Moving to HTML, take II

Subject: Moving to HTML, take II
From: "Geoff Hart (by way of \"Eric J. Ray\" <ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com>)" <ght -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 09:03:49 -0700

Mark Craig followed up on my original suggestions abut SGML books:

<<The search for Chet Ensign's SGML-related books at amazon turned up
only the two books below, which look like they're for managers
deciding how to spend money rather than tech writers with no budget
who want to impose a uniform but flexible logical structure on
documentation and quit reformatting documents by hand.

The book "Sgml Buyer's Guide : A Unique Guide to Determining Your
Requirements and Choosing the Right Sgml and Xml Products and
Services" sounds like the one I was recommending. If memory serves,
it's an ideal book for you because it's a series of case studies on
how others have implemented SGML, successfully or otherwise, and will
give you some guidance on picking an approach that suits your company
and your budget. But I haven't read the book, just a very favorable
review (plus I've formed a favorable opinion based on Chet's other
writing); I'm still in the "Sounds Good, Maybe Later" mode. I've
copied this message to Chet in the hope that he'll have the time to
chime in on this discussion.

<<What if you have no budget, but still think SGML is the solution?
(Should you consider yourself nuts?)>>

Yes, you should consider yourself nuts. <g> SGML isn't rocket
science, but it _is_ very complex and both organisationally and
financially demanding. Since SGML is nothing more than ASCII markup
text, you could theoretically do it on your own without an authoring
tool, but this would be equivalent to (but far more difficult than)
writing Windows help files directly in RTF using Notepad, without
any training. Sure, it can be done, but unless you're a masochist...

There are only two relatively cheap solutions I can think of that
_might_ meet your needs. The first is to take a basic course in SGML
(you said you needed handholding) and then purchase FrameMaker+SGML;
that will get your feet wet for relatively little investment and
teach you whether you can make a go of this on your own. The second,
more realistic approach, would be to recognize that in your context,
moving to SGML is probably unreasonable and that a good compromise
might be to adopt something like XML. XML is a simpler, Web-specific
implementation of SGML that will probably meet most of your needs and
that should be fully translatable into full SGML with a bit of work.

I guess this brings me to the obvious question: You haven't really
defined for us what problem you're trying to solve via SGML
(presumably single-sourcing?). Can you do that to help us focus our
--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Patience comes to those who wait."--Anon.

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

Previous by Author: Copyrighted articles?
Next by Author: Moving to SGML, take III
Previous by Thread: SSD survey, I need everyone to respond (help a poor college student out)
Next by Thread: Re: Moving to HTML, take II

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads