Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 1st Mar 2006 18:45 UTC
Linux "As a Linux user, there are times when you have to play nicely with users of Windows or Mac OS - such as when they send you Microsoft Word files. When you receive a Word file, you can either follow Richard Stallman's advice and refuse it, or bite the bullet and work with it. Modern Linux word processors - such as OpenOffice.org Writer, AbiWord, KWord, and TextMaker - can deal with most Word files. But if you don't want to fire up a word processor in order to read or print the document, you can turn to the command line. A handful of small but powerful Linux command line utilities make viewing, printing, and even converting Word files to another format, a breeze."
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RE[2]: Stallman Stupidity
by Morin on Wed 1st Mar 2006 20:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Stallman Stupidity"
Morin
Member since:
2005-12-31

> Its very easy for business users to exchange pdf files.

This doesn't help you if you get word files you *must* read, or *must* deliver word files. Of course, I'd use PDF whenever possible, but sometimes you don't have a choice (or would suffer sever penalties for not using word files).

PDF files are a preference, and a strong one indeed for the reasons you named. But as soon as you insist on using them just for the sake of it, you have disconnected from reality. And that is exactly what Stallman does.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Stallman Stupidity
by ma_d on Wed 1st Mar 2006 21:59 in reply to "RE[2]: Stallman Stupidity"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

When I'm in doubt I usually send a .doc and a PDF. But if your documents are very large I could see how that would become a problem!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Stallman Stupidity
by codergeek42 on Thu 2nd Mar 2006 01:06 in reply to "RE[3]: Stallman Stupidity"
codergeek42 Member since:
2006-01-07

The PDF spec allows for built-in compression (LZW, if I'm not mistaken); but it's just that not many apps actually use it (perhaps due to patent issues?). For example, OO.org's PDF Export outputs uncompressed PDFs. What I usually do is put it in a zip file, as those seem to be the most "cross-OS" portable in terms of the support already built-in on Windows and other OSes mostly by default.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Lettherebemorelight Member since:
2005-07-11

But as soon as you insist on using them just for the sake of it, you have disconnected from reality.

You are obviously confused as to why he doesnt want to use the MS word format.

I agree with him to a point. Just because someone else walks off a cliff doesnt necessarilly mean you should follow, but you can if you want to.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Stallman Stupidity
by Morin on Thu 2nd Mar 2006 21:19 in reply to "RE[3]: Stallman Stupidity"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> You are obviously confused as to why he doesnt want to
> use the MS word format.

No. Actually, you didn't read my post correctly. I know why Stallman doesn't want to deal with word files, and it's just for the same reasons I don't want to. What I talked about is the way you respond to people who send you word files, or expect you to send them.

We are talking about non-techies here. Simply saying "Word files always screw up on my computer, and actually on most computers I've seen. Could you try to save it as a PDF?" or something like that is still 99% correct and gives people a good, understandable, and close-to-life reason not to send you and others word files.

On the other hand, people will stick you in their "weird" category if you tell them:

"This specific problem is a major obstacle to the broader adoption of GNU/Linux." (Do you want me to name some problems in the broader adoption of my favorite car brand?)

"In effect, you become a buttress of the Microsoft monopoly." (Do you think people will be nicer to you if you call them guilty of something?)

"You sent me five files in the non-standard, bloated .doc format that is Microsoft's secret, rather than in the international, public, and more efficient format of plain text." (How many people would NOT call .doc a standard? Yes, it's their secret, suprise: every company has its trade secrets. Plain text can't do formatting and embedded images, by the way.)

If you now think that I don't care about the "word mass infection" then you should read the above again. But simply being stubborn hasn't ever cured an illness.

Reply Parent Score: 1