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Epic Editor and S1000D: newbie to Editor needs advice

ptc-2060240
1-Newbie

Epic Editor and S1000D: newbie to Editor needs advice

Hi,

This is an appeal to those in this forum who have worked with Epic Editor and S1000D (schemaor DTDs). I've been tasked to do an eval of Epic Editor (rather quickly) but first I have to learn how to use it.

We are about to collaborate with a client to update their aviation manuals. They use Arbortext Epic Editor (version unk) and we use Framemaker 7.2. We are in two minds: there is some thought that we should get Epic while there is other thought that we stick with Framemaker, as long as we can get their DTDs. I've gone through the tutorial and looked at the templates that come packaged with Epic. I've tried to plunge straight in and import/use an S1000D DTD but I can't find/don't understand how Epic does it (beside the fact that when I clicked on Import in the menu, I was told I didn't have the licence). I know how to do this in Frame but I want to give Epic a chance. Could someone please advise me or point me in the right direction to where I can get the info.

Help appreciated. Cheers

Carl Sarelius
Technical Author
BAE Systems

13 REPLIES 13

Import is not what you think and it is a separate product or I see if
your following the instructions in the help file, it sounds like you
don't have the architect product licensed. architect makes the
process a little easier but isn't strictly needed. do you really need
to worry about s1000d specific dtds? the raw editor is not going to
do anything special for s1000d content, so if you are just trying to
see how epic works with xml, just select file new and use one of the
dtds pre packaged.

for s1000d there are specific plugins that add customizations for
s1000d and will also integrate with a csdb if you are using one.

my bias is to always use a native xml editor over frame or other
products - you will get into fewer xml problems.

if you want to look at s1000d without one of these plugins, you can.
you have to get the dtd/schema setup. this can be done without
architect and we can get you going with that but it takes some
patience. let me know if you need to go down this path.

..dan

Hello Dan,

I suppose I was thinking relative to the Frame model, where I can open a DTD, create my EDD, add formatting rules to it and create my template. But the ability to create a structured document based on an S1000D DTD/schema is important. I gather from your reply that for Epic to be able to edit S1000D structured documents I need plug-ins and/or other applications other than Epic Editor. At the end of this eval I need to be able to tell my manager that we can, using Epic Editor, use an S1000D DTD/schema and create a template - complete with formatting rules - to create structured output. So in answer to your question, yes I want to go down that path. BTW, I only have an eval licence from PTC hence some things aren't working eg. Architect, which came with the download package.

Cheers

Carl

In Reply to Dan Vint:

Import is not what you think and it is a separate product or I see if
your following the instructions in the help file, it sounds like you
don't have the architect product licensed. architect makes the
process a little easier but isn't strictly needed. do you really need
to worry about s1000d specific dtds? the raw editor is not going to
do anything special for s1000d content, so if you are just trying to
see how epic works with xml, just select file new and use one of the
dtds pre packaged.

for s1000d there are specific plugins that add customizations for
s1000d and will also integrate with a csdb if you are using one.

my bias is to always use a native xml editor over frame or other
products - you will get into fewer xml problems.

if you want to look at s1000d without one of these plugins, you can.
you have to get the dtd/schema setup. this can be done without
architect and we can get you going with that but it takes some
patience. let me know if you need to go down this path.

..dan


aneder
6-Contributor
(To:ptc-2060240)

Carl,

you need two things to create S1000D documents:
- dtd or schema. It is possibly to download great archive from
www.s1000d.org.
- style to disply structure of document.

To create new S1000D document type very simple: File->Create new document,
find dtd or schema (descript.dtd as more simple) and begin to work. Second
task is to create style. It is more complex task, but solvable. I began to
work with Arbortext Editor and S1000D three years ago by such way.

Or, you can buy quite expensive solution Arbortext for Aerospace and
Defence by PTC. It's turn-key solution with ready database, styles,
document types and so on. Now we switch on to this solution.

If you need more help, let me know.

Alexander Neder
PTS,
Moscow, Russia.





> Hi,
>
> This is an appeal to those in this forum who have worked with Epic Editor
> and S1000D (schema or DTDs). I've been tasked to do an eval of Epic Editor
> (rather quickly) but first I have to learn how to use it.
>
> We are about to collaborate with a client to update their aviation
> manuals. They use Arbortext Epic Editor (version unk) and we use
> Framemaker 7.2. We are in two minds: there is some thought that we should
> get Epic while there is other thought that we stick with Framemaker, as
> long as we can get their DTDs. I've gone through the tutorial and looked
> at the templates that come packaged with Epic. I've tried to plunge
> straight in and import/use an S1000D DTD but I can't find/don't understand
> how Epic does it (beside the fact that when I clicked on Import in the
> menu, I was told I didn't have the licence). I know how to do this in
> Frame but I want to give Epic a chance. Could someone please advise me or
> point me in the right direction to where I can get the info.
>
> Help appreciated. Cheers
>
> Carl Sarelius
> Technical Author
> BAE Systems
>
>

Carl,

An out-of-the-box Arbortext Editor does not provide an authoring application for S1000D.

