Klaus is fairly active on the Adobe forums, and still working on useful scripts, too.
On Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 8:05 PM Peter Gold <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Just when I've been wondering if I’m really as old as I look, or only as > old as I've always thought I was (meaning 20-something), in jumps Frank > Stearns! Like Lin Sims, Lynne Price, et. al. You're one of the early-on > posters I remember saving lives - mine and those of others - back in the > days of comp.text.frame and similar "pools" of pain-loving techwhrlrs. > Thanks for chiming in all you old-timers. Glad to hear you're still here. > > I second the comment about dodging a bullet over a nit-pick! Remember that > Groucho Marx, a word-wrangler if there ever was one, said he'd never join a > group that invited him. > > One of the folks among the Jacks and Janes of all trades who comprised > Ashton-Tate's dBASE II tech support group that I was lucky enough to hire > into back in '86, (and one exception to Groucho's rule, at least for me,) > turned out to have been a music transcriber. Yeah, a hand-powered music > writer, who made the scores for large orchestras, etc. He saw the > calligraphy on the wall, namely that technology, bad as it was then, wasn't > gonna stop encroaching on his skills. > > As to nostalgia for lost technologies, Ashton-Tate bought Mac-based > FullWrite Professional, probably one of the only real competitors to FM's > range of features then, or perhaps ever, had it survived. So many stories > in that valley of silicon. Until development couldn't climb the hill fast > enough, and A-T pulled the plug on FullWrite, it was in the running at the > place where I first saw FM on Mac and Sun. > > I haven't seen anything recently from Klaus Daube. He's been compiling FM > history. www.daube.ch There's always more to the story. > > > On Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 11:31 AM Frank Stearns <fra...@pacifier.com> wrote: > > > In 1990 or so I'd just completed migrating some 6000 pages of DEC RNO > > (with pieces of UNIX Troff tossed in) over to LaTeX for my primary > > client of the day (Aptec Systems, a Floating Point Systems spin-off > > who made high-speed I/O computers. We're talking large fractions of a > > million dollars systems (multi-millions for the "big" systems) whose > > then fantastic bus speeds are today dwarfed by that $500 laptop at > > Best Buy or Walmart.) > > > > One of the engineers had a copy of FM 1.3 on his Sun 3/50 > > invited me to have a look. I was not impressed -- at all. (By that > > time, while mostly hating it, I could get LaTeX to sit up, roll-over, > > and play dead -- which it did do from time to time with no prompting.) > > > > Months later, that same engineer showed me FM 2.1. Wow. Now we're > > getting somewhere, as I'd just battled through Ventura Publisher's > > endless bugs on a project for another client. > > > > I'm not exactly sure how the decision was made, but Aptec shifted over > > to FrameMaker 2.1 (which cost money) from LaTeX which was "free". It > > might have had something to do with LaTeX bringing even the newer "hot > > rod" DEC microvaxes to their knees when I ran a job. The engineers > > would march around my cubical with torches chanting curses, while > > the system manager scrambled to find resources to handle all the > > usual product cycle crunch conditions -- doc releases parallel with > > product releases. > > > > Aptec was also shifting over to more of those new-fangled SUN > > workstations, which were completely independent of the VAXes. "Good! > > Kick that tech-writer P-I-A over onto the UNIX systems!" The guys were > > all soooo happy that LaTeX was no longer crippling their main > > development platforms. (They finally stopped blaming me personally.) > > > > But it did mean yet another migration of those 1000s of pages of docs > > from LaTeX over to FM. I got pretty handy with MIF and MML (remember > > MML?). Other conversion help came from macros in MS WORD-for-DOS > > (perhaps the only Word version that was worthwhile; much more reliable > > than word for windows) and lots of fun with the text processing power > > of UNIX and even similar command line functions in VMS. > > > > FM 3.0 really started to "open up the world" and provided a whole new > > look and feel to the documents, and was so much easier to use. For its > > day "Best Looking/most functional" FM version award probably goes to > > FM3 on monochrome Sunview. > > > > Having cut my teeth on embedded-format command word-processors and > > typesetters in the mid-1970s, WYSIWYG systems always seemed to be > > something of a sham, especially when they were so prone to bugs and > > crashes, such as that Ventura project revealed. > > > > But I made my declaration at FM 2.1 that FM was the FIRST WYSIWYG > > system that actually made sense and lived up to the promises of such > > systems, and did so (mostly) with reliability and elegance, and > > certainly for a reasonable price and licensing scheme when compared to > > the competitors, such as Interleaf. > > > > FM4 brought along that wonderful table editor and the API. Woo hoo! > > Now we could have some real fun. Our flagship product, IXgen, was > > born, and became highly popular. Other fun FM aids (born a little > > earlier) caught the attention of multiple people, including some folks > > at Cisco Systems who had been offered a seat on Frame's newly-formed > > Customer Advisory Board. > > > > To their credit (and unknown to me at the time) Cisco told FM that > > they certainly had enough "large customer" representation on the board > > (Boeing, BEA Systems, US Army [IIRC] among others) but they lacked any > > "small user" representation. That's when my name came up and I was > > invited to join the board to represent independents and contractors > > who used FM. Unfortunately, the board went away when Adobe purchased > > Frame Technologies. > > > > (For more "museum" stories, visit fsatools.com; select "FSA > > Resources", Early Products.) > > > > More fun as the years ticked by and my company pivoted from tech pubs > > to software products, mostly for FM. > > > > The landscape now is quite different; few folks do indexing any more. > > "Just google it" is the new mantra. This is okay for me; I can slide > > into semi-retirement and support the IXgen users who are still active. > > Thanks to all present and past users of our products. > > > > Frank Stearns > > FSA > > > > _______________________________________________ > > > > This message is from the Framers mailing list > > > > Send messages to email@example.com > > Visit the list's homepage at http://www.frameusers.com > > Archives located at > > http://www.mail-archive.com/framers%40lists.frameusers.com/ > > Subscribe and unsubscribe at > > http://lists.frameusers.com/listinfo.cgi/framers-frameusers.com > > Send administrative questions to listad...@frameusers.com > > > > > _______________________________________________ > > This message is from the Framers mailing list > > Send messages to firstname.lastname@example.org > Visit the list's homepage at http://www.frameusers.com > Archives located at > http://www.mail-archive.com/framers%40lists.frameusers.com/ > Subscribe and unsubscribe at > http://lists.frameusers.com/listinfo.cgi/framers-frameusers.com > Send administrative questions to listad...@frameusers.com -- Lin Sims _______________________________________________ This message is from the Framers mailing list Send messages to email@example.com Visit the list's homepage at http://www.frameusers.com Archives located at http://www.mail-archive.com/framers%40lists.frameusers.com/ Subscribe and unsubscribe at http://lists.frameusers.com/listinfo.cgi/framers-frameusers.com Send administrative questions to listad...@frameusers.com