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RE: From Windows 2000 to UNIX... ?

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From: "Egwin J. Robaard" <egwin@grafidata.nl>
> Within a few days i have to jump from FrameMaker for 
> Windows to FrameMaker for UNIX.
> Are there any of you, experienced people, who can tell me 
> what sort of changes, problems and difficulties i can expect
> (with the solutions or answers would be really nice ;-)).

This depends a little on your general knowledge of UNIX,
and what type of graphical environment the system has.
You will have to get used to some command-line interfaces,
a different desktop environment, different file systems, etc.

When it comes to FrameMaker, I see the following issues:
* FM on UNIX often comes as a network installation with
  "floating" (shared) licenses. This means that you don't have
  to fight with installing FM properly on your own machine.
  All users share the same installation and therefore the same
  behavior and preferences. But, you can also have individual
  setups for things like colors, fonts, dictionaries, etc.
  However, if you'll get a "node-locked" (single-user) license,
  FM has to be installed on your local machine, and this is
  not as straight-forward as in Windows (there's no GUI).
* You can customize FM even more on UNIX, but it's not as easy
  as editing an .ini file. You have to become somewhat familiar
  with the concept of "X resources". As an example, you can have
  Snap turned off by default in FM 5.x (impossible in Windows).
* The window management is different on UNIX. There's no
  common "FM desktop". Instead, each FM document is a separate
  window with its own menu, etc. All windows and dialogs can be
  freely moved and managed, which makes it much easier to work
  with multiple documents with dialogs open at the same time.
  *You* decide how windows/dialogs get input focus, which ones
  stay on top of each other, etc. And you have virtual desktops.
* Font management is different. It's much harder to install new
  fonts on UNIX, and the fonts that come with FM on UNIX are
  only the basic PostScript fonts. You will get lots of messages
  about unavailable fonts when moving FM documents to UNIX.
  Times New Roman is substituted with Times, etc. For advice,
  see http://w1.184.telia.com/~u18407300/fonts/addfonts.html
* Some FM features differ between Windows and UNIX. UNIX doesn't
  have PDF import, OLE linking and the possibility to turn off
  saving FrameImages with imported graphics. UNIX does have
  built-in sceen capturing, built-in keyboard macro recording,
  and batch operations through fmbatch.
* Many third-party utilities and plug-ins are not available on
  UNIX, such as FrameScript. However, keyboard macros and fmbatch
  together with Perl or shell scripts can automate many things.
  See http://w1.184.telia.com/~u18407300/mifscripts
* Acrobat and Acrobat Distiller is not available on all UNIX
  platforms. FM on SUN Solaris comes with Acrobat Distiller.
* The support for graphics is different. Some Windows-specific
  formats are not supported, such as BMP images and EPS previews
  in TIFF format. On the other hand, some UNIX systems have
  Display PostScript, which handles all EPS files. See:
  and http://w1.184.telia.com/~u18407300/postscript/eps.html
* Printing and PDF creation is different and *much* simpler.
  There are no printer drivers on UNIX (in the Windows sense),
  which often is for the better. Save As PDF works, and creating
  PostScript files is easier and less error-prone. You may
  experience difficulties if you want to take advantage of
  advanced printer features, though. FM on UNIX generates its
  own PostScript and doesn't know about printer-specific setups.

FM started out as a UNIX application, but Adobe is a very UNIX-
unfriendly company. Platform support is difficult to predict,
and UNIX improvements are few and far between. Your safest bet
is to run SUN Solaris.

That's all I can think of right now.

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Thomas Michanek, Technical Writer
IAR Systems AB, Sweden: http://www.iar.com
Tel: +46 18 167800, Fax: +46 18 167838
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