RE: XMetaL, Epic or ???

Subject: RE: XMetaL, Epic or ???
From: Tom Johnson <johnsont -at- starcutter -dot- com>
To: "'Stepheni Norton'" <stephenin -at- hotmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999 08:02:00 -0500


By "everyone", do you mean SMEs or engineers, or are you just talking about
technical writers? If it is a matter of management not wanting to put Frame
on EVERYONE's computer, there are ways of distributing documents.
FrameMaker has a pretty good utility (FrameViewer) that allows others to
view FrameMaker documents. FrameViewer can be installed freely, at least it
used to be that way, on all of your local machines. That allows anyone to
view or print documents. Another method would be PDF.

This issue of providing online documents for review has come up before
along with the concept of engineers and programmers wanting to mark up
documents. Sometimes that may be beneficial, but other times can be
disasterous. If you have people, other than technical writers, who want to
be able to edit documents online, ask them if you can edit their
engineering drawings or code for their latest software release. Maybe that
will get management to rethink their position on the need to provide
FrameMaker for everyone. Personally, I still prefer to distribute hard copy
and let everyone mark those up. Then I take my stack of review copies and
go through the document paragraph by paragraph to find out what comments
others make.

If your managers want to standardize across the board, why not go with
Word? Everbody knows it and everybody (just about) has it.

Tom Johnson
Marketing Coordinator/Technical Writer
Elk Rapids Engineering Div., Star Cutter Company

johnsont -at- starcutter -dot- com - work
thomasj -at- freeway -dot- net - personal

On Wednesday, November 03, 1999 12:47 PM, Stepheni Norton
[SMTP:stephenin -at- hotmail -dot- com] wrote:
> I have been tasked with deciding the new SW standard for tech writers in
> company. The main issue is that the 'powers that be' don't want to have
> put it on everyones desktop ($$$). FrameMaker has been dropped from the
> running just for that reason, so I am currently looking at XMetaL by
> SoftQuad and Epic by ArborText. Has anyone had experience with either of
> these, or can you suggest others to review?

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