[LINK] This is enough to make any e-librarian's head spin
Sun Nov 24 13:41:32 EST 2002
|> -----Original Message-----
|> From: email@example.com
|> [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Rick Welykochy
|> Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2002 7:22 AM
|> To: Howard Lowndes
|> Cc: Malcolm Miles; email@example.com
|> Subject: Re: [LINK] This is enough to make any e-librarian's
|> head spin
|> Thanks to all who tried.
|> Since I could not open the document in OO, my fear was that,
|> like on so many previous occassions with old Word docs, the
|> documents were unreadable (and might even crash Windows).
|> In this case my fears were unfounded. The document was
|> created on Win 3.1 back in 1991 (from reading the content),
|> and I am impressed that it can be read today.
|> Judging from various Linker's responses, the document could
|> be read using MS Office 2000 on a newish Mac and various
|> flavours of Windows, but not, unfortunately, using Star Office or OO.
|> The point remains that here I am in possession of document
|> (well, several such documents) that I wrote, that belong to
|> me and that I cannot view without assistance. Score -1 for
|> proprietary formats. In other words: I should not have to
|> fork out $400++ to read a document I created back in 1991.
Of course if you still had the original program you wouldn't have a
problem. Or if you had saved the documents in another more generic
It is a bit much to expect other packages to read a document created
with another program. Nor is it reasonable to complain about not being
able to read a document when you are not trying to read it with the
program used to originally create it.
Proprietary formats are just that. If you want to be able to read
documents in other programs then you need to make sure you save them in
a format that is transferable. That doesn't just apply to documents, it
also means other file types such as images, cad, database data files
etc. The whole purpose of ascii and data sharing mechanisms is to allow
for the transfer of data between programs and attempting to overcome the
problem of prooprietary formats.
We have to be realistic. We can't expect all file formats to be
readable by all programs or on all platforms. Still a long way to go
with that :).
Darryl (Dassa) Lynch
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