Re: InDesign CS3 vs. FrameMaker 7.2

Subject: Re: InDesign CS3 vs. FrameMaker 7.2
From: "Kevin Amery" <kevindamery -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 09:28:01 -0400

Realistically, my recommendation would be to hold off on buying any
tools unless a) you can get it really cheap, and b) you have an actual
need to have it (rather than just wanting to learn it). If you just
want to learn InDesign or Frame, you may be better served to take a
night course on them closer to graduation. The best thing to do, from
a hire-ability point of view, would be to either look at what the
majority of job postings are asking for 6 months before you graduate,
and learn that tool or make a point of learning as many different
tools as you can.

Additional things to keep in mind:

- Existing Frame shops are unlikely to switch just because CS3 has
neat features. Migrating thousands of pages of existing docs is never
a trivial undertaking, so cool features are not a good enough
incentive to move. Companies will (may) move if CS3 (or any other tool
for that matter) allows them to do something significant workflow-wise
that Frame does not, or removes a significant "pain" point. In other
words, if it saves substantial amounts of time / money or opens
opportunities that Frame simply doesn't offer, then moving makes
sense: otherwise, a few nice UI touches are not enough enticement to
put yourself through the migration process.

- New shops may adopt new tools, but there are far more established
shops than new shops. That means that adopting a new tool exclusively
can narrow the range of employers you match with.

- Being able to demonstrate that you can adapt to any toolset and
workflow is much more useful than committing to one tool that you
won't budge from, EVER :-)

- Frame and CS3 are print-oriented tools. More and more documentation
is moving to online formats, so you might want to consider learning
RoboHelp, DreamWeaver, Flare, etc.

- Frame and CS3 are not the only games in town. There are also
single-sourcing tools like AuthoIT, XML environments like Arbortext,
Madcap is releasing Blaze in the next few months... if an industry
migration from Frame occurs, it may not be to CS3.

Until next time...

Kevin Amery

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