I think you're right on, Lin. 
You know the tools you need to produce your deliverables. 
I don't tell my plumber what kind of wrench to use...


-----Original Message-----
From: framers-bounces+jsgammato=imprivata....@lists.frameusers.com
[mailto:framers-bounces+jsgammato=imprivata.com at lists.frameusers.com] On
Behalf Of Lin Surasky
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2007 2:10 PM
To: framers at lists.frameusers.com
Subject: FM v. RoboHelp

No, it's not a typo. No, we're not being asked to use Word.... 

The person in charge of "quality" for our company does not seem to
understand why we don't use RoboHelp to create content for our software
manuals. After all, every office has RoboHelp (not the Adobe version),
so what's the big deal? To me, the big deal is that we deliver PDFs, not
CHMs, to our customers, and they like the layout. And it's faster to
work in FM than it is in RH. My rule is, if I have to provide a TOC,
it's a book. If I'm providing a book, I'm working in FM. If they decide
they ALSO want HTML or CHM files, I can do that too, with FrameMaker and
MIF2Go. I can't create a CHM in RH and then effortlessly have a pretty
PDF to give our other customers, or can I?

For the record, we are not currently delivering ANY online help. We
deliver User Guides, Admin Guides, Release Notes, and
whitepapers/reports. All are electronic -- no printing except for the
pages our users want to print for themselves. Am I wrong to stick so
stubbornly to my FM process?

FM Process: Source content created and maintained in FM book. For
delivery, PDFs are generated with live x-refs/links where necessary
using Acrobat. If users want or need HTML, MIF2Go is ready to -- er, go.
(No one in the US has EVER asked for a CHM, but if it should happen, use
HTML Help Workshop to compile the HTML Help from MIF2Go.)

RH Process: Source content created and maintained in RH. For delivery,
PDFs are generated and look awful because there's no clean page layout
formatting OR CHMs are delivered.

Does it even make sense to deliver CHM for browser-based software being
accessed over a network, since CHMs need to be accessed from the hard
drive (unless you get into registry edits, which is NOT an option for

(We're also not doing much file-swapping amongst writers; we all kind of
do our own thing, and there's not much room for content reuse right now,
but still they want everyone to follow the same process...)

Ideas? Feedback? I promised I would get opinions from the experts over
here, as I apparently don't qualify as one myself... So what would you
do, wise ones?


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