25 Years of FrameMaker: Why This Product Still “Rocks” After A Quarter Of A Century

Adobe FrameMaker 10

by Maxwell Hoffmann, Director, Document Globalization Practice at Globalization Partners International

This month (April 2011) FrameMaker turns 25, just 3 months after the launch of a major new release, Adobe FrameMaker 10. Over the years, FrameMaker has attracted many nicknames, from “industrial strength publishing” to “Word on steroids.” Even phrases like “too good to be true” have been associated with the product.

None of these monikers have ever accurately categorized or captured the essence of this dynamic product. I was employee number 66 at Frame Technology (the company that invented FrameMaker) when it was barely 2 years old. Since a silver anniversary only comes along once in a lifetime, here are my observations on how this versatile product has evolved and continues to thrive well into the 21st Century.

Has it really been that long ago?

FrameMaker has been around since Ronald Reagan was in his second term as US President. Just how has this product stayed relevant and competitive during the vastly changing landscape of the past 25 years? Ironically, FrameMaker has achieved this with two goals that may seem in conflict: (a) staying highly focused on a targeted group of users and (b) being really powerful at doing lots of different things.

Early FrameMaker users were creating manuals with files that were often hundreds and sometimes thousands of pages long. High volume, high page-count, frequently revised content has always been targeted as the ideal project for FrameMaker. Since the earliest users of FrameMaker created highly complex documentation which required multiple presentation formats, advanced multi-purpose features were developed early in the product’s life.

Keeping pace with the second decade of the 21st Century …

The latest version of FrameMaker, paired with RoboHelp 9 and other components of the Adobe Technical Communication Suite 3 make this mature product an ideal solution for (a) highly accessible DITA authoring, (b) authoring that can be swiftly and inexpensively integrated with CMS, (c) multi-channel output that is empowered for social media and even (d) scalable output to the “small screen”; eBooks for viewing on hand held devices and tablets.

The synergy between the far-sighted vision of FrameMaker’s founders and Adobe’s revolutionary workflow goals have had a great deal to do with FrameMaker’s continued success. There could hardly be a more global product than FrameMaker; it is Unicode compliant, easily publishes huge projects in multiple languages, and product development is brilliantly (and quietly) managed from Adobe India. But more about that later; let’s start with a brief tour of how FrameMaker was born and how it grew.

In the beginning, there was UNIX …

Multitasking and multichannel output is in FrameMaker’s “DNA” because it was fortuitously born on a UNIX platform, not on the Mac or PC. In 1986, personal computers were usually limited to 512K of RAM, and a hard drive of only a few megs. Many Macs and PCs of that era were limited to floppy disc storage.

Desktop publishing applications developed on the Mac or PC in the mid-1980s did word processing or page layout, not both. For any readers born since Reagan left office, this may feel like a field trip to the Smithsonian Museum!

As a partner with Sun Microsystems, Frame Technology had access to multiple UNIX workstations for development. FrameMaker’s first hardware platform had at least 2 megs of RAM, a 20 meg hard drive, and a multi-tasking UNIX OS that easily handled background activities (like printing) while word processing, page layout and graphics editing took place simultaneously in the foreground. The screen was large, and a simple, proprietary “desktop” made file management simple, visual and effective.

In the early years of FrameMaker’s development, the UNIX workstation market (for publishing) was growing like gang busters. So early on, the product founders and pioneer engineers decided to make the code “portable” so it could easily be ported to various flavors of UNIX. Fairly early on, FrameMaker was ported to Mac, then to an early version of Windows. FrameMaker’s incredibly advanced features (like conditional text for multi-versioning and what is still the world’s best tables) literally seemed like a trip to Mars on smaller, personal computers “back in the day.”

Many of the product’s features were so far ahead of their time that it took several years for people to actually believe that the product demonstrations weren’t “fake.” A single template import could radically transform text formatting, auto numbering, page layout and more, in just a few seconds. While working at Frame Technology, I learned that the only way to get through to trade show audiences was to import the template in 3 stages (first layout, then text formats, then table formats) so potential users could “follow” with the process. The recommended technique was too much for most people to believe.

Ignorance is not bliss …

And this is where a lot of misconceptions about FrameMaker got started. Because the publishing engine was so radically ahead of its time, (and in many ways still is) there has always been an element of disbelief about FrameMaker’s capabilities amongst some publishing “experts.” If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “Well, I can do that with Microsoft Word!” Well, yes, and I could build a ship in a bottle, but I don’t think you’d want to watch me doing that.

