I am not familiar with Framemaker, but we are using Arbortext to create a government document/manual. I hate the Arbortext, but I was told Adobe couldn't import the DTD files. Is there anything I cannot do in Adobe that I can in Arbortext??
Thank you Barbara. That was my understanding, but it's such a hateful product and I love working anything in Adobe. I was hoping that that was old and past responses and currently, Adobe would/could do what we needed.
Thank you again
Is the shop already on AT?
Back when I was working in a PTC shop (then ProE), one faction was considering shifting from FM to AT for docs. I found a DTP industry survey that suggested that when shops adopted AT, it cost twice as much as expected, took twice as long, and half the staff quit.
FrameMaker can achieve everything that Arbortext can, it just takes a different route to get there. Arbortext is just an editing tool on its own it does not cover the full publishing process. PTC prefers that you purchase other enterprise level software to publish your content. As a developer of SGML and XML editing applications, I have used both FrameMaker and Arbortext and I personally prefer FrameMaker. However Arbortext does offer Styler which is a very efficient way to create style sheets in a range of supported formats. FrameMaker's EDD is quite primitive and could really use an overhaul, but when combined with an FDK client or ExtendScript provides a very powerful rival to Arbortext high-end publishing systems.
When it comes to working with US military standards, Arbortext has the advantage that the DTDs are often accompanied by FOSI or XSL style sheets which means you don't need to make the investment yourself.
FrameMaker is a fully compliant XML (or SGML) editing tool, if sticks to the rules and provides the tools that you need. That includes the often overlooked but very effective Conversion table utility that can structure your existing unstructured content. Arbortext is also a fully compliant XML editing tool, but I have noticed that it does break the rules sometimes with some of its proprietary extensions. For example its XML change tracking feature adds undeclared atict elements everywhere which is bad news if you're using a DTD or schema that you cannot alter. FrameMaker uses processing instructions to do the same thing, which follows the principles of XML interchange perfectly.
Unfortunately, I am speaking from a position of ignorance. The apparent issue, is the style sheets that are provided, that we are under the impression we cannot use in FM. Or that when importing the DTD's, there has hours of coding that goes along with it, that isn't needed in AT. Thank you for your answer, I might have more questions after I learn more
I have done the transition from Arbortext to FrameMaker at multiple large organizations (Fannie Mae, Raytheon and SGI to name a few). I can show you how it is done quite quickly via a screen share. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Send me an email and I will send you an Adobe Connect Session link. No charge:-)
The Content Era, LLC
8601 Marlei Lane
Arcadia, FL 34269
Twitter - @tmaldous