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Re: OT: Massachusetts Verdict: MS Office Formats Out



Les Mikesell wrote:
On Thu, 2005-09-29 at 15:22, Mike McCarty wrote:


Why should I follow around after OO when I can just boot Windows in
about a minute and a half, and be assured that the doc is ok? If OO
knows there is a problem, then it should tell me. If there is no
problem, it shouldn't frighten me. If it doesn't know, then why should
I use it?


If you don't save it in a portable format yourself, you are
participating in forcing others to join the same proprietary

This statement is on the face of it ridiculous.

I needed to write a resume a couple of years ago. I asked my
girlfriend, who is very familiar with Word, to take my text
version and wite it up, because the fellow I wanted to send
my resume to specifically asked for Word format. She did that,
and I have a copy of my resume in Word format.

I then decided recently to update my resume. I'm not a documentation
expert, and don't want to become one. I loaded up my resume, and
edited it with OO. OO didn't say anything when it loaded my
resume, and it seemed to edit my resume just fine. When I went
to save my resume, it said "WARNING WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!
ALERT! YOU MAY BE LOSING IMPORTANT INFORMATION! ARE YOU *REALLY*
*REALLY* _*REALLLY*_ SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS?" (Or words to that
effect.)

So I decided that I didn't really really want to use OO. I rebooted
under Windows, used Word to edit the document, saved it, and
e-mailed it away.

And so now I'm part of a vast conspiracy, a contributor to monopoly,
tyranny, and other evil practices intended to subjugate the peoples
of the third world, because I saved my resume in Word format instead
of OO format, when OO itself warned me that it might not be a good
idea.

Grow up and give me a break.

If there *was* a problem, OO should have told me, WHEN IT LOADED
THE DOCUMENT, that the document contained things that it
couldn't or wouldn't preserve if I saved it. If there *wasn't*
a problem, it should have said NOTHING. If the document contained
things that it could preserve, but only by changing file format,
then it should have warned me WHEN IT LOADED THE DOCUMENT. And the
messages should have been specific enough that I could, at that
moment, made an informed decision about whether to continue.

It appears that OO is simply remembering what the format it loaded
was, and noticing that it is different from the format it is
going to use to save in, and then issuing a lazy-bones message
which MAY OR MAY NOT MEAN ANYTHING.

The only way to describe this is LAZY, SLOPPY PROGRAMMING.

lock-in.  Its a battle you can't win every time and not worth
fighting if you don't have a chance of winning.  But, now that
an open standard exists the chances of winning sometimes just
got better.  There is no way that OO can guarantee that everything
will be correct when saved to a format that had to be reverse
engineered and is in fact not consistent across the proprietary
programs using it.  Remember that when you play the game, you
don't just boot windows and run word, you have to run approximately
the same versions as all the other players.

Oh bull. It read the document. If it found something it didn't
understand, then it *knows* that and can say something.

I'll never ever understand people defending crappy poorly written
software just because it's not MicroSoft.

NB: I'm not complaining that OO is gerally crappy and poorly written.
I'm complaining that this one aspect of it is crappy and poorly written.

Mike
--
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This message made from 100% recycled bits.
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I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you.
I speak only for myself, and I am unanimous in that!


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