RE: [ Revision #2 ] 15 elementary truths about XML
As I've been discussing with Betty, these gaps create production inefficiencies in publishing, in particular, technical publishing where a logistics group is producing very large (in excess of 1200 pages) manuals based on complex (for some n of complex) DTD/Schemas. Using WYSIWYG to produce the content and then having "taggers" produce the XML creates errors, redundant entry, and increases costs. I'd love to see a trade study that analyzes costs of using the common operating system resident editing tools and the tagging approach vs having an integrated development toolkit across the logistics enterprise. I repeat: the CALS vets and I include the web community that followed them should go back and clean up the bigger project that spawned most of us. If you toss the inability of so-called "taggers" who can enter data but can't analyse the markup, read the DTD/Schema much less debug the XSL/FO/PDF process, it is questionable what the value of XML is and yes, it is being questioned despite the fact that the ability to create multiple post-tagged products from it is well proven (see paper.format vs frame.format in ETMs and IETMs). It is as if we recreated an even more redundant version of the 1970s/80s tech pubs groups that employed an army of stenographers and technical typists. That was the problem we were trying to solve and somewhere we lost the thread of that initiative. len Quoting "Rudder, Doug Jr" <Doug.Rudder@wolterskluwer.com>: > Len said: > > "And the failure of American universities to grasp the importance of > adequate XML training for technical writers is sustained and abysmal. > They turn out editors who can memorize Word style sheets but they fail > when it comes to providing enough knowledge to bridge the gap between > writers and elementary computer science concepts. Roger fills the > gap. Ken fills the gap. > > And that is a good thing." > > This is true; hence the presentation I originally gave back at XML 2001 > on XML and Technical Writing, based on experience in the XML adoption at > the company I work for (SGML originally in 1993). > > Most of our editors and authors came from a desktop publishing > background. Separating content from style was a brand new mindset that > was difficult to foster. I count myself in that group at the outset (I > started as an editor and morphed into a content analyst/programmer over > time). It wasn't until I was assigned to a project repurposing our data > that the "creative tagging" issues and lack of understanding became > apparent. Trial by fire, as it were, but a valuable learning experience. > > It even came up later when I was teaching a night class in technical > writing at SIUE. One of my students had been briefly exposed to XML in > an authoring environment and was questioning its value. It led to a > lively and productive discussion. We went totally off-track for that > evening's writing topic, but it was worthwhile nonetheless. :) > > >
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