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Re: When will Adobe come clean on FrameMaker 7.0 gray boxes? [CLARIFICATIONS]


Some of the responses to this issue call for comment.

> *** hedley_finger@myob.com.au wrote:

> But a number of people using FrameMaker 7.0 on various versions of
> are experiencing grey boxes when there is plenty of memory and few other
> applications running.  This phenomenon appears to be triggered by one or
> more of the following factors:

If you have just come in, see my earlier lengthy discussion of the
in the Adobe FrameMaker forum
(you may need to register) or in the archive at

> *** "Stuart Rogers" <srogers@phoenix-geophysics.com>
> I NEVER had graphics gray box problems with FM 6; I CONSTANTLY have
> gray box problems with FM 7. I posted to this list about them in
> mid-October, asking Dov Isaacs for comments. Subsequently I received
> correspondence from Pamela Ruhl at Adobe, who said:
> "I'm the development manager for FrameMaker. My team is currently
> investigating an issue with imported graphics on FM7. We are interested
> in your specific problem. Do you have a sample file that we could have?"

Despite what some people have said, there is a real problem, which has been
acknowledged by Adobe, at least to Stuart.  It would have been courteous
Adobe to acknowledge the problem to other people who have reported it.
for us there is the far from trivial matter of shelling out for 16 X a
product we
can't use ... we have abandoned FM7 and gone back to FM6.

> *** "Sharon Burton-Hardin" <sharon@anthrobytes.com> wrote:
> These issues have been in Frame since Frame 3, when FrameMaker owned it.
> They, in my experience, are all related to video memory, not machine RAM.
> The FrameMaker company actually recommended several graphics cards to
> and they did. I don't know if Adobe has a similar list somewhere.
> And lots of large graphics in every file will eat up that memory faster
> a hungry teenage boy. Then you also see the grey boxes. Simply close
> and restart it, or reboot. A pain, I know but if you don't have excellent
> graphics cards with lots of memory...
> If all your computers have these problems with Frame 7, my best guess is
> that all computers have the same hardware.

No, it's not a video card or video memory problem, or else we would have
it with FM6.  In fact the problem appears on a computer with AMPLE memory:
256 Mb
and NO other applications running.  It also appears on computers from
manufacturers, using Windows 98, Me, 2000, and XP.

> *** "Bruce Wolf" <bwolf@scheidt-bachmann-usa.com> wrote:
> We have these three issues in Frame 6.  Adobe did try to help us, but we
> have not found a solution.
> >
> > @    The graphics are imported by reference.
> > @    There may be a very large number of graphics imported by reference
> > into a file.
> > @    The greyed out graphics may appear as such in printed output or in
> > generated PDF.

Bruce, if this is occurring with older versions of FrameMaker you may have
insufficient RAM, too many simultaneous applications running, or
video cards or insufficient or faulty video memory as Sharon suggests.

> *** Jim Drew <ciaopubs@earthlink.net> wrote:
> Frame 7 development work is complete.  Any "fixes"
> will need to wait for whatever the next cycle of FrameMaker is.

Well, no.   Adobe have ALREADY issued one patch.  And we will have to
asking for a refund as FrameMaker 7.0 is not fit for the purpose for which
we purchased it.

> That said, gray box graphics have been a problem for years.  They
> inevitably relate to memory issues.  FrameMaker gets a limited amount
> of memory allocated to it.  Lots of graphics eats up lots of memory.
> Imported graphics mean that the filters get fired off to show those
> graphics, and filters take memory.  Changing conditions may well mean
> refiring those filters (I don't know).
> Further, the memory requirements for Frame 7 are greater than for
> Frame 6.  And there were new filters produced for Frame 7.

I don't know about FM7 but in the past FrameMaker did its own memory
completely separate from any memory management provided by the operating
For example, in FrameMaker 4.0 I have had 48 files open simultaneously,
each containing many
screen dumps and averaging 30 pages each.

FrameMaker pages the least recently active files to the hard disk; that is
why there is a
short lag when you click in the window of a document at the back.

When it is running low on memory, FrameMaker tries to page as much as it
can to
the disk.  Then it starts to grey out graphics.  In versions up to 5.5
there was
a bad memory leak.  When a document was closed, its memory allocation was
recovered so, over time, FrameMaker ran slower and slower, until you had to
restart it.

But the problems that many people are having with FrameMaker 7.0 are
nothing to do
with insufficient memory, memory management, or memory leaks.  The grey
appear as soon as you begin working on a SINGLE, freshly opened document on
computer with plenty of disk space and RAM.


Hedley Finger
Technical Communications/Technical communicator and FrameMaker mentor
MYOB Australia <http://www.myob.com.au/>
P.O. box 371   Blackburn VIC 3130   Australia
12 Wesley Court   Tally Ho Business Park   East Burwood VIC 3151
Tel. +61 3 9222 9992 x 7421,   Mob. (cell) +61 412 461 558

(C) MYOB Limited 2002

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