Thank you for posting the link; I enjoyed the Blog. It is comforting to
see Aseem Dokania's statement online that "FrameMaker is here to stay." 

I know that the original posting was about "Frame's future," but I
wanted to make these comments about "Frame's past," which has so much to
do with why the product is still with us today and will be with us

I was lucky enough to be Frame Technology's employee number 66, and got
to work closely with the founders in the early days (V1.75 through V4).
Founder Charles Corefield was intrigued by Macintosh HyperCard and had
an epiphany of sorts. His initial goal of creating an authoring tool
that worked with hypertext lead to FrameMaker as we know it. As luck and
fate would have it, the SUN UNIX workstation was the easiest for a
developer to obtain at that time. Since SUN MICROSYSTEMS was also one of
Frame's earliest customers, from the "get-go" FrameMaker was designed to
work with high-volume publishing with "many pages, many times."

The product's birth on UNIX also led to simultaneous page layout, word
processing and graphics editing years before multi-tasking on the MAC or
PC. This also placed the product firmly in the world of tech pubs. As
you "old timers" will recall, FrameMaker was about the last product on
the planet to come out with a tables editor, so it had to be "the best
of breed." Founder David Murray worked on that code for over a year, and
table features in FrameMaker are still years ahead of their time. (Who
else can change table styles that easily by importing a template?)

At a 1993 FrameMaker product launch, Frame Tech displayed a live network
that linked Sun UNIX, SCO OS on a PC, Windows, a MAC and some other
flavor of UNIX workstation that I can't recall. We edited the same
document remotely from a single server on each workstation, because
FrameMaker had one binary format. No "save as" required. Not one member
of the press "got it" or understood the importance of a true
"multi-platform" file format! (I made one skeptical member of the press
do the demo himself and insert his grandmother's maiden name; he still
thought the documents were fake.)

Frame Tech gambled with SGML, creating "FrameBuilder", and that
prototype led to the structured editor that makes XML publishing so easy
today with structured FrameMaker.

Ironically, UNIX conventions and quirks led to many of the design UI
"nuisances" that some of us complain about today. (Like, how long will
we have to look at those "building blocks" for automatic numbering?) But
the founders and early developers of FrameMaker were a very rare group
of people who came together at the right time, for the right product and
the right reasons. The underlying "purpose" of the product has remained
true for nearly 21 years, and this is why FrameMaker is still such a
significant force in the market today. My company does language
translation, and 75-80% of our customer technical documents are in
FrameMaker; many started out in Word before they came to us.

I should have made this posting in April of 2006 on the product's 20th
anniversary, but here is a belated "thank you" to the visionary Frame
founders: Charles Corefield, Steve Kirsch, David Murray and Vicky
Blakesly. Your work lives on!

     >Message: 13
     >Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 15:07:36 -0500
     >From: "Art Campbell" <art.campbell at>
     >Subject: Frame's future
     >To: "Framers (E-mail)" <framers at>,
     >  Discussion Forum" <framers at>
     >  <c7d9dd600702161207t11b4d4f0wb38fe3ef27e5a9a at>
     >Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
     >A little rich, but interesting reading:

     >Art Campbell         art.campbell at
     >  "... In my opinion, there's nothing in this world beats a '52
     >               and a redheaded girl." -- Richard Thompson
     >                             No disclaimers apply.
     >                                     DoD 358

Maxwell Hoffmann
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