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Add One Egg, a Cup of Milk, and Stir: Single Source Documentation for Today

What happens when the software firm you work for decides it will not deliver large printed manuals any more? Then the request comes to put everything online. Six months later, user profiles shift to the World Wide Web and you're asked to deliver HTML. In the future, a database of SGML information chunks may let us deliver anything, any which way. Today, we must devise a system that allows us to 'author once, publish many'. Such as system is crucial for software and hardware documentation. The method I chose was to go from FrameMaker to Acrobat .pdf files to HTML. I wrote in Adobe FrameMaker, then converted to .pdf files with Adobe Acrobat, and converted FrameMaker to HTML files with Quadralay WebWorks Publisher. But while we're waiting for the future, just learning SGML and diving deep into DTDs alone could be a mistake. SGML is a language which sets out structure, and most of us are concerned with content. Enter Information Mapping, or information types of your own devising. Identifying chunks of information such as a procedure for changing the default printer is extremely important. If we then mark each chunk for an index and record its type and title, we've also got the keywords for a future database.

Stieren, Carl. Simware (1997). Articles>Documentation>Single Sourcing>Adobe FrameMaker


Preparing Anchored Frame for Conversion in RoboHelp

When FrameMaker content containing Anchored Frame is imported to RoboHelp, the Anchored Frame is converted to corresponding image in generated XHTML content. The quality of generated images has been an area of concern. While some users are satisfied with the quality of images generated, others feel the scope of improvement in the image quality. This blog describes some of the best practices and workflows that will help obtain improved quality of generated images. In other words, it will allow users to maintain the original quality of source images generated through specialized image editing applications.

Adobe (2009). Articles>Documentation>Single Sourcing>Adobe FrameMaker

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