Open XML (DITA) file in FM as it was in Arbortext

New Here ,
Mar 02, 2017

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I got the xml files, which are used with Arbortext XML Editor 5.3 in DITA, it has all the DTDs and styles files. I want to use the same XML files in FM to work with either in structures or unstructured way, I'm novice to structured FM. When I open XML file in FM it ask to choose Structured Application, I have chosen DocBook, Xdocbook but not getting it what i want it displays as simple plain text without any style, formatting, and images.

Arbortext XML.png

I just want the same look and feel of Arbortext some changes here and there i can manage though. I need to know what exactly I need to change, attaching the screen shot of XML file and file which opens in FM.

FM 2015.png

What can I do to use existing XML in FM 2015 or 2017.

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Mentor ,
Mar 03, 2017

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allenr57336305,

I have little experience with Arbortext, but from your screenshot, your file does not look like DITA. If it was DITA, it should just work. I also don't know enough about DocBook to know if your file looks like DocBook.

If this is a custom DTD, it is a complex task to use FM as an XML editor. It can take weeks to months to get it working, especially if you don't know anything about it. It sounds like you may be a bit overwhelmed here. If my suspicions are correct, nobody can tell you exactly what you need to change to make this work... you should prepare for a very long process, or just keep using Arbortext.

Russ

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New Here ,
Mar 04, 2017

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First: What you do (or don't have)

Looking at the markup, you have something that isn't pure DITA. Based on my experience, I'd say it's partially resolved, a merged version of the original source files into a larger single-file conglomeration. I say that because the comments indicate two things to me: (1) the file name and boundaries were preserved in the comment that says "XML Resource relative URI..." and (2) the presence of the Arbortext version comment which always appears at the top of a new file created in Arbortext.  For these to appear mid-file means that you have a file that is the result of a bunch of other files merged together.

Arbortext can do this "merging" but the result does NOT look like the markup structure I see above (it doesn't create tags like "description_topic" for example). I can only assume that other tools can also create this merged/resolved intermediary file typically seen later in a DITA processing pipeline. I do not know what tool created the file in the screenshot you provided nor do I know what process was used to create it. I do know that it is not DITA, not DocBook, and was created by some external process (that wasn't Arbortext).

Second: Arbortext stylesheets in FrameMaker

Even though you didn't mention exactly what kind of "Arbortext stylesheets" you have, I'm pretty confident saying that they will not work in FrameMaker. Arbortext Stylesheets typically come in three flavors: APP stylesheets, Styler Stylesheets, or FOSIs. As far as I know only Arbortext supports the first two and there are only a handful of tools that still support the last one. 

In addition, you don't need Arbortext Stylesheets in FrameMaker anyway, FrameMaker doesn't require a stylesheet (or any help from anything else) to produce PDF output. It does it natively.

If you have XSL stylesheets, those may be usable by FrameMaker but, again, it's rare that you use an XSL stylesheet to get PDF out of FrameMaker and kind of pointless anyway.

Third: All that said, @Russ is absolutely right.

If you've got something custom, then making it work in Frame is going to take work. To get a custom DTD to work in FrameMaker - that takes expertise I don't have, but a FrameMaker consultant can help. Whether it's worth it to you go pay for someone to migrate the DTD to FrameMaker is something only you can answer.

Personally, I'd go back to your customer and ask if you can have the original DITA files because those will work in FrameMaker (no matter what other XML tool they were authored in, including Arbortext). FrameMaker has no problem opening pure DITA--this has been true for a long time (I've written on it in fact).

It kind of sounds like you took on a project without really digging into the requirements or the tools you'd need to do the work. If you need Arbortext, I can help, but if you can get pure DITA source files from you customer you won't need me at all.

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New Here ,
Mar 06, 2017

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allenr57336305,

Sorry I did not see this earlier. We built a FrameMaker addon that does exactly what you are looking to do.

Contact me if you are interested in see a demo. tom.aldous@thecontentera.com.

We also did an Adobe Webinar showing the first rev of the solution. We have deployed it at three major sites.

Tom Aldous

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Mentor ,
Mar 07, 2017

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Thomas,

Could you elaborate on what we are looking at here? I am not clear on what the need is. But if you've taken the time to address it, apparently it might be worth understanding better.

Thanks,

Russ

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