Re: FrameMaker Required

Subject: Re: FrameMaker Required
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 09:11:58 PST

>True enough, if you're postulating that somebody will just come in and sit
>down to an already-created template and just has to point-and-shoot. But
>FrameMaker essentially isn't DTP, it's a tool with a paradigm for doing long
>docs. Using it as an upstairs version of PageMaker strips it of most of its
>innate capabilities.

You know that, and I know that, but the people I'm talking about don't
know that. Asking true/false questions about prior experience doesn't
separate the sheep from the lambs. I know people who would happily
put "five years' experience with Word for Windows" on their resume,
but who, in fact, still center lines of text by typing spaces in the
left margin. The same is true for FrameMaker, Interleaf, and any
software package. In fact, I think that such people make up the
majority of users for all packages. Since relatively few users
are the self-taught self-employed, most of these failures to learn
are also employers' failures to teach.

My experience is that few people read manuals until they are completely
stuck. If they can muddle along, they are content. Thus,
one can become an instant expert by plowing through the manual set. The
payoff is swift (in terms of productivity), and everyone decides that
you're a genius. Many departments gain a total reliance on the one
"genius" who read the manuals or went to classes and thus gained an
understanding of the product. But high-end products like Interleaf
or FrameMaker cannot be used properly if there's only one trained user
in a department. That one user is invaluable, but the whole operation
is still grossly inefficient.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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