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RE: Database Publishing Suggestions

Sounds like it's time to break out the boxing gloves
Diana Ross
> ----------
> From: 	Dan Emory[SMTP:danemory@primenet.com]
> Sent: 	Wednesday, February 03, 1999 6:46 AM
> To: 	David Evans; Framers@omsys.com
> Subject: 	Re: Database Publishing Suggestions
> At 06:22 AM 2/3/99 -0500, David Evans of Finite Matter, the developer of
> PatternStream wrote:
> >Dan, Dan, Dan,
> >----------------------Snip
> >I do respect your knowledge of database publishing issues, however, to
> >suggest that Unimerge is faster and better than PatternStream without
> ever
> >reviewing the PatternStream product demonstrates pure speculation on your
> >part.
> *******************************************************************
> Typically, I'm getting performance with UniMerge on a 266 MHZ CPU of 5000
> records per minute. These are complex records having upwards of 40-60
> fields, some with very long text strings. How about you volunteering some
> actual performance data on PatternStream so we can benchmark it against
> UniMerge?
> **************************************************************************
> *
> "I guess it depends on what your definition of IS, is."  The only
> >thing that YOU can say unconditionally is that Unimerge is cheaper out of
> >the box. When comparing YOUR cost (development time included) -- is
> >Unimerge really cheaper?  (I guess that is an unfair question since you
> >haven't taken the time to understand PatternStream's capabilities.)
> ************************************************************************
> I do not believe PatternStream cuts development costs, particularly for
> the
> "high-end publishing" which you claim is the product's forte. With
> UniMerge,
> I can put together an application for a simple mailing list-type
> publishing
> effort and test it with test records containing instantiations of all the
> variabilities in record content in about 30 minutes. But such simple
> applications provides no meaningful information about capability. In a
> real-world application of some complexity, the development time is
> consumed
> primarily by an analysis of the customer's requirements, the content of
> the
> database, all the possible variations among records, and exception
> handling.
> Test cases must be developed for all of these issues. Then, there are all
> the issues involved in FrameMaker template design, which typically
> requires
> the development of more test cases. Then, a skeleton application of some
> sort must be developed to run against those test cases and analyze the
> results. After that, there is usually a back-and-forth process that goes
> on
> with the customer (sending samples and getting comments back) to perfect
> everything and get all the formatting and page layout issues resolved. As
> any programmer will tell you, no software product can automate this
> process.
> The actual final coding step is a minor part of the total programming
> effort. The same applies to high-end database publishing. I challenge you
> to
> prove to me that PatternStream provides any way to short-cut the
> development
> process described above.
> **********************************************************************
> >
> >To be clear, PatternStream will out perform any meta-tagged based system
> --
> >bar none. To claim expertise in a particular field, you must be
> >knowledgeable of all products and willing to try new things. I would
> >suggest that if you want to compare PatternStream to other products, try
> it
> >first -- contact us.
> ***************************************************************
> Hmmm. Does that mean I have to be an expert in Microsoft Weird,
> WordPerfect,
> PageMaker, and Quark to know that FrameMaker is a better solution for
> iondustrial-strength database publishing?
> ***********************************************************************
> >
> >Admittedly, PatternStream is for high-end publishing -- things that
> >Unimerge could not begin to tackle.
> ********************************************************************
> And what kind of "high-end publishing" are you talking about that UniMerge
> can't tackle? Give me some examples. I can give you ample examples of
> extremely difficult high-end publishing I've done with UniMerge, and I
> suspect that some of those would be problematic with PatternStream. The
> fact
> is, in my 5 years of database publishing experience, I've never
> encountered
> an application that couldn't be cracked with UniMerge. Maybe, after
> PatternStream has been around for 5 years, your claims can be validated.
> ********************************************************************* 
> >And be assured, PatternStream can
> >compete everywhere, from the simple to the very complex. Please
> understand
> >that FML is very familiar with meta-tagged systems too, and why
> >PatternStream was developed. With so many competing code based systems,
> how
> >can you recommend one over another -- they all do the same thing, the
> same
> >way, they just change the language used (meta-tags) a little bit.
> ********************************************************************
> Have you, personally, ever used UniMerge to develop a high-end
> application?
> If not, how can you possibly know what you're talking about. The UniMerge
> command language has about 15 commands, but it's incredibly powerful. Many
> people (me included) much prefer to work with a concrete syntax rather
> than
> trying to do the same thing through a GUI whose underlying language base
> is
> hidden from the developer. When you substitue a GUI for the concrete
> syntax
> of a command language, you just complicate things, because the developer
> is
> never precisely certain of what the outcome will be, and will waste many
> hours puzzling over each discrepant behavior, and trying to figure out how
> to trick the GUI into producing the desired behavior.
> ********************************************************************* 
> >
> >To us, Seybold's selection as "Hot Product" makes the statement (and they
> >clearly understand what is available in the market). PatternStream
> doesn't
> >force anyone into a particular format -- PatternStream can do it all.
> Most
> >of our customers have tried the meta-tagged stuff, they are converts --
> >they understand the significance of a "LIVE" connection between the
> >database and the formatting engine.
> *******************************************************************
> UniMerge has a live connction capability too. But in 5 years of database
> publishing experience, neither I nor my customers have ever found a
> compelling reason for using it. That being the case, the question for you
> is
> this:
> Can PatternStream handle the more common cases where a live connection is
> not only not needed, it is absolutely out of the question? UniMerge can.
> I recall a product called BrioPublish which used a GUI and a live database
> connection that would appear to be similar to PatternStream's. It took me
> less than two days of evaluation to determine that the product was
> useless.
> That opinion was confirmed when the product disappeared less than a year
> later. The BrioPublish "solution" simply didn't work in the real world of
> database publishing. 
> ********************************************************************
>      ____________________
>      | Nullius in Verba |
>      ********************
> Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
> FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
> Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory@primenet.com
> 10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646
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