In a way, it would a bit like being a car sales man trying to sell a car with newly invented automatic transmission shortly before WWII. Nearly any customer taking a 1940 Oldsmobile for a test drive would keep stepping on the floor out of habit, trying to find the clutch. There is no clutch; that’s why we call it “automatic.” In a similar vein, FrameMaker has automatically achieved dramatic publishing results without long used, familiar processes and tools.

Even early versions of FrameMaker completely eliminated tiresome steps from the publishing process. As an example, for well over 20 years, FrameMaker has automatically generated hyperlinks from target to source for generated Tables of Contents, Indices and cross-references. The binary file format was extremely stable, and users never had to “rebuild” broken cross-references or hyperlinks when upgrading to new releases.

The birth of “structured” FrameMaker …

By the early 1990s FrameMaker became extremely popular with technical publications groups in aerospace and manufacturing. SGML and structured editing were high priorities for this crowd, and FrameMaker’s founders put their brain trust of engineers to the millstone to come up with a solution. By 1992, a prototype of “FrameBuilder” was demonstrated to Frame Tech employees in one of our monthly “Pizza Fridays.” It had an early forerunner of the “structure view” window still used in FrameMaker today. This prototype eventually became “FrameMaker+SGML” … a higher priced product that had robust SGML application capabilities.

Lucky for the rest of us, after Adobe’s 1995 acquisition of FrameMaker, “FrameMaker+SGML” and “regular” FrameMaker were merged into one product with release 7.0. That release also marked the birth of “official” XML support, which has grown steadily over the past 9 years.

Fast forward to 1995, Adobe: the essential ingredient …

It can be argued that if FrameMaker was invented by the sharpest knife in the tech space drawer — Charles Corfield — the product was acquired and fostered by the smartest people in the publishing space, Adobe. It became clear early on that FrameMaker was a focused, niche publishing solution that would never have the mass sales potential of other Adobe products, which were aimed at a more densely populated, creative space. Still, Adobe recognized and respected FrameMaker’s unique powers and value, and for the past 25 years no other product has emerged to rival FrameMaker’s “accessible” set of power tools.

Rising on the crest of the mid 1990s technology boom and the explosive growth of the Internet, Adobe was the right company to acquire FrameMaker at the right time. Adobe was already the market-leader for nearly every tool in the creative space, (and page layout with PageMaker, but they did not have a full-fledged solution for hard-core, technical documentation. In a relatively short period of time, Adobe grasped both the significance of this technical market and its vast differences from the creative spaces inhabited by Photoshop, Illustrator and eventually InDesign.

Adobe India, which develops and manages many other Adobe technical solution products beyond the “creative” space, has done a brilliant job of meeting with countless users, listening to their strongest needs, and responding effectively to that input. Two years ago FrameMaker 9.0 introduced a true “Adobe” user interface, which makes the product far more accessible to new users, and users of other Adobe products. Adobe bundled a highly useful set of complimentary products with FrameMaker to offer the Technical Communication Suite. Adobe also introduced Adobe Community Help, an AIR-based platform that empowers users to push relevant technical content into FrameMaker’s online Help. This not only gave FrameMaker and TCS users a greater sense of product ownership and involvement, it gave Adobe an hour-by-hour seismograph to monitor the swiftly evolving needs of today’s publishing world. The impact of Facebook and other social networking “sharing” tools did not go unnoticed.

Even with DITA, some people just don’t “get” FrameMaker…

True to its heritage of eliminating unnecessary steps, FrameMaker’s approach to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) was to collapse the workflow into a more manageable process. “DITA for the rest of us,” some people called it. Ironically, this was sometimes a cause for criticism. No, FrameMaker does not rely upon tediously created style sheets to achieve robust formatting in an XML or DITA publishing workflow. Instead, any unstructured FrameMaker legacy document can become the seed for a structured FrameMaker template. Essentially, FrameMaker’s proprietary formatting engine (which creates paragraph, character and table styles), provides any degree of complexity you may desire in formatting. You are no longer reliant on expensive consultants or a “CSS guru” to achieve output from DITA that bears rich formatting.

The early advent of “FrameBuilder” put the foundation for XML into FrameMaker’s DNA. Arguably, that one factor may be more responsible for the product’s current success than any other product feature.

