After five months of evaluating various software solutions, LWW sent Bryant, a design operator who would make the changes in XPP, and a composition manager for two weeks of training with XyEnterprise. The company also purchased professional services to assist in translating the text into the stylesheets via XSLT (eXstensible Stylesheet Language Translation). XyEnterprise provided an on-site person, who proved invaluable in answering questions and instructing how to optimize the presentation of XML content.
Bryant says one of the advantages of XPP is its ability to contain adjustments to individual pages or lines without having the changes flow over into other sections of the document. LWW has developed its own rigorous rules for hyphenation and line breaks as well as baseline alignment of multiple columns. XPP was configured to automatically create near-final pages, but when operator intervention was required, the WYSIWYG interface simplified the editing process.
Keeping data in XML format throughout the editing process enabled LWW staff to make changes in Epic Editor and have them carried through into XPP, rather than making changes in multiple locations. Custom development for the project included setting up a "watched folder" to automate some of the stylesheet formatting. Files could be moved to a folder, and then scripts written in the Perl programming language would perform XLST transformations.
Symbol keys are used in the "Handbook" monographs to show important drug characteristics, but XPP smoothly handled the XML data flow from Arbortext. "The data is very complex and requires a tremendous amount of markup," Bryant says, but XPP successfully presented the tables and unique icons.
XPP is helping LWW to meet manufacturing requirements by enabling staff to estimate page counts earlier in the process. "With XPP's high-speed batch-pagination capability, we can learn well in advance of the publication date how many pages are in a particular set of content, which allows us to add or remove content as needed," Bryant says.