Re: Framemaker required

Subject: Re: Framemaker required
From: Jack Shaw <jsh -at- SOFTWARE-AG -dot- DE>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 12:40:29 -0800

Robert Plamondon's observation that there are those who claim a
certain proficiency in Word or whatever, but who still center lines
by typing spaces in the left margin, left me aghast. Are they really
doing that?

I thought most people had sense enough by now to know that you move
the paper to the left end of the transport...geez, where have they

But Robert definitely qualifies himself as having been there when he

"...many departments gain a total reliance on the one (sic) "genius
who read the manuals or went to classes..." and, "...Interleaf...
cannot be used properly if there's only one trained user in a
department. That one user is invaluable, but the whole operation
is grossly inefficient."

I'll sign off on that, for sure. Interleaf is one of the most powerful
yet least intuitive tools I have ever experienced. I can't be sure
that even formal training in its use would overcome its quirks such
as hard-to-use graphic creation and inadequate "shortcut" keyboard
sequences. But without the training, you have little chance of getting
what you've paid a high price for. And it is small consolation to know
you've making payments on a Ferrari but you don't know how to get it out
of second gear...a confusing array of on-line info. notwithstanding.

Investing in Interleaf without buying the training means you've bought
the software, not the system. And Interleaf is a DTP (dare one say
"document" management?) publication system.

Of course, if your a control freak who's intrigued by the job security
that privileged knowledge buys, you, too, can invest much time and
immerse yourself in the esoterica that such a complex system offers, and
become *the* resident guru. EDP has always offered that path to stardom.

But it's a short-lived one, since along will inevitably come a better,
more intuitive/less expensive (i.e. productive) tool to drain the swamp
and steal your thunder while you're making exhaustive benchmarks of the
relative throughput of alligator subspecies.

And when all's been articulated, draining the swamp is really what it's
all about--just ask your drowning audience.

Jack Shaw
(...who deigns not to speak for:)
Software AG

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