Hi Lin, 

we are producing multi-lingual FM books out of an XML-CMS, so we do not
have to handle the FM files for editorial purposes. 

I prefer the single file (per language), because we often had problems
with the left/right pagination rules and special left/right masterpages
for the start of the chapter.
You have to be so careful with the book override and the single file
setup when there are so many files involved (e.g. 12 languages à 6
chapters = 72 files), and it was annoying to check each PDF to the last
page for pagination errors. 

Later on, we started to reduce the page amount dramatically (to one
third or even one sixth of the original size) by using smaller font
sizes and multi-column layouts. For this, it was very helpful to have a
single file, because a "chapter" within one language can then start on
the same page (or column) as the preceding chapter. (The emphasis was
not so much on the chapters but on the different languages.) 
Of course, the FM book will still contain one FM chapter per language. 

About ressource problems: 
Our largest mono-lingual document has almost 400 pages as one file, this
works well. 

The only time FrameMaker did not work well was when I imported a
multiterm database export file (as xml via structured application). 
I had to split up the original xml into 3 parts, and although this was
only text, it took FrameMaker more than one hour to open one of the
parts (as the resulting file had several thousand pages). So, although
it was fun to set up the application and the DTD for it, I had to give
up the idea of using FrameMaker for editing this file... 

Best regards -- Tino H. Haida 

 Lin Sims:

> Pretty much what it says in the title. I'm guessing there have been
> discussions about this in the past, and I plan to look for those, but I
> thought I'd toss this out there anyway.
> We're talking chapters that can run a couple hundred (or more) pages loaded
> with tables, graphics, and conditional text so that they can be used to
> single-source multiple documents (no, don't talk to me about DITA, my
> non-tech-writing boss wants it in unstructured).

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