Re: Intermediate tool (Word > FrameMaker)

Subject: Re: Intermediate tool (Word > FrameMaker)
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "Rowena Hart" <rhart -at- xcert -dot- com>, "TechDoc List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 11:57:55 -0500

Word is usable if the template is well-designed to match Frame templates.
And it can be programmed to present a nicer face to the user. However, if
your developers won't or can't use Word's templates, they probably won't be
able to use Frame's either. Frame, too, can be customized if you know basic
C programming and want to get Frame's FDK. But it's a whole lot more
complicated than Word's VBA language.

A better route is to ask what capabilities the engineers want, then pick a
tool to suit. Just throwing any tool at this problem isn't wise,
particularly if the documents the developers do have to be shared or
converted. PageMaker is a loss in this case, especially, because data/text
in it is imprisoned, unlike Frame's contents. Publisher is even worse. So
your choices basically come down to such tools as Frame, Word, WordPerfect,
Emacs, VI and the like that make truly portable formats.

Do the developers have to write things that are compatible with each other
and with your Frame environment? If not, why bother with a formatting tool
at all? Why not just have them write in ASCII text? Are they, say, doing
their own specifications and such? If so, and if these documents don't have
to be portable or single sourced, I'd see why Word isn't working and try to
make Word behave before I'd look at Frame. Frame is generally for serious
practitioners, not for occasional users. I'd take a long look at the
specifications the developers could generate for their dream tool, and see
if Word couldn't be trimmed to fit.

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar(TM) System
"Better communication is a service to mankind."
Check our Web site for the upcoming Clustar class info

----- Original Message -----
From: Rowena Hart <rhart -at- xcert -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2000 11:31 AM
Subject: Re: Intermediate tool (Word > FrameMaker)

> Hello all,
> The developers in our company want to standardize
> their document designs by applying templates, etc.
> They have tried and failed to use Word's template
> options and are now asking about using FrameMaker.
> (Our company currently uses FrameMaker to produce
> user documentation.)


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