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[4]: Stallman Stupidity
by Morin on Thu 2nd Mar 2006 21:19 UTC 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.

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