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Re: UNIX left out in the cold?

<Heavily Snipped>
>UNIX is the most stable, professional, powerful and scriptable
>of all operating systems. Compare this with Microsoft's (lack of)
>interest, and Apple's (lack of) ability, in providing the same.
>(Admittedly, UNIX is less user-friendly and standardized.)
>I think that Adobe would benefit in the long run by supporting
>and developing products on this platform (i.e. UNIX in combination
>with non-Intel, RISC-based hardware). For one thing, you don't
>make your entire business depend on the whims of a single vendor

With due respect, I take issue with your blanket statement in the first
sentence above. Your statement may be true about UNIX overall, but it
doesn't factor in each production environment and the tasks at hand. For
example, at Kodak I have access to FrameMaker on Solaris and NT. Because of
FrameScript, the NT environment is more "powerful and scriptable" for me. I
also find the NT Explorer easier to use than the Solaris file manager GUI.

>From a USER'S perspective, Macintosh FrameMaker may be the most
"professional [and] powerful". If you work with foreign language characters,
the Mac's option-key sequences are certainly easier to learn and use than
Window's alt-key sequences. CMYK color support is superior on the Macintosh.
My experience has shown that writers that aren't "computer savvy" are most
productive on the Macintosh.

Another important question is: how easy is it to overcome the limitations of
FrameMaker on your platform? UNIX Frame has fmbatch, but Macintosh has
AppleScript and FrameScript, which give you more access to FrameMaker than
fmbatch. Windows has FrameScript and a slew of inexpensive macro programs to
automate FrameMaker tasks. The fact that there are so many software choices
for a platform really helps when your production tasks are varied.

Another question: what is your primary allegiance to for your particular
work? The software product or the operating system? I had to ask this
question as my clients began to replace their Macs with Windows machines.
For me, IT WAS A DIFFICULT QUESTION, but I had to answer it. If my primary
allegiance was to the MacOS, I would have to find new clients, or go back to
supporting Quark, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. I decided I wanted to stay
with FrameMaker, which meant that I would have to embrace Windows in order
to support my clients. I bought a PC, cried for a half and hour, and got
over it. I still use all three platforms, but my main thrust is the PC,
because that's where the bulk of my business is (sound familiar?). You are
correct that you "...don't make your entire business depend on the whims of
a single vendor"; you make it dependent on your customers!

Adobe is a company that wants to be profitable. It will not be compelled to
support an OS just because it exists. It does not even matter if the OS is
better (or the best)! Mark said it best:

>We support our products on the platforms that will pay for them.
>Product decisions regarding platforms are based on one simple
>economic question: does the revenue of a product on a certain
>platform exceed the overall costs to support and maintain that
>product by enough to make it worth it to the company to continue?
>For FrameMaker the answer is yes and so we continue to support and
>enhance our UNIX-based products. For other Adobe products the answer
>is no and so they no longer support the UNIX-based products.

Your concern about FrameMaker/Acrobat integration is valid, but again, how
important is this integration to you and your workflow? Is it more important
than your OS?

Rick Quatro
Carmen Publishing
716 659-8267
FrameScript Information at http://www.mindspring.com/~frameexpert

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