OK, Frame's the obvious choice for long documents BUT...

Subject: OK, Frame's the obvious choice for long documents BUT...
From: Patrick O'Connell <patricko -at- EICON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 1995 10:58:00 PST

I read with disbelief the results of Mike LaTorra's Frame-vs.-Word survey.
Notwithstanding the long-document-in-word nightmares so many people have
been through (something two co-workers of mine have personally experienced),
I have to wonder how many of the FM yea-sayers are using it on Windows.

On Windows (so far the only platform on which I've used Frame) trying to use
Frame as a word processor bugs the HELL out of me because:

- The keyboard text-manipulation conventions, for reasons I cannot fathom,
are different from the Windows native ones inherent even in Notepad, or the
lowliest text box. I'm not one of those never-touch-the-mouse people, but
try to use the keyboard as much as possible to save wear and tear on my
mouse-hand carpal tendons. Try switching back and forth between Frame and
Word several times in one day. Just try. When they let you out of the
straijacket, send me a mail. :-)

- It's S...L...O...W. A fellow writer claims this is specific to Version 4;
I have used both Version 3 and Version 4, but I cannot reliably judge the
difference between them because I changed video subsystems around the same
time we changed versions. My old adapter and monitor (Sigma Designs L-View)
were a BIG bottleneck. I can say that I don't believe any program could
react as slowly on my 486/66 VL box as Frame sometimes does.

- In terms of interface design most of it is a Windows 3.0 program. In terms
of online help it's not a Windows program at all.

- It's a memory hog. When you have 16 Mb and have to watch how many other
programs/documents are open when Frame is open, something's WRONG. Yes, I
know it started out as a Sun workstation app with 32 Mb to play with. So?

With respect to speed and efficiency: apparently Microsoft holds
FrameMaker/Win up as an example of follow-the-rules-to-the-letter Windows
programming. Do I care? Word 6 is also a huge, sophisticated and quite
complicated program, and probably runs like a dog on a 386/25, but so do a
LOT of things. You can't blame the hardware when it's a 486DX2/VL with 16
megs.

According to a Frame trainer guy we had in some months ago, who has dealt
extensively with Frame Tech. and with other FrameMaker users, Frame is
unlikely to change things like the non-standard keyboard conventions (see
above) unless one of their major customers (I think Unisys was mentioned)
asks for it. Lovely.


Pat
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|\| Patrick Brian O'Connell ! Intermediate Writer,Eicon Technology|
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