Re: FrameMaker Required

Subject: Re: FrameMaker Required
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 08:50:00 EST

At 09:11 AM 3/14/96 PST, you wrote:
>>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

Roger that. But your chances of having a department full of people with the
talent and the heart to thoroughly learn a powerful package even with proper
training are fairly slim.

Probably the best use of talent I know is to have one or two supremely
motivated people who can develop templates and do the advanced stuff with
flair and aplomb. Then train the rest enough to click and shoot. That keeps
just about everybody happy. And if the semi-trained want to become fully
trained, encourage and help them. But I've found that it's folly to waste
time training unmotivated people.

Tim Altom
Vice President
Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice)
317.899.5987 (fax)

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