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May Meeting Summary: Interleaf Demonstration
1997, July (October 10, 2008)
By Charles Good

The Carolina Chapter’s May meeting was held at Dreyfus Auditorium in RTP. The topic was Interleaf 6 and the
presenters included:
  • Erin Worstrom, an Interleaf consultant (from Philadelphia)
  • Lori Winfree, our area's account executive (from Atlanta).
The Interleaf product was first introduced 15 years ago. Since then, many of the original features, look, feel, and behavior have been carried forward. However, Interleaf 6 changes all that. By adopting the Motif user-interface approach, Interleaf 6 takes on more of a Windows 95 appearance and it incorporates a lot of nuances that made Macintosh computers so easy to use.

Interleaf 6 takes the work group (networked) publishing concept to a new level by incorporating filter and intelligent property characteristics not available in Interleaf 5. In addition, catalogs can become more than just writer component property templates. Catalogs in Interleaf 6 can be designed as print engine specifications for different types of output (for example, paper, CD-ROM, HTML, etc.).
  • Business Web is a new product/strategy that will allow users to search information repositories (Interleaf based, as well as others). It is designed to use Worldview Java.
  • Cyberleaf is Interleaf's HTML and GIF converted that will produce full composite document Web sites (not just Web pages or a softbook). The latest version is more programmable which provides the publisher more flexibility. Cyberleaf also provides PDF file output for users who need to provide information in this form for downloading. Cyberleaf also is one of the best products on the market for automatically providing a text-only version to assist users that have old broswers or slow network connections.

Although we did not talk too much about Interleaf buying Avalanche and acquiring the Fast Tag SGML conversion product, we did discuss SGML standards. It is interesting that the FOSI proposal for producing print formatted output from SGML is receiving little industry support because it is not realistic. However, the DSSSL standard which allows LISP programming enhancements appears to be worthwhile. SGML still seems to be little more than a neutral form of text-intensive content exchange between people with dissimilar tools, networks, etc.

This led to the final topic which was the realization that documentation is suffering from multiple personality disorder (MPD). Interleaf feels that some of the MPDs are caused by customers wanting so many different forms of output (for example, paper, CD-ROM, Web HTML/GIF, Windows Help, etc.). The other causes of MPD include things like having to use various source material formats, having to work in environments with different operating systems and platform types, etc.

Interleaf supports the concept whereby authors can write and develop on any platform, document assembly can be done on a common tool (Interleaf 6), review and document management can be done with Interleaf’s Relational Document Management (RDM) product, and distribution/output can be handled by either Worldview, Cyberleaf, or Interleaf 6.

You can contact Charles at goodcr at aur dot alcatel dot com. End of article.

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