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Reply to MS Word documents

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  • John Rethorst
    A current thread on Usenet concerns the practice of emailing information in MS Word format, or posting documents on the web in that format, on the assumption
    Message 1 of 15 , May 12, 2007
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      A current thread on Usenet concerns the practice of
      emailing information in MS Word format, or posting
      documents on the web in that format, on the assumption
      that everyone can read it. A post suggests this reply:

      "You have sent me a text file as a Microsoft Word
      attachment which I have deleted. Because my mail is read
      from a variety of machines both while travelling and at
      various places of work, I do not always have access to MS
      Word, nor do I use MS Word on a daily basis and the version
      of MS Word I do have is probably hopelessly out of date and
      incompatible with your document anyway. By attaching a
      message that could have been inserted into your mail as
      plain text using simple cut-and-paste, you are forcing me
      to save, decode and move your message to a different
      machine which is a labourious and time-consuming procedure.
      It also forces me involuntarily to expose the other machine
      to potential viruses both binary and macro, which is
      unecessary and inconsiderate.

      If you feel that your document has formatting which is
      essential for my understanding, kindly save it as html, XML
      or RTF before sending. Otherwise, plain text is also an
      open and free standard potentially rich in both grammar and
      syntax.

      Do not construe this notice as an unwillingness to read
      your message on my part. It is an expression of solidarity
      with other users who don't know what to do with attachments
      and are too embarrassed to say so. A protest against a
      monopolizing industry that is trying to brow-beat us into
      submission to proprietory standards, user-unfriendliness,
      arrogance of power and greedy pricing. And an effort on my
      part to spend less time moving files and more time doing
      something useful.

      I apologize if this is an inconvenience to you, but unless
      you feel that your message is important enough to convey in
      a simpler and more readable fashion it must be considered
      unread."

      John R.
    • Randy B. Singer
      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
      Message 2 of 15 , May 13, 2007
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        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.)

        On May 12, 2007, at 2:32 PM, John Rethorst wrote:

        > A current thread on Usenet concerns the practice of
        > emailing information in MS Word format, or posting
        > documents on the web in that format, on the assumption
        > that everyone can read it.

        I've seen this discussed on a couple of Mac discussion lists. The
        actual discussions that I've seen don't necessarily support what you
        have cited.

        > A post suggests this reply:
        >
        > "You have sent me a text file as a Microsoft Word
        > attachment which I have deleted.

        Not everyone can afford to do this. If you have a job, the Word file
        format is the de facto (like it or not) file format for word
        processing documents. It isn't practical, or wise, to delete files
        that you receive from co-workers or others associated with your
        business. At least not if you want to remain employed.

        > Because my mail is read
        > from a variety of machines both while travelling and at
        > various places of work, I do not always have access to MS
        > Word, nor do I use MS Word on a daily basis

        Just about every single modern word processor has Word translators.
        AppleWorks or Pages come with/came with many new Macs. Both do a
        nice job of opening Word files. You can even open Word files nicely
        in lowly TextEdit, which comes with OS X.

        If you prefer, you can open Word files in icWord, an inexpensive
        shareware program that does an excellent job.
        http://www.panergy-software.com/products/icWord/

        You aren't forced to own Word, or any Microsoft product, to read Word
        files sent to you. In most cases you aren't even forced to purchase
        anything extra beyond what you already have.

        In short, there is no excuse not to be able to open a Word file that
        you receive. As I said above, it is a de facto standard, so everyone
        supports it.

        (As a side note, WordPerfect/Mac always did only a fair to poor job
        of opening Word format files, even when DataViz's translators were
        included, and I believe that this contributed strongly to its demise.)

        > and the version
        > of MS Word I do have is probably hopelessly out of date and
        > incompatible with your document anyway.

        Lots of folks who don't use Word like to go around saying that
        Microsoft changes the file format for Word with every version. Not
        only is that not true, but the truth is that Microsoft has gone out
        of its way to ensure backwards and forwards file compatibility.

        Word has had essentially the same basic file format for the past
        three versions of the program. Files from previous versions open
        just fine in even the latest version. *And* Microsoft has
        consistently offered translators to allow older versions of Word to
        open files from newer versions.

