Re: soft- & hardware for TW course

Subject: Re: soft- & hardware for TW course
From: Anatole Wilson <aw3a+ -at- ANDREW -dot- CMU -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1993 18:00:38 -0400

John Sanders <sanders_j -at- TBOSCH -dot- DNET -dot- GE -dot- COM>

>From the sound of things going on in the various threads, it sounds like
>FrameMaker for the PC is closest to Frame for the workstation, which I think
>might be if not the biggest, one of the biggest selling packages.
>the breadth of software people are using is really wide. The first place I
>worked still used Unix text formatting tools to do all their docs, until they
>realized what a mistake it was and switched to FrameMaker. Some smaller places
>are using Mac or PC based DTP programs, which are good, but not up to
the >really
>big tasks like multiple volumes. Ventura, QuarkExpress, PageMaker, etc. The
>smaller packages are generally really good at handling high-color, small press
>jobs, unusual formats, and generally small applications. FrameMaker and its
>ilk are good at handling just about anything, with strengths in the high end
>of the scale. Nothing will do everything you want it to, or even some of the
>things you need it to do. If you can afford to, buy one of the big
packages and
>one of the small ones. Often they can inter-communicate, for good teamwork,
>and you can end up with a much larger range of experience for your students.

Mr. sanders makes some valid points, but I have to disagree with him on
some points.

Where I disagree:
My information still points to PageMaker as the best-selling DTP
program, with QuarkXpress and FrameMakercatching up fast. In my opinion,
PageMaker's probably the weakest of the lot.

Furthermore, any of these programs are able to be used for large
documents. QuarkXpress needs an exension for page numbering functions,
but I worked at a company that used it to produce 150+-page catalogs.

Ventura Publisher (which predates FrameMaker by a couple of years)
handles paragraph tagging and printing of long and multiple-volume
documents in ways very similar to FrameMaker. In the early days of DTP
(way back in '87) the big difference between PageMaker and Ventura
Publisher was that Ventura was better suited for long documents.

Where I agree:

FrameMaker is a rapidly-rising program that I'm becoming more and more
impressed with. Its chief advantage is its near-seamless portability
between different operating-system platforms. Another feature (which
amazed me when I first discovered it) is its ability to set up hypertext
links within the document--which makes it ideal for setting up online

In the long run, I definitely agree that no program will do everything
you want it to, and that its best to learn and use more than one DTP
program. My choices would be QuarkXpress and FrameMaker as probably the
two strongest packages out today.

Anatole WIlson
Masters in Professional Writing program
Carnegie Mellon University

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