RE: Common Word Processing Format
Quite so although I'm not a big fan of watching the business folks crush documents into spreadsheets making it a nightmare to read it sensibly or track down items. Pushing computation AND formatting into active cells is like delivering potted plants in a sports car. Just bad practice but I say that having had to process RFPs in spreadsheets, acceptance criteria, etc. Still, quite right. Office document formats are bigger than Word. If you had to describe what is needed in your famous 'dare to do less' style, what would you recommend? We've hashed several issues in this thread including Mike C's, 'live data' issue, the problems of no one having a plausible 80/20 feature set, plug in components for just in time delivery, myXML vs yourXML (we greased it; now we have to live with the pig), etc. Yet I keep coming back to the scale vs life cycle vs cost issues and I don't see any way that meets the most requirements except to require common formats. Integration and support of productivity features are the outlier issues I would want to see proven in a benchmark at factory acceptance time. I too remember MIL-D-28001. Rallying behind the term 'standard' won't do it until the standard meets procurement requirements. Educating procurement professionals is a key strategy. Sales will sell whatever closes the deal faster. For all the disasters experienced in the world in the last five years, a stupefying number of important accounts still look back at us and say "we do things our own way here" without regard for the need to integrate regionally. So when IT shops stand up to their Senate and Governor and say "you really must put the good of the citizens ahead of the finances of your next campaign", I applaud that loudly and with a full heart. If the meaning of life saves lives, this list is still talking about the right topics. len From: Tim.Bray@S... [mailto:Tim.Bray@S...]On Behalf Of Tim Bray On Dec 2, 2005, at 6:34 AM, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote: > Which is fine for someone who can do all of that and doesn't mind. > Other shops do mind. Good of the many pertains here. Good of the > one is not compromised. > > 1. This thread is centered around the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' > policy to pick a specification to be their standard word processing > format. This isn't about what one guy does in his own shop. Think > scale and cost. And thus it misses a key point. When it comes to Office Document formats, we're really talking about the WP/spreadsheet/presentation trio. Of these three, an increasing proportion of text documents are migrating to various forms of HTML, whether this is a good idea or not, and the most important office-software component is clearly the spreadsheet. While XHTML is increasingly plausible as a presentation package (see S5), and maybe as a text-doc format, nobody is proposing it for spreadsheets. So in the Massachusetts context, XHTML is a red herring. Having said that, I am coming increasingly to the view that if you had an editor with a decent GUI, and (crucially) a good change- tracking facility, XHTML could plausibly expand to fill pretty well all of the workaday-text-document ecosystem. The Kool Kids want to tunnel all sorts of value-adds through here and there and call this "Microformats"; I used to sneer at this until I accidentally invented a resumé microformat (http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/ 2005/11/12/Resume-Blues). Having said that, the jury's way out on virtually everything in the text-document space. But I bet that in the year 2389, the Galactic Federation will still be doing its budgets in something that is recognizably a spreadsheet. -Tim
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