        For instance, here is a plug-in, provided for free from Microsoft,
        to allow Word 5.1 to read Word documents created by newer versions of
        Word:

        <http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.aspx?pid=download&location=/
        mac/download/office98/
        word_97982000_convert.xml&secid=20&ssid=8&flgnosysreq=False>

        Lots of folks still use Word 5.1(a program from well over a decade
        ago) effectively, with no file format problems when sharing files
        with others.

        The recently introduced Word file format (so far Windows only, but
        soon to come to the Mac), based on XML, OpenXML/Doc-X, is not
        proprietary. It is an ISO-certified open format. Everyone has
        access to the format''s complete specifications, so any developer can
        create perfect translators or use this file format in their product.
        http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/HA102057841033.aspx

        And while Microsoft hasn't provided translators yet for the Mac
        version of Word for Doc-X, there are already translators available
        from third parties, some of which are free.

        > By attaching a
        > message that could have been inserted into your mail as
        > plain text using simple cut-and-paste,

        It's true that if you are writing a short e-mail message that
        requires no formatting, plain text in the body of the message is the
        way to go. This has nothing to do with MS Word, it is just a matter
        of netiquette and common sense.

        However, if you are sending folks a document that requires complex
        formatting, a word processing document sent as a file attachment is
        the way to go, and the Word file format is the lingua franka of the
        business world, like it or not.

        > you are forcing me
        > to save, decode and move your message to a different
        > machine which is a labourious and time-consuming procedure.

        This is pure BS. As I outlined above, its dead easy to find/keep
        something on your computer, laptop or not, that will open Word files.

        > It also forces me involuntarily to expose the other machine
        > to potential viruses both binary and macro, which is
        > unecessary and inconsiderate.

        I don't know of any non-macro viruses that can infect Word files. I
        don't think that there are any. This is pure FUD. (Fear,
        Uncertainty and Doubt.)

        While there are literally hundreds of macro viruses for Word, some of
        which are cross-platform, it is dead easy to avoid being infected by
        them. Just enable Macro Virus Protection in Preferences in Word.
        More FUD.

        > If you feel that your document has formatting which is
        > essential for my understanding, kindly save it as html, XML
        > or RTF before sending.

        HTML is not a reliable format for documents (witness how much trouble
        a good Webmaster has to go through to make sure that his/her site
        will render properly for as many visitors as possible), and it is not
        as feature-rich as most word processing formats.

        RTF is just another, less robust, Microsoft format. Chances are
        excellent that if you have something that can handle an RTF file that
        it can also handle a Word file just as well.

        XML is only now becoming popular, and its implementations vary
        considerably. It is disingenuous to complain about receiving Word
        files because you can't find something to open them, and then turn
        around and ask for files in XML format. Who is currently using XML-
        based word processors and what do you have that will open various XML
        files reliably?


        I believe that this all originated with this piece:
        <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html>
        I think that the Stallman piece is simply a propaganda piece, and it
        contains a large number of severe inaccuracies. (Lies?)

        If you hate Microsoft I think that you should just be honest and
        come out and say so. If you want to organize a boycott of
        Microsoft's products because you hate Microsoft, do it. I can
        respect both of these things. But spreading lies and FUD isn't
        honorable, and, frankly, makes someone like Stallman no better than
        Microsoft.

        Ultimately, if you want to get people to stop using Word and the Word
        file format, you will have to offer them a better alternative. I
        think that Mac users should spend their time writing to Corel,
        encouraging them to bring back WP/Mac (and the new version should
        support an open-standard XML-based file format), rather than lower
        themselves by spreading FUD about Word.

        ___________________________________________
        Randy B. Singer
        Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)

        Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance
        http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html
        ___________________________________________
      • drderbes
        ... A small correction. We may disagree about the definition of high end , but there are at least three other actively supported word processors besides
        Message 3 of 15 , 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
        • Randy B. Singer
          ... Actually, there are a bunch of them: http://www.emailman.com/software/wordproc/mac.html ... While these are very nice word processors, and they may be good
          Message 4 of 15 , May 13, 2007
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            On May 13, 2007, at 4:26 AM, drderbes wrote:

            > 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,

            Actually, there are a bunch of them:
            http://www.emailman.com/software/wordproc/mac.html

            > 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.

            While these are very nice word processors, and they may be good
            enough for some to use instead of WP/Mac or Word, they don't approach
            the features of WP/Mac or Word. If they did, just about everybody on
            this discussion list would have switched to one of them by now, and
            this list would have little reason to exist.