DITA content in structured FrameMaker

A brief word on this topic, although DITA is a “standard,” customization is often required. 


“Pure” DITA, with no modification, can create modest formatting for documents with relative complexity. But DITA’s standard structured won’t always accommodate transformations and intricate display of part numbers required in page headers or footers by Pharma and Biotech industries. Take a look at Adobe Evangelist Tom Aldous’s recent video blog on Publishing Custom Structured XML With FrameMaker 10.

In the translation and localization industry, we work with many different document styles and workflows. But FrameMaker (unstructured or XML) is still the most common file format for complex, high page-count manuals (print or electronic) for regulated industries like medical devices and biotechnology. My company, Globalization Partners International, has had extensive experience migrating customers from unstructured FrameMaker into XML/DITA. Our development for a major medical device manufacturer, creating an XML-based FrameMaker workflow with no “round tripping” from *.fm to *.xml format, took less than 20% of the development time that would have been required by most “open source” DITA toolkit solutions. This may have something to do with why so many CMS/DITA consultants don’t promote FrameMaker. (Watch for a future blog on this topic.)

FrameMaker 10 has made DITA authoring and development more accessible than ever. A new user interface allows even publishers with modest skill sets to become capable of modifying context-sensitive rules in the EDD (Element Definition Document) which can apply rules-based formatting, rather than simply marrying element names to paragraph tags.

To overcome the usual “disbelief” factor, Adobe has crafted some elegant, simple video demo/blogs that will quickly drive the point home. You may want to start with the very comprehensive Adobe FrameMaker 10 and FrameServer 10 Reviewer’s Guide, which also has numerous embedded video demos.

Here are just a few of the many Adobe video/blogs choose from:

FrameMaker 10 has extended product functionality to full support of DITA 1.2, making referenced data and many other essential content ingredients available for swift content transformations. Although FrameMaker had powerful, proprietary multi-versioning available for over 20 years, through proprietary conditional text control, today’s product can handle this in a more standard fashion through filtered attributes in DITA.

What’s under the hood with FrameMaker 10?

Lack of space prevents a full product review combined with this silver anniversary retrospective on FrameMaker. But, working in the translation industry, we have our list of new key product features that we feel will even further reduce time and costs on multiple language projects. For a full summary of these features, click on the GPI blogs relating to FrameMaker and TCS3 listed below:

Closing thoughts: FrameMaker’s future …

At various times in past years there have been “urban legend” type rumors that Adobe was planning on “killing” FrameMaker. First PageMaker and later InDesign were wrongly identified as in-house products that would render FrameMaker obsolete. Any content creator from a tech pubs background immediately recognized how ludicrous such speculation was.

I’ve witnessed a steady progression of relevant product feature growth since I first used the product in 1988. Adobe’s commitment to both FrameMaker and its intended user base has become increasingly evident over the year. Perhaps the strongest testament to FrameMaker’s present and future health is Adobe’s recent selection of Tom Aldous as Product Evangelist for Tech Comm Suite to replace a deservedly promoted RJ Jacquez. You couldn’t find a better person for the job than Tom. I should know. He was my student 20 years ago.

“Tom, may the Force continue to be with you.”

As you can see from the photos below, FrameMaker isn’t the only thing that has changed over the past 25 years.

About the Author

Maxwell Hoffmann, the early years

Maxwell Hoffmann, Today

Maxwell Hoffmann is Director, Document Globalization Practice at Globalization Partners International (GPI). He has over 14 years’ experience in localization and leads GPI’s Documentation Globalization Practice, helping clients produce and publish multilingual content in a cost-effective, consistent, and culturally correct manner. Designated an Adobe Community Expert in 2007 and a 2011 inductee to the Adobe Community Professional program as a recognized expert in FrameMaker, Maxwell is a former product marketing manager for FrameMaker. He has extensive experience as a practitioner and instructor in Adobe FrameMaker and DITA/XML, and has trained over 1,200 people. He was also designated one of the Top 25 Most Influential Content Strategists for 2010 by MindTouch and LavaCon.

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33 Responses to “25 Years of FrameMaker: Why This Product Still “Rocks” After A Quarter Of A Century”

  1. Gyanesh April 7, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Hi Max,

    This is an awesome blog post. I haven’t finished reading it, but I could not stop myself from conveying my appreciation.

