Sharon: 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 automatically 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 madcapsoftware.com, 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. Regards, Hedley -- 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 handholding.com.au> -- 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 handholding.com.au>