Re: Interleaf vs. FrameMaker

Subject: Re: Interleaf vs. FrameMaker
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 06:50:03 PST

Maintenence for Interleaf 6 on the PC costs $320 per year per license.
If the "high costs of maintenence" you mention is just the cost of
a support agreement, $320 strikes me as being trivially small.
One of the things you get with a support agreement is a quaterly
CD-ROM with the technical support data base and all of the bug fixes
on it. This is a real life-saver.

Interleaf is a high-end product; FrameMaker is a mid-range product.
I don't think its usual for well-trained Interleaf users to be
happy with Frame. (If your users are ill-trained, you have a management
problem that should be fixed first, before you make other changes.)

In your workstation-to-PC conversion, watch out for clueless people who
think you can get by with 15" monitors and 16 MB of DRAM. You want
21" monitors and 48 MB of DRAM to create substantial manuals in either
package, and the fastest CPU you can find. (And no one should buy
disk drives smaller than 2 GB anymore. 1 GB drives are obsolete.)

To answer your questions:

1. Interleaf files translate into FrameMaker with difficulty.
I have been spending a lot of time translating files for one
of my clients, and it takes a ridiculous amount of work. (Going
in the other direction is just as bad.)

2. FrameMaker's table package is okay.

3. Frame's own graphics package is terrible, but its OLE-based file
importing is okay, if you want to spend the money on a stand-alone
graphics program. This is no way to save money, though.

4. You ought to be able to use Excel charts in either Frame or Interleaf
on a PC, since all these apps support OLE.

5. FrameMaker would be easy to learn if the commands were arranged logically
and if the manual and on-line help were indexed properly, none of which
are true. This doesn't provide much of a barrier to an experienced
user, though.

-- Robert

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