Re: Using FrameMaker in a Mac World

Subject: Re: Using FrameMaker in a Mac World
From: "Lech Rzedzicki" <xchaotic -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 21:29:42 +0000

Congratulations on that job.

So far I have found that Mac people are quite easy to interact with
and I use Macbook myself for the aesthetics and usability.
While I admire and still occasionally use Framemaker myself I
recommend that you should investigate options available to you.
Depending on the team's workflow, deliverables and target audience,
you might want to consider using some of the Apple's own tools, such
as Pages from the latest iWork 09. It integrates great with OS X
environment. Or you could choose to set up DITA Toolkit perhaps, it
could be quite powerful and runs anywhere, but well, it's not easy to
customise for everyone. There are aslo great products like QuarkXPress
that are exclusive to Mac platform and might fit your bill
precisely...
But my bet is you're likely to stay with mature Framemaker, and it's a
shame that it doesn't work natively on Macs, since:
a)it was originally developed and run on UNIX boxes, not windows
b)most Adobe products have Mac versions, arguably even better ones, so
easy interoperability could be a plus
If you do go that route, parallels or vmware should be ok as FM is not
so resource intensive (unless you're working with huge documents).

On the other hand MadCap development team intentionally chose to
develop on the Microsoft .NET platform, quite recently and they have
only themselves to blame, since that mean they'll be Windows only for
the foreseeable future so I would not consider them in your case.

Yet another route, is Oxygen XML Author. It is Java based, so it runs
'natively' (actually it runs in java vm) in Mac OS X.
I use the full, developer version on a daily basis and it's fast,
stable, there are new features every few months etc.
The Author version evolved from the original XML editor, so it works
best with either XML schemas such as DITA or DocBook, or with plain
XHTML (in that case I would probably recommond even different tools).
Another advantage is that it's cheap and the support is great, and
since your documentation is in XML, you not locked-in to their
product,so worth buying just to give it a try.



Lech
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References:
Using FrameMaker in a Mac World: From: David Dorbin

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