Re: Tony's Wonderful Frame Project

Subject: Re: Tony's Wonderful Frame Project
From: Bill Bledsoe <bill -at- ENVISION -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 1996 14:37:14 -0500

Peter, List,

I've received several flames back from Framers about how I don't
"understand" frame, that's a wonderful tool if I just knew how to use it,
blah, blah, blah.

Well, (everybody duck, as Bill straps on his BFG 9000) I have two things
to say:

1. If the tool wasn't so "stuck" on antiquated design (programatically)
and a less than intuitive interface (clicking on a print icon brings up the
same dialog box as choosing File/Print??? is this an MS Standard or an IBM
CUA standard????), people might be able to "pick-it-up" and use it

2. Again, the really big beef I have with frame is its purported
"cross-platform" functionality simply doesn't work. And I am not the only
example I have to prove this. Many people in the particular project I am
working on, (which involves hundreds of "trained" frame users) experience
the same problems daily: "This graphic didn't show up in your document, I
couldn't read this document at all, I don't see your headers." The stuff
doesn't work gang.

I just wish Frame (Adobe) would own-up to it, scrap the damn thing and come
up with a real cross platform solution. By the way they have scrapped
support for OS/2 altogether, and I have had collegues on the phone with
Adobe/Frame tech support who have been "suggestively-steered" to new adobe
products such as PageMill as possible solutions for cross-platform issues.
Since Frame gets its roots in the UNIX world, and that Frame 5 for Windows
is the poster-child for how not to use Win32's, don't be surprised if
Windows gets the boot too in the future. <BFG 9000=off>

Well... flame on folks... I am not pretending to be the all knowing source
of infinite wisdom here. Just a person, throwing out his informed $.02

Bill Bledsoe "I had a recent rhinoscopy
Documentation Specialist so I could smell every
Envision Solutions recipe"
bill -at- envision -dot- com Adrian Belew/The Bears
intlidocs -at- mo -dot- net

From: Peter Gold[SMTP:pgold -at- netcom -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, April 08, 1996 1:56 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: Tony's Wonderful Frame Project

My $.02:

Lengthy Frame or other product-specific material would probably be better
posted on such newsgroups as comp.text.frame, comp.text.interleaf, etc.
There's also a framers mailing list (also available as a digest):
Subscribe by sending mail to majordomo -at- math -dot- mcgill -dot- ca with subscribe
framers (or framers-digest) in the subject line.

On Sat, 6 Apr 1996, Bill Bledsoe wrote:

> Ditto from this end of the world!!!! Great job Tony. Frame has a new
nickname around here with version 5...

> "the most user-hostle application available for commercial sale today"

I thought about not responding to this comment, but then changed my mind,
hoping to perhaps change yours, or at least your perspective. If you
expect <product name here> to plug into your brain and intuition, previous
ingrained experience with some other product and its interface and
metaphors, or to make hard work disappear, then you're likely to bash any
product that doesn't meet this expectation.

All products that are used in what I call "The industrial information
manufacturing assembly process", what most people call "tech pubs" for
short, are hard to master because the process is hard to master. I train
technical writers and engineers to use FrameMaker. By comparing the
manufacturing of information to the other things they manufacture, such as
hardware and software, it becomes clear that the tools are there to do
the required tasks.

Around 1984, I read an article about using database products, in the
Minneapolis computer paper. It was called "Clubbing Data" and it began to
make clear to me why it seemed so hard to get ducks into a row. It's
because it's hard to get ducks into a row. The right tool makes it
easier, but one must learn *BOTH* the tool and the tasks one expects the
tool to do.

As the doctor tells the patient who complains, "It hurts when I do this ",
"So, don't do that!", if it hurts when you use product 'x' to do job 'y',
and other products are not permitted, or available, or aren't better,
then maybe it's job 'y' that hurts when you do it, and maybe "don't do
that!" is the best solution.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Signatures in the mirror are closer than they appear.
Peter Gold pgold -at- netcom -dot- com
I am a FrameMaker trainer working for an independent Adobe/Frame VAR.
My opinions and comments priced at $.02 and up are my own.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

> Hopefully some quality input will change that.

> cheers,


> From: Tim Altom[SMTP:taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET]
> Sent: Saturday, April 06, 1996 8:12 AM
> To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
> Subject: Tony's Wonderful Frame Project

> I just want to express my gratitude to Tony for the work he's done
> assembling the wish list and getting it to Frame/Adobe. You've done all


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