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RE: [xml-dev] XML based wiazrd

Don't do that.  If SGML throws you and you don't already have an IETM
authoring system (typically a customized ArborText editor or something like
it), you'll just get lost and frustrated.

The main challenge is structure.  Wizards are abstractly frame-based systems
(aka, card sharks).  HTML is a page-model (aka, 'holy scrollers').  

It isn't hard to emulate a card shark with HTML Divs, but you have to write
the Javascript functions.

There is one IETM system called IADS that is XML-conforming and supports
true frame-based structures.  USAMICOM has it and it may or may not still be
available for public use.

The one that would do the job was the US Navy MID I system.  It wasn't
developed past MID II (circa 1996) but is the original type of markup for
what is now XAML, XUL, XForms, etc.  It predates them by about a decade.
The IETMers had it right for technical manuals as long as what you need is a
diagnostic-presentation which is by its nature, a graph.   A full up IETM
contains mores than that because you also need R&R, parts tables, call outs,
and so on.  The wizard part of it is basically the graph.   The reason it
looks complex to a newbie is because the IETM has more than that graph,
quite a bit more.

The HTMLers insisted on holy-scrolling.  The wheel turns and we come back
around to the same old same old.

The best thing will be XHTML with Javascript.  If you have a relational db
server-side, that's better for some parts of this, but not necessary.


From: scarleton@gmail.com [mailto:scarleton@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Sam
I need to develop a Wizard.  It will be some what complex with many
final destinations, based on how the user answers questions.  My
thought was that I could map this out the whole thing in XML, having
one question with the possible answers, and then in each answer have
the next question and so on.

I asked on another forum and someone recommended IETM (Interactive
Electronic Technical Manual).  From what I have been able to tell it
is a SGML format used by the military for trouble shooting manuals.
It seems to be VERY involved (especially being SGML, which I don't
know yet) and I am not finding any frameworks out there to quickly and
easily display the information.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

I am sure you are wondering if this is a web app or a GUI app, the
answer is: YES, it is both.  Initially I need it in the GUI piece, but
I have no problem doing in HTML and putting it into an embedded
browser.  The GUI does fire up Apache, so I could point the embedded
browser at the web server for a complete web solution.  The embedded
browser will have to be Gecko (the Firefox browser) so I believe I
will be able to use things like the xform extension to Firefox, etc.



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