“Classic” 7-Part Aldous series on “Unstructured to XML” webinar series republished

Friday, June 7 2013 @ 1:43 PM, By Maxwell Hoffmann

In 2011, then Product Evangelist Tom Aldous produced a “deep dive”, 7-part series of webinars that covered all steps required in converting unstructured content to XML in FrameMaker. Although this series was done with FrameMaker 10, the basic steps largely remain the same, and many users frequently consulted this series as a useful references. We recently discovered that this series had expired, so we have remounted it for your convenience.

All 7 episodes are listed sequentially under our link for locating on-demand webinars: http://adobe.ly/Pbdp0J just search for “unstructured to XML series”.

XML with FrameMaker is easier than it may look at first glance

Please note: this series covers many steps involving customizing an EDD and other “under-the-hood” issues that are not part of a daily workflow. In fact, if you are happy with the out-of-the box formatting and structure for DITA 1.2 and other structured applications, you could technically skip a couple of the episodes. It is useful, however, to discover just what makes FrameMaker “tick” in terms of converting or creating native XML.

What is unique about this 7-part series on working with XML in structured FrameMaker

This series is unique in a significant way: I have yet to see another vendor openly publish all the steps required in creating a full XML solution. Yes, there is some complexity involved, but that is just the nature of DITA and XML. There are many choices. This webinar will help you determine which choices you should make.

A brief summary of episodes with links and descriptions may be found below (the headlines are hyperlinked):

Unstructured To XML Series Part 1: Analyzing Your Unstructured Document – Preprocess Steps


The first episode in this classic series gives an overview on the importance of being able to open files that will be converted to Structured FrameMaker 10 and eventually XML. The basic process is open a document in FrameMaker, run a conversion table, then save it as XML. This session focuses on different roles in the process and the importance of document analysis. Issues with graphics are also covered. Shortened URL = http://adobe.ly/14ll8Dp

Unstructured To XML Series Part 2: Creating A FrameMaker Conversion Table – Session 1


In this session, Tom Aldous covers the first part of key steps to creating an effective conversion table and testing initial results. The webinar includes steps for achieving automatic wrapping of elements, rule syntax and character restrictions found in XML. Although this “classic” episode uses FrameMaker 10, the basic processes and steps are the same for FrameMaker 11. This webinar also includes sample files and corrective scripts that you can download for your own hands-on. Shortened ULR = http://adobe.ly/13h9DKo

Unstructured To XML Series Part 3: Creating A FrameMaker Conversion Table – Session 2


This “session 2” on creating conversion tables dives deeper into issues for making conversion tables that will make the process as automatic as possible. Once again, downloadable files are available from this recording to allow you to follow along with your own hands on. Although this “classic” episode uses FrameMaker 10, the basic processes and steps are the same for FrameMaker 11. Shortened URL = http://adobe.ly/13h9rL4

Unstructured To XML Series Part 4: Element Definition Document (EDD) – Home Grown or a Standard Structure


In this “classic” session, Tom Aldous covers the heart and soul of a structured application in FrameMaker, the EDD. Among other things, this special file provides content structure, format rules, auto insertion instructions and special attribute handling instructions. Issues like “inclusions” and “exlusions” are covered. A sample structured application is available for download, enabling you to have your own hands-on following Tom’s lead. Although this “classic” episode uses FrameMaker 10, the basic processes and steps are the same for FrameMaker 11. Fortunately, FrameMaker 11 provides even more DITA solutions an application than were available with FrameMaker 10 at the time this webinar was recorded. URL shortcut = http://adobe.ly/14lkWEc

Unstructured To XML Series Part 5: Creating your Structured Template from an Unstructured One


In this “classic” session, Tom Aldous covers the logical steps to create a structured template which controls most of the formatting for DITA or XML in structured FrameMaker. Although this “classic” episode uses FrameMaker 10, the basic processes and steps are the same for FrameMaker 11. URL shortcut = http://adobe.ly/14lkRjJ

Unstructured To XML Series Part 6: Structured Applications and What is Necessary / How to Create


In this “classic” session Tom Aldous focuses Part 6 on what comprises the Structured Applications in FrameMaker and how they are created. Although FrameMaker provides several highly useful Structured Applications, this deep dive covers all components involved, and what exactly happens when FrameMaker opens structured files. Components covered include the structured FrameMaker template, DTD and Schema, ReadWriteRules, DocTypes and more. URL shortcut = http://adobe.ly/13h91nZ

Unstructured To XML Series Part 7: Save As XML, Now What?


In the final episode in the “classic” series, Tom Aldous covers how to “bring it all together” now that you’ve got true XML files with the automated insertion of elements during authoring that you desire. Discover how it is possible to achieve “hybrid” publishing, mixing unstructured FrameMaker files with XML files in a FrameMaker book. This can be an ideal solution during a “transitional” workflow, in which the customer is migrating to structure. Also see how rich media like 3D graphics or video may be inserted in portions of your book. A strategic view of how XML can lower your documentation costs is also covered. Although this “classic” episode uses FrameMaker 10, the basic processes and steps are the same for FrameMaker 11. URL shortcut = http://adobe.ly/14lsOFE

We hope that you enjoy this series and bookmark it for periodic reference.


  • By Tom Aldous - 6:41 PM on February 17, 2014  

    If anyone has any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at tom.aldous@icloud.com . Unstructured to XML conversion techniques using FrameMaker is a passion of mine. It is good to see the series still has use.

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