Scott Leonard at the University of Maryland asked for recommendations
for a good SGML editor.
Mike Widener at the University of Texas at Austin took the opportunity
to ask specifically about FrameMaker+SGML:
> Does anyone out there have any experience (or even 2nd-hand knowledge)
> on Adobe FrameMaker+ SGML? It's the only full-featured set of SGML
> tools that I know of which run on the Macintosh (other vendors offer
> only some of the tools).
Steve Pepper's Whirlwind page is always a good place to start when
looking for tools:
His list of editors is at editetc.htm. Also check out his description
of the difference between SGML based systems, quasi-SGML systems, and
non-SGML systems, at index.htm#transformation. He says quasi-SGML
systems "do not operate directly on the SGML instance itself, but are
able to import and export SGML documents to and from the system's own
internal representation." FrameMaker+SGML works this way.
In the ArborText and Davenport mailing lists, there was a long thread
of discussion about the relative merits of Adobe's FrameMaker+SGML
and ArborText's AdeptEditor.
The consensus opinion seemed to be, that AdeptEditor can better handle
"industrial strength" SGML, but that authors and editors without
SGML expertise might prefer FrameMaker.
Author/Editor from SoftQuad is also popular; it's more in the class
of AdeptEditor. Author/Editor is available for the Mac; AdeptEditor
is not. SoftQuad sells an SGML Publishing Suite for Research
Collections, which includes some useful setup files for DTDs such as
EAD and TEILITE.
Grif in France makes an SGML editor that looks interesting.
I've used the SGML features of WordPerfect 7.0 for working with simple
DTDs. It's very typical of SGML add-ons, that it understands pretty
well the mapping of tags to word-processor paragraph and character
styles, but it's awkward and underpowered in its access to attributes
and other information. I'd be curious to hear if anyone has had
success with it for editing EAD instances.
Emacs psgml-mode is popular with tag-heads and programmers. It's free.
It's not a real SGML application: it understands structure, but it
parses in an informal way.
Operating system incompatibilities are a hassle. I think it's more
than coincidence, though, that the friendlier and more format-oriented
publishing package is available on the Mac, while the more industrial-
strength solutions are not. Larger shops can go for the server solution:
edit on a PC; publish on a more powerful machine.
Multi-format publishers often choose not to use a pre-built publishing
package, and instead create their own formatting translations using a
tool like OmniMark. I see a lot of potential for EAD-to-HTML down-
translation to add sophisticated indexing and navigation. AdeptEditor
is good for the down-translate way of working, because you can use the
Adept Command Language to add GUI controls to launch the publishing
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Research Institute of America Group
"These are merely instances"
--Wallace Stevens, Theory