Tom Aldous, head of our TechComm Sales and Evangelism group will be delivering information in this webinar series, which you are not likely to find in any book. Several books have been published on XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations), but they focus on how to transform XML into HTML, not XML. Having worked on dozens of advanced XML projects before joining Adobe, Tom has amassed what we often refer to as “Tribal Knowledge”on this important subject.
You can register for any portion of the 5-part series, “Find Out How to Write XSLT Statements for XML to XML Transformations” — and each episode will be recorded for review. Note: as webinars are recorded and posted, I will update a bulleted list at the bottom of the blog, which will have a link to each recording. If you are reading this before July 19th, here are the dates and times of the separate webinars:
- Part 1, Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific time
- Part 2, Friday, June 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific time
- Part 3, Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific time
- Part 4, Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific time
- Part 5, Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific time
An eye-witness account of XSLT in action with FrameMaker
I was fortunate enough to work closely with Tom Aldous on several highly advanced FrameMaker DITA projects which called for XSLT transformations before either of us came to work for Adobe. XSLT can be invoked upon open or close of structured FrameMaker documents, or XML files edited with FrameMaker. Transformations to XML can do a variety of useful things, including:
- encapsulating FrameMaker specific structure (e.g. table “titles”) to be preserved within XML that may be edited by other software
- Attributes can be used to automatically apply Conditional Tag processing instructions
- You can build Tables of Contents at the top of each chapter without having to resort to manual insertion of cross references
Actual examples of how these methods can improve projects
One particular project utilizing these techniques comes to mind. Tom and I had a mutual client who had documents with highly advanced, customized DITA structure in FrameMaker. Documents were translated into about 28 languages. Text expansion was a major problem, and several elements (like “hanging indent” notes, cautions and warnings) required adjustment for certain languages in which the paragraph prefix grew considerably longer. Clever use of XSLT invoked by processing instructions enabled “touch less” reformatting to occur, invoked by a language specified on the attribute level of the highest level DITA element.
This single technique saved hours and considerably reduced the client’s project time and cost a the translation agency where I was working at the time.
Learn by doing, then read a book
Based on the success of Aldous’ previous 7-part series on working with structured FrameMaker, this series of webinars will be well worth attending. FrameMaker is a rich product, with many paths to success. While the Aldous webinars can always give you a solid foundation or grounding in the process described, you may wish to work with some of our training or consulting partners for your particular application.
FrameMaker, however, is a highly accessible product that usually doesn’t require programmer-level experience to achieve dramatic results with tools like XSLT.
- to be updated as recordings are posted.