1 2 Previous Next

Liz Fraley's Blog

21 posts

Today's exercises in video conversion remind me of the browser wars in the 1990s. There is no end to the pain of figuring out formats that will play well in everyone's browser on everyone's OS. Especially if you want to host the videos yourself. When you do as many videos as we do, here at Single-Sourcing Solutions, it starts to become impossible.


In order to make it simpler, we decided to post all our old videos to YouTube, which means that we recently launched several YouTube Channels:

  1. Arbortext Monster Garage - all the videos from our famed web series about how to trick out your Arbortext environment, software, and publishing deliverables
  2. Single-Sourcing Solutions - these videos may not be Arbortext-specific, but depict related content to the work of authors, publishers, managers, and support personnel.
  3. TC Dojo - this is a mix of Arbortext Monster Garage and TC Camp. Videos are recordings of sessions where the topics were voted on by the community. The TC Dojo YouTube channel has copies of all the TC Dojo open session recordings. Again, not Arbortext-specific, but all related content.
  4. Arbortext PTC/User Group - These videos are moving to YouTube as well, so we don't have to manage the AUG website. The group was hard to maintain, but the dedicated volunteers are still out there and the content from the meetings we did have is incredible. YouTube will preserve the content for us.


What about TC Dojo: Arbortext Edition? 

TC Dojo has been such a popular series, we added TC Dojo Arbortext Edition. The Arbortext TC Dojo videos are not on YouTube. They are only available to TC Dojo Master Series members and our customers. The live Arbortext Dojo sessions are free to attend in person. If you attend, learn, and enjoy, but if you want access to the recordings, join the Master Series

Windchill PartsLink enables the construction of a hierarchy of classification nodes but applies this to WTParts.  This functionality would be very powerful if applied to Dynamic Documents to support reuse of information... helping users find what already exists and is available for use.



November 11, 2011 at 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM


Register online:  https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/662546171


Shop Coach: Dmitry Tsarev, Irisoft


Title: Front Counter - Creating Published Documents from Arbortext Content Manager



Connecting Arbortext Content Manager to Publishing Engine can be tricky. Dmitry Tsarev gives you some tips and tricks about making it come together smoothly.


About the Arbortext Monster Garage:

There are a million Uber Geeky things you can do in Arbortext. Arbortext is a mature platform: The entire set of tools works together. Arbortext is open: The entire UI and publishing pipeline is 100% available through a well-tested API. The possibilities are enormous for anyone who wants to do new, interesting, over-the-top things with their product information.


In this web series, we feature the Open API and the geeky things you can do with Arbortext. You?ll find knowledgeable mechanics, here. Put on your shop coat, because here we go?.

First of all, I know that there are many of you out there who have been waiting the release of the next podcast. I think we underestimated how hard it was going to be to release a video every other week (Arbortext Monster Garage) and still maintain our podcasting schedule.  Well, get ready to listen: We've got several stacked up in the queue ready to go and we're starting the release schedule again with a flourish! 


The first release in the new podcast series is with a legend in the industry: Barry Schaeffer. I met Barry very early on. I always looked forward to seeing him at industry events and reading the articles he published.  Barry was always a frequent speaker and contributor on subjects related to information and content management. 


Barry is a legend. 


He was Founder and President of X.Systems.Inc., a system development and consulting firm specializing in the conception and design of text-based information systems, with industrial, legal/judicial and publishing clients among the Fortune 500, non-profit organizations and government agencies, until it’s acquisition by XyEnterprise in 2008. His work with structured information began in 1979 with SGML, and with XML at its initial publication as a standard in 1996. X.Systems was the first company to partner with Arbortext. 


