Just for fun: "Why Microsoft Word must Die"

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Jaysen
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Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:35 pm Post

Wock wrote:PIE vs BROWNIES

/discuss

Pies are glorious. Brownies are dried up turds.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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da
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Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:03 pm Post

I've written thousands (ten's of thousands?) of pages of technical documentation using all versions of Word since it was Word for DOS in the 1980's. Having worked as a contractor at Microsoft for 13 out of the last 20 years, I understand Word in ways that most people don't - as a heavy internal Microsoft user, as a UI tool for automation, and as an example of their culture.

Word has some great features, especially for technical documentation where multiple formats, tables, bulleted and numbered lists, and embedded images, drawings, and documentation are the norm. OTOH...

The Microsoft ethnocentric culture and stack ranking employee rating system has given us a product that has way too many useless features, a difficult to use UI, and bugs that have not been fixed in 10 years. With Word 2007, they created a HARD-CODED, unmodifiable, space-wasting tool bar that emphasized form over function. My highly-customized, writer-oriented Word 2003 toolbar was tossed away in favor of a glitzy USELESS piece of garbage toolbar whose only function was be "pretty". The bugs that infest bulleted and numbered lists still exist UNFIXED. Track Changes bugs which WILL corrupt a complex document are still UNFIXED.

What most of you are not aware of is the massive arrogance that exists in the Word development team. They still think that Word is essentially perfect and if you don't agree, you're just ignorant and stupid. In general, they are so clueless about what users think that they need glass belly buttons to see out. (I'll let you figure out that one.)

There are a lot of good people at Microsoft and they have some good products. Word is not one of them and the Word team are not my favorite people.

/rant = off.

Dan.
Dan Clark
(Professional software developer, long-time writer of tech documentation, 55 year amateur photographer, and 1 year neophyte pianist

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Jaysen
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Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:17 pm Post

dan_public wrote:In general, they are so clueless about what users think that they need glass belly buttons to see out.

This shall be shamelessly stolen in my next staff meeting.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:37 pm Post

Wock wrote:That underdog little company that beat Corel was called Adobe Software./discuss


Ahem: that little underdog company invented PostScript. At the time they mounted their assault on Corel's pocket empire they were considerably bigger than Corel, thanks to every laser printer manufacturer licensing their page layout language.

(I'm still sore at them for buying Frame and shitcanning Framemaker to make way for InDesign. Framemaker was about the ultimate in techpubs layout software -- absolutely beautiful! And Adobe killed it. Humph.)

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Wock
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Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:59 pm Post

charlie.stross wrote:
Wock wrote:That underdog little company that beat Corel was called Adobe Software./discuss


Ahem: that little underdog company invented PostScript. At the time they mounted their assault on Corel's pocket empire they were considerably bigger than Corel, thanks to every laser printer manufacturer licensing their page layout language.

(I'm still sore at them for buying Frame and shitcanning Framemaker to make way for InDesign. Framemaker was about the ultimate in techpubs layout software -- absolutely beautiful! And Adobe killed it. Humph.)


Yeah with PS came PDF which did help the printing industry (Pre-pdf days were a nightmare). I did hate the old Type 1 True Type font issues of days old - Open type is better. Framemaker was nice and I never understood why they canned it instead of branching Framemaker towards one section of the industry and Indesign towards the other. I was not happy they canned the discs and went subscription only. I am on the fence on that one.

Adobe was growing large due to postscript but Corel in market share was the beast at the time. One big saving grace for Adobe was buying Macromedia.

The one bad mistake was how they pretty much abandoned the Mac platform during the bleak days at apple. Of course Adobe paid a steep price in pissing off Jobs when he released FCP and cut the legs out from underneath Premier and of course the decision to not allow Flash on iOS devices...

Now brownies may be dehydrated turds but Imagine if you will A pie with a Brownie crust.

MMmmmmmm I like pie but I also like brownies......
The wheel is turning but the hamster is still dead.

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Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:21 pm Post

Oooh! Shoptalk!

Since we're establishing bonafides here, I started off writing a word processor for the US version of the Sinclair Spectrum in the late eighties while being a book typesetter and editor; since then, I've been designing & supporting publishing systems for small shops up to big multi-nationals. In other words, I've seen things. . . .

Whenever Word-Wars flare up, I am perplexed by the conflation that goes on. Average users are not academics, tech writers are not novelists (except on occasion), business people are not typesetters. So in the average skirmish it's very hard to tease out what are legitimate beefs and what are necessary specialized requirements because too many people assume everyone is doing what they're doing.

Charlie has pointed out some great stuff (you should definitely read his other blog entry). The reason why Word isn't going to go away is the ecosystem and all the people who've put huge effort into making Word work for their work. But, anyway, I'd like to spring-off of some of things he's said here.

around 50% didn't even know that cut and paste was possible, and were using Word as a glass typewriter.


"glass typewriter"? Ha! Love it! It's so true. I've met people who have used computers for 20 years and didn't know about cut and paste. In fact, most business & academic (yes, academic) users know astonishingly little about the systems they use every day. They have developed very limited sets of knowledge that allow them to get the job done and nothing more. If things don't work the way they expect, they are lost.

they also tend to ignore the ribbon (it looks like more incomprehensible clutter) or find it a thing of terror (full of scary stuff they don't understand).


Exactly. This is one of my major beefs with the current version of Word. You really do need an icon dictionary to understand what on earth can be done with that ribbon. The whole interface is too complicated. It just doesn't work.

I still haven't managed to get my mother to understand the relationship between a file, a document, and a window on the screen of her iMac. Or my brother-in-law. Or my sister.