            > 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.)

            It would be nice if that were the case, but like the many folks who
            have been predicting the demise of Apple for over a decade, I think
            that reports of Microsoft's (with over 90% of the personal computer
            market) demise are a bit premature. But who knows? No one ever
            thought that they would see Sears, and then K-Mart, humbled by a new
            upstart (Wal-Mart), or Toyota overtake General Motors, so anything
            can happen in business.

            Want to know what word processor that I'm keeping an eye on? iWork's
            Pages. First, one must realize that we all "like" programs that we
            are used to using, and we tend to dislike programs that we don't know
            how to use yet. So, putting aside that Pages is a program that most
            of us are new to and that it can be frustrating using a new program,
            have a look at Pages interface. It makes WP/Mac and Word look
            antiquated. While Pages isn't entirely intuitive (which is probably
            impossible to achieve with a modern, advanced word processor in any
            case) it does away with having to find features buried deep in
            branching menus. Things can be accomplished and fine-tuned by
            pointing and clicking rather than by having to navigate multiple
            dialog boxes. I am very much looking forward to Pages 3. I suspect
            that version will allow many Mac-users of Word to say goodbye to
            Word. (Though I suspect that Pages 3 is unlikely to be a true high-
            end product.) If Apple introduces the spreadsheet program that has
            been rumored for years, users may be able to say goodbye to Office as
            a whole also.

            ___________________________________________
            Randy B. Singer
            Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)

            Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance
            http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html
            ___________________________________________
          • Ford Davis
            I joined this list to support a school principal needing WP to work on her MAC a couple of years ago. As a technology instructor/troubleshooter, I have seen
            Message 5 of 15 , May 13, 2007
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              I joined this list to support a school principal needing WP to work on
              her MAC a couple of years ago. As a technology
              instructor/troubleshooter, I have seen the most amazing support on this
              list by John Rethorst as well as others on the list for the WP Mac
              community. High regards for all your work ... the quality of software
              makes it worth the work I am sure.

              I have used Word since it's first release, and the first IBM mouse. I
              am not a MS worshiper, and yet my students will most likely use it, or
              the clone substitutes out today. That is my reality, and I use the OS X
              version in teaching. I agree with David Derbes, MS is on the way down,
              very much like IBM. They will be there, but their "time" has gone.
              They bet on profit first and missed the human factor. Bill is on top
              though ... for the moment! The original document where he attacked the
              early "customers" of his code is here in Albuquerque in a permanent
              museum exhibit. He has asked for some of the grief the PC platform
              suffers under at the moment...and for the future.

              On the emailing of MS Word formatted information, everyone may or may
              not be aware that with the Google Toolbar and Gmail (both free) .doc
              attachments just opened on the screen in your web browser via a Google
              software "word" engine. Same with .xls Excel files. If you set it up
              right, the attachments just open on the screen like a text portion of an
              email. This is their "Docs & Spreadsheets." You can choose to download
              your work completed in .doc or .xls format. With the added ability to
              share word and excel files to friends, workers or groups, any viruses
              would also be ineffectual as they would open on the Google environment.
              The service is free, and you do need Internet access, but if you have
              email you already have that ability. I do have some faith in the Google
              "Do No Harm" concept. Yes, I also accept it with a "block of salt."

              The "Word" and "Excel" formats may well be the standard, but I wouldn't
              doubt that their links to MS will fade into my history of software
              information for my students. Who knows, maybe the best elements of WP
              Mac will find their way into future iterations of the tools we we all
              use. Google might even be interested in rolling them into their free
              web version.

              To see Docs & Spreadsheets: http://docs.google.com/?pli=1
              To see other free Google stuff:
              http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/index.html

              Ford Davis
              Alb., NM

              John Rethorst wrote:
              >
              > A current thread on Usenet concerns the practice of
              > emailing information in MS Word format, or posting
              > documents on the web in that format, on the assumption
              > that everyone can read it. A post suggests this reply:
              >
              >
            • tbgibson
              I agree it is annoying to receive .doc attachments, especially from people who really don t know that there are any other formats out there (this includes a
              Message 6 of 15 , May 14, 2007
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                I agree it is annoying to receive .doc attachments, especially from
                people who really don't know that there are any other formats out
                there (this includes a vast majority of the general population, I think).