Today, Barry is a Senior Analyst with the Gilbane Group and a Principal consultant with Content Life-cycle Consulting, Inc


Over the course of his career, Barry has held management and technical positions with The Bell System, Xerox, Planning Research Corporation, U. S. News and World Report, Grumman Data Systems and XyEnterprise. As an experienced consultant and systems architect, he has supported a client list that includes major industrial organizations, Federal civilian and defense agencies and state governments.  He was even the new media columnist at Newspapers and Technology magazine for a couple of years. 


And we are beyond delighted that he could help us restart the PubWright Podcast


The advice he gives is invaluable when it comes to thinking about how to roll out XML publishing systems, how to think about organizational content strategy, and full of lessons learned about both. In fact, there’s a bit of important history here: Barry was there at BNA when IBM was learning the lessons that lead IBM to invent DITA. Interesting stuff! 


Head on over to the podcast. It's available on our podcast feed and on iTunes iTunes. Hear from a long time part of the the XML/technical publications family: Barry Schaeffer.


“Automating High-Quality Output”


Presented by: Simon Taylor, PTC
25 October 2011, 9-10 am Pacific/US  (Date Change!)

Sign up to attend the webinar



As always, members and customers of Single-Sourcing Solutions
will have access the full-screen video, slides,

and transcript on the member site.

High-Quality Output


You get it. You understand the value for having your content in XML. Perhaps you are already there or on your way. Now you have all of your content tagged and structured for optimal reuse. You breathe a sigh of relief.  Then you get the request to produce high quality designed outputs for things such as catalogs, product brochures, data sheets, or even advertisements, etc….  Can your rendering engine handle it?  If you have Arbortext the answer is definitely YES!  Join us for this FREE one hour session where we will show you how you can automate the creation of high volume, high quality output using the Arbortext Suite of products.  No time to attend, then register to receive your access to the recorded session!

About Simon Taylor

As the Product Manager for XML Publishing and Layout Applications at PTC, Simon spends his time “thinking about putting content on pages”. He has defined the requirements for several full product releases, presented at numerous conferences, represented PTC and product during sales processes and otherwise successfully managed these complex products. Before becoming a Product Manager, he was Application Engineer for Arbortext and PTC, he was a Technical Consultant delivering APP-based publishing solutions to customers, and has spent much of his time managing, paginating, editing, and developing STM books and journals, and he has recruited, managed and trained a number of new starters.

About PTC

PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC), The Product Development Company, develops, markets and supports product development software solutions and related services that help companies achieve their product development strategies and optimize their processes. Using the company's tightly integrated CAD and enterprise PLM solutions, organizations are better able to create and manage product information throughout the lifecycle for optimal product development success. For more information, please visit www.ptc.com.

About Single-Sourcing Solutions

Single-Sourcing Solutions (www.single-sourcing.com) is an elite PTC partner specializing in Arbortext and Mathcad products. With over a decade’s experience with the Arbortext toolset and in the practical development and deployment of mission-critical, custom XML development, Single-Sourcing Solutions has the expertise required for successful dynamic information delivery. We are very active in the global Arbortext community and related information development communities.  Our corporate sites...

This week in the Arbortext Monster Garage:

Where Are My Keys? - Improving Your Search Results in Online Content


Friday 16 September 2011
10:00AM - 10:30 AM Pacific/US


In this session of the Arbortext Monster Garage by Single-Sourcing Solutions, Clay Helberg talks about how you can improve (hack, alter, change, and affect) search results in HTML output created by Arbortext Digital Media Publisher.


Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/253272211


After the session, you can see the video here:  http://podcast.single-sourcing.com/

Read Simon Taylor's column (it's really the "Styler" tag, but he's the main contributor so far).


He's just getting started, but he's got a lot of good information going in there about what's coming down the road for Arbortext Styler. So far it's just a peek, but the promise is there. I know I've been glued to the posts.


We, here at Single-Sourcing Solutions, are thrilled to see the PMs starting to write up stuff -- and I know Simon's been itching to get started. I've known Simon for a long time. He's an amazing PM. Interested in solving real problems. Interested in talking to customers and finding out what they really need. He spends his days thinking about putting words on "pages" and he's damn good at it.


