Reply to: Why did you go from Framemaker to XMetal?August 9, 2009 at 7:21 pm
There is no “you must change the horse” when you enter the structured authoring camp. My team and I used XML based Framemaker for some years with lots of conditional text, text insets and SVG graphics. To cut the long story short:
– FM is a DTP program and authors spend quite some time on formatting and fine tuning of output (PDF in our case). If you are interested in automated and uniform formatting the rendition process must be on a server out of range of standard authors.
– Modular writing with files containing less than a page are irritating with page oriented editors.
– Framemaker is no XML editor, it is an XML import/export program that allows editing in between – even no-edits may change the file significantly.
– I decided to go for DITA and the tool change went along with the paradigm change.
Framemaker can be used as PDF renderer, the formatting was already done and no XSL-FO was necessary (ok, some lines of XSLT to go from merged DITA to our homegrown DTD).
Of course, I left out all arguments to switch to modular and XML based authoring.