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Re: [docbook] DocBook and Publishing Software

Hi David

One thing to be wary of when asking for tool recommendations is that
there is wide variation in the way tools are used depending on the
type of thing you are publishing - print has a very different set of
requirements to, say, websites.

You already have an investment in FrameMaker and FM has some nice
tools for going from unstructured to structured, so why not build on
what you have rather than jumping in at the deep end.

The rumour that FM is about to die celebrated its 10th anniversary
this year so I wouldn't panic just yet - and anyway even if it were to
stop being supported tomorrow, no-one's going to come and rip it off
your PCs. If it works today, it will work tomorrow.

If you were to jump to a new toolchain, you need to be aware that
there are a lot of bits that all need to line up before you can go
from authoring to publishing smoothly - at least with FM you can
always print the damn thing at a moment's notice if required, no
matter what open-heart surgery you have going on under the covers. And
if you already have single-sourcing tools (WebWorks, RoboHelp, etc)
you can get a number of other formats out of it as well.

Given the pace of change in tools and the time it takes to work out
your content model and start implementing, I think moving to
structured FM is a good way for you to get your feet wet in an
environment that is at least partially familiar - and once you've got
that far you can re-evaluate the whole question again.

I know some people will say "why not do it right the first time", but
you're still learning and things change - it's better to plan for
better later rather than perfection now which can lead to a kind of

If you still want to move away from FM, I have played with Syntext
from Serna and I like it a lot and their development path seems to be
a good one (Scott - I don't see why you would need another XML editor
- ie Oxygen - to work with it).

As for offering paid work on this list, I for one would not object :)


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