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Well, I've only been skimming through the MadCap stuff, but a nice,
inexpensive, easy-to-use Help program is Help Magician. I've used it
before and if my company hadn't specifically told me I was going to use
Robohelp, I'd have ordered the latest rev of Help Magician again.
Maybe your friend should take a look at it. I think it's somewhere in
the mid $200 range.
I can't say anymore... I'm still exhausted from yesterday. ;-)
From: techwr-l-bounces+mschmidt=weathercentral -dot- tv -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mschmidt=weathercentral -dot- tv -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com]
On Behalf Of Frank Ellifsen
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 3:36 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: MadCap Nightmare
I'm feeling a bit sheepish here, and caught in the middle. On one side,
feel the need to defend my friend, and on the other, I see the just
criticisms many have levied against his message. It maybe wasn't
particularly wise to participate in the posting of the anonymous post,
however, it is done.
I have not been in contact with the anonymous poster, and thus, don't
his reaction to the message. But maybe I can give you some context to
message that might help.
My anonymous friend, with whom I attended college, is the lone writer
company that produces some hardware and software. You'll have to take my
word for it that he has never been a software developer of any sort, and
never worked for any company that creates help software. Maybe you don't
think my word counts for much, but I can guarantee you that he's not an
anti-competitive troll out to do harm for MadCap. He investigated
software, at my suggestion, and decided to go with Flare for his
In my new position at work, I'm responsible for selecting the tools my
department will use for documentation. I've used a particular tool set
entire career, but don't have much experience outside that tool set. I
my friend what he thought about his tool set which includes Flare and
InDesign --- two programs I've never used. He responded with his
of Flare, in an effort to warn me about its problems before I tried to
implement it in a production environment. I had also mentioned that I
eagerly awaiting some of the other programs that MadCap intends to
in Beta next year, hoping that I could get the whole suite of software.
Based on his experience with Flare, he would be very unlikely to try a
MadCap version 1 product in a production environment with no back-up
I suggested that he write up his criticisms and post them to this list.
list has been notably quiet with relation to Flare. I thought he might
others on the list who could relate to, and maybe help him deal with the
concerns he addressed. He was reticent to post the message to the list,
reasons that now seem somewhat wise, and I offered to post the message
I read his message and suggested some changes to the message. He asked
I post it as-is.
You should be aware that in my discussions with him, he has indicated to
that he has worked with Flare customer support and has posted many of
concerns to their user forums. I can't verify this. I can only relate to
that he did tell me previously that he has done so. I don't know what
resolutions were or weren't.
As for my part in this whole charade, I apologize to MadCap and to the
Techwr-L community. No offense was intended, and I'm truly sorry that it
seems some was taken. I shouldn't have become involved, and from this,
learned my lesson.
If you would like me to forward a message to the anonymous poster, you
respond to this e-mail address.
If he wishes to respond to the criticisms levied in this thread, I'll
him to do so in another manner, as I wish to remove myself from the
situation as much as possible at this point. (Too late, I know.) But as
seems prudent, and as per Lisa's request, I've learned not to post
Best wishes to MadCap software and to the Techwr-L list. Sorry for
such a controversy.
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