Adobe FrameMaker Update Leaves Mac Behind

Version 7.1 of the enterprise publishing package is only available for Windows and Solaris. Don't wait for Mac OS X or Linux versions.

Adobe Systems Inc. on Monday began shipping FrameMaker 7.1, but dont expect a Mac version, company officials said.

FrameMaker 7.1, an upgrade to Adobes enterprise publishing software, is only available for Windows and Sun Solaris operating systems; Mac users will have to use Version 7.0, which shipped in 2002. That version is not natively compatible with Apples Unix-based Mac OS X, so Mac customers can only run it on the legacy Mac OS 9 system or through OS Xs "Classic" compatibility layer.

"Adobe has announced no plans to release FrameMaker 7.1 on the Mac OS X platform," the company said in a statement. Adobe said it will continue to sell and support Version 7.0 on the Mac for OS 9 and Classic.

Looking beyond Version 7.1, sources said Adobe has apparently pulled the plug on development of future Mac FrameMaker upgrades as well, which would rule out an eventual Mac OS X release. Adobe representatives would not confirm the reports, citing company policy.

Some users are urging Adobe to reconsider. "The lack of native Mac OS X and Linux versions of FrameMaker is a real problem for me," said David Dean of Austin, Texas, who has used FrameMaker to create technical documentation. "The cross-platform file compatibility and the long-document handling features are what really made FrameMaker stand out from Word or other programs," he said. "The ability to pass files around between Windows, Mac and Unix without any problem is a major factor contributing to FrameMakers usefulness."

Dean said he finds it "really annoying" to switch to other operating systems to view and edit FrameMaker documents, and said he "would much prefer to do that directly on Linux and Mac OS X." In 1999 Adobe offered a beta version of FrameMaker for Linux, but did not maintain the project for more recent versions, such as FrameMaker 7.0. Dean said that the effort was discontinued due to lack of interest from paying customers, but that todays Linux market is larger than in 1999.

"It would be great to see Adobe re-release FrameMaker for Linux," he said. "And while theyre at it, they could release a Mac OS X version!"


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