. ...
>Well, agreed. ... For the record, I've done
>topic-based authoring in FrameMaker years ago.

A colleague of mine implements a very DITA-like approach by having 
empty chapter files
in which all the content is imported as text insets.  The equivalent 
of the <related-links>
element was implemented by putting FM cross-references in the chapter 
document after
each of the topic text-insets.  This ensured the topics were context 
free but the cross-
references were robust.

> >  I strongly urge you to attend one of my online demos to learn 
> more about the
> >  paradigm shift for Blaze.

What paradigm shift?  The Madcap team were from 
Bluesky/Robohelp/eHelp, so must
be quite familiar with the topic model.  I don't have a problem with 
quirky GUIs as any IDE
is similar.  In fact, I think a tech. doco app should have an 
interface more like an IDE.

I played around for five minutes.  How do you get to a code view, as 
long as we are in XML?

> >  As to DITA or CMS,
> >  check out our just announced product Team Server. It's a 
> workflow management
> >  tool that's amazing. We have ideas about what it should do but 
> we want your
> >  input about what you need that tool to do.
>I'm confused. Is it a product or is it an idea for a product?

Well, it should allow concurrent checkout, automatic merge on checkin 
if changes don't
clash, and manual compare and merge if changes by different writers 
do clash.  It should
allow branching and merging back to the trunk.  It should allow 
automation so overnight doco
builds can be done.  It should mark topics that have been touched 
since the last release so that
the editor/reviewers/writers don't have to review the entire 
publication.  It should allow staging so
that changes by disgruntled employees are not immediately published 
on to the website.  Etc.

> >  I'm delighted to answer questions about Blaze or any of our 
> products. If you
> >  could send those questions to my MadCap email, that would help me a lot.
> >  sburton at, please.

If I come up with any more suggestions, they will be published right 
here.  They will be better
for evaluation and improvement by other list members.


Hedley Stewart Finger
28 Regent Street   Camberwell VIC 3124   Australia
Tel. +61 3 9809 1229   Mobile +61 412 461 558,
E-mail <mailto:hfinger at>

Hedley Stewart Finger
28 Regent Street   Camberwell VIC 3124   Australia
Tel. +61 3 9809 1229   Mobile +61 412 461 558,
E-mail <mailto:hfinger at>

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