What Hasn't Changed

Reflections on the history of WebWorks Publisher and ePublisher, highlighting the goal of preserving authoring guidelines while transitioning to ePublisher. Discusses clarifications in documentation and customer perceptions.

by Alan Porter
August 29, 2008

When WebWorks.com created the classic WebWorks Publisher product for FrameMaker back in 1994, we wound up doing two things:

  1. Created the standard for single-sourcing web deliverables with FrameMaker.
  2. Defined authoring guidelines for users to control Help behaviors from their source documents.

When ePublisher was launched in 2005, our goal was to replace our custom code base and macro language with a workflow based on XML and XSL. We wanted to change how we delivered #1 and allow customers to keep #2. No one knows that.

First, we didn't make that message clear in our documentation. I'm very happy to report that we will be correcting that mistake with our Q3 release. Most of the material for the authoring guidelines for FrameMaker and Word were pulled directly from our Publisher 2003 documentation set.

Second, customers assumed that any change to their single-sourcing workflow meant starting from scratch. ePublisher was designed to build on the strengths of Publisher 2003, not discount them. And the lasting strength of Publisher 2003 was the creation of those authoring guidelines.

I'm glad we'll be addressing this issue in time for our RoundUp conference. In the meantime, forgive me if I grimace a bit when customers ask, “I know how to author dropdowns and popups for Publisher 2003. How do I do that for ePublisher?”.

Further Reading