RE: Popularity of FrameMaker and Web Works Publisher; Suitability of Adobe Robohelp

Subject: RE: Popularity of FrameMaker and Web Works Publisher; Suitability of Adobe Robohelp
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Ronald Schwarz" <RSchwarz -at- cosmocom -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2007 10:08:49 -0600

Ronald Schwarz wrote:

> Can someone confirm for me if FrameMaker is falling out of
> favor? What, if anything, is taking its place? Online documentation?

Out of favor? Not with me. Not with all the people on this list and on the FrameUsers list who two weeks ago greeted the release of FM8 with enthusiasm. In any case, are you in the habit of choosing tools based on their popularity rather than their suitability for your needs?

And how could online documentation take its place? That's an output (deliverable), not an authoring environment.

> Is Quadralay Webworks Publisher compatible with FrameMaker 8?
> I was notified some months ago that Qaudaraly considered
> Webworks Publisher passé and was pushing a new product. Has
> anyone had any experience with the replacement for Webworks?

Passé? Webworks isn't a fashion accessory that Quadralay discarded, it's a software product that they discontinued. The replacement, ePublisher Pro, has been out for a couple of years now. I don't use it, but plenty of people have experience with it.

Since Webworks was discontinued a long time ago (before FM7.2, I believe), I wouldn't expect it to work with FM8.

> Is Adobe's new Robohelp better for FrameMaker? Can RoboHelp
> directly convert FM documents to online help (OLH)? Does
> Adobe Robohelp OLH still require "tweaking?"

Better than what? Webworks? Yes. Mif2Go or ePublisher Pro? Probably not, but it may depend on your needs and preferences. I think there was a fair amount of discussion on this list when the new RH was released, and I recall that it was still an "export to RH" process, not true single sourcing (as with Mif2Go and ePP). But I could be mistaken.

> Can any of these products export directly to a wiki?

Wikis for documentation were recently discussed on this list (late June?), and a few weeks ago, the subject of converting FM to wiki came up on FrameUsers. I believe the consensus was "not easily," and the trip involved an intermediate conversion to HTML/XHTML/XML.

All your questions have come up on this list in the past few months (some more than once), so you may want to browse the recent archives for many more points of view:

Also, the recent FrameUsers archives:

In fact, I see in my own archive that you posted some of the same questions (to both this list and FrameUsers)on March 26 under the subject "What are the latest tools," in which you told us that you'd dumped all your user documentation into a wiki, and that the customers were crying for online help and printable docs. You got quite a few responses, with most suggesting that single-sourcing from a wiki was perhaps not the wisest idea. Are you revisiting the subject hoping for different answers? :-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Popularity of FrameMaker and Web Works Publisher; Suitability of Adobe Robohelp: From: Ronald Schwarz

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