Re: Fonts and other arguable issues

Subject: Re: Fonts and other arguable issues
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 1996 12:22:41 -0500

>Hey, kids! It's a long weekend, and nobody's working on deadline, so
>let's start a software product flame war and rehash all that old

The product flame war in this thread was started by Tim's post.
>However, I am guilty of perpetuating it.


>If you think product "X" is not intuitive, you probably mean that it's
>what *YOU* have learned to intuit from products you know. Working on a
>project with an unfamiliar product is a recipe for cooking up a stew of
>resentment and anger each time something works differently from your
>familiar habits.

NO, I mean it is not intuitive! By intuitive I mean that techniques and
concepts of the software can be easily grasped. If FrameMaker was the
first word processor I learned, I would still say that it was not
intuitive. I've worked extensively with Frame; Word; Word Perfect;
AsterX and some other word processors. How can you assume that
FrameMaker wasn't my initial source for word processing habits?

> Spend some time with product "X" (FrameMaker in this
>case), work its tutorials, read its manuals, etc. IOW, learn it nearer
>the level of the product you know well and love.

If you have to study it in detail to perform rudimentary functions it is
no longer intuitive. I did not say FrameMaker would not work, I said it
was not intuitive.

>When you are comfortable
>with "X's" way of working, then compare the two for usability, value,
>to make it a fair comparison.

I've done that and it is why I still stand by my observations.

>If it always crashes, perhaps you should contact support and ask why,
>workarounds, etc. Did you install it correctly, as described in the
>documentation, or by intuition; provide sufficient resources, etc? You
>get free support (initial, if not forever) when you buy a product, so
>what's the point in not asking for it?

Spare me the "Did you plug it in solutions". It's just a dodge. I've
used word processors since Wordstar, MASS11, and the Lanier
>page-oriented "No Problem" machines.

>Are you implying that Word has no fatal bugs, is completely intuitive,
>IOW, perfect?

No, I am not! Why, because I make some observations about one package,
does it mean that another package does not have problems (either the
same problems or different)? It's like saying that a person cannot
comment on the deficiencies of a baseball team because that team has a
>better record than the person's hometown team.

>Tim's issue is more to the point: How do writers make their stands when
>assigned to projects that they feel will consume resources and still
>result in a seriously flawed product? How do those who manage writers,
>those who decide on company-wide software and documentation policies
>provide for participation in these decisions? "Is anyone watching the
>store? If so, is it someone who cares, someone who gives voice to those
>who have appropriate and direct experience?"

Valid questions, but Tim also has a vested interest in FrameMaker. I am
pointing out how his vested interest leads to bending conversations into
putting Word in a bad light and FrameMaker into a good light. I like
FrameMaker and if starting my own business would probably choose it over
Word; however, when you purposely shine the light on a product beware
that it may expose some rust.

Mike Wing

>_/ Michael Wing
>_/ Principal Technical Writer
>_/ Jupiter Customization and Educational Services
>_/ Intergraph Corporation
>_/ 730-7250
>_/ mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com

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