Re: Writing tools: Quark, FrameMaker and others

Subject: Re: Writing tools: Quark, FrameMaker and others
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 19:29:52 -0800 (PST)

"Lyda Woods" wrote...

> I'm interested in gathering other tech writers' experiences with
> documentation tools, namely Word vs. FrameMaker vs. Quark. I will
> summarize responses and report back to the list so that everyone who's
> interested has succinct information.

Once again its time for the TECHWR-L monthly "Love thy Tool" game. The game
where contestants try to hide their emotional attachments for tools through the
use of "objective analysis."

FrameMaker - crap. Quark - crap. Word - crap. They are all bad and they are all
great. All of them have great features. All of them have horrible features.
Don't believe anybody who says something like "the clear choice is...." There
is no clear choice. We could sit here from now until the day the earth stood
still debating which tools are better.

Furthermore, keep in mind that a lot of people have strange emotional
attachments to these tools. Personally, I think all these tools are fine. Each
has weaknesses, each has strengths. When it comes down to it - they're all
about even.

You're best bet is to take each tool for a test drive and see which one you
like. Tool choice is almost always a matter of personal preference melted
together with features, price, and need. Even if you lay all these tools out
side-by-side you cannot account for personal preference.

It also seems to me that things that are big and powerful, full of cool bells
and whistles promising to revolutionize your business and serve all of
humankind - are usually phenomenal piles of crap. The more you overhaul the
plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drains.

Find out what you like. Fiddle with each product and see what works for you.
You're not going to get a straight, clear, clean answer. You have to accept
that tools are often a matter of preference not capability.

Andrew Plato

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