    Regards,
    Gyanesh

  2. Samartha Vashishtha April 7, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Great blog post, Maxwell!

  3. Michael Müller-Hillebrand April 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    I found a 1992 FrameMaker promotion video on some Apple CD-ROM, I uploaded it to Youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzB3EavtIE8

  4. Choyberg April 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    It’d be fun to do a blogpost that lists all versions of Framemaker, but comments/treats them as different years/vintages of wine…. Thanks, Max!

  5. Matt Sullivan April 7, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    Hi Max, great article!

    I still remember in the early 90′s trying to figure out what FM was with the first Macintosh version (Mac version 1.0?)

    At the time I was a DTP expert, and I *did NOT like*!

    A few years later I was “nominated” to teach FM5, and subsequently “drank the Kool-Aid.” I’m so glad I did, as the majority of my work since then has been helping folks acheive ROI on their doc and publishing projects. With FM10 and TCS3, the process keeps extending capabilities and improving workflow.

    I love seeing how TCS3 fits together and can repurpose FM content to ePub and apps. In fact, that’s my preso at STC this year…see you in Sacramento!

  6. Syed Zaeem Hosain April 7, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Fantastic trip down memory lane – thanks! As an early adopter of FrameMaker (on a Sun 3/50 back in 1988), I loved the product then. I am still a user of FM 9 on a Windows 7 laptop, and can appreciate how successful this product has been over the years.

    To be honest, I am not enamored with the new FM 9 interface (in spite of using it for a while now), and have considered “going back” to FM 8 – sigh …

    And, I am very annoyed with the expensive upgrade price to FM 10 (which is why I have not yet done it – and will not). Version 9 has a few bugs and limitation, and, from what I can tell with just a cursory look, FM 10 should have been an update to version 9 (as a version 9.1 release perhaps) for a *lot* lower price – perhaps even a regular update.

    Oh, well … thanks again for a great article!

    Z

  7. Rock Armstrong April 8, 2011 at 1:41 am #

    Having worked with FrameMaker since 1995, I consider it the platinum benchmark for authoring software for technical documentation. No other product comes close to its capabilities, or ease of use. The learning curve for the “new” user interface (introduced with V9.0), was moderate, but well worth it, because it automates so many tasks (e.g. seeing all of the hidden text in all of your markers at once.) FrameMaker 10 is a real winner. Thanks for the insights into how this great product evolved.

  8. Les Smalley April 8, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    Great post Max! I still believe FrameMaker is the best technical publishing tool out there. It’s come a very long way since the days of Sun 2s & 3s and X-Windows, and continues to serve its market extremely well. You and all the early folks from Zanker Road and RIncon Circle deserve a very hearty Thank You!

  9. Cynthia Milton April 8, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    I think I’d have to give up my career if I couldn’t use Frame. In my current job I’m the sole author, and the engineers are contunually astonished at what I can achieve. So am I, sometimes. Long may Frame reign.

  10. Christie Fidura April 8, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Hi Max, I absolutely loved this blog post! As a newbie tech writer in 1995, I remember sitting through a demonstration of FrameMaker with my Microsoft Word-based technical writing colleagues and none of us could believe our eyes. Just like you said, the demonstrator had to break everything down into the simplest of workflows to ensure we understood what he was showing us. It was truly life-altering. Having left the career of technical writing behind in 2000 to step into a Marketing role, I am really proud now to represent this product and tell other people about it. I think Adobe’s doing a really good job of listening to the user community and I too welcome guru Tom Aldous to our team. I joined Adobe in 2009, which is further evidence of their commitment to the technical writing community, and to FrameMaker/TCS. Thanks for providing this really fantastic walk down memory lane for us.

  11. Charles Corfield April 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    Great article. It is interesting to see the staying power of concepts we wrestled with many moons ago. Choices matter. If you’re lucky, you get to make a few good ones! Nowadays, I am focused on applying voice recognition to speed up the workflow where people have to document their interactions with customers and patients. It is the other end of the spectrum from FM — efficiently capturing a few sentences and automating the insertion of rote text. Yet, like FM, the “product model” and human factors are critical to making it work well. The product is called “SayIt” and it provides real-time continuous speech recognition in the cloud. Like FM 25 years ago, it is beginning its adoptance cycle, and its early users rave about it. My best wishes to all Framers wherever you are (India, Europe, U.S….) and if you are ever near Boulder, Colorado, drop in for a chat. -CC