Arbortext does has an S1000D product that includes a content management database, server side publishing system, and Arbortext Editor as the authoring tool, and I'm sure that it costs LOTS of money. You need to talk to an Arbortext Sales rep to figure out what you need.

If you don't know enough about S1000 to write business rules and set up your system, then take a class like one of the S1000D classes that is available at the PTC World Event 2010. That should be coming up pretty soon. An S1000D class won't teach you enough, but it will show you how BIG your question really is.

You might get some technical answers on implementation from this list, but I don't think they can spare the time to come up with a sales pitch for Arbortext products without being eligible for a commission. Consultants will get some large fees for this sort of service.

Good luck,
-Andy

\ / Andy Esslinger LM Aero - Tech Order Data
_____-/\-_____ (817) 279-0442 1 Lockheed Blvd, Mail Zone 4285
\_\/_/ (817) 777 3047 Fort Worth, TX 76108


Hi Carl,



I won't claim to be an expert but I did take a look at S1000D and we do
use Epic Editor. My guess is that your client is probably using v4.3 or
less of the "editor". There was a brief period when the name was changed
to Epic Editor. I believe with v5 of the Editor the product name was
changed back to "Arbortext Editor". I thought Arbortext's integrated
S1000D product was for v5 up. Someone jump in and correct me if I'm
wrong.



I don't know much about Framemaker with SGML or how you would add a
custom DTD to it. In my opinion, collaboration/data exchange would
probably be better served by your using the Arbortext Editor rather than
Framemaker particularly if you are going to freely exchange S1000D
modules between you. What I'm saying here is that I do not know if using
Framemaker would create any data exchange issues for you. Ideally, both
you and your client would probably have similar configurations to
promote this exchange of data. Does that mean you need to implement the
Arbortext S1000D publishing suite?



Some time ago I became curious about S1000D and I installed the S1000D
DTDs etc., as a "custom doctype" for use with Epic Editor 4.3. You don't
need Architect for that. If you take a look in the help files that come
with your editor trial software you will find out how to do that:



* Adding custom files to the installation directory

* The custom subdirectory structure

* Compiling document types



You can compile a dtd from within Epic Editor, you do not need
Architect. There's probably quite a lot of information here at the user
group about installing a custom doctype and compiling if you do a little
mining.



I obtained the S1000D release from

the use of the markup. I found that I was able to edit at the module
level.



As a general observation about S1000D the real key to using it appears
to the be the integrated link between the Arbortext Editor and Database.
The Arbortext S1000D suite appeared to me to be a complete publishing
solution, I wa...



















Ok, as I read your post over that was what I thought you were going to say. First, the EDD, there is nothig like it in Arbortext. With a native XML tool, all you need is the DTD to start editing, you don't have to map anything between the editor and the DTD. that's the good news. to make things look quasi-WYSIWYG you need some sort of stylesheet. That is the big rub with S1000D, there are none publicly available. You can download all the DTDs and schemas but there is nothing to help you with formatting the information. This is one area where the plugin helps. We got a copy of the Inmedius AuthorPro software primarily to get the stylesheets. How much time do you have to do this evaluation? the most expedient way to do this and have a good editing and printing environment (so you can compare that with Frame) is to also give Inmedius a call and get a trial copy of AuthorPro. Installing that software will get all the S1000D stuff configured for you - including the stylesheets. There may be one more speed bump in this evaluation. Your Arbortext evaluation probably doesn't have any sort of composition (final page) capabilities - that's another set of products PTC will sell you. So all the instructions in Epic point you to use the Architect product to configure a new DTD. You don't need that but it can be tricky to configure a DTD. Note that S1000D is several DTDs/schemas for each issue of the spec. For quick and dirty I think you can just put the DTDs on your local system. Use the File -> New option and you want to Browse to the DTD. I think this will start a bare bones document for you. to get a better working sample, go out to the S1000D site and download the bike example. You can use File -> Open and select one of the SGML/XML sample files. You will get a dialog box indicating that the DTD can't be found, there is a Browse for DTD button on that screen, use it and locate the DTD on your filesystem. That should get you content and a working environment. it won't be pretty and very freidnly to use, but it will get you an S1000D file ready. Once you see that, go look at one of the sample Arbortext DTDs and configuration. These are fully configured. The easiest one to look at are the DITA modules as this is similar to what S1000D looks like. Other possiblities are DocBook, or better for MilSpec is the Cals sample. To use this one use File -> Open. This time go the to the Arbortext installation directory and go to doctypes/cals. You will find a demo.sgm file in this directory. This will give you a resonable view of a milspec book on screen and in print. You will be better off evaluating writing functionality in this document if you don't have stylesheets for S1000D. Let me know if you have any other questions. ..dan --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Danny Vint Specializing in Panoramic Images

