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Whenever the MadCap question comes up on this list, I have the same
reaction. Most (all?) of these competitive products offer free demo
versions that you can try before you buy.
If you're buying new help authoring software, take the time to download
a demo version of every product you're considering. See if you can use
it easily, see if it does everything you need it to do, and see how many
bugs are in its current release. During the demo phase, you can also get
a feel for support. I did, and I'm very happy with my decision.
From: Donald H. White [mailto:trlbldr -at- comcast -dot- net]
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 10:09 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: MadCap Nightmare
Gee, this is interesting. A fellow tech writer finds problems with a new
software application. Same person advises other tech writers of the
she/he has found. Result: we ask the messenger what he/she has done to
I thought software vendors would run their software through a QC
even though my experience has indicated over the years that a company's
"process" may be, well, less than effective. Nonetheless, if something
doesn't work, it doesn't work. I've spent a lot of my time -- more than
should -- letting companies like Symantec, Adobe, and Dell know of
I've encountered. If they replied, they wanted me to fix the problem or
perform some really time- and labor-intensive effort to make their
I don't own the software. I'm only a licensee. And, the software doesn't
require a programmer to use it, supposedly. So, why can't a vendor sell
support its products?
As for Anonymous, I believe that she/he did have an "agenda:" to let
on this list know about his/her experience with Flare. What's the
over an agenda? Each of us has an agenda: pay the mortgage, wake up in
morning, drink coffee, etc.
Donald H. White
Sr. Technical Writer/Editor
James River Technical Communications LLC
dwhite -at- jrtcllc -dot- com