Re: Interleaf and Sun work stations

Subject: Re: Interleaf and Sun work stations
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 19:37:22 PST

I said:
>On the other hand, the high-tech semiconductor and EDA software tools
>industries seem to be unwilling to invest in training, and are abandoning
>Interleaf in favor of FrameMaker.

I should have dismounted from my hobby horse long enough to point
out that there are other reasons to prefer FrameMaker to Interleaf.
If your workforce has a large proportion of temps or consultants,
it's hard to run an Interleaf shop, for instance. Very few
independent contractors have Interleaf; many have FrameMaker.

The thing that brought Bad Tech Pubs Departments(TM) to mind (and
caused me to digress from my central digression) was an experience a
friend of mine had -- she is a highly talented writer, with tons of valuable
experience. Few potential employers seemed aware of this. Instead, the
central question seemed to be, "Do you have experience with FrameMaker?"

There were clearly two pieces of simultaneous brain-failure going
on in these people's minds:

1. The most important skill a technical writer has is desktop
publishing. Experience in technical writing is more or less
irrelevant.

2. Some fundamental barrier exists that makes it impractical to
train experienced technical writers in the DTP package du jour.

Both points are obviously false, yet this sort of nonsense happens
every day in the industry.

It reminds me of the time I interviewed at Atari, in 1981, and they
dismissed me from consideration because I didn't have over three
years of 6502 assembly language experience. Never mind that the
first products that shipped in significant volume using the 6502
were introduced in 1977, and that most professional 6502
programmers from that era had learned their trade at Atari in the
first place. But that's the hiring process for you.

-- Robert


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