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Author Topic: Anyone use CGM graphics with XMetaL?  (Read 3619 times)
dlemkuil
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« on: June 24, 2010, 11:18:46 AM »

Why is there no support for CGM graphics? This is a standard in the defense and aerospace industry. Here's the problem I face: the writers I work with like to be able to see the graphic they're referring to within the XMetaL interface. Most raster formats are great for that, but they are also very limited as a final output. Come on... who wants to see 96 dpi raster images in a PDF file? I want to use my crisp, hi-resolution vector images, I want to be able to view them in XMetaL, and I want them to output to HTML and PDF....AND...without having to use some trick or workaround. Am I asking for too much? Let me know.

Thanks!
Dave
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Derek Read
Program Manager (XMetaL)
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2010, 12:58:14 PM »

XMetaL Author has native support for the following image types: BMP, EPS, GIF, JPG, ICO, WMF, EMF, PNG, TIF, PCX, TGA.

For any other format, including formats like CGM (or SVG, HTML, PDF, Excel, Word, SWF Flash, MPEG video, or practically any other file format that has a suitable viewer available) it is possible to embed a control capable of rendering that file format. This is what has been done for XMetaL Author Enterprise for DITA documents to allow SVG images to be viewed inline while editing. The DITA customization embeds Internet Explorer in this case and relies on it to render the SVG. This is why a 'plug-in' for IE that can render SVG is required. We chose to embed IE because there are several different plug-ins for IE so that makes it easier to do the plug-in installation.

We have quite a few clients that have integrated 3rd party CGM viewers into their XMetaL document customizations as part of the work they needed to do to configure the product to work with their DTD (I'm talking non-DITA here). We also have clients that are rendering PDF and Excel files inline (referencing them in a similar way to images). But again, some customization work was required.

This is not something we have chosen to do for DITA yet because there has not been a big demand for CGM in DITA that we are aware of. If you have a pressing need for it our Professional Services team could be contracted to create a solution for you. A decision on which CGM viewer to use would need to be made and perhaps some other things would need to be ironed out.

With DITA there is also the question of how to handle a particular image format when generating output. There are solutions available with the DITA Open Toolkit to handle embedding of SVG in various output formats. I'm not sure how CGM would be handled in this case, but perhaps that is not a concern for you at the moment, or perhaps that is something you have already solved.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 01:03:36 PM by Derek Read » Logged
dlemkuil
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2010, 03:52:26 PM »

Derek,

Thanks for the info. I guess we'll have to drop CGM as a possibility for now.

Dave
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