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Re: Software lock in?

  • From: Gareth Oakes <goakes@gpsl.co>
  • To: Peter Flynn <peter@silmaril.ie>
  • Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:39:00 +0000

Re:  Software lock in?
> On 24/3/17, 08:09, "Peter Flynn" <peter@silmaril.ie> wrote:
> > On 03/23/2017 03:00 PM, Michael Kay wrote:
> > > Given that hardly any automotive documentation is in XML (or even SGML)
> > > any more ("too hard"), 
> > 
> > If that's the case, then it's surprising that the industry is
> > putting so much effort into defining XML-based documentation standards:
> > 
> > https://wiki.asam.net/display/STANDARDS/Standards+Overview
> Some documentation, but most of the work is in data exchange formats.
> Nothing wrong there at all, but I specifically mentioned documentation
> because that was where we all assumed the textual information would end
> up, for a variety of reasons.

For the record, many automotive and heavy equipment manufacturers author and
originate documentation in XML formats. This includes production of artefacts
such as service manuals, operator manuals, and parts catalogues. My personal
experience of this extends to top-tier companies such as Toyota, Mazda, GM,
John Deere, Caterpillar, Komatsu, Boeing, Airbus, defence organisations, etc.

The primary reasons they use XML are:
- Content reuse (many similar manuals due to large variety of equipment configurations)
- Consistency and precision of output (automated publishing)
- Language translations (facilitated via XLIFF)

I wouldn't say there is one standard schema, especially not for automotive,
but there are certainly a number in active use including DITA and S1000D.

// Gareth Oakes
// Chief Architect, GPSL
// www.gpsl.co

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