I just realized that Adobe decided to take away perpetual licensing and their new model would prevent us from using the software we paid money for if we stop our subscription. I'm wondering how does the Framemaker community feel about this? As a writer, I can afford to pay for a perpetual license every few years but cannot afford a yearly license.
Am I in the minority here?
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I'm not particularly happy with the subscription model, myself, and for that very reason.
On the other hand, if you run the numbers you'll discover that it's cheaper, year over year, to get the subscription rather than pay for a perpetual license, especially if you expect to keep upgrading versions. The subscription works out to $360/year, give or take, and includes upgrades to any major version that is released during the subscription period, and my recollection is that even an upgrade to FM was close to $1000 each time. (My recollection may be faulty, given the last time I purchased one was for FM2017.)
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One might ask if anything is really "perpetual" when it comes to software.
I have a perpet license for FM7 from 2002, probably on Win95 at the time. It was migrated forward to XP. Then XP itself had to be run in a VM on Win7, and now Win7 is too dangerous to run, other than air-gapped, which I don't, largely because the lack of Unicode support in FM7 is becoming a serious annoyance, which leads to another insight:
Unicode support isn't a feature. It's a process.
FM, as of 2020, still doesn't support SMP (codepoints above U+FFFF). It's likely to happen, but you'll need to be getting the updates for it. We could also discuss the elegance of the combining characters renderings. Even so, Unicode itself is in continuous flux, as are the various industry document delivery standards.
If I were still in tech pubs management, I would be keenly interested in solutions offering portability and open-ended stewardship. In addition to concerns arising from needing to maintain the subscription, you can never tell when a supplier will sunset a product, close up shop, or get sold to a new owner who will discontinue the product.
I might also opine that Adobe has to have a licensing solution for their customers who are air-gapped for security reasons other than Microsoft EOL.
I'd like to see Adobe offer all of their products as cloud services, with short and long-term term rates.
Something seems unclear about your question.
A perpetual license is something you pay for once, and can use as long as you have a system on which you can run it. So why would the new model prevent you from using what you already have?
Monthly subscription means you get all the latest features, but on the other hand you are dependent on your company being prepared to pay this every month.
You're 100% right: I should I have been clearer. If I stick with FrameMaker 2019, I can continue to use it as long as it is useable. However, this is no longer the case from FM 2020 onward. I noticed that in FM2020 they have added a feature that would allow me to take a word document and auto break it into fm files, a feature I need.
The trouble with that is that once I move my files over to FM 2020, I'm not even certain I could continue to use them with older versions of FM and the pricing model is above my budget. I had initially used FM 2011 and kept using it until FM 2019.
(Pssst: You could download the free trial (runs fully functional for 30 days) of the latest version of FrameMaker (Summer 2020 release) here, split your large documents, save as MIF of FM 2019 files and continue to work with them in FM 2019.)
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I don't think the OP was saying that the new subscription model would impact their already existing perpetual licenses; rather the concept that if you stop paying, you lose access to your docs through that software. It's a bit like looking at the "total cost of ownership" on something - is it cheaper to rent or buy something outright? With the direction of going subscription-only, you get forced into the "rent" model.
Exactly, Jeff and the trouble with that is that I don't always require the latest and greatest. I had used FM 2011 for 8 years before upgrading to FM 2019, so the average cost was $500 / 8 about $63 a year. ( I had bought it on Ebay for $500). To move to a $360 per year ( and I'm certain Adobe will be jacking up that price) is a significant jump.
I've been looking for alternatives. Frankly, the only thing I truly need FM for is typesetting. Everything else I can do with the same quality (and some times better quality) with Libre Office. Libre Office, unfortunately, does not yet have a proper alignment and typesetting algo in it.
Latex is out of the question since it does not allow me to manually control the flow, at least not in any obvious way. WordPerfect is another piece of software I'm looking at.
At any rate, for authors of fiction, a subscription to FM might just be out of reach for me 🙂