Here's my advice:


  1. Read the posts.
  2. Give him your feedback and comments, if you've got 'em.


It'll make the product better for all of us!


Community Badges

Posted by lfraley Aug 31, 2011

It seems as though I've earned the "Bill Shakespeare" badge for...as I was told...


For starting your own blog and writing 10 blogs posts related to CAD, PLM or PTC products in general, here is your “Bill Shakespeare” badge. Feel free to display it proudly on your PlanetPTC Community badge.



That's 10 posts here on communites.ptc.com.


That doesn't include the nearly EIGHT years of blog posts about Arbortext and Dynamic Publishing on the Single-Sourcing Blog here:



That's a lot of blog posts. The Single-Sourcing Blog is where you can find:


The rules for Community Badges only counts posts local to this site. So I'll never earn the Video badge, because we only post videos to two places (if we add a third, it'll be probably be YouTube):


There are at least 24 videos about Arbortext from 2011 posted there (or will be by the end of the year). The Arbortext Monster Garage happens twice a month and we post the videos after each session. That way, anyone who couldn't attend can still see what happened. In the Arbortext Monster Garage, see what you can do with the product if you just put on your shop coat. Check the schedule and join us! As we say in the Garage, "With Arbortext in your toolset, there's nothing you can't do."


HOWEVER, if you prefer audio, you're good there too. There's a whole series of Arbortext audio podcasts available on http://podcast.single-sourcing.com too! The PubWright Podcast is a series of audio podcasts — interviews with people all across the Arbortext community, and experts in the dynamic publishing field.  The podcast can also be downloaded right to your iPod via iTunes!


Communities can't be contained and there are lots of folks in your community. Don't be afraid to step outside. The #1 Arbortext resource remains the Adepters Mailing List & Archives which has been continuous since 1996. It's the best place to get your questions answered. Hands Down.


Anyway, here's the Badge. Doubt if I'll see another one since most of my contributions are, shall we say, "beyond the boundaries".






We get a lot of questions about whether you can use Arbortext with the Open Toolkit.  The answer is, "Yes, of course," but any further details are difficult unless you know what the questioner means by that: "Arbortext" is a portfolio of products that includes an editor, multiple publishing engines (for both typical and magazine-quality publishing), a content management system, a styling tool (so non-programmers can create stylesheets), a DTD/configuration tool, a dynamic link manager, and an illustration tool. Which part of Arbortext do you want to use with the DITA OT?


For example, if you want index processing, you've got to swap out FOP. There's one place you can use Arbortext. You can use Arbortext editor as your DITA editor, that's another place. Want to create multi-channel stylesheets without having to learn XSL and XSL-FO, well, that's a third place. Want to kick off the DITA OT from inside the CMS? That's four.


So, because there are so many ways to answer this question, we've scheduled two DITA- and OT-specific sessions to our new Arbortext Monster Garage webinar series: Editing and Publishing.


The first session is this Friday at 10 AM Pacific. Our shop coach is Mark Giffin, Mark Giffin Consulting, Inc. He's going to explain the basics of how Arbortext works with the DITA Open Toolkit. (Later on, he'll show the details behind how it's done.)


Sign up today!


About the Arbortext Monster Garage:

There are a million “Uber Geeky” things you can do in Arbortext. Arbortext is a mature platform: The entire set of tools works together. Arbortext is open: The entire UI and publishing pipeline is 100% available through a well-tested API. The possibilities are enormous for anyone who wants to do new, interesting, over-the-top things with their product information.


In this web series, we feature the Open API and the “geeky” things you can do with Arbortext.  It's interactive, and you’ll find knowledgeable mechanics, here. All Monster Garage sessions are 30 minutes start-to-finish, but you can hang around and ask the coaches questions for nearly as long as you like.


Put on your shop coat, because here we go….


