Re: "Frame Light?" was: RE: Framemaker Viewer? Floating Licenses?

Subject: Re: "Frame Light?" was: RE: Framemaker Viewer? Floating Licenses?
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "ant -at- ant-davey -dot- com" <ant -at- ant-davey -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 11:59:46 +0200

I believe that particular ship has likely sailed. Frame has priced
itself out of the general market, in my view. Now, Word has become so
entrenched in so many companies that it is not likely that there will be
many firms desiring to move--even though Word has so many obvious flaws
for a corporate tool...the ability to totally mess up any corporte
stylesheets is indeed a good example.

However, the various Corporate bean-counters are not likely to embrace a
product which has any sort of substantial learning curve entailed. They
seldom understand the complete mess that Word creates in any documents
that must be maintained over time.

At one point, the then-CEO of Adobe made a statement in an interview
that Frame would be replacing its underlying architecture with the base
InDesign code--and this was very shortly before a new version of Frame
was to be released. This interview was quickly dismissed by the PR types
and then ignored afterwards as if it had never appeared.

One problem with the concept of a "Frame Light" would be to convince the
Adobe brass that it would not scavenge the sales of the full product.

Personally, I would suggest a product which would not have style
creation ability of its own beyond an extremely rudimentary one. Let the
full Frame package handle creation of style sets that can then be
exported to the "Light" variations. That way, a company that wishes
consistent documents ranging from letters to memos to product
documentation could attain that end quite simply, and ongoing document
maintenance costs would be minimal. Also, it would be ideal for
engineering docs as well as for documentation review.

For the marketing types, this setup would have an immediate impact on
company branding, making any documents easily identifiable as following
company standards.

By making it easy to use, too, learning curves would be shortened
greatly. Then price it under a hundred bucks a copy--with discounts in
volume and package deals including reasonable pricing for the full Frame
package that would be needed to make the whole thing work properly.

As for licenses and the like, unfortunately I have not had Frame itself
since version 6 when it was yet to incorporate XML in the base product
(mine was the "Frame +XML" variety). I have thought of getting a new
version, but I cannot justify it based on price as I am essentially on
disability retirement. Unfortunately, I have long since lost the CD and
license info for my old version in one too many moves.

David

On 02/14/2011 11:09 AM, ant -at- ant-davey -dot- com wrote:
>
> Very interesting conversation with the Frame Product Manager and new
> TCS3 evangelist on Friday at the London 'launch' event for TCS3.
>
> What capabilities would you want FrameLight to have? How many
> licenses would you want? How would you want it delivered (local app,
> or browser-based)? (How many full Frame, or TCS, licenses do have at
> the moment?) What might you consider a reasonable price to pay?
>
> It seems the new PM for Frame is serious about developing a business
> case for the product. Answers here please. (I'm sure he's watching,
> but if not I'll collate and report back.)
>
> I'm using CS4 Design Standard and Frame8 at the moment. We have 4-5
> other Frame licenses in the company, none of which are currently being
> used; and I probably have 130 potential user of FrameLight.
>
> Where I work, I would want FL users to be able to develop content in
> templates created by full-license holders, structured or unstructured
> (DITA).
>
> The ability to create conditional text would be nice, but is not
> essential.
>
> Ability to add metadata to structured content probably is essential.
>
> Ability to insert pictures by reference would be nice, but is not
> essential.
>
> I have lots of SMEs who 'play' with Word. The ability to take away
> formatting options, except for Bold and Emphasis styles (once they are
> persuaded of the benefits) would present an enormous time (read
> 'cost') saving to the company. Control+M has to be a non-feature of
> FrameLight.
>
> In my current context I would want the ability for FL users, as with
> TCS3, to be able to check-in and check-out, and be included in the
> workflow from a 'CMS-type thingy' - In our case SharePoint 2010.
>
> Floating licenses would also be useful, because I can see a need for
> external contractors to use it (via browser-based delivery?).
>
> I'm sure I'll think of other things I would want it to do, or not do;
> but this is my starter list. What's on yours?
>
> Best regards,
>
> Ant
>
> On 10 February 2011 at 08:33 David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > I have in the past argued with some Adobe execs about this exact issue:
> > that they were missing an enormous potential market by not releasing a
> > cut-down version of Frame at a cheap price. By holding to an
> > ever-increasing price for the product it has been far too much
> > restricted to a relatively few people, with others never learning to use
> > it at all.
> >
> > Thus, they abandoned too much of the market to Word. This discussion was
> > many years ago now, before Word had begun to be so entrenched in many
> > organizations for technical documentation, for which I believe it is a
> > relatively poor fit IMHO. (It would be far better if they'd finally fix
> > so many places that have been broken version after version, such as
> > their rather pathetic autonumbering and master document "features"...)
> >
> > I have long been of the opinion that it is entirely too bad that some
> > innovative organization has not created a really good style file for the
> > Lyx document processor for tech docs. Using it for things that have such
> > a style file is a real pleasure--it makes many of the tasks we confront
> > every day trivial, and far less training is required to learn to use it
> > than Frame or to learn the various necessary work-arounds for Word. Its
> > output in .pdf or print is nonpareil.
> >
> > For example, someone just today was mentioning the problems of having to
> > recreate numbering for paragraphs received by multiple authors. That
> > would be a complete no-brainer in Lyx. What's more, you can move entire
> > sections to other places in a document and all relevant numbering
> > instantly changes (including any footnotes, if you have them).
> >
> > Should any of you have to do any academic writing, you really should
> > take a look: www.lyx.org
> >
> > David

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References:
"Frame Light?" was: RE: Framemaker Viewer? Floating Licenses?: From: David Neeley
Re: "Frame Light?" was: RE: Framemaker Viewer? Floating Licenses?: From: ant -at- ant-davey -dot- com

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