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FWIW, you already can turn off any features that you don't need via
the config files (found in the fminit\configui folder) - this
includes standard menu items, context menus, keyboard shortcuts,
toolbar items, etc. For example, try the View > Menus > Quick option
and check out the GUI after that's applied.
The online manual "Customizing_Frame_products.pdf" describes how to
modify the GUI. Also, Shlomo Perets' ToolBarPlus Express available for
a nominal fee at http://www.microtype.com/resources.html, is an
excellent starting point to give you a customization environment.
I would like to second Fei Min's request. This is the second most requested feature request I've encountered over the past 19 years. If Adobe had a "chopped" version of FrameMaker (that could not be tricked into giving you a full license), there are a lot of SMEs that would use the LITE version for simple edits and corrections.
I have seen many sites where 9 or 10 full FrameMaker licenses are sold, and there are 40-50 SMEs who need to edit final content. The SMEs all stay in MS Word, and production is constricted by lack of an affordable, entry-level product (with no style/design creation capabilities.) I think that a LITE version of FrameMaker would significantly increase the customer base by allowing roundtripping to/from SMEs.
In the olden days, FM offered a "floating license" option on UNIX. In Maxwell's example, the 10 licenses allow 10 simultaneous FM users. Licenses can be set to time out after x-amount of idle time. In addition, all users can see a list of current users, so it's possible to send email asking for anyone whose not actively using FM, to release the license.
There are licensing tools for Windows software that could provide similar behavior. It's not likely that Adobe would re-engineer a FM floating-license model. FM on UNIX was sold with a single-user license at one price, and a nearly-double price for one floating license, making it economical for three or more users.
I'll mention that I once went through the exercise of creating a parallel Word template that would, at least in theory, allow non-FM users to create "Frame ready" content for import.
But the engineers for whom the Word templates were designed found it too difficult and time-consuming to use named styles.
Similarly, my experience is that unless it's aggressively enforced from the top of the organization, many SMEs have no desire to have to learn and use a particular tool, including Acrobat for reviewing purposes, for the sole purpose of interacting with FM-using writers.
So I sceptical that a light version of FM would in the end add much value.
One final note. I rely largely on exporting FM chapter files as Word RTFs for purposes of collecting review comments and input. As such, I'd just like to see the export filters work better. Moreover, I'd like to see FM export filters for the Open Document format used by OpenOffice 2, etc...
I agree with RvD: my experience has been that casual writers would rather just do things in Word, which they already have and know how to use (more or less).
A better import/export mechanism (e.g. with automatic mapping of standard and unexpected MSW formats to predefined Frame formats) would be much more relevant to my workflow.