1 2 Previous Next 73 Replies Latest reply: Jul 29, 2011 8:27 AM by Mike Wickham RSS

    Mac OS X Version

    tlmurray23 Community Member
      Seems like it's a broad enough request that it could stand a thread of its own.

      I think this weekend I *might* break down and put Leopard on my PowerBook, which means no Classic, and I'd have to use Frame for Windows in one of the virtualization products. Uck.
        • 1. Re: Mac OS X Version
          MichaelKazlow ACP/MVPs
          Tim,

          If its a powerbook, then the virtualization products won't work. You
          need a Macbook or Macbook Pro. I use Parallels to run FrameMaker 8. What
          my fingers miss most is they keyboard commands. You've got my vote for
          Mac OS X FrameMaker.

          Mike
          • 2. Re: Mac OS X Version
            peter at knowhowpro Community Member
            > If its a powerbook, then the virtualization products won't work. You
            > need a Macbook or Macbook Pro. I use Parallels to run FrameMaker 8. What
            > my fingers miss most is they keyboard commands.

            If you learned Mac-only KB commands, this is correct, but if you
            learned FM's Escape-key command-key sequences, they are cross-platform
            for Mac, Windows, and unix.

            > You've got my vote for
            > Mac OS X FrameMaker.

            Me, too.

            Regards,

            Peter
            _______________________________
            Peter Gold
            KnowHow ProServices
            • 3. Re: Mac OS X Version
              MichaelKazlow ACP/MVPs
              Peter,

              I've got many/most of the usual Escape key sequences that I need.
              Started learning them with Frame 4 under Windows, alas, I started with
              Frame 3.2 on the Mac and I've always found the the Mac command keys
              usually take less keystrokes than the corresponding Escape/Control
              keys/sequences. But I am glad to have them than have to use the darn
              mouse/trackpad/trackball aw forget it the darn pointer.

              Mike
              • 4. Re: Mac OS X Version
                I first started using FrameMaker 1.0 on a Sun Workstation. The product deserved its popularity and was ported to PC and Mac platforms pretty quickly.

                I happened to be working at Adobe when they bought Frame Technologies.
                In my opinion, Adobe has to this day not realized what they have in FrameMaker. Basically, they have milked it as a cash cow and just keep selling it to people who are committed to using it for legacy reasons. When Apple took so long to produce a serious modern OS (now, thankfully, Mac OS X), Adobe made the decision not to support Macs, and was on the verge of abandoning Macs on their other products as well.

                With Apple's rebirth under the second coming of Steve Jobs, Adobe still refuses to port FrameMaker to Mac OS X. I think it's less of a business decision than sheer stubbornness. FrameMaker is a second-class citizen at Adobe, still not well integrated with other Adobe tools, and likely will continue to be that way. Sad.

                --Orisinio
                • 5. Re: Mac OS X Version
                  Art Campbell Community Member
                  Or you could assume that porting to an OS that still has less than 10% of the market, is throwing development money away that would be better spend supporting the OSes that have the 90%....

                  Art
                  • 6. Re: Mac OS X Version
                    Michael Müller-Hillebrand-basb7I Community Member
                    IMO the market share discussion is misleading. Why would Adobe develop the Creative Suite for such a minority OS?

                    FrameMaker as well as the CS applications are tools for professionals and you will not find any of them on the average office worker's PC.

                    Ironically it is Apple that made the transition from FM/Mac to FM/Win easy with the change to the Intel platform and the rise of powerful virtualization tools. So, who cares?

                    Better use your energy to ask for first-class citizen features for FrameMaker (independent of OS): native PDF output, full color support, right-to-left language support,... just to name a few.

                    - Michael
                    • 7. Re: Mac OS X Version
                      Community Member
                      Glad to see some Mac users still visit this forum :)

                      Another vote for OSX.
                      • 8. Re: Mac OS X Version
                        tlmurray23 Community Member
                        I cannot accept the argument that it wouldn't make financial sense. Frame is not a cheap product. Let's say it averaged $750 -- do they not believe that even a mere 10,000 would be sold? That's $7,500,000. Of course there is more expense than the programming team, but I think I could put three programmers in a room with source code, and I'd could pay them a heckuva lot less than $7 million for a Mac & Linux version.

