I answered a similar question on the list a few months ago.  I've pasted my reply below.  In addition to what I wrote then, I would add that I had few issues upgrading XMetaL in my previous position.  Although the subdirectory in the Programs folder will change (from SoftQuad to BlastRadius or whatever company owns XMetaL now) the file structure was very similar and whatever changes I had to make were so minimal that I don't remember any specifically.


Mike Rush

Here is the text of my previous post:

At my previous job at the Massachusetts Historical Society, we upgraded from XMetaL 2.1 to XMetaL Author 4.0 a few years ago.  Most of the functions are very similar, but there were two issues that stood out for us.

First, in XMetaL version 4 and above, many of the functions that were previously included in XMetaL were split off into various flavors of XMetaL.  For example, XMetaL 2.1 included a customization menu that allowed you to edit the ctm and css files that controlled the custom encoding rules (such as instructing XMetaL to always include a <p> tag when inserting a <scopecontent> tag) and appearance in the tags-on and normal views (such as giving all <did> tags a blue background for easy identification).  In XMetaL 4 and up these functions are not a part of XMetaL Author.  You have to purchase the additional XMetaL Developer for those menus, or try your luck mucking about in ctm or css files by hand.  There is yet another flavor of XMetaL, the name of which escapes me, which does something else.

Another difference between 2.1 and 4 was character encoding.  One of the quirks of 2.1 is that when you save from the plain text view, it saves as regular ascii with replacement codes for special characters.  If you save from the tags on view, it saves it, I believe, as unicode.  In XMetaL 4 and above, the program saves consistently as unicode, regardless of what view you are in when you save.

At 10:22 AM 7/19/2005, you wrote:
Help required,
We are currently using XMetaL 2.0 (i know very old) and are starting to experience some problems which leads us to think that it is probably about time to upgrade.
I am wondering if anyone who has upgraded recently could give their thoughts on the process and how it would affect our current style sheets or any other glitches that might have occurred?
Many Thanks
Andrew MacLeod

Michael Rush  |  [log in to unmask]
Processing Archivist / EAD Coordinator
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Yale University
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven, CT 06520-8240
Tel: (203) 432-8123  Fax: (203) 432-4047