                But I can always open or view them, so I don't bother to complain. In
                fact, I tend to open any .doc in TextEdit anyway because it takes Word
                such a long time to launch.

                My real problem is when my childrens' teachers create and post
                assignment in MS Publisher. Is there any way for us to open or view
                them our Intel and PPC Macs?

                Thanks.





                --- 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.
                >

                >
              • Randall C. Wilson
                Most business contexts would not permit me to reply to a Word attachment with an emotion laden reply. ... De Facto standards are just that, they are de facto
                Message 7 of 15 , May 14, 2007
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                  Most business contexts would not permit me to reply to a Word
                  attachment with an emotion laden reply.

                  >If you have a job, the Word file
                  >format is the de facto (like it or not) file format for word
                  >processing documents. It isn't practical, or wise, to delete files
                  >that you receive from co-workers or others associated with your
                  >business. At least not if you want to remain employed.

                  De Facto standards are just that, they are "de facto" because people
                  choose overwhelmingly to use them.

                  However, I would hardly say that Word is the only de facto standard
                  for shipping word processing content. From my perspective pdf files
                  are in most cases preferred over word attachments and can rightly
                  claim to be just as, or more important than Word as a de-facto
                  standard.

                  --
                  /S/ Randall

                  mailto:rwilson@...

                  Alternate: mailto:gryndal@...

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • gabi_kp4bjd
                  I ve been following the thread on unreading MS Word documents. I yield to my senses by accepting that MS .doc will be around for some time. Text document
                  Message 8 of 15 , May 14, 2007
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                    I've been following the thread on "unreading" MS Word documents.
                    I yield to my senses by accepting that MS ".doc" will be around for
                    some time. Text document formating has been a real issue with me
                    since the Apple ][. From Apple Writer //e on to Apple Writer ///, to
                    MacWrite (1984), then MacWrite II, and finally my favorite: Word
                    Perfect (1990). It became COREL WordPerfect; I was delighted with
                    version 3.5 (1995). When Corel Corp stopped development but made
                    version 3.5e available free at their Web Site, I ran it in Classic mode
                    applying the available patch. Yet, eventually I yielded to using "other"
                    because it was a nuisance to run Classic mode, and it became more so
                    when Apple discontinued it for Intel machines. My point is this: users
                    continue to endure the growing pains of developing nascent software
                    that has yet to stabilize into accepted standards. Take WP: it had a
                    rather unique propietary formatting code that "text only" processors
                    couldn't decode; encryption made WP documents virtually impossible
                    to read by other processors. Nowadays I use MacLinkPlus to `decode'
                    the huge volume of those stored WP files I still have a need to access.
                    I tried AbiWord and others to no avail. In contrast, I long ago gave up
                    trying to read old Apple ][ VisiCalc files ... which leads me to comment
                    this: It's my fervent hope that software developers resolve the issue
                    of `universal readability' for any-kind-of-text documents ... say apply
                    some variety of automatic "Rosetta Stones" so that we are able to use
                    these software packages without needing to spend a great deal of time
                    figuring out how best to get them to read "obsolete" rich formats.


                    Gabe Fuentes San Juan, PR U.S.A.