                        As a matter of fact I would bet dollars to doughnuts that with the right product announcements, Adobe could sell 3000 copies at full $800 retail in one week for $2,400,000

                        Michael Mueller-Hillebrand: You want to know who cares? As a purchaser of a Mac and one who prefers the OS X-native application, I care a lot. Resorting to virtualization is completely missing the point. I moved away from Windows for a reason, and other than Frame, I'm glad I did.
                        • 9. Re: Mac OS X Version
                          MichaelKazlow ACP/MVPs
                          > with the right product announcements,

                          I don't believe Adobe has ever marketed FrameMaker appropriately. If
                          they did it would have a much higher market share than it does on all
                          platforms. People know of Word, Publisher, Quark, and ID. Frame is still
                          Adobe's unloved stepchild.

                          Mike
                          • 10. Re: Mac OS X Version
                            peter at knowhowpro Community Member
                            Tim:

                            Products that a manufacturer sells through distribution-channel resellers are sold for less than the full retail sales price. Unless Adobe sells the 10,000 licenses in your example directly from its Web site, as single copies, so that there are no volume-license discounts, the gross revenue would be less than the $7,500,000. Then, besides the development costs, there are the site-maintenance costs.

                            IOW, there's less fat on the cash cow than one might guess.

                            More important, however, is the issue of breaking from Windows. Other current Adobe applications are either Windows-only, or their Macintosh versions lack some important features only available in the Windows version. I'm only aware of those in the Technical Communications Suite (TCS) - RoboHelp 7 and Captivate 3 are Windows-only; Acrobat 8's LiveCycle Designer, and I think some other Acrobat modules, are Windows-only.

                            Technical writers who need to create help systems, and forms developers who need these tools, currently have no alternate sources for tools like these. The applications in the TCS are efficient because they're integrated smoothly. For this market segment, Windows is the only game at the moment.

                            I agree that Adobe's neglected marketing FrameMaker well, from the acquisition, and for too long afterwards. That's changed radically with the FM8 release. As much as I'd love a native OS X version of FrameMaker, to be truly useful for the tech-writing industry, the whole TCS family would have to be brought over. It's likely that this much-larger investment is a major factor in what appears to be a FrameMaker-only decision.

                            Regards,

                            Peter Gold
                            KnowHow ProServices
                            • 11. Re: Mac OS X Version
                              Mike, I couldn't agree more. Just look at how deeply you need to dig in the Adobe website to even find out that FrameMaker exists as a product.

                              It seems to me that translating from a Solaris port to a MacOS port shouldn't be so very difficult -- it's all unix under the hood, right? It must be the user interface issues that are difficult.

                              Best solution, in my mind, would be to open-source the product and let us all contribute to the ports we want to see. But I don't think Adobe is ready to adopt the open source model quite yet.

                              --Orisinio
                              • 12. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                tlmurray23 Community Member
                                Peter:
                                The 10,000 was kind of my point: It would be trivial to sell those straight-away with little or no effort. I never claimed Frame was cash cow, only that investment in it would be paid for and then some. Not to mention that it would be a positive message to the Mac community who feel Adobe has abandoned them for the Windows platform.

                                Regarding the tech-writing industry: There is a significant percent who use nothing more than the DTP application, an image editor like Photoshop, and occasionally a vector-type app like Illustrator. (Indeed, many use only Word and PowerPoint!) I've been writing since the 80s, and I used Captivate for one 2-month project in 2003 or so and I used RoboHelp from 2000 to 2001. My customers, big corporations, have legions of writers who produce absolutely nothing but text with a logo in the corner. In the building I'm in at the moment there are about 4000 people and about 200 Frame licenses, and perhaps 10 have anything more beefy than Frame and PowerPoint.

                                Finally, don't forget that there are plenty of Frame users who are not tech writers. They could be writing financial docs, or scientists writing reports on their laboratory tests who can't stand Word on any platform.

                                The point is that there is a major market for a reliable Macintosh document application that can put a numbered list where you want it.
                                • 13. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                  Community Member
                                  I used Macs early in my career, up until the point that the applications I needed were no longer available. But just to offer a contrarian opinion on the subject, heres an interesting exercise. Pretend for a moment that youre a developer interested in developing for the Mac and Windows market. Log on to the Microsoft and Apple web sites and take inventory of the various programming languages available for both platforms, as well as the availability of supporting technologies, documentation, and sample projects. Im sorry, but Apple has long taken an elitist attitude, whereas Microsoft has gone out of its way to offer a variety of languages and ample resources to support developers.

