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Re: Rumour: FM really is dead

I'll bite...

At 8:34 AM -0800 05/12/03, DW Emory wrote:
>Q. How many of you long-time frame users still frequently refer to 
>your copy of the V5.1 Using FrameMaker guide because the printed 
>guides produced by Adobe since then are worthless?

  Truth be told, haven't looked at any FrameMaker manual in three or more years.

>Q. How many of you believe the index in the FrameMaker on-line Help 
>is superior to the index in that V5.1 user guide?

  There's online help?  ;-)

>Q. How many of you believe the time it takes to find a needed nugget 
>of information in Frame's on-line help is less than the time it 
>takes to find that same nugget in the V5.1 user guide?

  See above. ;-)

>Q. How many of you, upon installing Acrobat, immediately print out 
>the 600+ page Acrobat Guide? I already know the answer: Nobody.

  Yup. Never printed that sucker.

>Q. Since you don't print out the entire Acrobat Guide, is that 
>because it is so excellently designed that you can always quickly 
>find the answers to all your questions, even though the Guide lacks 
>an Index, because Acrobat Search is so much superior to a 
>well-designed index?

  Nope. On-line searches are tedious compared to a search done via a 
well indexed book.

>Q. How many of you believe you'd be better off if Adobe had 
>included, in the box, a properly designed and indexed printed 
>version of the Acrobat guide, and if that document had been 
>provided, the volume of traffic on the two Framer's lists would be 
>substantially reduced?

  Me. I like printed manuals. I read them in bed before going to 
sleep. I hate to read more than a couple of pages on screen. Paper is 
still the preferred medium for me. But then I love books in general.

>Q. How many of you believe that Microsoft Products such as Word, 
>Excel, Access, and PowerPoint do not require printed documentation?

  N/A (I don't use software created by felons)

>Q. How many of you, upon installing a new software product that 
>comes without any printed documentation, immediately go to B&N or 
>Borders to see whether some 3rd-party publication house offers a 
>printed manual for that software product?

  Depends on the degree of complexity of the software, how much I'll 
use it, whether there is a manual in PDF with it, whether it's 
business or pleasure. But I like printed manuals.

>Q. How many of you believe that, as a result of the trend away from 
>printed documentation, the old adage of RTFM has been replaced by 

  Perhaps this will be seen as a snooty response, but well done Mac 
software often requires little interaction with the manual. You 
easily see how it works. FrameMaker wouldn't be in this class as it's 
a very dense application that has much that is not even remotely 
obvious (who would, by instinct, go to a reference page to format a 

>Q. How many of you believe that the $%@# little wizard that shows up 
>when you open Microsoft Weird is one of the greatest forward steps 
>in human history since Guttenberg invented the printing press?

  Right up there with Microsoft's Bob. LOL. For my feelings (I didn't 
write this), read here

>Q. If everything you need is on-line, why is it that sales of 
>printed books about computers and computer products, as well as the 
>sales of computer printers, printer cartridges, and printer paper 
>continue to rise at an exponential rate?

  The paperless office was a joke? Just like the huge payoff in 
leisure time that technology was to bring us (ROTFLMAO).

>Q. If your answers to these questions are what I predict

  Did they match the prediction?

>then how do you reconcile Larry's accurate description of the 
>current trends in technical writing with the reality of user needs 
>for printed documentation? When contemplating that conundrum, does 
>the phrase "Cognitive Dissonance" instantly pop into your head?

  I've never believed that companys do what's best for the customer 
unless it happens to coincide with what brings them the most money 
for the least effort. The drive to maximize profit or maximize 
investor return is not in line with making the best product. 
Personally I think this is shortsighted. It's the best product that 
will bring you the benefit in the long run, but most corporate 
planning is done on a very short term basis.

  - web

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