IMHO roundtrip means: With two or more applications, changes made to a
project in one application are reflected in both, and it implies that
each application offers some exclusive functionality, and that there is
some translation of some sort that transpires between the applications
so that the changes reflected in the "other" application are rendered in
that application's native method. So stated, roundtrip does not mean
"When I press the W key here, make a W in both places." 

This is purely speculative, but I bet the origin is in the UML world.
That's the only place I've heard the term used where it actually makes
sense. In UML, roundtrip describes a development environment
functionality that enables a user to create a code block in one
application that is rendered as a graphic element in another
application, and create a graphic element that is rendered as a block of
code. In UML, it's handy to see a graphic model of your modeling
language code. It's likewise handy to create a new object in the graphic
model, connect the new object to the existing structure, and have the
development environment add the basic code AIBM. Roundtrip means that
you are working on one thing that is rendered in more than one way.
Apparently, Adobe marketing got hold of the term roundtrip.

RoboHelp is an authoring and a limited-functionality publishing tool
combined, where FrameMaker is an authoring tool. When you point RoboHelp
to a FrameMaker project, RoboHelp creates it's own copy. The integration
of the two is incomplete. The term roundtrip should not be used to
describe the current functionality...Kelly.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: framers-bounces at
[mailto:framers-bounces at] On Behalf Of Combs,
> Sent: 2008-05-21 11:57
> To: bhechter at; framers at
> Subject: RE: roundtrip documentation and help (Framemaker/Robohelp -
> Ben Hechter wrote:
> > If you had to design roundtrip documentation and help
> > (Framemaker/Robohelp) for a constantly evolving product, would you:
> >
> > a) begin in Framemaker and export to Robohelp
> > b) begin in Robohelp and export to Framemaker
> > c) prototype in both and iterate as you go
> I'd pick (a), but I wouldn't try to (or _want_ to) roundtrip. I've
> understood the attraction of this "roundtripping" concept. To me, it
> implies that you have not one, but two "source" files for your
> I want just one.
> I've used WebWorks (Publisher Pro in my case) and Mif2Go in the same
> manner that Linda Gallagher described. My source files are in FM, and
> WWP or M2G are tools for creating specific output/deliverables from
> (just like Acrobat Distiller). I have to configure those tools for the
> output I want, but all content changes are made in FM. If I had the
> Tech Comm Suite, I'd expect to work the same way.
> I wouldn't expect to edit in RH and "roundtrip" those changes back
> FM any more than I'd expect to touch up text in Acrobat and
> that back to FM, or make changes to WWP's .htm files and "roundtrip"
> those to FM.
> Even if the FM-RH integration supports that kind of workflow, it just
> doesn't strike me as a good way to work. Maybe because I'd almost
> certainly lose track of which "source" file is the most current. :-}
> If Jim Owens is right, and there are desirable help features that
> be implemented via FM, then these are shortcomings in the tools that
> ought to be put on the enhancement request list. But, IMHO, "make the
> HTML roundtrippable" should not be one of those requests.
> BTW, if you want to see what it takes to make HTML "roundtrippable,"
> have a look at the stuff MS Word creates. <shudder />
> Richard
> Richard G. Combs
> Senior Technical Writer
> Polycom, Inc.
> richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
> 303-223-5111
> ------
> rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
> 303-777-0436
> ------
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