                                  The game was tilted in Microsofts favor back when they released Visual Basic. Suddenly anyone could try their hand at Windows development.

                                  You need applications to sell computers and operating systems. I would think that Apple would be giving away its compiler by now.

                                  Martin
                                  • 14. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                    tlmurray23 Community Member
                                    > I would think that Apple would be giving away its compiler by now.

                                    They do -- the GCC. The developer tools are on the install DVD.
                                    • 15. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                      peter at knowhowpro Community Member
                                      Hi, Tim:

                                      > The point is that there is a major market for a reliable Macintosh document application that can put a numbered list where you want it.

                                      Numbered lists in InDesign CS3 are the equal of FM's, though cross-references are lacking without a third-party tool.

                                      As long-document features in ID continue to improve, It's not a stretch to think of it as a FM replacement for those who don't need to create help systems from a single source.

                                      Regards,

                                      Peter Gold
                                      KnowHow ProServices
                                      • 16. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                        tlmurray23 Community Member
                                        > As long-document features in ID continue to improve, It's not a stretch to think of it as a FM replacement

                                        If it ever comes to pass that InDesign is the replacement for Frame ... well, I hope to be retired by then. Either that, or InDesign will have been written in Assembler, because compared to Frame, InDesign in a computer feels like a battleship in a bathtub.
                                        • 17. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                          With the advent of air, I don't see why Frame can't be made to run on Macs. I'd like to see some sort of suite with Buzzword and Frame integrated. I think it would be killer on Macs and PCs.
                                          • 18. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                            fmc ri
                                            I, too, vote for a Mac OS X version of Framemaker. As an authoring tool, InDesign is no replacement. My publisher is abandoning Framemaker in favor of LaTeX, because there is no Mac OSX version of Framemaker.

                                            Meanwhile, I need to finish up a project using Framemaker 7 in Classic. I would love to upgrade to Leopard on a new Mac, but I don't want to buy a PC version of Framemaker to use for a few more months. Is there no other choice?
                                            • 19. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                              I'm with you guys (Tim, Joel, Frank). I would love an OS X version of FrameMaker!

                                              I run a separate Windows system just for FM these days. A waste of hardware resources, imho.

                                              FM runs OK in Parallels Desktop on my MacBookPro OS X system in a pinch or on the road, which is great.

                                              But an OS X version of FM that is well integrated with AI and Photoshop would be a vast improvement. I'd pay double price for a Mac OS X version.
                                              • 20. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                I fifteenhundredth the nomination....Just check out the numbers on the Petition site.
                                                • 21. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                  R. VanDyke Community Member
                                                  I find it both amazing and sad that some still cling to the fantasy that Adobe is going to respond to the emotional pleas of a relative handful of OS-X users by investing in a parallel development team for a product that's so clearly on its last legs.

                                                  As for me, IF the date when it will finally be accepted that an OS-X version of FrameMaker will never happen could be clearly identified, AND I could find a bookmaker to take the bet, THEN I'd bet a large pile of chips on "It's never going to happen."

                                                  No matter how much makeup is troweled over its age lines, FrameMaker is a wheezing end-of-life product. Adobe's grudging support and half-hearted feature additions to the Windows version of FrameMaker are nothing more than the propping up the old cash cow until she finally expires.

                                                  Now a twenty-first century FrameMaker replacement that also runs on OS-X -- that's something worth petitioning for. If the odds of that happening sound thin, it's a better bet than an OS-X version of FrameMaker...

                                                  Cheers,
                                                  RBV
                                                  • 22. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                    tlmurray23 Community Member
                                                    TJ Dalton: Using a Windows version of Frame is what I'm going to have to do as well. In your Parallels situation, if you have an Illustrator file that's in a folder of on your Mac, can you import it into the Windows Frame? Does it not see the Mac files?
                                                    • 23. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                      fmc ri
                                                      Running Windows Frame under Parallels is not too awful. You can use some Mac keyboard shortcuts (e.g. copy and paste). You also can import Mac Illustrator files directly into a Frame doc, even though the Illustrator file is on the Mac. However, to be able to see the art in Frame, save the Illustrator file in a Tiff format instead of a Mac format (do a Save As and look for the format choices).

