I have been using structured and non structured Framemaker since version 5.5 (now using v11), and I purchased Madcap Flare for non print delivery systems. Other than my issues with the learning curve, I have found it to moderately buggy. However, Madcaps tech support is excellent. Robohelp is fairly expensive. Has anyone who uses Framemaker regularly done any cost benefit analysis and looked at stability and support issues between Flare and Robohelp? For the foreseeable future, I will be continuing to use Framemaker, which for me is very stable. I have fm-ePub converter and mif2go. Thanks.
4 pages, several arguments, 4 bans and at least 2 people's weekends ruined.
I'm in the same position as you, but I have recently chosen TCS 4, so the choice has been made for me.
I to have been attracted by the level of customer service. If it wasn't for certain contributors on here, I would be struggling a lot more than I am. Did you know that Madcap actually produce help documentation for their products?!
It is a pity there is so much emotion over this. On one side, there are people who have issues with Adobe's tech support or direction but who deny Flare has some pretty significant bugs. On the other side there are Adobe supporters who don't like Flare's aggressive marketing and minimize issues with Adobe's support. And of course there are Help and Manual, AuthorIt, or e-Publisher or various XML editors (or even LaTeX users) who are quick to say that the solutions lie elsewhere. Meanwhile, the business people may try to promote Microsoft Word as plenty adequate. It would be good to have some objective comparison other than a web site that has tables of what is or is not available (but doesn't address what actually works). I'm still pretty happy with Framemaker, and have not experienced some of the stability issues with latter releases that others have had.
Follow up for anyone who may be dealing with the same issues: Flare creates pretty good HTML output but is no replacement for Framemaker for pdf output. The issues I have found so far are these: number styles do not come over accurately if they are used to reset outlines (like "O:"), thought they can be corrected after import in Flare. Table styles do not import correctly but can be corrected after import by changing a parameter and then changing the parameter back to the original value. Pdf linked images import with black boxes to the right. PNG files may not generate in pdf output. Pdf output file size is about twice that of FM for same documents. SVG linked images get corrupted (with text) with Flare output. Rotated cells in tables unrotate on import in Flare. I have been dealing almost daily with Flare tech support on these issues, and at least for me, Flare is no replacement for Framemaker if one is creating print output.
I haven't tested all these in Robohelp, but I know it does a better job with linked pdf images in Framemaker, but like Flare, unrotates table cells. Has anyone used Epublisher Pro as another alternative?
I've been using ePublisher for more than 10 years. It does a great job of converting to HTML and once you get your template set up, conversion is basically one-click. I still use FM to create my PDFs, when I need them (I use them only for reviews now), but from what I've seen, the PDFs that ePublisher creates are just fine.