This is a biggie. For most people who aren't experts like many in the community, here, their incomprehension is this basic. The screen is a flat 2d picture and that is all. Many of them can't see what's unique about windows (no, not the OS, a window) and are terrified when you switch between applications because the whole picture just changed and their work has disappeared. Add to that the strain of having to use it for their work or the strain of creating something and fearing its loss and you have a recipe for a very difficult set of design/engineering problems. That's what so interesting about iOS. They really appear to have solved some of these issues. It's amazing how quickly people pick up a smartphone or tablet and just start using it without much angst at all.

I know some people are producing good work on touch-screen devices but so far as I can tell there is no substitute for a real workstation to do fast, complex, sophisticated work. Let's just hope the two platforms come to a mutually beneficial balance.

Framemaker was about the ultimate in techpubs layout software -- absolutely beautiful! And Adobe killed it. Humph.


True! Admittedly, its user interface was quite dreadful but what power! By the way, Adobe is still selling it but let's just say they haven't put much effort into turning it into a "modern' application. . . . And, my god, when you read their ad copy you have absolutely no idea what they just said. In fact, you can't even figure out what it does.

Can't pies and brownies coexist? And what about the rest of the great pastry universe? Must everything be binary?

Dave

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Jaysen
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Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:34 pm Post

dafu who is not daffy since vic-k already has the locked up wrote:Can't pies and brownies coexist? And what about the rest of the great pastry universe? Must everything be binary?

Coexistence is not an option. Brownies must be eliminated. And while there may be a "pastry universe" the only pastry of consequence is the pie. Aren't all other pastries a mere derivation of the pie? the humble pie has spread it's glorious influence through all of our intellectual pursuits.
* What is the name for the ratio whose simple numeric is 3.14?
* What type of chart is used to easily show proportions of a whole in business meetings?
* What is classic clown prop used for "air attacks" from vaudeville through to today?
* What is missing from this US nationalistic phrase? As American as mom, baseball and apple ...

Pie is all. All is Pie.

Unless you prefer tau. But then you have two pies. So you are probably happier than the rest of us.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:41 pm Post

Unless you prefer tau. But then you have two pies. So you are probably happier than the rest of us.


I'm very happy . . . I can still get sachertorte. :D

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Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:01 pm Post

Jaysen wrote:...through all of our intellectual pursuits.
AARRGGHHH!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: OUR WOT?!!!Image
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Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:08 pm Post

Jaysen wrote:...
* What is the name for the ratio whose simple numeric is 3.14?
* What type of chart is used to easily show proportions of a whole in business meetings?
* What is classic clown prop used for "air attacks" from vaudeville through to today?
* What is missing from this US nationalistic phrase? As American as mom, baseball and apple ...

* Who will sell you cookies outside Walmart?
* What about the inexpensive camera made by Kodak?
* What about the legendary mythical creature popular in English and Scotish Folklore?
* What about ass kissers trying to get points?

The humanity of it all if we dispose of the dried up chocolate turd and all of its variances.

Hmmm Where does cake fit? Its not a brownie but its not a pie....
The wheel is turning but the hamster is still dead.

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Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:10 pm Post

vic-k wrote:
Jaysen wrote:...through all of our intellectual pursuits.
AARRGGHHH!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: OUR WOT?!!!Image


I think with the Brownie / Pie discussion this graphic would have been more appropriate.

Image.


On a side note I would like to take the time to thank the NSA. At least we have one governmant agency that actually listens. :mrgreen:
The wheel is turning but the hamster is still dead.

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Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:16 pm Post

Wock wrote:
Jaysen wrote:...
* What is the name for the ratio whose simple numeric is 3.14?
* What type of chart is used to easily show proportions of a whole in business meetings?
* What is classic clown prop used for "air attacks" from vaudeville through to today?
* What is missing from this US nationalistic phrase? As American as mom, baseball and apple ...

* Who will sell you cookies outside Walmart?
* What about the inexpensive camera made by Kodak?
* What about the legendary mythical creature popular in English and Scotish Folklore?
* What about ass kissers trying to get points?

The humanity of it all if we dispose of the dried up chocolate turd and all of its variances.

Hmmm Where does cake fit? Its not a brownie but its not a pie....


Pie for the nobel.
Brownie for the lowly.

Thank you for making my case.

Cake is what people who can't bake pies make once they realize the embarrassment brought by making brownies.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:15 pm Post

Jaysen wrote:Cake is what people who can't bake pies make once they realize the embarrassment brought by making brownies.


Best Answer EVER!
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Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:42 pm Post

Wock wrote:
Jaysen wrote:Cake is what people who can't bake pies make once they realize the embarrassment brought by making brownies.


Best Answer EVER!

Thank you. I ascribe all my talents to my frequent consumption of pie.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:20 am Post

My background is into computer programming. As such, I was taught to be able to program "Hello, world!" on any language that would eventually came into the market. At first I thought this was a waste of time, but then I learned the most valuable lesson: if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem will look like a nail.

Now I make a living out of that lesson.

At the end, I guess you stick to the tools you feel more comfortable with for a particular job. A boss of mine used to say "I really don't care which outfit you wear while doing the job I need you to do, as long as the deliverable turns out to be suitable for the intended purpose, and in due time".

A wise guy he was.

When I discovered Scrivener, the first thing I did after completing the excellent tutorial was to write "Hello, world!". It was a breeze, and I was delighted. 8)
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Beware of realism when writing. Avoid the usual zoo inhabitants. Summon the unicorns and the tritons, and give them reality!
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