[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next]
[Date Index] [Thread Index] [New search]

FrameMaker7.0/OnlineManuals: what the h...?!

We are switching from FrameMaker+SGML 5.5.6 to FrameMaker7.0, and it is
largely a pleasant experience.

Except now that I need the online reference manuals (for some MML and MIF
work), I find that they've been replaced by PDF versions.

But why? If I had been given the FM document files, I could decide for
myself which format to use. It looks to me like some corporate guidelines
for whitepapers etc. have been applied to technical manuals.

The title page states 'MML Reference Online Manual', but that is not what it
is. It's largely unaccessible online; I can't even use the Make Accessible
plug-in to make it accessible in XML or HTML. The format is decidedly not
for online use -- if this was the only example of PDF online documentation
that I knew of, I'd avoid using PDF for online documentation like, well,
something nasty.

I expected a useful *online reference manual*, not a pretty whitepaper or
corporate memo:
- how come there's no running headers and navigation links?
- why is 1/4 of the screen estate occupied by empty margins,
  in general, space on my screen is *not* free?
- so why not use the margin for margin headers?
- why use a condensed black typeface for headings, might
  as well have been greek on my screen?
- and if you must use 9.5pt Minion for the body text, at
  least make the line shorter and the leading larger
- why should I have to build the catalog myself?

Plain ol' HTML 3.2 would have been more useful. I can't blame Adobe for not
using Microsoft technology, but I expect a PDF online reference manual from
Adobe to be at least as handy and nice to use as manuals from, say, Sun and
Oracle. A better fit between content, intended use, and form.

I understand now this has been the state of affairs since FrameMaker6.0. So
what are all you good folks doing to get along?

Kind regards,
Peter Ring

** To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@omsys.com **
** with "unsubscribe framers" (no quotes) in the body.   **