Re: Does Frame Suck? From a new user

Subject: Re: Does Frame Suck? From a new user
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 05:16:06 -0700 (PDT)

Reading the original questions about how FrameMaker works reminded me of some
of my own experiences.

The first DTP package I was trained on was Interleaf. In a five day training
class, we learned all of the tricks, nuances, idiosyncracies, and annoyances of
Interleaf. Then we went out and used it with great success. It was fun, and it
was easy, probably in large part because I had never been trained in styles and
templates and such things before.

A few years later I went to a different situation where I had to learn and use
Frame on my own. As I recall, it was Frame 3. It could do everything that
Interleaf could do (at a tenth the cost, at that time), but it drove me NUTS!
trying to find the right commands and menus to do it. Many were the nights when
I was rifling through the menus trying to find that command I KNEW had to be
there. Perseverance paid off, and eventually I became a fairly knowledgable
Frame user.

Then came Frame 4! I swear they moved EVERY COMMAND to a NEW MENU! Again I
found myself spending half my working life rifling through the menus to find
commands I KNEW WERE THERE (because I had found them in version 3. Perseverance
again paid off, and Frame and I were again friends.

We stayed friends right up to the introduction of Frame 5.5, when I got a new
job where I was expected to use Word 95 for Windows. (Sigh) I spent months
figuring out how to do the simplest things or learning work-arounds for things
Frame could do that Word could not, or would not, or would not do well. Again
it was frustrating, but I persevered. Now I'm reasonably accomplished with
Word. The switch to Word 97 was not traumatic; it was so little different that
it was hardly worth the effort. Broken things stayed broken, for the most part.

The moral of this story? Perseverance, I guess. Each DTP has its own virtues
and vices. As an operator of these packages, I have my own preferences and
dislikes. However, as is true in all things computer-related, THE PROGRAMS
DON'T CARE whether I like them or not, whether I find them easy to use or not,
whether they will do what I want at the moment or not. The programs are the
programs. The boss is the boss. The deadlines remain the deadlines.

A good Technical Writer can survive it all. If you stay in Technical Writing
for any length of time, you will find "them" doing it to you over and over
again. You'll figure it out.

Peace,


=====
Tom Murrell
Senior Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com
http://home.columbus.rr.com/murrell/

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