A Project of
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Create a formal model
Based on your analysis of the objects your audience needs, you define a
standard structure for each object. You will probably need to develop
several of these models:
You may want to create quite a few, or, if you make one giant DTD,
organize it into modules:
You may want to create quite a few, or, if you make one giant DTD, organize it into modules:
turn to a schema?
If you need software to check on the type of data entered, as in a conventional database, schemas make this easier.
Schemas, though, are not supported by every tool. Make the vendor prove that their software handles schemas as well as DTDs.
Every time you create a new object in a particular class, it must conform to the standards you have defined. The parser consults your DTD or schema, and checks to make sure that you have, in fact, followed the rules. If not, you get an error, or downright refusal to display anything.
Using a true XML editor such as FrameMaker 7 or Arbortext Epic lets you check validity as you go. In turn, the need for validation drives you toward software tools that can check, or guarantee valid content.
Communicate the structure--and revise
Create a table of contents or giant outline for all your content. Recognize that the reusable objects will reappear here, there, and everywhere.
This kind of outline gets out of date as soon as you go live. So consider it only a planning document.
For meetings, create diagrams indicating the structure of a particular group's favorite DTDs, so they understand the structures they must now work within. Discuss, and modify.
From the author's point of view, this approach is just "fill in the blanks." Behind the scenes, the software applies the correct XML tags, so that the resulting document is valid and well-formed XML.
Create a database to track and report on questions like these:
Complete details on how to create a DTD: Making an XML DTD Step by Step
Writing that Works!