I haven't used XMetal, but we do use FM9 to author DITA XML, and 
ePublisher (XML adapter) to create online help. We author XML files and 
ditamaps in FM9. To create PDFs, we save our ditamaps as composite FM 
books, which works fine. After the books are generated, we apply 
templates to the FM files to make them look the way we want. From there, 
we generate our PDF files. However, WebWorks (ePublisher) says that it 
plans to create a PDF output that you can format from within ePublisher. 
If this works the way that I expect, we can generate all of our outputs 
through ePublisher.

If you choose FM, do get FM9. It handles DITA much better than FM8.

You cannot use callouts in graphics, but I think this is true of any 
We use attribute values and ditaval files instead of conditional text to 
perform conditional filtering.
DITA/FM has its own "paragraph styles", but you can make them look 
however you want by editing the underlying templates and EDD files.
CMS is not a consideration for us (yet), so I cannot answer to that.


Andersen, Verner Engell VEA wrote:
> Hi
> I currently use unstructured Framemaker for pdf output. I single-source
> my content - and via Webworks Publisher I output to context-sensitive
> help in Webworks help format.
> My 5 colleagues use Word and output to pdf for printing. We plan to go
> structured and are considering whether we should use Framemaker or
> XMetal.
> Do any of you know where I can find an unbiased comparison of the two
> tools?
> I have been told that the major disadvantage of using Framemaker is that
> you are required to save in binary format to keep the
> Framemaker-specific XML processing instructions (pls). If you store in
> xml-format you cannot retrieve and maintain conditional text. Callouts
> on drawings (the graphics tool in Framemaker) will be rasterized, and
> even paragraph styles can be discarded if you save a document as XML.
> What are the implications of sacrificing saving documents as XML? 
> Another advantage in favor of XMetal should be that it has
> vendor-supported integration with most content management systems (CMS).
> Apparently XMetal seems to be the best choice. 
> What are your comments?
> Thanks,
> Verner
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