                                                      I just installed Parallels 4. Seems much slower than 3 when running Frame.
                                                      • 24. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                        MichaelKazlow ACP/MVPs
                                                        Parallel 4 has the ability to use two cores rather than just one. I must
                                                        admit that I think Parallels 4 is a step backwards. If the usual
                                                        upgrades don't improve performance I see fusion in my future.

                                                        BTW, it is not FrameMaker that is using the Mac shortcuts it is
                                                        Parallels making the conversion. You can add your own shortcuts to the
                                                        ones in Parallels.

                                                        Mike
                                                        • 25. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                          IDEAS-Training Community Member
                                                          In my experience, most of the companies that are prone to use FrameMaker often have strict IT departments that want to standardize on one platform--Windows.

                                                          Even though Macs have about 50% or more of the graphics world, the need or want of FrameMaker on that platform is small. For those creating long documentation, InDesign CS4 is getting close to Frame's capabilities, including cross references and conditional text. It still is missing some useful Frame features, however.

                                                          Don't forget that you don't need Parallels to run Windows software--you can use Boot Camp that comes with Leopard. The only problem is you have to reboot to use it. I use Parallels 4 to access my Boot Camp partition (without rebooting) and have not experienced major slow-downs compared to version 3. The best thing I like about version 4 is that it breaks the 2 GB RAM limit.
                                                          • 26. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                            You can also run Windows on Intel Macs with the free Virtual Box virtualization software from Sun Micro. I run OpenSolaris, Solaris, and Linux under Mac OS X 10.5.5 on a MacBook Pro. Don't run Windows because I have a separate XP laptop I can use when I must.

                                                            Adobe now seems dedicated to not porting FM to Mac OS X for religious reasons. They've crammed FM into a tech communications box, assuming that only large Windows- or Sun-centric organizations want to use it -- indeed, that they have to use it. The result will be the slow constriction and eventual demise of FM.

                                                            Adobe, I beg you -- if you don't want to port to Mac OS X or Linux, then open-source FM and let someone else do it! The big corporations will still buy your version to obtain support.

                                                            Now, to go about converting all of those Frame documents I have into OpenOffice .... Sigh.
                                                            • 27. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                              tlmurray23 Community Member
                                                              Orisino: As much as I can't stand government getting in the way of business, well ... there should be a law that you put your code out to open source in situations like these.
                                                              • 28. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                Just tried the new version of Frame 9 for a week at a contract job. What an annoying interface. When I watched the Adobe "online tutorial" a month ago, the Adobe spokesman went on and on about how cool the new interface is, how it solves all the problems the Windows-centric geeks were complaining about. Well, the Apple version of the interface allowed many of those windows to display under (not always remain on top and get in the way of your working document). To me, the interface "enhancements" get in the way and do things automatically "for" me like I hate. They should have spent a fraction of the effort they did enhancing the interface to work like all the other new apps to instead port the app to Mac OS X. Even the graphic designer I was working with said she didn't like the new interface for the InDesign upgrade. People don't like change. (Does anybody know where to find anything on the new version of (f)Word?) But drastic change on the interface and nothing substantive in the functionality (like a Mac version, duh!) is not going to win much applause here.
                                                                • 29. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                  Doc Raman Community Member

                                                                  The forums were finally updated, maybe the OSX version is next

                                                                   

                                                                  I love my fantasy world.

                                                                   

                                                                  Pages continues to improve and can now embed math equations. That has finally become my main tool, although I'd buy FM for OSX in a millisecond if it was released.

                                                                  • 30. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                    tlmurray23 Community Member

                                                                    R. VanDyke wrote:

                                                                     

                                                                    I find it both amazing and sad that some still cling to the fantasy that Adobe is going to respond to the emotional pleas of a relative handful of OS-X users by investing in a parallel development team for a product that's so clearly on its last legs.

                                                                    Your metaphor places the blame on natural aging, which living things can patch, for a while, but in the end cannot avoid. 

                                                                     

                                                                    FrameMaker has been allowed to age, but this aging is the fault of Adobe, not the application. There is no universal, unavoidable natural aging process of software that must push users to move to something else.  If an application works well, it can be adjusted to move along with changes in technology. There is no reason why an application that provides a particular service cannot survive ... well, indeed, forever?  Think of it like this: I need to produce literature with running heads, lists, cross-references, and so on, and not until the day when we have no need for those things will there any good reason to believe that FrameMaker must die.  There could be competitors and other ways to accomplish those needs, but that's not the point and none of those force the death of an application.