                    --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, Ford Davis <cyber@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I joined this list to support a school principal needing WP to work on
                    > her MAC a couple of years ago. As a technology
                    > instructor/troubleshooter, I have seen the most amazing support on this
                    > list by John Rethorst as well as others on the list for the WP Mac
                    > community. High regards for all your work ... the quality of software
                    > makes it worth the work I am sure.
                    >
                    > I have used Word since it's first release, and the first IBM mouse. I
                    > am not a MS worshiper, and yet my students will most likely use it, or
                    > the clone substitutes out today. That is my reality, and I use the OS X
                    > version in teaching. I agree with David Derbes, MS is on the way down,
                    > very much like IBM. They will be there, but their "time" has gone.
                    > They bet on profit first and missed the human factor. Bill is on top
                    > though ... for the moment! The original document where he attacked the
                    > early "customers" of his code is here in Albuquerque in a permanent
                    > museum exhibit. He has asked for some of the grief the PC platform
                    > suffers under at the moment...and for the future.
                    >
                    > On the emailing of MS Word formatted information, everyone may or may
                    > not be aware that with the Google Toolbar and Gmail (both free) .doc
                    > attachments just opened on the screen in your web browser via a Google
                    > software "word" engine. Same with .xls Excel files. If you set it up
                    > right, the attachments just open on the screen like a text portion of an
                    > email. This is their "Docs & Spreadsheets." You can choose to download
                    > your work completed in .doc or .xls format. With the added ability to
                    > share word and excel files to friends, workers or groups, any viruses
                    > would also be ineffectual as they would open on the Google environment.
                    > The service is free, and you do need Internet access, but if you have
                    > email you already have that ability. I do have some faith in the Google
                    > "Do No Harm" concept. Yes, I also accept it with a "block of salt."
                    >
                    > The "Word" and "Excel" formats may well be the standard, but I wouldn't
                    > doubt that their links to MS will fade into my history of software
                    > information for my students. Who knows, maybe the best elements of WP
                    > Mac will find their way into future iterations of the tools we we all
                    > use. Google might even be interested in rolling them into their free
                    > web version.
                    >
                    > To see Docs & Spreadsheets: http://docs.google.com/?pli=1
                    > To see other free Google stuff:
                    > http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/index.html
                    >
                    > Ford Davis
                    > Alb., NM
                  • brian stegner
                    ... then you have Word poorly-configured, Word launches in a handful of seconds over here. Best Regards, Brian Stegner Minneapolis Monday May 14, 2007 12:14 PM
                    Message 9 of 15 , May 14, 2007
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                      At 1:21 PM +0000 5/14/07, tbgibson wrote:

                      >But I can always open or view them, so I don't bother to complain. In
                      >fact, I tend to open any .doc in TextEdit anyway because it takes Word
                      >such a long time to launch.

                      then you have Word poorly-configured, Word launches in a handful of seconds over here.

                      Best Regards,
                      Brian Stegner

                      Minneapolis
                      Monday May 14, 2007
                      12:14 PM US/Central
                    • Syth
                      ... I CAN open them. I simply refuse to. ... I don t think so.
                      Message 10 of 15 , May 14, 2007
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                        On 14-May-2007, at 07:21, tbgibson wrote:
                        > I agree it is annoying to receive .doc attachments, especially from
                        > people who really don't know that there are any other formats out
                        > there (this includes a vast majority of the general population, I
                        > think).
                        >
                        > But I can always open

                        I CAN open them. I simply refuse to.

                        > My real problem is when my childrens' teachers create and post
                        > assignment in MS Publisher. Is there any way for us to open or view
                        > them our Intel and PPC Macs?

                        I don't think so.
                      • Smokey Ardisson
                        At the risk of continuing this is a very bad way, I wanted to respond to two points Randy made. On Sun May 13, 2007 1:56 am ((PDT)), Randy B. Singer ... It s
                        Message 11 of 15 , May 14, 2007
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                          At the risk of continuing this is a very bad way, I wanted to respond
                          to two points Randy made.

                          On Sun May 13, 2007 1:56 am ((PDT)), "Randy B. Singer"
                          <randy@...> wrote:

                          >The recently introduced Word file format (so far Windows only, but
                          >soon to come to the Mac), based on XML, OpenXML/Doc-X, is not
                          >proprietary. It is an ISO-certified open format.

                          It's up for review by ISO, but it hasn't been approved. It was
                          approved (some will say rubber-stamped) by the European Computer
                          Manufacturer's Association (ECMA).

                          >Everyone has
                          >access to the format''s complete specifications, so any developer can
                          >create perfect translators or use this file format in their product.
                          >http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/HA102057841033.aspx

                          While this is true in the strictest sense, it's somewhat misleading.
                          The specification exists (at over 6000 pages) and is
                          freely-available, but it is vague/poorly specified (your choice) and
                          continues to require non-Microsoft implementors to reverse engineer
                          software to figure out how to implement specified behaviors. If
                          you're at all interested in file formats or this issue, I urge you to
                          read
                          <http://www.robweir.com/blog/2006/01/how-to-hire-guillaume-portes.html>,
                          from which the following:

                          "So not only must an interoperable OOXML implementation first acquire
                          and reverse-engineer a 14-year old version of Microsoft Word, it must
                          also do the same thing with a 16-year old version of WordPerfect.
                          Good luck."

