Re: Frame & HTML

Subject: Re: Frame & HTML
From: Scott Turner <sturner -at- airmail -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 09:03:18 -0600

This is a general question being thrown out there. If someone has a manual in FrameMaker, why would they want to convert that to HTML? Wouldn't a downloadable PDF be preferable to an HTML file?


If the PDF is properly constructed and distilled, the Frame files are properly cross-referenced, and the manual is designed well, PDF files should meet most requirements. If you are supporting something that requires HTML, use HTML.

My problem with HTML is that it is harder to maintain, and is not really designed to answer the requirements many people are trying to use it for.

There are not good authoring tools for content for HTML. You have some that are acceptable, FrameMaker being one, but the usually need helper programs to make them efficient. In FrameMakers case, using MIF2GO or WebWorks usually adds the needed functionality.

HTML is susceptible to being changed, parts getting lost, being difficult to maintain, and unable to fit a professional standard of formatting (vis a vis printed page). It is difficult to get the HTML code to print on a standard page, ISO or US letter, and if standard appearance is required for branding purposes you are at the mercy of the viewer, who can change how your document will display.

People say they don't like PDF because the screen resolution is bad. Try reading an HTML page written for Windows to display at the incredible font size of 8 points, on a Mac. That is illegible. Or dark blue type on a black background. Oh my eyes.

Design the product for its intended use. Learn the tools.

Then make your decision.

I still prefer PDF. But that's my problem.



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