Framemaker 10 and XML

New Here ,
Sep 15, 2015 Sep 15, 2015

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Hi All,

I am new to the forum so please bear with me. I am a 'user' only of frame (being that am not overly experienced with all its features) and have been asked if we can create XML files from some FM10 files. I have tried the using the DITA options in the 'set structure options' and it works  but comes up with a long list of errors in the log of items that are unknown elements.

But if I use the book options when i go to save it, it comes up with an error of Framemaker and shuts down. It does create the CSS but going into the XML file there is nothing there. What selection should I be choosing if I just want it to generic XML, or is that not an option?

Are any of the later versions of Frame a better choice if I want to save as XML?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I know this is probably a very complex issue but am hoping it may be an easy fix.

Cheers

John

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Advisor ,
Sep 15, 2015 Sep 15, 2015

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As far as I remember – having finally made the switch from FM10 to FM12 a couple of weeks ago – the starting-point is just Save as … and then XML as the type. The result is, a valid  XML file (and even a matching .css file; don't think this is new with FM12, though I could be wrong)

What you won't get is a DTD or schema; what you will get is a lot of carefully included FM-specific tags and a plethora of anchors:

<FM-p>
<A ID="pgfId-1068073"></A>
Phasellus ut quam semper, interdum ligula ac, ultricies eros. Curabitur vitae aliquam arcu, in condimentum massa. Sed interdum suscipit enim, et dapibus purus ultricies eget.
Praesent eu finibus magna, ut mattis justo. Donec aliquam quam in nibh ornare suscipit. Morbi sit amet viverra velit, in sagittis turpis. Sed semper velit et tempor vehicula.
Maecenas viverra augue id mi imperdiet accumsan.
</FM-p>

The XML tags will be derived from the style names in your .fm file, so you may be able to tidy things up significantly by deleting all occurrences of FM-

If the question is more about creating structured .fm from unstructured, that's a rather larger topic and involves more than just a Save as … Most discussions tend start with the question "are you sure you need/want to" :-}

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Mentor ,
Sep 16, 2015 Sep 16, 2015

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John, this is a very complicated area and there is no easy fix. Additionally, I think that you are approaching this issue in the wrong order. Before you can ask "will FM produce XML," you have to answer questions like:

- Why do I need XML?

- If I do need XML, what structure definition must it conform to?

- How will my current content architecture translate to the required definition?

- How will the solution scale in the future?

...among others. Certainly, the simple answer to the premature question is "yes," but the integration of literary content with an XML-based post-processing system is a complex undertaking. Because of the potentially delicate interactions between the various components of the solution, it must be carefully planned. And even with careful planning, some refactoring and maintenance along the way must be expected.

So, I really think you need to better understand your requirements before moving forward. Most likely, FM can produce the XML you need, while allowing you to stay within a friendly authoring environment. If you do this haphazardly, though, the consequences can be very costly.

With later versions of FM, you might get some nature of XML with a simple "Save As." It might be OK as a rudimentary proof-of-concept but likely will not be suitable for the intended purpose. Plus, without your own established controls over the process, you will not have assurance of consistent results. Inconsistency will doom any process that relies on structured data.

I hope this helps some.

Russ

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