Alan wrote:

>> Adobe will have a formidable job of keeping FrameMaker relevant,
>> but like you, I hope they manage to.
> But why? FM is only a tool for the creation of content. CS3 is also
> a content creation tool, but does things with various content data
> types.

I don't really see FrameMaker as being a tool for the creation of content,
at least not in the sense that it has been in the past. I see it more as
being a tool for the publishing of content. I know that my thinking is
colored by the type of work that I trend to be involved with, but I just
don't see people setting up for big sets of manuals built on unstructured
FrameMaker the way they used to. Frankly, I'd be very surprised if that
approach was growing in popularity.

I don't know anything about CS3, but any software that contains the word
"suite" makes me nervous - my first thought would be "might I need to use
it from end-to-end even if I have existing systems functioning well for
some components"? I may be completely wrong - please go easy on me if I

> When I remarked about Narayen's strategy of banking the farm on Web 2.0
> I was also pointing to something that I think is a big mistake on his
> part. He is banking on being able to be the market leader in content
> creation, which is where there is the greatest competition.

I agree with you there - nobody is ever going to own these markets again.
I like to think that the interoperability provided by XML has contributed
to the demise of software lock-in. Concepts like Software As A Service
also eliminate the uneconomical model of many of the licenses purchased
not being in use at any given point, as was discussed on Framers over the
past week.

> Web 2.0 is nothing more than a phase. It is a developmental plateau on
> the way to somewhere else and for Narayen to steer the course of
> Adobe's future towards it means that he is already behind the
> competition who are moving on to other means of producing output from
> semi/unstructured data sources. Once upon a time Adobe used to create
> the targets -- Postscript, PDF, type technologies, etc. --- now they
> appear to have become me too's.

That might be a bit harsh - the way things move these days, I think a lot
of people feel that metoodom would be a pretty respectable goal. :-) Adobe
have to hang their hats on something and while I completely agree that Web
2.0 is ill-defined, I think they could do worse.

> FM is even more relevant now than ever before with its ability to manage
> semi-structured data and producing multiple forms of output from a single
> source.

There we disagree. I think that FrameMaker's traditional niche will
continue to shrink until the software ceases to be viable. Adobe has
picked winners plenty of times in the past, so I have a reasonable amount
of faith that they can do it again and keep FrameMaker relevant, but not
by maintaining the status quo.

> Yet it is able to do this from within relatively simple (if
> somewhat aged) interface. But, having said that, I hope Adobe are
> never tempted to mess with FrameMaker's interface. It is something
> I am well used to and I don't have to waste inordinate amounts of
> time figuring out "where did they put that damned widget this time".

I think this reflects our different use - I don't really have any loyalty
to the interface because I don't spend that much time using it. I'd learn
the interface if new features made it worth it.


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