On Wed, 17 Sep 2008 12:49:35 -0600, Patrick Fortino <pxforti at gmail.com> 

[Amusing rant snipped.]

Since you mention Mif2Go below, a few comments...  OK, it turned
out to be more than a few.  ;-)

>However, now that you know my opinion of Webworks as a company, I will  
>admit that the new epubisher a pretty nice tool. I had a hard time  
>getting used to the new interface, but once I did, it converted my fm  
>books pretty flawlessly. With Webworks Publisher, I would have to do  
>extensive template modificaitons to get the html output to look the  
>way I wanted it to look. But with epub, the output was almost perfect  
>without any mods. 

That's also the case with Mif2Go, for many outputs.  It really
depends on the complexity of your Frame files, and on the number
of bells and whistles you want added.  Many folks tell us they 
are producing deliverable output 15 minutes after download of
the Mif2Go distro.  I wouldn't count on that <g>, but it's way
simpler than other alternatives, IMHO.

>And it was VERY EASY to set up a multi-volume help  
>project (one with many different books). Because I was helping to set  
>up this project for users who beginner frame  and webworks users, ease  
>of use was VERY important.

It's almost trivial to use the same settings for multiple projects;
we do that all the time, using conversion templates (Frame files)
and configuration templates (shared .ini files).

>epub is also much faster than wwpub pro at converting fm books. A real  
>plus when you are developing a new project and need to generate output  
>many times a day.

That's always been one of Mif2Go's strengths; it's *very* fast.
It leads to a more productive mode of working, where you can
edit one setting then rerun the project to see the effect... 
in a minute or two.  Not after going out for lunch.  <g>

>One of the best things about epub, compared to robo help is that it  
>uses your frame docs as the source. Last I checked, robo help still  
>only uses the frame docs to import the project. Once imported, you  
>have two content sources: robo help and frame.
>I haven't use flare so can't comment on it.

Both RH and Flare are designed as stand-alone authoring apps.
They "import" Frame, but require some work in their own system
after every import before you get the output you want.  Both
WWP and Mif2Go regard Frame as the authoring app, so you are
always ready to run with the latest content edits.  It's a
fundamental design choice.

>I tried mif2go; it can almost do what epub can do, 

Really?  We think it does *more*.  More formats for sure;
for one thing, nobody else does Word output from Frame at 
*all*.  Then there's DITA and DocBook from UNstructured
Frame, Oracle Help for Java (a better JavaHelp), WinHelp
(still needed for some older apps), and Eclipse (which we
added two years ago and which ePP added this summer...).

And our Open Source Web help system, OmniHelp, loads a
lot faster than any other browser-based system, and does
more for you...  See what it does with our 1000-page
User's Guide:

>but requires a LOT more mucking around in the code. 

LOL!  There's no "code" to muck around in; it's all in
compiled C++, not an interpreted template language like 
WWP used.  (That's one reason for the speed difference.)

There *are* settings needed to control various features
in the .ini files, but they are no more complex than
a mapping table has to be, like:

Heading 1=H1

And our Setup looks at your doc and makes reasonable
guesses about what those should be.  You *can* do a
lot more there if you want, but you don't *have* to.

>If price is your bottom line, it might be worth looking at. But 
>I'd be willing to bet that if you keep track of your hours learning 
>mif2go versus epub, the cost difference would be negligible.

Hardly!  We start off at around 1/5 of ePP ($295; the
price of ePP is not listed on its Web site), *include*
a year of support (which most customers never need to
use, BTW, thanks to a very thorough User's Guide) and 
of *all* upgrades.  And then we let you continue with 
support and upgrades forever at $75/year.

The truth is, you can equip a whole workgroup with Mif2Go
licenses for less than *one* ePP license.  And many major
corps have realized that.  One reason we can give free
copies, with full support, to the unemployed and academics,
is that the corporate world supports us very well indeed.

>So that's the sad story. Because webworks is the only game in town,  
>they can get away with their Draconian licensing practices.

Only as long as *you* choose to support those practices.  ;-)  

All the best!

-- Jeremy H. Griffith, at Omni Systems Inc.
  <jeremy at omsys.com>  http://www.omsys.com/

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