RE: Framemaker, Word and Robohelp

Subject: RE: Framemaker, Word and Robohelp
From: Christine -dot- Anameier -at- seagate -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 14:49:33 -0600

John Gilger wrote: <Wouldn't it make more sense to have the members of the
writing team who are
best developers of content (writers) use simpler software such as Wordpad,
vi, or (my personal favorite cyber-swiss-army-knife) emacs to write in text
files and having one or two of your best layout gurus using a good type
setting, markup, or layout program (TeX, SGML, Framemaker, Word ...) format
the stuff and make it look pretty?>

You're assuming that formatting and content are separable, and formatting
is nothing but window dressing. That's one school of thought, but not
everyone agrees with it. If I were limited to working in a text editor like
Wordpad, I would have one hand tied behind my back.

>From my perspective, layout, graphics, and writing are all integral to the
job, and the job is technical communication.

John wrote: <Why not do what you do best and let someone with the
skill do what they do best.>

I can't argue with that. But what I do best is information design, not pure
text-only writing. I have no problem with writers who want to "just write"
--I hope they can find positions that accomodate that preference. But
there's room in our field for both approaches. We don't all need to be
Photoshop and Framemaker gurus, and we don't all need to spend our days
looking at a sea of 10-point Courier.


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