Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Adobe Framemaker.... take me away!

Geek filler technical writer-type post ahead. Ya been warned.

For awhile, Adobe Framemaker has been known as one of the best & biggest pieces of software out there for people who have to create professional documents.

Older versions used to have their problems... like having to uninstall and then re-install the software to fix problems... but with the recent versions, it's been my experience that your problems come from buggy, bogged-down files, and not the program itself.

Buggy? Bogged-down?

Think any recent Microsoft operating system. One of the big criticisms people have about Micro$oft products is that they just keep building and building and building on the base code of their operating system, which can lead to a lot a lot of crap. Think about it like a fridge... if you never go in an do a deep cleaning, it can get pretty nasty. And eventually, the nasty will start to take over.

At my work, we use a piece of software called Ventura (made by Corel). The most recent version is ten years old. A ten year old piece of software. Windows 98. The Lewinsky scandal. The birth of XML (which good publishing software actually does WELL now). OLD.

Being so old, is it ever buggy. And unlike Framemaker, it's buggy for no good reason. Usually, with Frame, the problem is within your files, and you can find it and correct it. Ventura? No such luck. So much suck.

Today alone, working with Ventura, I had the program crash ten times. TEN TIMES. One for every year it is old. I spent my entire afternoon stripping out formatting that was just adding to the baggage of the files. My version runs slow because I have it set to make a backup of the file I'm working on every minute. The delay of making a backup is worth it, seeing as the program can crash very unexpectedly.

I hate it. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. There are so many better tools out there now. Not even just Frame. I'd take anything at this point. Like MCI/Worldcom, it might have been a good idea at the time, but it is so very very wrong now.


Scarehaircare said...

I tried to keep up. Really I did. My brain kept wanting to go shoe shopping or kitchen gadget shopping or to my happy place - normally a hammock on an unamed mountain.....but right now it looks more like my bed.

I must be tired. That is why I can't keep up.

That Word Guy said...

"There are so many better tools out there now. Not even just Frame. I'd take anything at this point."

Anything? Did I ever mention that I really hate Word? ;)

That Word Guy said...

FrameMaker 8 has tabs for the open files, much as Dreamweaver did. You can't operate on all the files at once as you can in Dreamweaver (like "close all"), which is pretty annoying, but it's much nicer for moving between files than the old dropdown list (which still exists for the retro personality).

Frame bug that really bugs me: why do you have to click two or three times on a field in a dialog box (like changing the indentation in a paragraph tag)? That's been around since FrameMaker 4. On the Mac!

MrsVJW said...

LOL you get a prize for trying, Care. Even the Man's eyes tend to roll back in his head when he has to hear these rants, and he's been hearing 'em for 14 years!

I really think Ventura is only marginally better than Word. At least documents have to get to the 200 or 300 page mark when they start crashing uncontrollably. I get kinda stabby when it is happening with something that is only four pages long.

And don't get me started about the many, many autonumbering bugs in Ventura that are actually worse than Word...