Sunday, May 6, 2007

Framemaker: Few Fantastics

I’ve read a feedback column in the March 2005 issue of Macworld magazine. I know the column is old as to be quoted in a weblog of 2007, but the statements were intense that it echoes through time (well, at least for the generation of publishing fanatics like me).

"InDesign group product manager Will Eisley needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror before he boasts about how Adobe values its customers. I’ve used Framemaker on the Mac almost every working day since 1991. It’s a fantastic application, and nothing else can touch it. In 2001, Adobe said it planned to support OS X in future releases of its flagship products. Fast-forward to 2004. Adobe says there’ll be no version of Framemaker for Mac OS X. What does Adobe suggest we do? Switch to Windows?"
— Paul Findon

Framemaker was the first application in which I was trained in Datagrafix, Inc. I’ve learned so much about the application and I can really say that it’s fantastic. Imagine opening an XML file in a page layout application then the application recognizes the headers, body content, images the likes only with the help of a DTD (document-type-definition). The only thing left for the compositor to do is apply the correct master pages and check if the Rules of Typography are not broken. Framemaker, for those who do not know, is an impressive cross-platform, page layout program that can utilize SGML and/or XML for layout automation. I was enthralled by the application that I even joined the frameusers.com community last 2006.

In 2005, Datagrafix relied heavily in the use of Framemaker on both Mac and PC. In the mid of 2006, our clients were migrating to InDesign. Fortunately, I got to know InDesign since version 1, but I wondered why our clients were migrating to another application when Framemaker is so excellent. Well, that’s when I read this web article… http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx/.2cd0cc9a (Adobe ceased the production of Framemaker for Macintosh in 2004).

In the aforementioned web article Adobe stated market conditions, wherein they say that majority of Frame users are on Windows and Sun Solaris platforms (so much for being cross-platformed). If what they say is true, then probably the users of Frame are quite few on all platforms that it caused them to sadly put down Framemaker for Macintosh.

Interestingly, Paul Findon seem to have organized a petition website in order to bring back Framemaker for Macintosh (http://www.fm4osx.org/). I could say that his task is so noble that Adobe should really listen to his and all Frame users’ calls. Time will tell if Adobe will listen, but Paul Findon’s call will reverberate through time along with the voices of the purely few fantastic users of Framemaker.

Framemaker is a very excellent application. And it has everything in it, perhaps even more, to make a name for itself in the publishing industry. Framemaker worked for me and I’m sure it will work for many layout artists. I hope Adobe brings back Framemaker for Macintosh.