See comments interspersed below.

Michael Fox
Head of Processing
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd West
St. Paul MN 55102-1906
phone: 651-296-1014
fax:  651-296-9961
[log in to unmask]

> ----------
> From:         Kate Bowers[SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent:         Thursday, January 20, 2000 10:29 AM
> To:   [log in to unmask]
> Subject:      Author for Word Questions
> I'm looking at buying Author for Word, and I have some questions, some of
> which are "techie."  Thanks in advance for any responses!
> 1) If you paste in ascii text that includes SGML codes (for example the
> string "<c level = "item"> <did> <unittitle> Folder Title </unittitle>
> </did> </c>" ) will the software know to treat the portions of the string
> that are SGML codes as code and the portion of the string that is text as
> text?  Or, to do this, would one have to "import" such a string?  If so,
> how difficult is importing a portion of a finding aid?
One cannot simply plug in text that is encoded at any spot.  SGML Author
works by associating the text found in a paragraph that is assigned a
particular Word style with a particular SGML element, wrapping the Word text
within that SGML element when the conversion process is run.   When you put
ASCII text into the document, it will be associated with a Word style- at
the very least the default style, Normal.    Thus anything you entered into
Word by way of already encoded text would, at the very least, end up being
nested inside some other SGML element.    This might not be a bad thing if
what you wanted to do was to import all the content of a <c02> element, sans
the <c02>, and have the converter supply the wrapper.

I did a small test of a similar scenario to test what would happen- I
entered the following string inside a Word paragraph that became  wrapped up
in a <bioghist><p>--   <persname role="subject">John Smith</persname>.

The text remained following conversion except that the opening angle bracket
for the start-tag and the end-tag were escaped out to their character
string--  &#60;     Angle brackets and ampersands present problems within
text IN SGML as they either may signal the begining of markup or an entity
reference or exist as part of the text itself, as PCDATA.

> 2)  What methodology works best for you when using this product for
> retrospective conversion?
We use it especially for converting container lists as it is often easier to
manipulate the text, such as adjusting the component levels, in a word
processor.  The hierarchy of the components may not be apparent when one
first appraoches an older inventory and some adjusting of ealier decisions
is required often as one works through the document.  When that happens, a
single macro keystroke is all that is required to change the paragraph style
to the one associated with the right component level.

> 3)  Does it display hierarchy in a helpful way?
No hierarchy is displayed.  One is simply typing in a Word document.

> 4)  The microsoft web site indicates that when one saves a document
> instance, Word/Author makes it comply with the DTD and will make and
> annotate changes to the document instance.  Has this been problematic?
> (My
> experience with Microsoft Word with the "save as HTML" feature is that it
> adds all kinds of extra, useless, stupid, and sometimes descructive
> coding.
>  I'm very concerned that it will treat my careful SGML coding the same
> way.)
Error messages are embedded around any text in the Word document that is not
sucessfully converted to SGML.  It also embs the full eadsgml declaration
file at the beginning of the document.   You actually are not doing any SGML
coding- rather generating it by association.

> 5)  Does it allow one to turn off this validation?
No validation occurs during authoring, only during conversion to SGML.

> 6)  Does one have to compile the DTD to another file, such as
> Author/Editor
> "rules" or WordPerfect "logic" file, and if so, does the software allow a
> user to do this, or, if a user is in a networked environment, does s/he
> have to contact tech support people to create these files?  I'm looking
> for
> some experience that might clarify what the microsoft web site says:
> "Administrators can use the highly flexible point-and-click management
> tools to easily configure SGML Author to work with any Document Type
> Definition (DTD)."
One creates an SGML Author DCL file that points to the DTD itself.  It's a
bit tricky because of the way EAD is modularized into several files.  It's
certainly no simpler than creating a rules file for Author/Editor or XMetal
or a logic file for WordPerfect, especially since the work has already been
done for you in those cases- the files are available from the EAD Help

> Thanks,
> Kate
> ______________________________________________
> Kate Bowers
> Processing Archivist
> Harvard University Archives
> Cambridge, MA 02138
> voice:  (617) 495-2461
> fax:    (617) 495-8011
> email:  [log in to unmask]