InDesign CS3 vs. FrameMaker 7.2

Subject: InDesign CS3 vs. FrameMaker 7.2
From: Grant Robertson <grantsr -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 10:58:15 -0500

I know that InDesign CS3 has not been released yet. And I also realize
that it will definitely be very nifty, with lots better integration
with the other Adobe CS3 products. However, I am wondering if anyone
has seen enough of InDesign CS3 to be able to make a comparison with
FrameMaker 7.2. For this discussion I am especially interested in how
well InDesign CS3 addresses those issues that made InDesign CS2
unsuitable for technical writing compared to FrameMaker 7.2.

As I recall, some of the issues mentioned on several different forums
dealt mainly with numbered lists, references, and what some may call
text variables or boilerplate. Adobe's web pages about InDesign CS3
does specifically mention numbered lists and text variables as new
features for InDesign CS3. Has anyone seen these in action? Do they
really work well? Are there any other issues that InDesign CS3 solves
which now make it at least equally suitable for technical writing as
is FrameMaker 7.2? Is it now equally suitable or even better than
FrameMaker 7.2?

I am currently a student (very late returning undergraduate) with two
more years to go before I get my undergraduate in computer science and
a certificate in technical writing. I will likely go on to graduate
school. This gives me a lot of lead time before I enter the tech
writing market. Even if FrameMaker is the de facto standard in many
places, it will be a legacy application by the time I enter the
market. If InDesign CS3 is at least equivalent to FrameMaker 7.2 then
I would prefer to spend my learning-curve time with InDesign and look
to the future rather than spend time learning FrameMaker 7.2 and look
to the past.

Thank you.

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