                                                                     

                                                                    But for an application to live and thrive it must be properly maintained.  The day Adobe bought Frame they should have began chunking up the code to allow for cross-platform use and ease of maintenance, but instead they did as you said: They troweled makeup over the cracks and put on some bright red lipstick, took us on a date, then dumped us on the side of the road to walk home. If the code was such a mess that a ground-up rewrite was needed, then so be it.  For a product that size it would have ended up being one of the cheaper application development cycles in history. Why? Because in development, just designing the darn thing -- decided what it's going to do -- consumes a lot of time and money, and that part was done, as were the logic algorithms.

                                                                     

                                                                    I don't know what drives Adobe into thinking that the Mac and Linux community don't need and won't buy a product like FrameMaker.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                      fogharty Community Member

                                                                      I'm late to the party, but I would love FM for OSX.

                                                                      We are now switching from a complicated process where we takes MS Word files and use FM to convert them to xml, then run PERL scripts on the xml to create html files, and also create fm files so we basically have a single-source web/print process.

                                                                       

                                                                      I use fm to layout the print, and it just works great! No other program that I know of will allow you to create a book, then gather separate files into the book and be able to paginate all of them at once, create indexes and table of contents, markers for automatic section naming, etc. If there is one for the Mac OS, please let me know.

                                                                       

                                                                      I think FM, with a few tweaks and better graphic placement, could kick InDesign's ***. And InDesign is basically a tarted-up version of PageMaker, lest we forget.

                                                                       

                                                                      But we are leaving FM 7.0 behind, and I really can't see switching to Windows for the dubious benefit of just running FM.

                                                                       

                                                                      Again, if anyone knows a decent program for single source publishing that will run on Mac/Windows, please let me know.

                                                                       

                                                                      Adobe, you really don't know what you have with FrameMaker. It could give Quark a run for its money if marketed the right way.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                        MichaelKazlow ACP/MVPs

                                                                        I'm with you where a Mac OS X native version of Frame is concerned. However, If you really like Frame, then running Windows via Parallels or Fusion to run Frame is worth it. Just to run Frame. That is what I do. The added benefit of the TCS with Robohelp, Captivate, Acrobat Pro Extended, and Photoshop Extended really make running Windows on a Mac worthwhile. At least until Adobe sees the light...

                                                                        • 33. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                          ptram

                                                                          At least for me, there is no added value in the TCS. Photoshop Extended and Acrobat Pro are already in the CS for Mac; and I don't need RoboHelp or Captivate, since interactive help and manuals can be done with much more modern (and inexpensive) tools on the Mac. Frankly, I would only need FrameMaker for Mac, and would not see any problem if the TCS is not ported.

                                                                           

                                                                          Paolo

                                                                          • 34. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                            Paolo Tramannoni Community Member

                                                                            A few days ago I've done the switch from FM6 Mac to FM9 Win. Not happy to give money to Adobe again, but after a long research, I could not find any alternative to Frame. Since then, I'm trying to solve a color matching problem, because all my old documents now print to PDF with wrong colors.

                                                                             

                                                                            It's funny enough to read a hint from Adobe themselves to this problem. Since it seems that the problem resides in the way Windows does (not) manage CMYK color, they suggest to edit in Windows, and then print with the Mac (or Unix) version. Ah, ah.

                                                                             

                                                                            http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/324/324220.html

                                                                             

                                                                            Paolo

                                                                            • 35. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                              tlmurray23 Community Member

                                                                              I have a write-up about color in Mac FrameMaker on my web site. Go to www.techknowledgecorp.com/help, and look along the left column for "working with color". I hope that it helps.

                                                                              • 36. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                                Paolo Tramannoni Community Member

                                                                                After more than one month using FrameMaker 9 under Windows XP, I'm more and more convinced this is the wrong platform on which to use this otherwise excellent program.

                                                                                 

                                                                                FrameMaker 9 greatly improves on the old versions. The new user interface is well conceived and can actually save time. Hierarchical books (sort of Nisus or Mellel's outliner, or Scrivener's Binder) are something I've desired for a long time. And there are several refinements here and there that makes it, again, the well-conceived tech writing tool it has always been.

