be the judge.
a few years ago, APP was an interactive, template-based product that
utilized processing instructions. By comparison, FOSI/TEX's
successful track record of top speed, top quality, database-driven,
"lights-out" batch publishing of SGML/XML documents in multiple
languages is entering its third decade.
Fixes for Arbortext Editor 6.1 (through M040) list 10 bugfixes
related to FOSI/TEX, none of them involving software crashes.
However, approximately 135 publishing bugfixes specifically related
to APP are listed. In addition, the release notes for APP
11.0 (through M070) list approximately 250 bugfixes. It is not clear
how much overlap exists between the two documents. In any case, at
least 250 APP-related bugfixes were reported, with many involving
unexpected termination of the software. That's >250 compared
to 10. The numbers speak for themselves.
Fixes for 6.1 Styler (through M040) list 42 bugfixes, 6 of
which involved software crashes. APP documentation is acknowledged
to be neither complete nor up to date. FOSI documentation is both,
and includes step-by-step instructions for developing a FOSI stylesheet
from scratch as well as a development methodology and F1 Help for
every formatting property.
has high-hurdle prerequisites. FOSI requires only experience with
has a steep learning curve. FOSI's learning curve is reasonable.
training courses do not currently exist. The FOSI QuickStart Tutorials have
been available for years, and PTC Arbortext has FOSI training courses
that could be offered again.
development requires outside consulting; DIY is out of the question.
In-house FOSI development is perfectly feasible and is done all the
- The FOSI development
environment is vastly superior to using the Styler UI with
possibly hundreds of property sets and thousands of lines of
considering that an element with a source edit can no longer be modified
has gotten to the point where it is more complicated than FOSI. The Styler
Users Guide has 1,094 pages, even though Styler formatting
capabilities are limited. By comparison, PTC Arbortext’s FOSI
Reference Manual is less than half that long, with 437 pages.
structured markup application very like FOSI.
Arbortext acknowledges APP's formatting speed is slower
than the TEX engine's formatting speed. APP Styler
source edits have the potential to decrease formatting speed. And
the Styler Users Guide has a 17-page chapter about
performance issues with Styler.
H&J is by design better than APP H&J.
formatting capabilities are generally not used in technical documentation
and service information. On the other hand, FOSI has built-in features
designed especially for technical documentation and service information.
it ain't broke, don't fix it.