Re: PageMaker vs FrameMaker Comparison

Subject: Re: PageMaker vs FrameMaker Comparison
From: Jeff Hanvey <jewahe -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Bonita White <bwhite -at- youcentric -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 09:15:41 -0700 (PDT)

It's been awhile since I've used PageMaker, so I can't
really speak to some of the more technical aspects,
such as program stability. My understanding is that
for large documents, FrameMaker stays stable longer.
Of course, there might not be an important distinction
in stability between the two interfaces.

Also, I'm assuming that both products have great
flexibility as source documents. That means the final
product can be converted to HTML or PDF without any
real problems. (Although I imagine it would be easier
with PM). Framemaker might one-up PM if you get the
SGML version.

I would also imagine that PM, being more popular with
a broader user base, has more plug-ins and knowledge
bases available for help.

That being said, here are my arguments both ways:

For Framemaker:

-Time saving if your updates includes changing
paragraph attributes. (changing one tag updates every
-Documents don't need a lot of specialized page
-Nice modular feature (the book feature) with ability
to quickly change/update your TOC and index.

For PageMaker:
-Documents need a lot of specialized design. You have
a lot more precision with the layout.
-Most publishing houses often have a copy of PM, but
not all have FM - and some can't print Frame-sourced
documents. Check with your printer.
-It sounds like your company already uses PM
extensively. Because of this, I have to ask:

1. Will FM replace PM? And, more importantly, will all
those old PM documents have to be converted?
2. Will you have to train others to use FM? Relatively
speaking, PM is easier to learn than FM - the
interfaces are so different that it might scare people
3. If FM will NOT replace PM, how often will FM be
used? Will you have to spend a lot of "remedial" time
getting familiar with FM each time you need to use it?

The cost might be prohibitive if you take into account
these costs.

Another consideration:

Adobe hasn't really updated either PM or FM in a few
years (despite all the hype over FM 6.0 - it wasn't
much more than a repackaged 5.5 from all accounts on
the Framers mailing list). Also, according to the
list, most of the plug-ins available for FM are
written by third-parties - and exist because the
features are inadequate.

In fact, if I understand things correctly, PM is being
phased out in liew of In Design. Also, there are
rumors that FM is about to be shelved. Is now really
the time to do a massive conversion to a new product?
You may have to repeat it soon - and that would mean
more costs for the company.

Jeff Hanvey
Memphis, TN

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