                                                                                 

                                                                                However, some old problems are still there. For example, assigning the "As is" attribute to all parameters in a format search dialog box can only be done with an arcane key combination (Shift-F8); there is still no way to add a colored background to a paragraph, or to put an image under it; file backups are saved in the same directory as the original file, generating confusion; and it seems that typographic quotes are only supported in the English format (at least, I cannot find a way to set them in the German format, nor in the Italian academic «square» format).

                                                                                 

                                                                                But the worse problems are due to running on the Windows platform, not the program itself.

                                                                                 

                                                                                - Inserting diacritical marks is a hassle. On the Mac, you use a combination of Option, or Option-Shift plus a character. In Windows, you only have the Alt Gr key for alternative characters, and there are only a few of them given as standard. I had to modify the "wincmds.cfg" keyboard configuration file to add just some of the basic ones. Someone suggested me to use the wonderful Alt+ASCII numeric code combination...

                                                                                 

                                                                                - Inserting Unicode characters is done through a floating window that tries to simulate the Character Set window on the Mac. Only, it seems to have been programmed on a DOS system, and looks (and acts) as an alien entity in Windows.

                                                                                 

                                                                                - Supplied Unicode characters are way less than those coming as standard on the Mac. Unsophisticated works will probably not need them - I just happen to need them rather often, for various kinds of technical symbols.

                                                                                 

                                                                                - PDF generation has several problems with color matching and line thickness. Never had them on the Mac. ("Take the right tool for your job", they used to say.)

                                                                                 

                                                                                - Standard fonts are bad clones of the most renowned works from classic foundries, like Arial for Helvetica and Times New Roman for Times. The result is a printout looking less pleasant, with slightly uneven character spacing both on paper and onscreen.

                                                                                 

                                                                                - Implemented keyboard shortcuts are just a few. Someone suggested me to use the Esc sequence even for repetitive tasks. Again, I edited the "wincmds.cfg" keyboard configuration to have some more comfort. Among the oddities was the lack of a command to continuously jump down from paragraph to paragraph (Opt-Down in most Mac apps, or Cmd-Down in FrameMaker Mac). You could select paragraphs while scrolling down, but not just jump. Great design.

                                                                                 

                                                                                - Dialog boxes usually open in the upper left corner of the screen. Palettes are on the opposite side. I wonder what was wrong with the Mac centering dialog boxes on the screen.

                                                                                 

                                                                                - I had some crashes (on the Mac, it happened less than ten times in thirteen years). And, I'm trying to understand if the Autosave option does work or not (at least, it is doing nothing now).

                                                                                 

                                                                                In my view, FrameMaker and Windows are the wrong pair matching. With Macs now so commonly seen in offices and labs, I wonder why FrameMaker is not given back to the natural home for a publishing program - the Mac.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Paolo

                                                                                • 37. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                                  peter at knowhowpro Community Member

                                                                                  Paolo Tramannoni wrote:

                                                                                   

                                                                                  After more than one month using FrameMaker 9 under Windows XP, I'm more and more convinced this is the wrong platform on which to use this otherwise excellent program.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  FrameMaker 9 greatly improves on the old versions. The new user interface is well conceived and can actually save time. Hierarchical books (sort of Nisus or Mellel's outliner, or Scrivener's Binder) are something I've desired for a long time. And there are several refinements here and there that makes it, again, the well-conceived tech writing tool it has always been.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  However, some old problems are still there. For example, assigning the "As is" attribute to all parameters in a format search dialog box can only be done with an arcane key combination (Shift-F8); there is still no way to add a colored background to a paragraph, or to put an image under it; file backups are saved in the same directory as the original file, generating confusion; and it seems that typographic quotes are only supported in the English format (at least, I cannot find a way to set them in the German format, nor in the Italian academic «square» format).

                                                                                   

                                                                                  But the worse problems are due to running on the Windows platform, not the program itself.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  - Inserting diacritical marks is a hassle. On the Mac, you use a combination of Option, or Option-Shift plus a character. In Windows, you only have the Alt Gr key for alternative characters, and there are only a few of them given as standard. I had to modify the "wincmds.cfg" keyboard configuration file to add just some of the basic ones. Someone suggested me to use the wonderful Alt+ASCII numeric code combination...

