Using FM4 do to "Frame" online help for Windows

Subject: Using FM4 do to "Frame" online help for Windows
From: Patrick O'Connell <titanide -at- MICRO -dot- ORG>
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 10:21:43 -0400

What I can say about this issue:

It was a VERY bad move for Frame Tech to do the FM4/Win online help using
their technology rather than good ol' reliable WinHelp. Why? Well, for one
thing, the Frame online help is only moderately useful -- most of my
Frame-using co-workers don't use it at all. (Good thing the manuals are
top-notch!) A non-resizable window doesn't help, either -- and at
1280x1024 or 1600x1200, you need to be able to zoom in to read the text.
You can't.

And SLOW -- that you should have to wait any number of seconds for simple,
text-based online help to appear onscreen on a local-bus 486/66 (my
platform) is ludicrous. Also, people used to using WinHelp in a Windows
environment (if they refer to ANY of the documentation at all, that is,
especially the online documentation) are unlikely to be comfortable with a
completely different engine.

That last is something Frame Tech (excuse me, is that Adobe Systems now?
:-) should have taken into account both for the program's online help and
in trying to sell FrameViewer (FrameReader?) as an acceptable solution for
authoring online documentation. I can see it appealing mainly to people
wanting to do single-source online and hardcopy docs -- and I recognize
that many of Frame/Win's built-in tools are superior to those of the major
word-processing programs.

titanide -at- micro -dot- org

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