“As a user I can open a project folder as if it were a document” is the first of 27 requirements that we’ve studied as part of our benchmark on XML editors.
Structured writing without XML knowledge
We think this requirement is important because it aligns with the conceptual model most users have of a document. It means that users can write, review and update structured content without any prior knowledge of XML, DITA or structured writing. This empowers subject matter experts to deliver effective documentation, reduces the need for expert editors and shortens time-to-market.
View modes for different roles
Despite of the importance this requirement, the average rating was 1.5, whereas for three editors (including Word en Docs) this requirement was inapplicable. One editor (EasyDita) scored an outstanding 4 due to the various view modes for different roles it provides. For quick and comprehensive review there is a full project preview mode that loads all referenced topics in order. Other view modes are available for authoring a single topic at a time, or managing the multitude of topics and maps in a repository.
Seamless transitions between view modes
Conforming to the end user’s idea of a document is an essential part of the user centered approach of FontoXML. This is why we make it easy to configure and adapt our XML editor to different types of authors: from subject matter experts with very few writing experience to technical writers. In this case we provide seamless transitions between view modes (without having to open or close additional windows), allowing the user to edit anything from anywhere in the project.