Currently, visual XML structured authoring applications can typically handle a small number of XML vocabularies. In some cases, they can even handle them in limited nested scenarios. One of the purposes of creating XML documents with compound vocabularies is to present related information on a given topic in different manners (tables, charts, etc). The synchronization of views between objects of different vocabularies in real-time editing helps authors realize this potential. In this presentation we will discuss an approach to visually creating, editing and synchronizing, nested compound XML vocabularies within one document. The open nature of the architecture enables developers to create plug-ins for new vocabularies including the ability to define synchronization. Also this architecture provides simple method to define visualization of a new vocabulary by utilizing plug-ins already developed and activated.
You’re told that you need to move your content to XML. You have loads and loads of unstructured content. It’s in FrameMaker, Word, other desktop publish applications, or even more fun: it’s on paper.
Two powerful trends in tech comm seem to be moving in different directions: social media and structured authoring. I have used a wiki as my primary format for documentation for the past year and a half. I tried to corral a group of volunteer technical writers to edit and update the wiki, because I embraced the idea that collective intelligence beats the individual thinker in the long run. But even the most advanced wikis don’t have a structured authoring backend.
The issue of documenting schemas—or any machine readable language—goes beyond simple additions of comments. Thereal challengeistocreateschemasthat arereadablebothdirectlybylookingat their sourcecodeandbydocumentation extraction tools.
XML is now acknowledged as the best format for authoring technical documentation. Its wide support, extensible nature, separation of form and content, and ability to publish in a wide variety of output formats such as PDF, HTML, and RTF make it a natural choice. XML, thanks to its extensible nature and rigorous syntax, has also spawned many standards that allow the exchange of information between different systems and organizations, as well as new ways of organizing, transforming, and reusing existing assets. For publishing and translation, this has created a new way of using and exploiting existing documentation assets, known as Open Architecture for XML Authoring and Localization (OAXAL).
Implementing structured authoring with XML allows organizations to create better content. The addition of hierarchy and metadata to content improves reuse and content management. These benefits, however, must be weighed against the time and money required to implement a structured authoring approach. The business case is compelling for larger writing organizations; they will be the first to adopt structured authoring. Over time, improvements in available tools will reduce the cost of implementing structured authoring and make it affordable for smaller organizations.
Not every content-creation group will benefit from structured authoring and XML. Sometimes, the expense of implementation outweighs the benefits realized, especially in smaller groups with less total page count.
In a structured authoring environment, authors create documents by assembling elements and text in an order permitted by the structure definition document. You might think of structured authoring as being similar to template-based authoring with a strict template. Authors do not assign formatting; the formatting is automatically assigned based on the structure of the document. Formatting may differ for different output media.
XML provides a robust, non-proprietary, and verifiable file format for the storage and transmission of text and data both on and off the Web. XML removes the complexity of SGML, making it easier to define your own document types, and to write programs to handle them.