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Re: MS Word as XML editor?

Alan Kent wrote:

> > Structured authoring in Word is a bit of a holy grail,
> > and the very short life of Microsoft's own 'SGML Author' in the early to mid
> > nineties indicates that it might truly be mythical.
> We actually have used this approach on quite a number of projects with
> success.

As I understand it, you have created applications that allows the capture of a
certain class of documents only though. If you wanted to create different documents
tomorrow, you would have to program again, wouldn't you? The original poster asked
about "using MS Word as XML editor (ideally like FrameMaker+SGML)" - that's not
really what you're doing, is it? You rely on being able to predict (or discard)
structure, whereas FM+SGML will XML-ise any structured or word processed document.

> We actually tried to use SGML Author for a project (before we had to roll
> our own). Our experience with SGML Author was that it required almost
> expoential growth in rules defined compared to the complexity of the DTD.
> It was also very slow. We had problems editing any definitions ever created
> (ie, you created a rule set, then if you added a new element you had to
> start again from scratch). When we hit 500 rules, this got to be rediculous.
> So I don't think its the approach which is why SGML Author failed - I think
> it was the implementation.

Sure, but the impementation must surely be at least partly constrained by the
existing application. The point that I was making was that it is not easy to layer
structure on an application that was not designed for it, even if you own the
source code for the existing application.


Marcus Carr                      email:  mrc@allette.com.au
Allette Systems (Australia)      www:    http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
       - Einstein