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>Perhaps it's a regional thing? Are there more people using Frame in,
>say, California than there are in say the midwest or Canada?
> Where are you? Do you and your colleagues use Frame as the main tool?
Tools that fit a need or have a long history tend to be popular within an
industry or a region.
I think the popularity is also related to these factors:
o the industries using the tools (legal profession prefers WordPerfect)
o the purpose of the tools (see below)
o the platform issue (what works on UNIX? cost to change?)
o conformance to existing standards & processes (which product fits my
o compatibility with existing software & hardware (will it work with
o purchase price
o training and support costs (classes vs locating experienced personnel)
o performance for price
o HR practices (we have to weed the applicants somehow, might as well ask
for Flame-o experience)
o history (we've always used Flame-o, since version 1.1)
FrameMaker and InterLeaf began as UNIX apps (I believe). They are publishing
systems, designed for handling large projects and complex layouts.
Word (and WordPerfect) are high-end word processors, enhanced and stretched
to handle DTP. In some cases, this works well, in others it fails.
PageMaker and QuarkXpress began as electronic paste-up programs, targeted at
integrating text and graphics, not creating much of either.
Back to the original post--> Colleges and universities have limited
budgets. The professors need to teach Technical Communications students how
to work with a variety of tools, even if they aren't the current fad. More
importantly, the students need to learn how to develop skill with one tool
and how to transfer that skill to new tools and new situations.
It's been a while since I saw an ad requesting nroff/troff or WordStar
experience. The tools change relatively quickly, the design and
communication principals don't.
Senior Technical Writer
bdoane -at- intermec -dot- com
beno3 -at- premier1 -dot- net