RE: Pro's and Con's -- FrameMaker vs InDesign

Subject: RE: Pro's and Con's -- FrameMaker vs InDesign
From: "Jon Leer" <jleer -at- leertech -dot- net>
To: "'Ken Poshedly'" <poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 09:25:52 -0400

Well, guess what, a manual can be written with a pencil, as well as
InDesign, Framemaker, or any other tool.

Sounds to me that you'll be on the losing side of the debate, if your
company honchos (based in China?) care only about the cost of developing the
manuals. (Hmmmm, Chinese production $100 vs. US production $5000.)

As you know, there are a lot of products produced with minimal
documentation. It's bad enough with docs developed here in US. Elsewhere it
certainly can be worse.

Do you know the cost differences (including wages) between your Chinese
colleagues and your US group?

Maybe the argument should be at a higher level than the tool level, with
estimated costs tacked on to the production costs for documentation to
customer's lost time trying to figure out how to use the product without
good docs, and the juicier liability costs when a customer does something
wrong either based on what is in the poor docs or crucial content missing
from the docs.

If the buyer of the product doesn't care, you're out of business.



Jonathan Leer
Leer Technical Communications
603-315-4029
http://www.leertech.net

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jleer=leertech -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jleer=leertech -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of
Ken Poshedly
Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2010 8:59 AM
To: Techwr-l
Subject: Pro's and Con's -- FrameMaker vs InDesign

Uh-oh!

The non-English-speaking engineers at my company's home offices in China use

InDesign to produce non-English-language technical manuals for the company's

line of heavy equipment. The company's group translators (all young
20-somethings) who have no real tech writing experience simply use Word to
produce English-language manuals. The layout and accuracy of technical
matter
and English is way below par because those kids simply have no access to the

machines nor the technical expertise to explain things correctly nor enough
English-language comprehension to do a good job. The company just wants
books
out on deadline.

We -- a group of 3 tech writers -- here in the U.S. all come from extensive
FrameMaker backgrounds (a combined total of 25 years), with technical
expertise
and obviously dern guud englsh. What we do is use those other
"English-language"
manuals from China (errors and all) to somehow perform miracles and produce
well-arranged, more accurate and professional tech pubs (operation manuals,
workshop manuals, parts books).

I'm now hearing grumbling that the Chinese engineers who already use
InDesign
want us in the U.S. to move to InDesign. We are adamant that it's a bad move
and
our supervisor here and who knows nothing about this stuff wants solid
arguements why we should stay with FrameMaker.

We've compiled a list but I'd like to hear from y'all with your own ideas
regarding ease of use, co$t, capability -- anything we can use in our
corner.

I've already posted this to the Frameusers list and the silence is
deafening.

Help anyone?

-- Ken in metro Atlanta
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References:
Pro's and Con's -- FrameMaker vs InDesign: From: Ken Poshedly

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