Subject: FrameMaker
From: Michele Berkes 615-576-2352 <BERKESM -at- A1 -dot- OSTI -dot- GOV>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1993 15:26:00 EST

Hi all! My apologies in advance for going over old turf here. I have deleted
all the previous SGML/FrameMaker discussions because I didn't think I'd need
them. Ha! I try not to be pack rat and to choose judiciously the information I
read and retain and see what it gets me! This is not going to strengthen my
resolve! Ahem . . . back to the point at hand.

Our publications group has just been told that we need to recommend a software
package to accommodate the Department of Energy's directive to become SGML
compliant. The majority of our publications are in PageMaker right now,
although most new documents have been created in Quark. We work primarily on
Macs for publications, although I access the Internet through a VAX system.

As I understand it, we are planning to use this new package for text entry and
page design. Some of our documents are large, periodically updated manuals;
others are snappy, quick turn-around newsletters and brochures; others include
viewgraphs, slides, hardcover books, biweekly publications of abstracts of new
publications, a quarterly professional journal, etc., etc. We create
illustrations here, we receive eps/pit/tiff files from elsewhere, we scan art
and text from hard copy, etc. Some 4-color, mostly black and white or 2-color.
We'd need to be able to accommodate pretty much anything.

That said, what specific attributes should we look for in a particular
program? What sort of test should we give the software to find out what it
really can do (not just what the glitzy demonstration shows)? Does anyone out
there have any insight into the ups and downs of the transition from
PageMaker/Quark to an SGML-compliant software package? (I seem to recall the
comment that a truly SGML-compliant package does not exist--is this true?)
Would anyone care to recap the pros and cons of FrameMaker vs. other packages?
(I don't recall the other names.) Would anyone care to comment on a
preferred/recommended platform or other hardware issues? Or, if you'd like,
point me to a good review article of these software packages and related

Please respond to me directly so that we don't waste bandwidth with repeated
information. Thanks for your patience and insight.

Michele Berkes
Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
berkesm -at- a1 -dot- osti -dot- gov

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