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RE: Open Source XML Editor

-----Original Message-----
From: Marcus Carr [mailto:mrc@allette.com.au]

>Perhaps the SGML versions of your MIL specs didn't mimic common practice as
>as our 5629A initiative did in Australia...:-)

It's hard to outdo Oz.  Munchkins are closer to the yellow brick road. :-) 
The common practice was to customize 38784 (the content 
spec - predates SGML) and use the standard indexes.  The content 
sources typically were the drawings, whatever could be dragged 
out of the engineers, and the LSA data produced by the logistics 
analysts.  The problem was uneven technology.  Each part of the 
organization was automated independently.  So?  So nothing 
could interoperate without force.  The WinHelpers are hanging 
on to tech that makes it easy to build the contentIDs and 
the full-text-indexing.  HTMLHelp fixes that but doesn't 
improve the product.  Really, they need to manage 
enterprise data with tools capable of spanning the business. 
Few people understand their own business well enough to do it 
and when they do, the rice bowl resists change. Nothing new in this.

>It's easy to be dismissive of tech writers, but consider the changes that
>they've already been subjected to. In the span of a single career some
>have gone from typewriters to writing galleys on computer, to learning word
<processors to learning SGML/XML, and now we bemoan the fact that they won't
>themselves head first into more technology? All this on top of the fact
>their fundamental purpose is to act as a subject matter expert.

My career spans that period.  I had to stand behind the mule and push. 
>I believe that a split is inevitable, whereby we will have to reinsert an
>layer in the document creation process and go back to specialist writers.
>hope the new layer will be largely software, not human. If it is, it's
>some way off.) We assume that writers should embrace our toolset - are we
>confident that we could perform their jobs?

1.  Some want the IT department out of the loop.  If the tools require 
that much CS, than Word it is with IT in the afterloop of the document
up the exported information.  WYSIWYG rules if one can't hack a schema and 
a stylesheet.

2.  If IT is in the foreloop, then they should be setting up products like 
XMetal.  I have to assume they are good plumbers capable of following 
the flow through the building.  Automating one department at a time without 
seeing the whole picture just repeats the same mistakes of the 70s and 

3.  I can perform their job.  Mine isn't that hard to learn either.  It is 
in fact, easier than it has ever been because we are pulling the mule these
It's a fresher path out front.