Adobe FrameMaker 3.0

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Adobe FrameMaker was a word or document processor for large or complex documents, including structured documents. It was originally developed by Frame Technology Corporation, which was bought by Adobe in October 1995.

Charles "Nick" Corfield, a mathematician decided to write a What You See Is What You Get WYSIWYG document editor on a Sun-2 workstation while doing his Master's degree at Columbia University. The idea came from his roommate, Ben Meiry, who went to work at Sun Microsystems. They saw that there was a market for a powerful and flexible desktop publishing (DTP) product for the professional market, as the only current substantial DTP product  was Interleaf, which ran on Sun workstations in 1981.

Meiry acquiring the hardware, software, and technical connections to get Corfield started while he was still finishing his degree.

Corfield worked quickly so that after only a few months, Corfield had completed a prototype of FrameMaker which was liked by salesmen at the fledgling Sun Microsystems, which needed commercial applications to showcase their workstations  graphics. They used the prototype demonstrations so that FrameMaker got plenty of exposure in the Unix workstation arena.

Steve Kirsch saw the demo and used the money he earned from Mouse Systems to fund Frame Technology Corp., to commercialize the software.

Originally written for SunOS (a variant of UNIX) on Sun machines, FrameMaker was a popular technical writing tool, and the company was profitable early on. Because of the flourishing desktop publishing market on the Apple Macintosh, the software was ported to the Mac as its second platform.

In the early 1990s, UNIX workstation vendors—Apollo, Data General, MIPS, Motorola and Sony—funded an OEM version for their platforms. Eventually, FrameMaker ran on more than thirteen UNIX platforms, including NeXT's NeXTSTEP  operating system.

FrameMaker has two ways of approaching documents: structured and unstructured.

  • Structured FrameMaker is used to achieve consistency in documentation within industries such as aerospace, where several models of the same complex product exist, or pharmaceuticals, where translation and standardization are important requirements in communications about products. Structured FrameMaker uses SGML and XML concepts. 
  • Unstructured FrameMaker uses tagged paragraphs without any imposed logical structure, except that expressed by the author’s concept, topic organization, and the formatting supplied by paragraph tags.

FrameMaker 2.0 was the second major version of the FrameMaker document processor that was released by Frame Technology.

A pre-alpha demo version of FrameMaker 2.0 was included with NeXTSTEP 0.9 in April 1989. The Macintosh version became available in May 1990. Version 2.1 added international support, such European paper sizes, metric measurements, and localization for the Japanese market.

Platform: NeXTcube or NeXTstation

               NeXTSTEP 2.0

Application Software (AS:) Desk Top Publishing (DTP)

Version: 2.0 1991


Platform : NeXT
Format : Disk 3.5
Publisher : Adobe
Authors : Charles "Nick" Corfield Frame Technology Corporation
Date : 1991
Product Code : 81-01524-01

Other Software by Adobe:

Item Manufacturer Platform Format Date
Adobe Photoshop 2.0/2.5 Adobe Apple Mac II 3.5" Floppy Disk 1991
Adobe Illustrator 3.0 Adobe NeXT Disk 3.5 1991
Adobe FrameMaker 3.0 Adobe NeXT Disk 3.5 1991
Aldus PageMaker (version 4.2) Aldus Adobe Apple Macintosh 3.5" Floppy Disk 1992
Adobe Illustrator 5.0 Adobe Apple Mac Compact Disk 3.5 1993
Aldus Pagemaker (version 5.0) Aldus Adobe Apple Mac Compact Disk 3.5 1993
Adobe Photoshop 3.0 Adobe Apple Power Macintosh CD-ROM 1994
Adobe Photoshop 3.0 (Bundle copy) Adobe Apple Power Macintosh 3.5" disk 1994
Adobe PageMaker 6.0 Aldus Adobe Apple Macintosh Performa CD-ROM 1995
Adobe Photoshop 4.0 Adobe Apple Power Macintosh CD-ROM 1996
Adobe PageMill 2.0 Adobe Apple Power Macintosh Disk 3.5 1997
Adobe PageMill 3.0 Adobe Apple Power Macintosh CD-ROM 1998
Adobe Photoshop 5.0 Adobe PC CD ROM 1998
Adobe Photoshop 5.0 Adobe Apple Power Macintosh CD-ROM 1998
Adobe After Effects 4.1 (Upgrade) Adobe PC Windows 32-bit PC CD-ROM 1999
Adobe InDesign 2.0 Adobe Apple Power Macintosh CD-ROM 2001
Adobe After Effects 5.0 (Upgrade) Adobe PC Windows 32-bit PC CD-ROM 2001
Adobe Creative Suite Premium Adobe PC Windows 32-bit PC CD-ROM 2004

Information About Adobe:

Item Manufacturer Date
Adobe Inc. 1 Dec 1982




This exhibit has a reference ID of CH50110. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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