FrameMaker docs (was Re: Educational -v- Informative Writing)

Subject: FrameMaker docs (was Re: Educational -v- Informative Writing)
From: Kelly Hoffman <kelly -at- NASHUA -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1993 14:31:51 EST

Brian Daley <briand -at- MEI -dot- COM> writes:

> Maybe the Sun manuals stink, but the ones for the Mac version are some of
> the most complete manuals I've seen.

I just got FM 4.0 for Macintosh (yesterday :-), and I've used FM 3.x
for both Mac and UNIX. I suspect that the real difference in the
manual quality is between version 3.x and 4.x, *not* between platforms.

I'm very familiar with the 3.x manuals for both platforms, and they are
quite similar. I've only glanced through the 4.0/Mac docs (last night :-),
and they seem to be more complete than the previous version's. I'll
reserve final judgement, though, until I have a chance to look at the 4.0
docs more thoroughly and actually *use* them.

One problem I had with the 3.x docs is that they assumed the beginner would
be working with existing templates -- either ones supplied by Frame or by a
local guru. This was not the case for me; when I learned Frame, I was the
only one using it at my site, and I had to convert our docs to Frame *and*
make them look more-or-less like they did before conversion -- which meant
developing my own templates. I figured things out eventually, but there
was a lot of trial and error. I had a *lot* of trouble just finding things
in the docs, a problem that was compounded by a relatively sparse index.

I really like FrameMaker. I do, really. But I also hope it's easier to find
things in the new manuals.

On the other hand, the 3.x docs were a good example for me in my own work
in writing software documentation ("don't do things *this* way" :-).

Kelly K. Hoffman kelly -at- nashua -dot- hp -dot- com
Learning Products Engineer
Hewlett-Packard, Network Test Division "Reading the manual is
One Tara Blvd., Nashua, NH 03062 admitting defeat."

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