RE: FrameMaker on Linux (rant)

Subject: RE: FrameMaker on Linux (rant)
From: KMcLauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 14:28:44 -0500

What wonders me is:

What did Adobe learn from their "Beta" that they didn't
already know (or should have) about:

a) their own product
b) Linux and open-source
c) people who use Linux on the desktop?

It seems to me that anybody who's been paying attention,
and who doesn't have their hat or necktie on too tight,
already knows that Linux is only JUST getting to where
"ordinary folks" might use it on a desktop. Take away
StarOffice, and Linux is barely usable for ordinary folks
wanting to do the same stuff they are accustomed to doing
in Windoze. KDE Office is close, but many of the apps
don't have the features yet. The picture was much foggier
last year, so what was Adobe expecting when they dreamed
up their "Beta" of FrameMaker?

Did they expect it to give them a feel for the market?
They shouldn't have. They were shooting FM5-on-Linux
in the foot, by having it co-incide with the general
release of FM6 on other platforms. Right away, people
couldn't take their docs home from the office to tinker
and play... FM6 docs wouldn't fit, anymore.

They had to know that the only people who were looking
at FM-on-Linux were people who live to tinker with
the guts (hard and soft) of computers. Those of us who
had problems just "making it go", at the outset, had to
learn more about the operating system to finally get it
going. MSWIN users generally don't want to do that. UNIX
users usually have system admins to turn to.

Linux itself, and Linux distributions are moving ahead
so fast that setup issues and .rc-file-editing from the
beginning of the year are now defaults or a simple toggle
in the automated install. Technical issues and support
issues (thus, anticipated support costs for Adobe) would
have shrunk by an order of magnitude just over the course
of the Beta. So, it couldn't have been that.

Somebody made some wise observations about how people on
the Linux platform tend to look for free/low-cost open-source
solutions, so that they can either fix/modify for themselves,
or wait a couple of weeks while somebody else (actually, a
gang of "somebody else's" around the world) implements
their entire wish list -- a new release of the software
every couple of months! Those who want to make money in
that space tend to give away software and then sell support
and training. That model certainly leaves Adobe
out in the cold with their aging "make money on expensive
software" model. But... Adobe already KNEW that sort of
thing, long before they went public with the Beta. Or, at
least all their Linux developers knew it. What was the
Beta supposed to tell them?

You have to wonder who made the decision to run FM-Linux
up the flagpole and then made the decision to NOT do
the port from 6.0 while 6.0 was being developed/ported
for all the currently-supported systems. They were asking
for trouble there... or pre-ordaining the outcome.

I think that if they wanted to know how Linux-FM would
be received among non-geeks, they should have bundled
with one or three major Linux distributions, and they
should have distributed the version that they expected
people to use on the other platforms, for compatibility
reasons -- FM6.

As I probably already said, I would whip out my credit
card right now, and pay the thousand bucks (plus) -- I'm
Canadian; we've got a broken dollar -- for a working
FM6 for Linux. How in hell did Adobe determine, from
their Beta, that I'm all alone in that willingness?

Now, who's tried out KWord (on Linux), and how's it
lookin' as a tech writer tool?


Kevin McLauchlan
kmclauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
somewhere in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dan Emory [mailto:danemory -at- primenet -dot- com]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2000 12:18 PM
> Subject: FrameMaker on Linux

> Adobe has just announced that "it has been unable to make the
> business
> case" for FrameMaker on Linux platforms, and that the free
> Beta licenses
> for that platform will expire on 31 December 2000.
> The operative passage in the email sent to all beta license
> holders is as
> follows:
> Adobe has determined that it will not,
> at this time, release a commercial version of FrameMaker or
> FrameMaker+SGML on the Linux platform

Develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver! (STC Discount.)
**NEW DATE/LOCATION!** January 16-17, 2001, New York, NY. or 800-646-9989.

Sponsored by SOLUTIONS, Conferences and Seminars for Communicators
Publications Management Clinic, TECH*COMM 2001 Conference, and more or 800-448-4230

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: SnagIt and PaintShop Pro
Next by Author: RE: FrameMaker on Linux (rant)
Previous by Thread: RE: Is Word Formatting in End-User docs important? [was:Word Help (pr oblem solved)]
Next by Thread: Re: FrameMaker on Linux (rant)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads