Linked by Mike Klein on Tue 13th Feb 2007 16:51 UTC
Features, Office This is a response to the first part of the word processor review recently featured on donationcoder.com. I have WordPerfect Office X3, OpenOffice.org 2.1, and MS Office 2003 all installed on my computer, and the article stirred up some of the opinions that have gradually come to settle in the depths of my mind. So here are my thoughts.
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boudewijn
Member since:
2006-03-05

Actually, it's pretty well known that WordPerfect was written in asm. The coders at WP corp even had to write all the little utilities that every programmer needs in asm. Even the very first version of WordPerfect for Windows wasn't written in C (or Pascal or C++) but asm. My wife wrote one of the first books on that version, in WordPerfect 5.2 for dos on one machine while trying to reach the functions she wanted to describe on another machine before WPwin crashed.

I started with Tasword for the ZX Spectrum, then used the Quill for the PC, WordPerfect 3-6, Word 2, Word 6, Abiword and Word 97 (I think). Then we slowly, from 1995 to 1998 moved all our work to Linux where I and my wife used the Linux version of WordPerfect, the motif-based one. My, was I miffed that they didn't include the character-mode version that was available for other Unices! StarWriter 3 followed when WordPerfect just wasn't available anymore. StarOffice 5.0.

And then I was just done. I don't care how much a certain file format was a de-facto world-wide standard (like .doc or .wp or .sxw). I suddenly realized while converting about 50 megabytes of old WordPerfect texts with StarWriter that I couldn't read all my old Quill texts _at all_. I needed a file format of which at least the implementation code was out in the open, and preferable the specification, too.

Because it's not now that's important, but ten years in the future. When _nobody_ will sell any wordprocessor that supports .doc-version-97 anymore. Not even Micrsoft: they are leaving the .doc format right now. Replacing it with something that is basically un-implementable.

Open, complete, impartial standards. That's where your formatted text is safe. OpenDocument is the only one around. You'll, as long as the magnetic particles cling to your disks, be able to read your own documents.

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