To evaluate what's cheap, you need to look at total cost of ownership,
not just sticker price. Expensive professional authoring tools can be
a good investment if they make you more efficient.

I found ePublisher Pro a lot more flexible and easy to use than RoboHelp.

However, if your goal is merging authored content with javadoc and the
like, I'm not sure that FrameMaker can do that. You might want to take
a look at HelpStudio and Document!X.

If you're considering moving to DITA, you might be better off dumping
FrameMaker in favor of Oxygen XML or AuthorIt. ePublisher Pro at least
theoretically allows you to mix and match FrameMaker and DITA source,
so that might ease the transition.

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 11:07 AM, Joe Malin <joe.ma...@magnet.com> wrote:
> Hi!
>
> I work for a small startup that delivers documentation to software
> developers. I’m investigating how to continue our strategy of publishing to
> HTML so that we can “merge” our reference documentation (such as Javadoc)
> with our developer guides, samples, and so forth.
>
> Our legacy is unstructured FrameMaker 12, which I’d prefer to continue for
> the moment. We use FrameMaker’s multi-publishing feature to output to
> Responsive HTML5, using the RoboHelp features that come with FM. However,
> this approach isn’t customizable, as far as I can tell. I’m sure to get
> pressure to make our docs conform to the rest of the company’s design
> philosophy.
>
> How should I proceed? Full RoboHelp would probably give us the customization
> we need without a lot of work, but RoboHelp is very expensive. We could go
> to structured FM and convert XML to HTML5 using XSLT (I was a software
> engineer in a past life, so I don’t find this troubling), but it’s a lot of
> work. Going to a different content/publishing solution would take some
> ‘splaining, since we’ve already invested in FM 12. But, if it were cheap
> enough, we could consider it.
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