Grub versus Boot Manager

jmalin7 at jmalin7 at
Sun Mar 20 01:29:40 UTC 2005

Dear Tommy,

Thanks for your reply! You have lots of great points. In particular, you've nailed it on the head, many programs can do *most* of what FrameMaker can. Usually what these programs *can't* do is precisely the reason that tech writers use FrameMaker. Tech writers aren't stupid; if we could get by with Word or OpenOffice or whatever, we'd do it. Nobody *likes* FM the way it is, but it's better for what we need to do than the alternatives.

I would quit a company if it suggested that we change from FM to Word. I recently changed jobs, and while hunting for my new job I saw ads for writers to do work in Word. Those were the jobs I *ignored*.

I *am* going to look at Lyx, to see if it's a close match.

Here's my list of the FM features that tech writers depend on:
- Templates
- book files that can contain and organize chapter files
- automatic repagination
- automatic TOC generation with finegrain formatting
- automatic index generation with finegrain formatting
- finegrain control of features such as multi-level section numbering

> On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 15:18:17 -0800, Joe Malin <jmalin7 at> wrote:
> > I am talking about FrameMaker, not PageMaker.
> > The two are often confused, but they are *not* the same. In fact,
> > they're not even related to each other. FrameMaker seems to be quite
> > close to Lyx. I have not used equations in either FM or Lyx, so I can't
> > tell you which is better.
> Just to drag this thread in another slightly different direction, I'll
> point you to an article claiming OpenOffice Writer can do most of what
> FrameMaker can:
> Replacing FrameMaker with OOo Writer
> > Contrary to common assumptions, FrameMaker is not a desktop 
> > publishing program. Instead, it is a niche product for long documents, 
> > such as books, technical manuals, and dissertations. While brochures 
> > and posters can be done in FrameMaker (I've done both), it is not a 
> > designer's first choice of tools for these jobs. Similarly, while 
> >'s Writer is often described as a Microsoft Word clone 
> > because of obvious borrowings in its interface, it would be more accurate 
> > to describe it as a cross between Microsoft Word and Microsoft Publisher. 
> P.S.: As a former FrameMaker user (from LONG before Adobe bought and
> effectively abandoned it), I can say that while FrameMaker is not
> perfect, it's biggest problem has always been how it was marketed. I
> used to tell my boss that if we had someone to manage their templates,
> even the secretaries could be more productive using Frame. But of
> course the status quo "Office" software gets bundled with all sorts of
> other licenses so the people writing the checks don't see how much
> it's actually costing the company in lost productivity. And ultimately
> even the tech writers have to use Word because if it's good enough for
> the programmers and their managers, why should the company continue to
> pay for Frame licenses?
> Sorry for the rant....
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