Madcap Flare Spotlight -- "Six Persistent Flare Problems" Post by Paul Pehrson
Update Feb 2008: If you read Paul's post at the link below, almost everything is now crossed out, because Madcap has either fixed all the problems Paul raised or they explained workarounds. It's a really interesting read. Also, be sure to check out this podcast with Paul as well as my post on 45 Things I Love About Flare, 31 Things I Hate About It.
I'm a Flare user, and I really, really, really like Flare as a help authoring tool (HAT). It's a solid program that does a lot of great things. On my recommendation, my company is going to renew our maintenance contract with Flare this fall, and I expect to be using Flare for a while to come.
That said, I think that there are a few persistent problems in Flare that new users should be aware of when they start using the product. None of these are deal-breakers for me, even in the aggregate. Still, I think that these are things that if I had known were problems, I wouldn't have spent hours banging my head against the wall trying to solve them.
I enjoyed Paul's post. Every tool has its shortcomings, quirks, and flaws that you don't experience until you start using the tool extensively. At least now if you go in the direction of Flare, you will be less likely to encounter surprises.
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About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical communication — Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, academics, and more. I'm interested in simplifying complexity, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a technical writer of any kind (progressional, transitioning, student), be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.