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RE: OLE (was) Whither FrameMaker? or, should they switch?

Hello, Ananda,

Thanks for the scoop on InDesign. (Reminds me of PageMaker
3, with the table editor and all.)

As for OLE:
All Adobe said was, while I was speaking with the
Windows/Frame support line about several things: "we don't
support OLE."  

The weird behaviors I see in these files start with a
tendency to cause the autoflow to break at any excuse or
none (consequently breaking the book-wide autonumbering).
Yeah, I can reconnect frames iteratively throughout a file
but I can't count on them staying fixed for three days
running. Necessarily. Sometimes they don't break for a few
weeks straight. But it was so bad that the trainers had
stopped using autonum and were HAND-TYPING every chapter
number and related reference. 

Any file with an OLE reference in it takes up a minimum of
a megabyte per OLE graphic plus file overhead. Because
these OLE files are pages of a PowerPoint presentation
(overheads that match the page of the training manual), the
files run from 8 to 22 MBs each. Any file with an OLE in it
takes 5-15 seconds to open from a local hard disk, and
60-80 seconds to open from a server. (Saving each file is
almost as time-consuming.) This behavior has caused the
trainers to eschew basic book maintenance such as
updating/regenerating. It's kept them from using real
cross-references. When I got there, updating the book, even
with no TOC or Index present, was a job one set running
before you went home for the night, or at least before
going to lunch. (By working with local copies and doing a
re-gen with all files open, I've cut regen times down from
hours to around a minute or less. Yes, we back everything
up to the server early and often.)

And the final idiocy for OLE, obviating the whole
purpose...the OLE insets are not linked to the presentation
files at all!  Any changes made in one place must be made
in the other, too. 

Based on my gossip-only understanding that one can place
individual pages of a PDF file as a graphic in Frame 5.5.6,
I've recommended they create PDF of the PowerPoint files
and place PDF graphics by reference. This would give them
auto-updating of slides in the manual AND probably produce
much smaller, healthier Frame files. Gotta test it for
myself so I know what I'm talking about, though.  Got the
address for the PDF list handy?  


--- "Stevens, Ananda" <Ananda_Stevens@sdsi.com> wrote:
> Hi Deb--
> The "quotable to management" paragraph:
> I have InDesign on both Mac and Windows platforms, and 
> it is designed for SHORT documents. It would be a true
> nightmare to try to do any sort of book with InDesign,
> let alone one with a hundred pages, an index, and a 
> table of contents. 
> And other thoughts:
> InDesign needs a plug-in to do tables. 
> RE the Frame files that started out on the NeXT: my 
> (new) boss has Frame 3 on his NeXT at home, and we've
> had no problem taking files he created there and using
> them here with 5.5.6 on NT. My suggestion would be to 
> save them as MIF and re-save as Frame files, then 
> rinse & repeat on different versions and platforms.
> That should get any remaining file format ghosts out. 
> Then if you still have problems, see if you can do 
> something with the OLE'd files so you can import them
> by reference. What did Adobe say about the non-support
> of OLE? I haven't had problems with that so far, but
> if there's a likelihood of running into problems I'd
> like to know ahead of time!
> Thanks!
> --Ananda Stevens
> Technical Publications Specialist, Diab-SDS (ISI)
> ananda@sdsi.com
> ananda@mac.com <home>
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