You may have missed Madcap’s recent announcements of their sundry product upgrades somehow. Perhaps you were on a deep-sea expedition or out in the desert? I fully expect, though, that you would have received an announcement from Madcap via SMS on your satellite phone. But I digress…the topic of this post is not supposed to be the awesome power of the Madcap Marketing Machine™.
The Adobe Army has the Tech Comm Suite to face off against the MadCap Minions with their MadPak. Adobe’s marketing is a little less…um, aggressive than their competitor. And let’s not forget Author-it, which describes Author-it itself as a tightly integrated product suite.
Except for one problem. Take a look at my top three requirements for authoring software:
- Creates XML content in my preferred structure
- Validates XML content against my preferred structure
- Publishes XML content through XSL and XSL-FO to create HTML, PDF, and other deliverable formats
None of the suites do these things. Oh sure, MadCap and Author-it save content in XML (really, XHTML, but who’s counting) and FrameMaker can validate against arbitrary structures.
But as I’ve said in many publications and presentations
, the current trend is to take away publishing responsibilities from content creators. Instead of authoring books, authors are creating bits of content, which are then assembled into the final deliverables. And the use of a suite seems to go against that trend because authors are once again placed at the center of the publishing effort.
Am I the only one who would like to see a shift in focus?
PS I apologize to the French language. I am well aware that I completely murdered the translation of “tout de suite” — which actually means “right away.” I’m afraid I’m just powerless against the joy of really bad puns, especially really bad multilingual puns.