(I've read the other replies to this post also.) Like Bernard A., I too
am at the annual FrameMaker Chautauqua. (A great venue for new info and
easy access to experts; I highly recommend it!)
Adobe flew in at least three of the developers from their facility in
India for this event. I had an interesting discussion with them this
evening. (By the way I worked for Frame Technology for 5.5 years). My
private conclusion, after the discussion, is that it is just possible
that there are now more developers working on FrameMaker than at any
time in its history, including pre-Adobe days.
When Frame Technology was an independent entity before the Adobe
acquisition, there were arguably more "bodies" in the engineering
department, but a significant amount of that staff was dedicated to just
porting FrameMaker to the many disparate UNIX platforms so common in
those days. Enormous QA staff were mandated by the many platforms,
(NeXT, SCO, OpenLook, X/Motif et al), which have thankfully come and
gone. With fewer platforms to test and manage, Adobe is now able to
concentrate on really improving FrameMaker and potentially integrating
it with even more solutions. The recent integration of FrameMaker with
Robohelp and Captivate is astonishing and opens up incredible new vistas
for the product in the e_Learning space.
Adobe has a solid, experienced team of FrameMaker developers that have
proven themselves with astonishing results over the past few years. The
introduction of UNICODE was a huge milestone, not half appreciated
enough outside of the translation industry, where I work. Due to the
seamless integration of UNICODE on all levels, new users in Russia,
Poland, Greece and other regions with formerly unsupported languages can
now take full advantage of FrameMaker's many gifts. This opens up the
door for FrameMaker to truly become a significant force in publishing
and DITA on a truly global level.
FrameMaker's current developers and product management team are highly
proactive in seeking out user feedback: they monitor input on major
online forums and welcome face-to-face feedback at significant venues
they attend in North America and elsewhere. FYI -- I attended at least
two conferences last year in which Adobe was the *only* vendor present
to have developers in the booth!
Naturally, I cannot touch on what I confidentially discussed with the
developers tonight, but suffice it to say that in my opinion, FrameMaker
has never been more "alive," nor had a more promising future than it
does today, in Feb 2008. I have worked with FrameMaker continuously for
20 years, as of this August. I was even the product marketing manager
for FrameMaker V3.0 and V3.5. Like many on this forum, I briefly had
concerns about the product's future 8 or 9 years ago, but those
unsubstantiated fears evaporated long ago.
I know that the "death of FrameMaker" rumors will probably resurface
again, not unlike that 1960s urban myth about the woman who died from a
Black Widow spider bite in her bee hive hairdo! A word to the wise; the
next time you hear such rumors, ignore them. FrameMaker is here to stay,
and as far as product management and development go, my favorite product
has never been in better hands.
p.s. I had dinner with FrameMaker's inventor, Charles Corefield, a
couple of months ago, and he confessed that he too has never been more
confident about FrameMaker's future. "Does that answer your question?"
My last post on this subject.
From: Jakob Fix [mailto:jakob....@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 7:47 AM
To: Framers List
Subject: future of FrameMaker
I would like to know if anybody has some reliable first-hand
information about the future of FrameMaker. I have recently heard of
people having attended Adobe training sessions for FrameMaker that
Adobe may/will probably stop FrameMaker development. As the
organization I am working for is a big user of FrameMaker (but we
don't currently have any direct contacts with Adobe), we are getting
slightly worried about the future.
Any insights will be greatly appreciated.