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3857Re: Reply to MS Word documents

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  • drderbes
    May 13, 2007
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      --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, Randy B. Singer <randy@...> wrote:
      > I realize that this is a WordPerfect/Mac list, and like the other
      > members of this list I am very fond of, and even enthusiastic about,
      > WordPerfect/Mac. (Though I switched to Word a few years after Corel
      > abandoned WP/Mac as a matter of expedience.) But I usually find
      > Microsoft Word bashing to be mostly based on fallacious premises, and
      > I feel compelled, as a Word user, to point this out.
      > (I can't argue with hatred for Microsoft, and I wholeheartedly agree
      > that Microsoft deserves to be hated. But some of us have to use the
      > best tools available to us for our businesses, and so, as a matter of
      > practicality, use Word as the only high-end word processor for the
      > Mac that is still actively being sold and supported.)

      A small correction. We may disagree about the definition of "high
      end", but there are at least three other actively supported word
      processors besides Microsoft Word available for Mac OS X, and two of
      them are sold: the word processor in OpenOffice, Nisus Writer, and
      Mellel. I use Nisus on a regular basis, and it seems to me at least as
      "high end" as Word. I continue to use WP, which was my main word
      processor for the better part of twenty years, to maintain and upgrade
      old handouts for my physics students, but gradually these are being
      turned into LaTeX. Were Corel or some other company to produce a
      native OS X version of WP, I would purchase it at once. (Incidentally,
      Nisus does a good job of importing and exporting WP.)

      In fact my main tool for word processing has become LaTeX. The editor
      I use for LaTeX is Richard Koch's wonderful (and free) TeXShop, but
      many people I know and respect can't say enough good things about
      TextMate. LaTeX does not belong to a corporation, but to argue that
      this takes it out of the realm of "active support" is silly; the
      TeX/LaTeX community seems to me huge, growing, and very active.

      I read the anti-Word/MS message John quoted many years ago. It seemed
      to me over the top even then, when MS was a much greater threat than
      it is today. The same message could be conveyed in a much simpler, and
      less antagonistic manner: "Thanks for your attachment. I do not own
      Word, and cannot open documents in Word format. Could you resend as
      plain text, PDF or RTF? Many thanks." Whether or not the famously
      abrasive Richard Stallman was the author, it seems to be widely
      acknowledged that he is a genius whose generous and massive
      contributions to computing have revolutionized the way we work, and I
      am very grateful to him. (The unsung heroes of OS X probably include
      Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman and Bill Joy, among countless others.)

      Microsoft is, in my opinion, a spent force in personal computing.
      Windows is like a beached whale, doomed to be suffocated under its own
      weight. GNU/Linux or another Unix-based OS like Mac OS X is becoming
      (has become already?) the standard, independent of machine
      architecture or chip. Office will continue for perhaps another two
      iterations, and then it will simply fade away slowly (the recent Sun
      announcement about a native OpenOffice just reinforces this belief.)

      I used to hate Microsoft. Now I just ignore them.

      Best wishes to John and Randy.

      David Derbes
      U of Chicago Lab Schools
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