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Transitioning from Arbortext for Unix to Arbortext for Windows

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Transitioning from Arbortext for Unix to Arbortext for Windows

After using Arbortext and its predecessors on the Unix platform for the last 18+ years, we are switching to the Windows platform now that Unix will no longer be supported. I wondered if anyone else has made this transition and could offer some advice? We have a lot of customizations and I'm curious about how much work I should expect to make this transition. I would like to keep the changes to the interface and functionality to a minimum so as to not alarm our users. Any advice that anyone can offer would be very much appreciated.

Regards,

Rick


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Re: Transitioning from Arbortext for Unix to Arbortext for Windows

Hi Rick,

I don't know if you can symlink a Windows folder to Unix filesystem (I doubt you can). What you can do however is the following:

- you need to somehow map your unix folder as a windows drive (e.g. using Samba on Unix)

- then create a Environment Variable in Windows named "APTCUSTOM" pointing to that mapped unix folder, e.g. SET APTCUSTOM=X:\mycustom

Another nice feature of later Arbortext versions is to use so called "zipped" customizations. You basically zip-up your complete custom folder and point the APTCUSTOM environment variable to that zipfile instead of a folder. That zipfile could even be on a http server. The big advantage would be that your remote users only download the zip when changed - otherwise they keep using a cached copy on their PCs which speeds up the initial load of Arbortext.

Hope that helps,

Sirko

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Re: Transitioning from Arbortext for Unix to Arbortext for Windows

We've done a few Arbortext upgrades, but I haven't personally been involved in any Unix->Windows transitions. However I have some experience to share which you may find useful.

Firstly if you are on a recent-ish Arbortext (say 5.4) then the transition shouldn't be too bad. The customisations will need a bit of patching up to account for things like Windows vs Unix path names. Also if you are doing composition on Unix the difference in font handling with Windows may be something to watch out for. The core of Arbortext isn't that different though so most of the UI stuff should carry over.

If you are on an older Arbortext (say 5.3 or earlier) then you should be prepared for quite a lot of work, especially if your customisations are extensive.

Re: Transitioning from Arbortext for Unix to Arbortext for Windows

Hi Rick,

I agree with Gareth. I've been involved in 1 Unix->Windows conversion. The OS conversion was a relative non-event. Just a few minor adjustments.

As Gareth said, upgrading versions is more involved depending on how many versions you're jumping and the extent of your modifications.

Re: Transitioning from Arbortext for Unix to Arbortext for Windows

Thanks, Gareth and Jeff.

I guess I've got my work cut out for me then since we are upgrading from v5.3 for Unix to v6.0 for Windows. I have a group of 35 users (fairly small, I know) working with Arbortext: 8 users are at remote locations (including 5 who are in different states) and 16 users who sometimes telecommute from home. I am hoping to minimize how much customization we have to do on each PC or for each user.

We will be maintaining our Unix file system for all of content since we have other software and applications for our publishing process that we aren't in a position to migrate to Windows.

What I was hoping I could do, is to leave our customization files (including our in-house DTD) on our Unix file system and symlink the C:\Program Files\PTC\Arbortext\custom to those customization files rather than put the full set of customized files on each PC. What I'm noticing so far is that when I go into the File Locations tab of the Preferences window and I browse to C:\Program Files\PTC\Arbortext\, I'm not seeing the custom folder which is a shortcut to the custom folder on our Unix file system.

Rick

Re: Transitioning from Arbortext for Unix to Arbortext for Windows

Hi Rick,

I don't know if you can symlink a Windows folder to Unix filesystem (I doubt you can). What you can do however is the following:

- you need to somehow map your unix folder as a windows drive (e.g. using Samba on Unix)

- then create a Environment Variable in Windows named "APTCUSTOM" pointing to that mapped unix folder, e.g. SET APTCUSTOM=X:\mycustom

Another nice feature of later Arbortext versions is to use so called "zipped" customizations. You basically zip-up your complete custom folder and point the APTCUSTOM environment variable to that zipfile instead of a folder. That zipfile could even be on a http server. The big advantage would be that your remote users only download the zip when changed - otherwise they keep using a cached copy on their PCs which speeds up the initial load of Arbortext.

Hope that helps,

Sirko

View solution in original post

Re: Transitioning from Arbortext for Unix to Arbortext for Windows

Sirko,

Thanks for that tip about using zipped customizations. I just did a first test and it worked beautifully!

Many thanks,

Rick