Re: Why should I be worried about the merger?

Subject: Re: Why should I be worried about the merger?
From: "Chris Christner" <cchris -at- toptechwriter -dot- us>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 20:20:56 -0600

Hi Bill,

One violin works like another, so why are Stradivarius violins so highly
prized? Just playing one doesn't make a novice into a concert violinist,
but for someone who knows how to get the most from the Strad, he'll
achieve far greater results than with a simple fiddle. Similarly, many
technical writers spend their careers using maybe 50% of the capabilities
inherent in the graphics and DTP tools they have--they know or care so
little about the fundamentals of document design that they're not even
aware of their ignorance; so of course they don't care if they're using
FrameMaker or Corel or <shudder> Word. But for those who want to get the most out
of these extremely complex tools, there's such a high level of effort
required to become an expert (learning the strengths and foibles of each
tool, the shortcuts, the workarounds, tailoring and customizing each
application to get the most efficiency and quality in the least amount of
time) that having to do it all over again with different (and mayble less
capable tools) is painful.

Anybody can turn out a simple flowchart diagram using Word or FrameMaker
or FreeHand. But it takes a tool like FreeHand or Illustrator to turn out
a photorealistic line-art drawing. Any writer can gin up a manual in Word
or by using a FrameMaker template and not care a whit which one he's
using...but the designer who *built* the template in FrameMaker cares! And
that's why some people are so upset at losing their Strads!


Bill Swallow wrote:
> Yes, I include web design and graphic design as part of my skills
> offerings. Whether I use Adobe or Macromedia or Corel or another
> company's products to do my work is moot. It'll take me a little time
> (usually an hour or two) to get up and running with a new tool that
> does these things. It'd take me much longer if I knew nothing about
> web authoring and graphic design, and only the tool I used to do it.
> Switching from a Cooper Mini to a H2 will probably be a bit
> intimidating at first, but it's much easier to do so if you know how
> to drive in the first place.


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