Here at Single-Sourcing Solutions, we always talk about the ease of use and the out-of-the box advantages to Arbortext suite of products. We don’t always talk about the sizable API that opens the entire application to developers. Yet, for many of us, this was one of the primary advantages that drew us to the Arbortext platform.  This last year, we discovered that this ability to tweak every aspect of the product and the content that comes out as a result is no longer so obvious to people who are new to the eco-system.


Want to see "Why Arbortext'?


Come to the  Arbortext Monster Garage


Inspired by the popular “Monster Garage” television show on the Discovery Channel, today we’re launching a new webinar series: “Arbortext Monster Garage.” On the TV show, a team of people with mechanical, fabricating, or modifying expertise gathers together to modify a vehicle into a “monster machine.”  In our new webinar series, we’re gathering people from the Arbortext community who have modified, streamlined, co-opted, and wrenched their applications to achieve outstanding, interactive, and impressive content and highly effective content creation-publication workflows.


The series will showcase users from the community demonstrating techniques, tips and tricks that they have used in the past, discoveries they have made, and showcasing new features.


Twice a month, on the second and fourth Fridays, each session lasts only 30 minutes. The calendar has been published in advance, so that you can see what’s coming and sign up for the sessions you’re most interested in.  There are sessions for beginners as well as for expert users.


The first session is titled “Pop the Hood – Get Started with Arbortext Editor in 20 Minutes” presented by Lynn Hales. Sign up now!

Recently, Dave Lorenzoni wrote a post about the cost of Arbortext. In it he says, "There’s a lot of confusion, bad information, old information about Arbortext floating around out there."


Over the last year, we've come to that same realization from a completely different perspective. We see a lot of confusion out there about what Arbortext is. When you say Arbortext to some people, they think you're talking about "Arbortext Editor"; to others, "Arbortext IsoDraw"; to still others, "Arbortext Content Manager." It's easy to see how this happens. Everyone has their own niche and there are simply too many other things to think about. (I confess to thinking of Creo the same way.) But, like Creo, Arbortext is a big-picture solution that includes all the pieces required for creation, management, and  publishing of enterprise content.


As a result we decided to set up a new series on the Single-Sourcing blog: Frequently Asked Questions about Arbortext. Questions have been grouped into categories, and we're posting a different one every other week. So far we've covered the following topics:


If you want to follow this series, subscribe to the Common Questions RSS feed here. Right now, they're the most common questions we get or see posted in the PTC communities, publishing and techcomm industries, and in the media. If you've got one, post it in the comments or send it to us, and I promise, you'll see the answer posted!

If you want to keep up with Arbortext releases, you can follow the release notes RSS feed at the Single-Sourcing Blog.


At the Single-Sourcing Blog, we generally post the list of SPRs and enhancements added to a particular Arbortext   product release. Arbortext customers often want a quick way to scan through the release to find out whether their particular SPR or enhancement request made it into a particular release.


Arbortext 5.3 M210


For the M210 release, there are >600 SPRs fixed in the entire 5.3 release tree (280 to M10 alone). Changes affect all 5.3  maintenance releases from F000 to M200. For this release, if you want a good summary or details about the release, you can read the summary here.  Otherwise, you can read the 208 pages of release notes posted to the Reference  Documentation area of the PTC website.


This is the last scheduled maintenance release of Arbortext 5.3.


APP 9.1 M180


This is the last scheduled maintenance release of APP 9.1.


There were 7 SPRs fixed in this release of Arbortext Advanced Print Publisher. Details can be found here or in the release notes posted to the Reference Documentation area of the PTC website.

The last two weeks have been really busy, but I wanted to take this opportunity to stress that it's time for all the Arbortext users out there to submit a proposal for presentation at the annual user conference, PlanetPTC Live, in 2010.


Like others who have made this solicitation, it's not only altruism that we ask you to submit a proposal and tell us about what you're doing: it makes the conference better for us as well.


