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RE: .doc file concerns

From: Thornley, David
Subject: RE: .doc file concerns
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2001 19:12:58 -0500

> -----Original Message-----
> From: address@hidden [mailto:address@hidden
> Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 6:14 PM
> To: address@hidden
> Subject: Re: .doc file concerns
> The thing is, most writers seem to prefer WYSIWYG editors 
> such as Word or Frame
> Maker to using mark-up languages.  This is reasonable, 
> because they're much more
> productive with such tools,

Has anybody done studies?  My guess would be that getting an initial
design slapped out would be somewhat faster with Word, but that
redoing the document would be faster with something like LaTeX.
In any case, there is at least one editor claiming to do essentially

I have no doubt but that designers like Word and FrameMaker better,
but there's a surprising lack of correlation between what seems easy
to use and what makes you more productive.

 especially since they're much 
> more concerned with
> an attractive presentation than are engineers who happen to 
> write simple documents.
TeX was written by a man very concerned with how his documents
looked, and they include ways to do very tricky typesetting.
Knuth stopped submitting papers to journals that could not typeset
them to his standards.  Since TeX, probably the most widely used
markup language, was designed by somebody who was concerned with
an attractive presentation and did not write simple documents,
there is something wrong with your argument.

If I'm going to write a simple document, I frequently use Word.
If I'm going to write something complicated, I use a better tool,
such as LaTeX or a real page layout program.

> Choosing an inferior tool just because the version control 
> system can't handle
> a full-featured one is a poor way to work.
On the other hand, using a tool that makes products that can be
stored, compared, branched, merged, and so forth is attractive.
I would be surprised to find that any version control system
would handle Word documents in such a versatile fashion.

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