The Limits of Minimalism

At my previous company, I championed the principles of minimalism in documentation. While minimalism is not specifically DITA-related, content development in DITA benefits from applying the principles, and DITA certainly works well with some of the principles. And recently there was discussion on the dita-users list about how different types of information architectures may be expressed in DITA.

I don’t have to champion the principles of minimalism any more, because my one colleague and I are in alignment. But I have been finding that minimalism has limits to its applicability. Continue reading

FrameMaker is a real DITA editor…a very poor one

Last month, a pair of blog posts dueled over using FrameMaker for authoring XML.

Since the bullets were flying, I thought I would let off some shots of my own. I can’t speak to other XML use cases or schemas, but I do have a comment about using FrameMaker for DITA. Starting in November of 2011, I had to use FrameMaker 10 as a DITA editor for about six weeks until I had time to reconfigure the publishing process for another tool (and pretty up PDF output with mypdf). I’ve had a good deal of experience with writing and producing DITA content with XMetaL, and I agree with the criteria that Mr. Aldous sets out. So I can say that, yes, FrameMaker is a real XML editor.

It’s a really really lousy one.

Continue reading