The Hitchhiker’s Guide to XML Authoring, Part 1

FrameMaker XML Migration Strategy, Part 1: Resources

In the coming weeks, you will see a series of blogs that will have something to do with “converting to structure.” Why? By popular demand: this is one of the most sought-after areas of expertise in our field. I frequently have webinar attendees or conference members ask for more resources and materials in this area.

Thankfully, here at Adobe Technical Communication, we have already posted hours of useful content on our webinar platform. Unfortunately, the seminar titles chosen at scheduling time don’t always hint at the powerful bits of advice skill shared therein.

This first blog touches on some resources we have posted over the last couple of months that you will find highly useful in your search for the means to painlessly migrate your legacy content into Intelligent Content: XML and DITA.

Incidentally, you can get a really good grounding in the justification for migrating to XML/DITA, and also how Adobe FrameMaker specifically addresses the journey by reviewing “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to XML Authoring.” You can download a PDF version of this white paper by clicking on the “Download Whitepaper” button on www.authorxml.com, as indicated in the screen capture to the right.

View how-to steps in setting up a structured XML FrameMaker solution

Early this summer, FrameMaker maven, Chris Despopoulos, delivered a tremendous session on FrameMaker and XML in a dynamic session that was heavy on practical demos with real-world files. You may view the recording of this webinar by clicking on the title: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to XML Authoring, Part 1.”

The following list comprises “MINUTE MARKERS” to indicate how far into the recording you must advance to see specific points and features.

  • 13:00 GOALS

  • 15:00 First step to Structure — Create EDD02 EDD Summary

    • Content analysis

    • Build basic EDD – Add conditional formatting (context aware formatting)

  • 20:00 Use Case Scenario

    • Proposal Template

    • BENEFITS: mandatory sections, consistency across all departments, need to load into CMS

  • 22:00 Demo of creating an initial CUSTOM EDD

  • 26:00 to 29:00 DEMO – testing EDD structure, sans template and formatting

  • 34:00 EDD Summary (parts described

  • 38:00 DEMO: first view of template with formatting values

  • 41:00 Using almost final version: EDD with template for formatting

  • 45:00 Overview of FrameMaker Structured Application

    • paths to critical files pointed to during authoring and auto-formatting

  • 48:00 Basic logic of Conversion Table in FrameMaker

  • 49:00 DEMO explore how paras are mapped to XML elements, using qualifiers to wrap elements w/in elements

  • 54:00 Why conversion might require additional steps

  • 55:00 Why the conversion process might need tweeking

  • 56:00 DEMO of script used to apply some proper structure sans manual steps

  • 56:30 Post-Processing Summary

  • 59:00 Takeaway points

    • XML – You CAN do it!

    • FrameMaker is a powerful XML environment

    • The EDD makes powerful use of FrameMaker formatting

    • The Structured Application tells FrameMaker how to interpret XML

    • Conversion tables bring legacy content into structure and XML

    • ExtendScript gives you extra processing power

[Post edited on Nov 22, 2017, by Stefan Gentz]

Maxwell Hoffmann

I am the Adobe Global Product Evangelist for Tech Comm Suite. I am passionate about powerful, single-source publishing that can deliver content anytime, anywhere, any way.

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