Re: FrameMaker 5.1 versus 5.5

Subject: Re: FrameMaker 5.1 versus 5.5
From: Chris Despopoulos <cud -at- ARRAKIS -dot- ES>
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 1999 10:38:00 +0100

Actually, the main difference between 5.1 and 5.5 is the
addition of double-byte fonts, which means you can open a
document with Japanese text and get reasonable results.
There is also a table sort addition to it, the Win version
has a doc management hook, and all platforms of 5.5.6 can
save as XML.

Also, I think 5.5 has a very good HTML out facility, even
though I have seen people say otherwise. It can break up a
document into a hierarchical collection of HTML files (like
a web), uses CSS, and has the capacity for macros to put a
common button bar at the top of every page, for example. I
think there were improvements to PDF out, but also a problem
was introduced that bloats PDF files significantly... For
the fix you need to call tech support. And of course, there
were bug fixes, a significant number of which were in the
FDK. Oh yes, and there is some facility for hypertext
syntax checking, but I forget if you need the FDK to do
that, or if it can happen in the UI.

Finally, note that 5.5 puts you on the latest upgrade path.
For example, due to the double-byte font support, there were
bugs serious enough to require a 5.5.6 release. You should
be sure you can get that if you move to 5.5.

Oh, and I almost forgot... The docs moved to the Adobe
standard for 5.5, and you can decide which you prefer. All
I know intimately is that the help system changed, and so my
(non-procedural, I know... no flames, please) design was
dropped in favor of a system that is basically an online
version of the user's manual.

I'd say, with a $150.00 difference, go for the 5.5. If you
want to get a Maker job later on, you'll need to have 5.5 at
home anyway (well, maybe not NEED, but want), and if you're
contracting, you should have the latest. Why buy two
versions in the long run?


I may have forgotten some features or changes. Also,
anything in here that can be construed as an opinion or
value judgement of any sort is my own, and is not intended
to impugn or otherwise "appropriate the value" of any
corporate entity.

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