Re: Tools statistics

Subject: Re: Tools statistics
From: Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 08:40:09 -0700

> For those technical authors who need to create help systems, round-trip
> XML, work with DITA, or create SCORM-compliant output, InDesign's
inability
> to do these makes FrameMaker the logical choice.

Yes, I totally agree with the statement above.

Still, from a usability standpoint alone, I'll take ID over FM any time 1)
I have the opp'y to make that choice, and 2) do not have to deal with the
complexity of the above.

Given my druthers, I'm really a marcom guy with a techhead bent who can
crank out a legacy-style user manual when required. Give me a blank canvas
and the directive to "create a splashy product brochure that hits all of
our salient features, plus tells our story in the most efficient manner
possible" and I'm in heaven.

If I had a chance to go document Aerojet technical papers, I'd throw myself
into it and learn their required processes, but there you have it.

> Chris


On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 6:17 AM, Peter Gold <peter -at- knowhowpro -dot- com> wrote:

> > Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 08:24:26 -0400
> > From: "Rick Quatro" <rick -at- rickquatro -dot- com>
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > I am new to the list and work with both FrameMaker and InDesign. I am
> > working with a client that is looking at using InDesign for their
> technical
> > documentation. They want to know if other tech writers are using
> InDesign,
> > as opposed to FrameMaker or Word, etc. Does anyone know of any data or
> > surveys that might show where InDesign stands in the technical
> publications
> > world? Thank you very much.
> >
> > Rick
> >
> > Rick Quatro
> > Carmen Publishing Inc.
> > 585-283-5045
> > rick -at- frameexpert -dot- com
>
>
> Hi, Rick:
>
> Thanks for asking this question.
>
> There's synchronicity in the air. A related question recently came up at
> InDesignsecrets.com. A beginning tech writer asked for information that
> could help him understand and decide between using FrameMaker and InDesign
> for technical writing.
>
> In my reply there, I posted a link to techwr-l.com, noting that this is
> where the most-experienced technical writers hang out.
>
> Here's the link to the original article:
>
> http://indesignsecrets.com/better-framemaker-indesign.php
>
> Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 08:31:02 -0500
> > From: Paul Hanson <twer_lists_all -at- hotmail -dot- com>
> >
> ...
>
> > You can contact me off-list if you want
> > more specifics about my experience with ID. I prefer not to rant about
> the
> > time in my life when I used it publicly.
> >
>
> Thanks, Paul. I'll get in touch. I'm interested in your experiences.
>
> From: Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
> > To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> >
> ...
>
> I've been using ID exclusively for the past six years, for several reasons.
> > Note that I have not (yet) had a need to create web-based deliverables,
> so
> > everything I've been doing is paper-based (with generated PDFs available,
> > of course).
> >
> ...
>
> Chris: if you think your reasons for choosing to use InDesign would be
> useful to others, consider posting them here.
>
>
> > As for FM, I've only had a brief, nine-month acquaintance with it, but
> > quickly discovered that Adobe has done *nothing* to retool its UI in
> > relation to current GUI specs?Mac or PC. Granted, I think I was forced to
> > use the now-antiquated FM 7 and haven't looked at it since (thank God).
> > Yes, I can clearly see where it is perhaps the tool of choice for larger
> > projects, with different deliverables.
> >
> ...
>
> FrameMaker 11 is the current release. Like most software products with
> long histories, it's evolved with each new release. If you can "perhaps"
> see FrameMaker 7's value for large technical writing projects, you'll
> certainly see significant increases in its value in FM 11.
>
>
> Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 13:03:11 -0400
> > From: "Margaret Cekis" <Margaret -dot- Cekis -at- comcast -dot- net>
> >
>
>
> > Joe Welinske [joewe -at- writersua -dot- com] does an annual tools survey (
> > http://welinske.com/tools-survey/ ) that produces statistics to answer
> > that
> > kind of question. To his website and look for the latest results. (I
> don't
> > know whether this year's survey has been completed and the results
> compiled
> > yet.)
> >
>
> Thanks for this link, Margaret.
>
>
> > My personal opinion is that Mac shops tend to use ID for documentation,
> but
> > PC organizations use MS Word, FM, or Madcap's Flare. ID requires
> 3rd-party
> > plug-ins to do common large doc things like TOCs, auto numbering of
> > sections
> > and figures, and Indexes, but some folks are using it. One of the
> LinkedIn
> > tech writing groups I belong to recently had a long discussion about ID
> > versus other tools, but I couldn't find it to cite it for you.
> >
>
> Just to clarify: In earlier releases, ID lacked useful long-document
> tools, and in those days, 3rd-party plug-ins were necessary to provide
> them.
>
> While technically speaking, InDesign still requires plug-ins to perform
> common large-document tasks, the current reality is that they have all been
> delivered within InDesign since ID CS 5, because everything that InDesign
> does is performed by a plug-in. ID consists of a core engine with hundreds
> of individual Adobe plug-ins.
>
>
> Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 10:45:50 -0700
> > From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> >
>
>
> > I've never seen InDesign in a tech docs department or mentioned in a
> > help-wanted ad for a tech writer. I've seen posts here and on other
> > forums by a handful of tech writers
> > who use it but it's not an appropriate tool if you need to
> > single-source to online help.
>
>
> For those technical authors who need to create help systems, round-trip
> XML, work with DITA, or create SCORM-compliant output, InDesign's inability
> to do these makes FrameMaker the logical choice.
>
>
> > I haven't seen a market-share survey of authoring tools in years. I
> > don't think anyone has such information except maybe the tools
> > vendors, who don't share it except insofar as it serves their
> > promotional purposes.
> >
>
> If anyone's got reliable comparisons between the number of FrameMaker and
> InDesign in tech-writing departments, it would be great if they'd post that
> information here.
>
> I've been collecting information on the experiences of FrameMaker technical
> authors who make the transition to InDesign. If anyone wants to share,
> please contact me at: fmtwr2id at knowhowpro dot com. Thanks.
>
> Regards,
>
> Peter
> _______________________
> Peter Gold
> KnowHow ProServices
>
>
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Re: Tools statistics: From: Peter Gold

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