  12. Leigh White April 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    I’ll be interested to read the blog post on why CMS/DITA consultants don’t promote FrameMaker. The statement in this blog implies it’s because we want to milk our clients for the most development time possible. I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s in my interest to complete a contract as quickly and efficiently as possible. Milking a job might yield short-term gains but long-term losses…no repeat business, no good word-of-mouth. No, I generally don’t promote FrameMaker because using its XML/DITA functionality is like wearing five mittens at once. If you have a client who is primarily interested in authoring in a GUI environment and the XML is a secondary but necessary concern, then FrameMaker is the right tool for them. If you have a client who is interested in fully exploring the boundaries of XML/DITA, has a reasonable amount of technical savvy, and wants to implement fully automated publishing (especially without a CMS), that client will soon grow frustrated with Frame’s significant overhead and very proprietary implementation of much XML/DITA functionality. Not to mention that few CMSs offer a fully-functioning Frame bridge–especially for publishing–so the client, when later selecting a CMS, potentially has to either go with one that isn’t an ideal fit because they are backed into the Frame corner, or they have to purchase and learn a new XML editor and pay for development of the XSLT transforms necessary to publish their XML–doubling their expenditure. These are the concerns I present to my clients. I’m happy to give Frame its props; it manages long technical documents extraordinarily well. There’s nothing better. But as an XML editor, it’s often painfully clear that the XML functionality was grafted onto the product at a late date and the seams can be really ugly.

  13. Kevin Cancilla April 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Hi Max,
    What a cool thing you’ve composed—love it!

    For me, it’s hard to separate the people of Frame Technology from FrameMaker. The product is at the center of so many great and still sustained connections I made from you, to Toni Gripper, Martin Doettling and my mentor Mark Hamilton. One of my best memories was when all our Comrades gathered on the rooftop of the new building in SJ and stood in front of the HUGE prop box for the FrameMaker 5 release (I believe) and autographed it. Who else remembers the 8’ box, perhaps it was 10’ high! So many great memories from our highly focused Sandy Knox working on, “how to demo it”, to Gretchen Malay and others like Willow, Lisa Cleary and the list goes on and on… helping us to market it!

    The product rocks, just like its talent that developed it to all those linked to it.

  14. Steve Kirsch April 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Max: A very impressive article! You’ll be pleased to know that many of the people who you worked with are still working in the same building at 1010 Rincon Circle 25 years later.

  15. John Kwan April 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    The 1989 earthquake was fun. Greg Kostal and I were doing a demo of “OS/2 Framaker”, which later became the Windows version, to management when the building moved. Back in those days, if OS/2 wasn’t shut down properly your disk was trash. Rather than ducking for cover both of us started the shutdown process.

    There was also Teresa from Seimens (the one with the purple hair, outfit and umbrella). She had never been in a quake before and was a bit excited at the whole thing. Andy Hartman and I and a few others took her bar hopping in Milpitas (no power, mostly by candles) to calm her nerves. We were all going to go camping in Yosemite that weekend anyways so we just broke out our backpacks and eventually camped in my backyard since none of us had power.

    I don’t remember whose birthday it was but one time the engineers filled a cubicle with packing peanuts to celebrate a birthday. Several of us got in the cube with only our heads showing and I still have the picture of that somewhere.

    There was also the short lived (6 months) salsa dancing crazy where for a period a sizable contingent of Framers went to Cesar’s Latin Palace every weekend. Do you remember “Dancing Feet are Happy Feet”?

    -John Kwan
    jkwan@VeriPic.com

  16. Kelly Jo Horton April 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Max! You brought back so many memories. I was one of the first beta testers for FrameMaker when I worked for Sun Microsystems. I became such a power user that Frame Technology finally hired me as employee #35.

    Do you know how happy I was to go from troff and nroff to FrameMaker back then? ;^)

    Kelly

  17. Eugene April 8, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    Outstanding blog post! I just wanted to add the union of RoboHelp and FrameMaker in the Adobe Communications Suite was a marriage made in heaven, having worked with both of these products since their inception. I deliver online help content from Frame using RoboHelp and love it.

    Long live FrameMaker, and needless to say, Adobe!

  18. Nandini Gupta April 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    A gem of a post. Both stylish and insightful! Thanks, Maxwell.

