Re: Why should I be worried about the merger? What if?

Subject: Re: Why should I be worried about the merger? What if?
From: Bill Lawrence <lawrence -at- mayaviz -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 09:25:12 -0400


Ah, thank you Judd. The crux of the matter is that a number of us write in XML and we really don't care if any proprietary tool goes away. Now admittedly, I don't freelance so I don't deal with customer requirements. The mega-defense contractor that I currently work for does have customers with requirements, but they all want XML or SGML anyway.

However, ages ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I worked for a commercial software company who had over 10,000 pages of documentation in Interleaf. Now there was a nightmare. Interleaf's scripting language wasn't even Y2K compliant. After Interleaf went the way of the dodo, we made the decision to NEVER be at the mercy of a tool provider again. We moved everything to Docbook XML and that company has been happily working away with XML since late '99. No part of their current tool chain is vital to their ability to continue to produce printed manuals and online help.

Since then, if I have any say in the matter, I use open-source tools for everything. That includes tools such as OpenOffice Draw instead of Illustrator or Freehand. I save things in standard formats, such as .eps or .svg. I do no work that isn't portable.

Look folks, any commercial, proprietary software can go away at any time. It's just the nature of the software industry. I've been working in this industry for three decades, and if there's one constant it's change.

Bill








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References:
RE: Why should I be worried about the merger? What if?: From: Spitzer, Judd L

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