                                                                                   

                                                                                  - Inserting Unicode characters is done through a floating window that tries to simulate the Character Set window on the Mac. Only, it seems to have been programmed on a DOS system, and looks (and acts) as an alien entity in Windows.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  - Supplied Unicode characters are way less than those coming as standard on the Mac. Unsophisticated works will probably not need them - I just happen to need them rather often, for various kinds of technical symbols.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  - PDF generation has several problems with color matching and line thickness. Never had them on the Mac. ("Take the right tool for your job", they used to say.)

                                                                                   

                                                                                  - Standard fonts are bad clones of the most renowned works from classic foundries, like Arial for Helvetica and Times New Roman for Times. The result is a printout looking less pleasant, with slightly uneven character spacing both on paper and onscreen.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  - Implemented keyboard shortcuts are just a few. Someone suggested me to use the Esc sequence even for repetitive tasks. Again, I edited the "wincmds.cfg" keyboard configuration to have some more comfort. Among the oddities was the lack of a command to continuously jump down from paragraph to paragraph (Opt-Down in most Mac apps, or Cmd-Down in FrameMaker Mac). You could select paragraphs while scrolling down, but not just jump. Great design.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  - Dialog boxes usually open in the upper left corner of the screen. Palettes are on the opposite side. I wonder what was wrong with the Mac centering dialog boxes on the screen.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  - I had some crashes (on the Mac, it happened less than ten times in thirteen years). And, I'm trying to understand if the Autosave option does work or not (at least, it is doing nothing now).

                                                                                   

                                                                                  In my view, FrameMaker and Windows are the wrong pair matching. With Macs now so commonly seen in offices and labs, I wonder why FrameMaker is not given back to the natural home for a publishing program - the Mac.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Paolo

                                                                                  Hi, Paolo:

                                                                                   

                                                                                  If these are your key points of irritation, you might be interested in InDesign CS4. Since my earlier posting, CS4 was released. It's got cross-references, and much-improved numbered-list abilities. You can customize keystroke shortcuts easily. It's fully Unicode capable. Etc.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  If you're not doing DITA, working in structured FM, or generating help systems, InDesign might work for you. However, it's not suited to any kind of efficient round-trip workflow from FrameMaker -> InDesign or InDesign -> FrameMaker; this could be the deal breaker.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Whatever the expected sales revenue that might come from reviving FrameMaker on Mac, the development cost would kill any profit.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I'm working on a book for FrameMaker users moving to InDesign, to help smooth the journey. Stay tuned.


                                                                                  Regards,

                                                                                  Peter
                                                                                  _______________________
                                                                                  Peter Gold
                                                                                  KnowHow ProServices

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                                    tlmurray23 Community Member

                                                                                    peter@knowhowpro.com wrote:

                                                                                    Whatever the expected sales revenue that might come from reviving FrameMaker on Mac, the development cost would kill any profit.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I disagree. With any application, much of the cost goes into simply figuring out how it's going to work and the underlying algorithms of how to accomplish it; all that has already been done.  Further, Frame retails for $1000.  If only 1000 licenses were sold through the Adobe store, there's the first million in revenue. It would take some convincing that with all the foundation of Fame that's already there it would take a million to develop it.

                                                                                    • 39. Re: Mac OS X Version
                                                                                      Paolo Tramannoni Community Member

                                                                                      Peter, thank you for your answer. I lived in InDesign CS4 for the full 30 days of the demo, and found it not really suitable for my needs. While I liked features like layers and the many import/export filters, it was slow even when just typing, the user interface seems to privilege graphic elements more than text elements, and gave me a general improssion of limited "free flowing". The documents and generated PDF files are huge. I should probably write down a comparison sheet to show my findings during those days.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      But I admit that working with (the very good) FrameMaker under (the very bad) Windows is such a hassle, that I might reconsinder my situation and balance between bad and bad.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Contraty to you, and seconding Tim's thinking, I don't think porting would cost so much. Working in the software development industry, I see software as sophisticated as FrameMaker ported by a single developer in three or four months. They already even have a lot of code from CS4 that can be reused for the user interface. My guess is that this move is more politic that other: they are moving all advanced users to a single app, slowly demising this strange thing that is FrameMaker.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      I await for your book. It might convince me.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Paolo

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