  19. cud April 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Hi Max…

    A nice trip down memory lane. I especially appreciated that SunView screenshot. I remember feeling disappointed about GUIs having 3-D buttons in them — I didn’t like to think about my processor devoting cycles to such nonsense. There… How’s that for a curmudgeon? But I have always had fond memories of FrameMaker, the people involved, and the technology. The product has really made its place in the world… Thanks for bringing it all back, Max!

  20. Maxwell Hoffmann April 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Hi Leigh,

    Just a brief word about upcoming blog on “why don’t more CMS or DITA consultants recommend FrameMaker.” You clearly do not fall into the class of consultants I will be blogging about. What is at issue is the dozens of times I’m aware of that a consultant worked with a client who already had FrameMaker, and the existing, non-XML document “structure” was a perfect starting point for a DITA or XML solution that would work just fine for the client; the consultant convinced the client to ditch FrameMaker and install a more expensive solution that did not provide an improvement over what FrameMaker had to offer.

    Thank you for sharing the many scenarios out there: arguably there are a few instances where another solution would be as good or possibly better than FrameMaker if highly specific criteria is required. I am referring to instances where there was no such criteria, the consultant did not have your standards or ethics. Looking forward to your comments on the next blog when it is written.

  21. Tom Aldous April 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Max,

    Thank you so much for setting me on this FrameMaker path so many years ago. You are a great teacher and a better friend.

    Tom Aldous

  22. Lars Pejsekammer April 15, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    Great mustache Maxwell – both now and 25 years ago!
    Oh, and FrameMaker is pretty great too :-)

  23. gillallott April 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    I like the one comment some people just don’t get FM; unfortunately I’m one of them. I have around many times on it but did it blindly without knowing much theory abt the application. So 2years later I’m back, standing in front of FM asking it “show me your magic”. And this time I’ll prepare better, hence reading articles such as this to open my mind.
    Good read -im even more intrigued now

  24. Barb Binder April 15, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Max, terrific article on the history of FrameMaker. I enjoyed every minute of it.

    Happy 25th, FrameMaker!

    ~Barb Binder

  25. Joe Dunn April 15, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    Wow. Thanks for quick trip back to San Jose circa 1989, Max. And an update on where FM is now. Fantastic that it’s still going. And you still look completely wonderful, as do we all :-)

  26. Andy Hartman April 18, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    John Kwan mentions when someone’s cubicle was completely filled with styrofoam packing peanuts for his birthday. Well, I remember whose cube that was, and I have the pictures to prove it! Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be any way to upload a photo here to expose the culprits! I do remember that this effort was spearheaded by someone named Eric (I’ll let him choose to decide how much to incriminate himself!). He also was instrumental in the “liberation” of the wooden cow sculpture that decorated our part of the building for many months. During late night programming sessions under intense deadlines, he and I used to get out the boxing gloves and blow off steam.

  27. Pam Goodwin April 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    Hey Max! I had fun working with you in those days. Great article! Hope all is well with you. What an amazing product -I knew it then, and I know it even more now that I am forced to work with inferior products now! Haha

  28. Maxwell Hoffmann April 27, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    FYI — If you enjoyed this article, you may find another article I wrote (completely different content) on FrameMaker’s 25th anniversary of interest. The article is “FrameMaker Turns 25: Interview with Inventor Charles Corfield and an Update on New FrameMaker 10 Functionality”, written for INTERCOM, STC’s magazine. You can view the article online with the links listed below:

    HTML = http://bit.ly/dOCKin
    PDF = http://bit.ly/fEml2c

  29. Jerry Warren June 18, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    Great Article Max! I enjoyed the trip, and am excited about the next 25 years!

  30. Supriya June 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Wat a fantastic blog…..i really appreciate……..i was given an assignment on this software and this blog has helped me a lot…….thanks ……………………..

  31. Tim Murray January 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    I’ve been using Frame since version 3, and have one disagreement with your commentary; that being that Adobe is listening to user’s needs. My impression is that they are focused on structured publishing techniques and leaving old issues behind, even the most simple things like widening width of some dialog fields to allowing the stroke around objects to be a different color than the object. And as a Mac user, I sure could use a Mac version! It seemed to work better and faster than the Windows version.

    But in any case it’s a great article, and I plan on referring to it as a sort of sales tool for getting people away from Word.

  32. Anjaneai January 23, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    Hi Maxwell,

    This is an amazing informative blog, I am so fascinated reading the transformation of an application to one of the most powerful and strong tool!

    Cheers to you and FrameMaker!

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