Adobe conducting FrameMaker survey; considering Mac OS X version?

Adobe is performing an online survey regarding their FrameMaker application, which may suggest that the company could be considering further development for Mac OS X. Adobe had previously stated that the company had no plans for a Mac OS X version of FrameMaker.

On April 21, 2004, Adobe discontinued FrameMaker for the Macintosh operating system. Adobe announced that FrameMaker would continue to be available on Microsoft Windows and Sun Solaris platforms. Adobe stated that complimentary and fee-based technical support for FrameMaker for Macintosh would be available through April 21, 2005.

The survey is online here.


  1. It almost feels wrong that FrameMaker’s support has been discontinued on MacOSX who’s lineage comes straight from NeXT which was the primary platform for FrameMaker, if memory serves me correctly. With all of the support for MacOSX from the science community should there be any question that FrameMaker should be on MacOSX? Sure there is Latex and the MathLib but if FrameMaker has become the defacto standard for scientific publishing, then it is just common sense that FrameMaker should be available for the Mac. I’m sure the scientific community will voice it’s desire clearly on this subject.

  2. Framemaker is a great tool for creating customer documentation (i.e. user manuals.) As a tech writer who (out of necessity) creates product documentation in MS Word, I can say that Framemaker is really needed on OS X. In Word, one needs to jump through endless hoops to create standard manual features in Word. These features just come naturally as part of the Framemaker environment. Intuitive cross-referencing, better template tools, easy index creation, MUCH better multi-section document management (i.e. chapters). I’d rather use Framemaker, but how to get an employer to buy a tool that has, in essence, been discontinued?

  3. FileMaker, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).

    It is a leader in its field, practically all PC users than swear for FileMaker as an example of great product for PCs do not know and never realize (till I tell them) that their *one of the best example of quality software that run on PCs* comes from Apple.

  4. Latex is extremely good. Everyone is used to writing equations by typing in like regular text.

    Why do we need Frame Maker to do scientific documents? You do not see technical papers in our field written in Word. In fact, there are conferences where a submitted paper that’s written in word has historically not been accepted (not because it’s written in word, the technical content is not at par). Probably there’s a coincidence. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Experienced FrameMaker users typically have an extreme fondness for this program. It has an unusual approach to an interface that not everyone ‘gets’; but Frame’s incredibly lean, efficient, and powerful programming is unparalleled. It took me about six months of wrestling with it while expecting it to behave like Microsoft Word for Mac (back in about 1993, when I ‘got it’). But since then I have often wished that all programs had similar features.
    Unfortunately, Adobe has long hinted that Frame’s code had some hardwired assumptions that complicate continuing its development on all platforms (particularly with regard to Unicode support). Mac is not the only platform victimized by Adobe’s FrameMaker policy. Linux development was started a few years back and then cancelled. And there used to be a small family of Unix variants which have been trimmed back. FrameMaker is quite possibly a program which is a deadman walking, it’s just that Mac-users are the first to notice the victim has no pulse.
    The only serious feature limitation FrameMaker has always had is a problem with controlling how large footnotes span pages. So it was never an ideal solution for a large group of scholarly documentation projects; but there was plenty of hope this would get fixed. Now I would view that as unlikely. Except for this one limitation, however, FrameMaker is far and away the best technical documentation program bar none, and has major advantages over other software for a wide variety of word processing and desktop publishing projects.
    If the code hardwiring problem is true, though, then there is a big problem for technical documentation if FrameMaker goes away. There is nothing to really replace it.
    LaTeX is a technology without an input program equivalent to FrameMaker; but it’s possibly the only hope we have now. What would be ideal would be for a LaTeX interface package to duplicate FrameMaker’s speed, ease, and WYSIWYG capabilities, and be available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Unix variants. Umm…that should be ready real soon, for sure 🙁

  6. Mathematica has just released something called Publicon for MacOSX and other widely used platforms. There is no demo version and I personally have not used it. But if I read the descriptive comments correctly, there is the suggestion that Publicon might be an adequate replacement for FrameMaker.

    With the announcement of FrameMaker’s demise and End Note’s failure to continue supporting MIF format scanning, I have returned to LaTex (TexShop). There is no question that LaTex is more of a struggle. But coordinated with the new MacOSX versions of MathType and Bookends (bibliography manager), I am finding LaTex to be workable.

  7. FrameMaker does so much more than vanilla LaTex, in WYSIWYG fashion. FrameMaker’s strengths include (*) cross-file handling of multiple collections of multiple files (files corresponding to chapters in multi-book projects), (*) cross-referencing of any kind of text anywhere in a project, (*) generation of files from cross-references (the simplest being Tables of Contents and indexes, more complicated kinds allowing one to create multiple glossaries and dictionary-style reference files), (*) multiple parallel flows of text and other objects in “frames” (hence the name of the application), (*) very precise InDesign kinds of layout, (*) full SGML support, (*) excellent drawing tools, (*) hypertext, (*) conditional text for multiple near-clones of a master document, (*) complete binary compatibility for documents among Windows, Mac, and a whole bunch of Unixes.

    There’s lots more. Lots and lots more.

    It takes a long time to master all of FrameMaker’s strengths and to create all the templates one might want to use, but after that complex document creation is the fastest I’ve ever seen.

    Adobe bought FrameMaker to kill it IMO. FrameMaker was far superior to PageMaker (indeed, the manual for one of the versions of PageMaker was created in FrameMaker) and Adobe needed a layout program to combat Quark. So Adobe started development on InDesign, with layout tools like Quark’s and extensive text handling capabilities like PageMaker (to help distinguish inDesign from Quark). That describes FrameMaker to a large extent and so it was bought, left to languish, then killed on the Mac. [This whole paragraph is just my take on Adobe’s actions.]

  8. I’m still waiting for Streamline for OSX. Its only been about 6 years since version 4 was released.
    For those ‘non-arty’ people: Adobe Streamline is an application which can take a scanned image and turn into a vector graphic which can be further manipulated in a program such as Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand. It dosn’t do much, but of you’re a cartoonist like me, it’s one of the most powerful peices of software you’ll ever own, and is probably one of the few things keeping OS9 alive.

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