I agree with everything here as a fianl soultion if you are going to get into S1000D as the way to do business. If you are just going to author some modules and then hand them over to the partner that probalby has the database and all the bells and whistles then you primarily just need the stylesheets to be able to view the files in the editor and print them. I know you can get AuthorPro from Inmedius that has these and a few other features you can use with out the database, I don't know if PTC sells that component separate from the full implementation. S1000D is a stadanrd as well as a way of doing business. It includes naming and versioning requiresments that are not typically found in other standards. It is really meant to be used with a content management system (data base or CSDB in S1000D lingo) if you are going to maintain all this data and create multiple releases. There are several companies that provide these tools, so this is an added component that needs to be looked at. ..dan --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Danny Vint Specializing in Panoramic Images

Hi Dan,

I never could understand why the s1000d.org would release an "Issue" of
S1000D and not include even one default stylesheet for the Bike Data.
The specs documentation clearly was created with one... so why one is
not included is a complete mystery to me. Probably for Carl's test he
probably won't need one simply to verify he can edit the markup. That's
basically where I left off myself.

I had thoughts of tinkering with a screen FOSI however various other
more immediate priorities prevailed.

Greg
lfraley
6-Contributor
(To:ptc-2060240)

Yes, you can get the S1000D editor plug in without the rest of the solution.


Greg/Re Stylesheet for bike: I think they used to, but don't anymore. There
was a discussion about this on the S1000D mailing list hosted on google
groups.


Thank you Liz, I'll take a look for that. Even though it might be out of
date it might be interesting to see what they did with it.



Greg

J


IanBoulton
5-Regular Member
(To:ptc-2060240)

Hello All,

Editor does require extensive configuration to be used with S1000D. You need screen FOSI and publishing style sheets as a minimum. Then there's the data creation and codification, DM referencing, ICN generation etc..etc..

Because of this, we created an OOTB solution for S1000D as a commercial application. It is referred to as Arbortext for S1000D. You can find details on the PTC website or you can contact me for further info.

Best Regards,

Ian Boulton
Manager, NA S1000D Client Services
PTC

-

Thankyou Dan, Alexander, Andy, Greg, Elizabeth and Ian,

your answers were concise, confirming what I was already starting to think from my attempts to use the S1000D DTD with Abortext Editor: basically that I need to do/get a lot more before I can start editing documents, and producing SGML/XML, using just Editor.

From my end, in a former company I have had experience using S1000D (v2.2) with a CSDB, Framemaker was our authoring tool, and usingthe various DTDs was relatively simple. Now I'm in a different company, different toolset different ideas.

Thanks all for your input, you've been a great help.

Cheers

Carl Sarelius
Technical Author
BAE Systems Australia (Aerospace)

Hello Carl,

I have been heavily involved with Arbortext Editor (formerly Epic Editor ) and S1000D; I also worked for BAE Systems,UKfrom 2001 developing and maintaining their Arbortext applications which included S1000D application amongst others. I was made redundant end of last year and have now set up my own company, Structured Information Ltd,providing the same capability and things are going well so far.

In order to generate the S1000D templates you will need to :

  1. Download the correct issue of DTD/Schema from the S1000D website - work out which doctypes you need as each has it's own DTD.
  2. Copy into an appropriately named folder
  3. Create a catalog file.
  4. Make sure Arbortext references the catalog file
  5. Compile the DTD
  6. Attempt to open the template.sgm which should be generated for you by Arbortext

If successful, you should see <dmodule></dmodule> within the editor window.

You can now go ahead and create valid S1000D data modules however, it won't be easy without a stylesheet to help you.

In order to create the stylesheet or FOSI you will require training and you will also need to purchase Arbortext Architect.

A simpler method is to purchase a prebuiltS1000D application.

If you are interested, I can provide you with a quote.

Regards,

Andy

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