                          I will admit up front to having not read the whole spec, or any of it
                          other than those excerpts, but my impression from what I've read
                          about the issue is that there are a good number of legacy behaviors
                          encoded by the spec but poorly specified. Anyone is free (I guess)
                          to not implement import of these behaviors, or to guess at how
                          they're done, but doing se means your import is no linger faithful,
                          but lossy. Just ask Corel how that turned out. For some documents
                          it may not matter, but for feeling free to switch away from Word, the
                          threat of having to do some reformatting (even if only a little) on
                          *every single document* is certainly enough to stop switching.

                          Anyway, I've gone on too long about this. My point was only to say
                          that what Randy points out is true in the larger sense, but, as
                          always, the devil is in the details.

                          Smokey
                        • Randy B. Singer
                          ... This free Web site will convert Microsoft Publisher documents into PDF format (which you can then open in OS X s Preview):
                          Message 12 of 15 , May 14, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            On May 14, 2007, at 6:21 AM, tbgibson wrote:

                            > My real problem is when my childrens' teachers create and post
                            > assignment in MS Publisher. Is there any way for us to open or view
                            > them our Intel and PPC Macs?

                            This free Web site will convert Microsoft Publisher documents into
                            PDF format (which you can then open in OS X's Preview):

                            https://www.pdfonline.com/convert_pdf.asp

                            ___________________________________________
                            Randy B. Singer
                            Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)

                            Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance
                            http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html
                            ___________________________________________
                          • Geoff Gilbert
                            Randy That s fantastic. Thanks Geoff
                            Message 13 of 15 , May 14, 2007
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                              Randy

                              That's fantastic.

                              Thanks

                              Geoff

                              >On May 14, 2007, at 6:21 AM, tbgibson wrote:
                              >
                              >> My real problem is when my childrens' teachers create and post
                              >> assignment in MS Publisher. Is there any way for us to open or view
                              >> them our Intel and PPC Macs?
                              >
                              >This free Web site will convert Microsoft Publisher documents into
                              >PDF format (which you can then open in OS X's Preview):
                              >
                              >https://www.pdfonline.com/convert_pdf.asp
                              >
                              >___________________________________________
                              >Randy B. Singer
                              >Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
                              >
                              >Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance
                              >http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html
                              >___________________________________________
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              >
                              >
                            • Aron S. Spencer
                              I have no particular problem with people sending or posting actual documents in MS Word, or whatever other format they happen to prefer. What really bugs me,
                              Message 14 of 15 , May 15, 2007
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                                I have no particular problem with people sending or posting actual
                                "documents" in MS Word, or whatever other format they happen to
                                prefer. What really bugs me, though, is when people set Outlook to
                                use Word as their editor, and every single email they send has a Word
                                document as an attachment, _instead_ of any text in the body. I don't
                                want to have to open up Word just to read their mail. If their
                                sending me a research paper or whatever, fine. But as the body of
                                their email? Arrghh!!!!

                                On May 12, 2007, at 5:32 PM, John Rethorst wrote:

                                > A current thread on Usenet concerns the practice of
                                > emailing information in MS Word format, or posting
                                > documents on the web in that format, on the assumption
                                > that everyone can read it. A post suggests this reply:

                                Aron S. Spencer
                                Union, NJ 07083
                              • John Rethorst
                                It sure is. Link added to the Links section here. John R.
                                Message 15 of 15 , May 15, 2007
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                                  It sure is. Link added to the Links section here.

                                  John R.


                                  --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, Geoff Gilbert <Geoff@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Randy
                                  >
                                  > That's fantastic.
                                  >
                                  > Thanks
                                  >
                                  > Geoff
                                  >
                                  > >On May 14, 2007, at 6:21 AM, tbgibson wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > >> My real problem is when my childrens' teachers create and post
                                  > >> assignment in MS Publisher. Is there any way for us to open or view
                                  > >> them our Intel and PPC Macs?
                                  > >
                                  > >This free Web site will convert Microsoft Publisher documents into
                                  > >PDF format (which you can then open in OS X's Preview):
                                  > >
                                  > >https://www.pdfonline.com/convert_pdf.asp
                                  > >
                                  > >___________________________________________
                                  > >Randy B. Singer
                                  > >Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
                                  > >
                                  > >Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance
                                  > >http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html
                                  > >___________________________________________
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