Re: Justifying FM (was About The Cloud: Quick-Read Suggestions)

Subject: Re: Justifying FM (was About The Cloud: Quick-Read Suggestions)
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2013 09:35:25 +0800 (WST)

Hi Chris -

By 'overkill' do you mean "has a lot of options devoted to doing things that we don't currently need to do"? If so, isn't InDesign, as a very powerful and flexible tool, just as much overkill? How much of InDesign's feature set would be needed for this very basic documentation? 10%?

> The company is not a manufacturer and is not affiliated with
> the gubmint, so I don'tt see them repurposing document
> elements anytime in the next several years (if then).

Nor are most FM sites, I would think. Not sure I understand this objection. "Good for hard things" doesn't mean "bad for simple things".

Frame is a good and reliable option if you have complex documentation needs. It's also a good and reliable option, though expensive, if you have simple documentation needs. But your company already has the Frame licence, so if you're urging them yo buy InDesign, *that* becomes the more expensive option.

> So what's the case *FOR* FM?

The case for FM is that it's already in place, it does the job, and is more than capable if this startup hopes to grow to the point where their documentation needs are more than very basic.

> Thanks, all, but at this point it's a complete non-issue.
> I'm staying where I am, and I use InDesign.
> (FrameMaker would be complete overkill here.)

"This company should use tool X because that's the tool I'm comfortable with" is not a good argument for any TW to make, whether tool X is Word, Frame, InDesign or something else.

Can't you see your successor having exactly the same questions:
"The former techwriter used InDesign, which truly seems to be
overkill for their needs. Perhaps he thought it would impress,
or else he just wanted to be able to put that on his resume.
So what's the case *FOR* InDesign?"

Why not take this as an opportunity to learn Frame to the same level of comfort as you already have with InDesign? That way you'll have two strings to your bow.

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