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Comments from FrameUsers conference

The following comments of the FrameUsers 2000 Conference
were made by Niels Grundtvig Nielsen <ngrundtvignielsen@switch.be>
on Adobe's FrameMaker User-to-user forum:

General comments first:
* I was surprised that most of the people I talked to there didn't
  seem to know about this forum, almost as thought there were some
  sort of Big Endian/Little Endian division between those who follow
  the forum and those who prefer the mailing list.

* Interesting topics with good practical application, presentations
  about using our product of choice rather than thinly-disguised sales
  pitches. Most of them addressed issues that often crop up here in
  the forum.

* Speakers who knew their stuff without ever regarding their point of
  view as the One True Vision. I came away wanting the chance to
  experiment with the things I'd heard about, and delighted with the
  number of times a speaker had casually made a connexion between two
  things I'd already come across that suddenly made a lot more sense
  of both.

* A highly enjoyable event! well organised, and it can also be mentioned
  en passant that the catering was lavish to the point of astonishing.

My thanks to everyone involved.
A few observations on the presentations I attended myself:

* Building a better template; Creating great screen captures
  (Brad Anderson)
  Two useful and extensive overviews, summarising and explaining
  everything you need to consider when designing a new template from
  scratch and when working with screen captures.

* Autonumbering (Kay Ethier)
  Fascinating! lots of questions from the audience, a clear explanation
  of sequence markers, ditto for how to use those pesky placeholders,
  the new 6.0 building-blocks... and a brief but breathtaking contribution
  from Ann Zdunczyk about autonumbering with leading zeros. I called her
  devious, which (luckily) she took as the awe-struck compliment it was.

* Localisation (Dick Gaskill)
  How I wish I'd had the chance to hear this before struggling through
  my first major translation projects and learning by doing. Setting up
  lists of special terminology and of terms not to be translated,
  preparing graphics and call-outs, estimating the size-change...

* FrameMaker+SGML (Bill Harris)
  Two presentations, in fact, one about porting documents from 'simple'
  Frame to Frame+ and another about developing an EDD. A very clear
  explanation of SGML in practice, and every bit as elegant as you'd
  expect from someone who can call a section "the True Naming of Elements".

* FrameMaker and XML (Alan Houser)
  Two presentations, one about XSL style-sheets and another with the
  title "FrameMaker and XML: what can I do now?" Rational, open-minded
  presentations refreshingly free from the missionary zeal I've had to
  endure from many other XML specialists.

* Adobe Publishing Workflows (Dov Isaacs)
  OK, I admit it - I wasn't at all sure what to expect, but went along
  because Dov's contributions from the floor in earlier sessions had
  led me to expect that whatever the topic might be the presentation
  would be an unalloyed pleasure. I was right, and farther rewarded by
  learning lots about the FM to .pdf process as part of final printing
  and publishing.

* the Art of Developing Documentation (Scott Miller)
  Sound overview of the basics - planning, template design, development,

* Single-sourcing with FM and WebWorks (Sarah S. O'Keefe)
  A calmly thorough introduction to all the amazing things you can do
  with WW Pro, a rational explanation of the times you won't even need
  to consider single-sourcing and re-use, and a fair summary of the
  things you can't do with WW Standard.

* Streamlining Word to FM Conversions (Carl Young)
  Deft but rational description of how to make this frequent chore as
  painless and effective as possible, plus useful tips on how best to
  tidy up the messy bits afterwards.

* FM to Acrobat: Do's and Dont's (Shlomo Perets)
  Clashed, unfortunately, with another session I really wanted to go
  to; but I'll mention it just to show the range of topics covered
  during the conference and the calibre of the speakers. And I did at
  least get to shake Shlomo's hand and thank him for the Microtype
  list of keyboard shortcuts.

[Posted by permission by:]
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Thomas Michanek, FrameMaker/UNIX/MIF expert
mailto:Thomas.Michanek@telia.com   (Sweden)
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