Re: Interleaf

Subject: Re: Interleaf
From: "Society for Tech. Co" <stc -at- CRAFT -dot- CAMP -dot- CLARKSON -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1993 19:32:10 -0400

Maria Townsley <maria -at- MSD -dot- MEASUREX -dot- COM> writes:

> I just received some information from InterLeaf. Sounds like a
> pretty complete documentation package. Does anyone use all or part
> of it?

I don't use Interleaf. We've got both Interleaf 5.whatever and FrameMaker 3.1X

I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble about Interleaf (nor sour a sale), but I
can't see or hear "Interleaf" without cringing; allow me to elaborate...

I'm pretty handy with computers; not a C. scientist per se, but I'm a guy who's
just got an intuition about the way they work. They make sense. Mostly.

Interleaf is not a package that takes advantage of this intuition, at least
not for me. (By the way, when you run it under Unix/Xwindows for the
first time, it creates a lot of little directories within directories within...
a real pain in the --- to remove)

You run Interleaf and get a cutsie little desktop. Fine. Then you've got to
figure out what the little icons are for... A magical sequense of well placed
button presses will eventually yield a menu with WORDS on it...

What I'm getting at is this: they've used a lot of fancy X-Windows stuff,
but *should* they have used it? I think Interleaf takes longer to learn and
gives a lot fewer cues to the user than your standard "menu driven"
software... Interleaf is not for me.

FrameMaker, however, is my choice. I *love* FrameMaker (ATTENTION Technical
Writers--there is a *shortage* of good step-by-step FrameMaker documentation;
despite this, I still like Frame).

FrameMaker isn't anything like word processing, like some software. Nor is
it super-strict desktop publishing (am I correct in understanding that one
was not able to type in old desktop packages?)

FrameMaker is easy to use; find someone to demo it. FrameMaker also allows you
to author hypertext (the same hypertext that's used for the on-line help,
which you can actually unlock and modify/print).

FrameMaker has cross-platform support. I can simply copy a Unix FM file
off onto a disk, take it to my PC, startup FrameMaker for MS-Windows, and
load it--no conversion neccissary. (I understand that the Mac version of
Frame isn't so hot--there's a special option in the save dialog box for
"interchange format" which looks something like postscript...).
The MS-Windows version operates nearly the same, so there's no retraining
necissary if you buy a version for home...

I could go on for hours about Frame...

Don't buy Interleaf without seeing a good Frame demo first. Inquiries
might go to: comments -at- frame -dot- com

Student STC VP
Clarkson University
Potsdam, NY

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