Re: HW4 file formats


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Posted by Jim Smith on March 14, 2001 at 21:13:05:

In Reply to: Re: HW4 file formats posted by William D McQuain on March 14, 2001 at 17:19:01:

: : Word format won't work for those of us who aren't
: : operating-system-impaired,
:
: I'm not going to engage in a religious debate
: regarding OS choice, but that's an ignorant
: statement. And yes, I have and do use Unix as
: well.

I don't usually reply to messages like this, but
I feel that my meaning has been misrepresented.
I'm sure that my butchery of the English language
has contributed to this misinterpretation. Let
me clear up what exactly I mean:

/me removes his foot from his mouth :-!

First of all, I don't mean to sound like I'm
even talking about any operating system, word
processor, or user thereof. My statement was
intended only to describe the file format employed
by Microsoft Word - not Word itself, nor the
platforms it runs on, nor those who choose to
use it for their word processing needs.

What I was trying to say is that by using the
Word format to store a document, one may only
access that document under a single platform.
Hence the term, "operating-system-impaired".
From my awkward wording, one might think that I
was expressing some opinion about operating
systems. That was not my intent. I did not even
want to bring operating systems into the picture
except as an example of what I feel is wrong with
the file format.

I would not use a file format that can only be
used in Windows. I would not use a file format
that can only be used in Unix. I would not use
a file format that can only be used in MacOS, or
any single platform for that matter. I want the
flexibility to start a file in operating system
"X", add a diagram in operating system "Y", then
print it from operating system "Z". The Word
format will not allow this flexibility. Which
is exactly why I won't touch it with a 10-foot
pole, and requested the option to use the PDF
format, which allows one to work on a document
from a variety of operating systems. That
is all I meant to say.

I respect your decision to use the Word format,
and appreciate the option to submit the document
as plain text, which is a format supported on
every platform that I can think of off the top
of my head. My preference for PDF over text is
based solely on the fact that it allows for more
variety of content, but I can certainly live with
ASCII.

I hope this makes things clearer. I should know
better than to even use the words "operating
system" in public - they tend to make any
statement, let alone an ambiguous and poorly-
constructed one, sound inflammatory, and one
ends up looking like some uninformed OS bigot
(and there are already too many of them in the
world).

Enough English. Time to write C++.


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