Submissions open on 10/15 and are due by 11/22.


Hope to see you in Las Vegas.


Related posts:


Free Webinar: ROI of XML

Posted by lfraley Sep 17, 2010

Panel Discussion Moderated by:
Dave Lorenzoni, Single-Sourcing Solutions


Charlotte Robidoux, HP
Greg Johnson, Medtronic
Todd Nowlan, Nortel
Andy Pieper, Toro


Presented online:
23 September 2010 at 10 AM Pacific


Register at the link on the announcement page.




If you have  information about your company’s product or services  that needs to be  delivered to customers, whether it’s in print or  electronic form,  chances are you have heard of XML.


Are you finding yourself in the position of having to explain to others or have you wondered:

  • What’s all the big deal about XML?
  • Why should I care?
  • What’s in it for me?
  • How is it going to save me time?
  • How will I lower cost?


Then come and listen to our expert panel of industry leaders as they   share with you a bit of their journey and what the true ROI is of XML.   Experts from Hewlett-Packard, Medtronic, Nortel, and Toro.


No matter how large or small, how new or how old your company is or   what technology or service your company provides XML can have   significant returns for you in:

  • Reuse content for faster delivery of information
  • Separation of form and content (your writers can  write rather than try to tweak with documents to get them to look right)
  • Ability to deliver information in the language and format of choice
  • Utilize resources more effectively to help you meet  your deliverables/Do more with less/Improve time to market/Productivity


Who should attend?

  • Business leaders who are interested in gaining a competitive edge by improving product information.
  • Content creators who are trying to help their management understand the need for change.
  • Executives with P&L responsibility who need to drive to a greater ROI.


No time to attend? Sign up anyway so you can access the recording later.


As always, members and customers of Single-Sourcing Solutions will be able to access the video, slides, and transcript on the membership site.


Common Arbortext Questions

Posted by lfraley Sep 6, 2010

We answer a lot of questions about Arbortext, in a lot of different places.  This is only one of them. Why? Because we're one of the few qualified PTC-Arbortext partners. Because we've been working with the Arbortext solution for more than a decade.


Arbortext is not simply an XML Editor or Illustration tool. It’s a big-picture solution that includes all the pieces required for creation, management, and  publishing of enterprise content. In fact, Arbortext is the only out-of-the-box, end-to-end solution. Since the acquisition by PTC in 2005, Arbortext has been focused on making sure the products are  integrated and play nicely with each other. We have all heard horror stories from publication groups who have had to ducktape a solution together in order to get the full solution. Often times, despite years of work, they never really realize the full capabilities of a complete end-to-end solution.


We get questions from customers and prospective customers who are at  all points of the spectrum. Some are techpubs groups looking at tools; some are VPs thinking about their larger, enterprise content strategy.  Some understand XML and publishing and how it all fits together; some understand parts but aren’t necessarily sure where responsibility (cms, editing tool, publishing too) starts or ends (you can bet that the vendors absolutely do!); some are just beginning to think about the  limitations of traditional tools.


Some are coming to it from the tools-first approach; some come from a  process management approach; and some come from a change management  approach. We’ve seen a lot of success and a lot of failure through our long tenure in this. Like Jennifer Lopez's character in The Wedding Planner, we can predict success or failure, based on the approach someone takes (rather than the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses). However, what’s more interesting is that we can make this prediction regardless of the tool set eventually chosen. There’s a lot of confusion out there as to what the individual pieces are where responsibility lies in a system like this.


As a result, we’ve starting a new series called “Common Arbortext Questions”.  Each  week, we’ll share with you a set of questions, all more or less around  the same topic, that we’ve had recently and that provide insight into the Arbortext solution.  If we haven’t answered fully enough or you’ve got a follow-up  question, please share in the comments. We’ll be sure to answer your questions as well.


Subscribe to the feed

Filter Blog

By date:
By tag: