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Re: [Fwd: PROFOUND AND SCARY OBSERVATIONS [Fwd: Framemaker isperfect, therefor it's dead]]

One thing OpenOffice has that makes it far superior to Word: an 
XML-based file format. So if you can grok the file format, many things 
are possible....

I've used M$Word, on and off, since 1.0 on the Mac. The only time I use 
it now is on the Mac, where we can't quite get OpenOffice to run. I've 
found myself using OpenOffice more like Word than like Frame, if for no 
other reason than that I've been using it primarily for short docs. But 
I'm not able to shell out the several hundred $$ for the Frame upgrade, 
so I plan to increasingly rely on OpenOffice.

I can think of a couple of other advantages of OpenOffice over Frame. 
First, they have a beta you can bang on, and it can live happily 
alongside the previous version. Second, if you submit a bug, you can 
track the bug progress and see if someone fixed it!

--Ananda Stevens

Chuck Hastings wrote:

>Hello Framers,
>My son Steve has expertise in software and IT far
>beyond mine.  He was an MSWord developer at
>Microsoft for six years, and in the half decade or so
>since he left he has converted all computers  (many)
>that he and his wife own and use to Linux.  That
>may just indicate something . . .
>I think his observations are potentially quite useful
>to the FrameMaker community, and so I'm forwarding
>them as he suggested.  He didn't see my wisecrack
>about how there may soon be an opportunity for an
>open-source Linux-based program to be called
>FlameMaker, but quite a few of you reacted to my
>jibe in various ways.
>Chuck Hastings      cwh2@earthlink.net
>Vintage Silicon Logic         San Josť and Seattle
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject:
> Re: PROFOUND AND SCARY OBSERVATIONS [Fwd: Framemaker is perfect, 
> therefor it's dead]
> From:
> "Steve R. Hastings" <steve@hastings.org>
> Date:
> Sun, 07 Dec 2003 13:24:34 -0800
> To:
> Chuck Hastings <cwh2@earthlink.net>
>Dad: if you think your FrameMaker discussion mailing list would be
>interested in this, please forward it to them.
>Cas Tuyn noted that FrameMaker is essentially perfect, and it's so
>difficult for Adobe to sell upgrades that Adobe may simply stop selling
>The top reason I now prefer free, open source software to proprietary
>software is: no one can ever take it away from you.  The people working
>on a piece of free software aren't trying to make money.  They don't
>make decisions based on how much money people will pay.  They just want
>the software to be good.
>With free software, you don't have to be a software engineer to be able
>to get features added; the development team will probably add a feature
>if you request it and it's a good idea.  And, if your business
>absolutely requires a particular feature, you can always hire a software
>engineer to add that feature, if no one else will.  (And if anyone in
>the world adds a new feature, the rest of the world gets it for free!)
>So, in the free software world, as long as there are people who care
>about the program--care enough either to write code, or to hire someone
>to write code--that program isn't dead.  That's why I would sooner run a
>business using free software, than using proprietary software.
>It used to be true that you had to be a software geek to understand and
>use free software, but it's no longer true.  The best of the free
>software is about as good as the best of the proprietary software, at
>least for the most common purposes.
>Getting down to specifics, is there any free software that can fill the
>shoes of FrameMaker?  I am handicapped here because I don't know much
>about FrameMaker, but here are the ones I think might be of interest.
>OpenOffice.org Writer: This is usually viewed as a replacement for
>Microsoft Word, not as a replacement for FrameMaker, but I read an
>article that claims that it is more like FrameMaker than it is like
>Word.  Here's the article, so you can read it yourself:
>OpenOffice.org software is available for Windows, Linux, and even
>Mac OS X (but it's tricky to install for Mac).  You can get
>OpenOffice.org software from the OpenOffice.org web site:
>KWord: the KDE project's word processor, KWord, is advertised as a
>FrameMaker-like word processor.  It's frame-based.  You need to be
>running KDE to use it, so it is limited to platforms (such as Linux)
>that support KDE.  In other words, no Windows version is available. 
>(Yet, anyway.)
>LyX: a friendly, graphical front-end for TeX, a system for typesetting. 
>LyX is supposed to make it easy to write highly structured documents,
>and the styles control how everything looks.  So you would make sure all
>the sections are tagged correctly (title page, headings, body text,
>whatever) and it will all look very consistent when printed.
>Vex: an XML editor, intended to be word processor-like and intended to
>be used with DocBook for authoring documents.  There are other XML
>editors out there as well; I haven't really tested any of them, so I
>just picked this one as an example.
>In case you are not familiar with DocBook:
>In closing, I'll also note that even if Adobe kills off FrameMaker, you
>don't have to stop using it.  Lots of old software is still around in
>common use.

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