RE: Long Documents in Word

Subject: RE: Long Documents in Word
From: david -dot- locke -at- amd -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 19:08:12 -0600

Microsoft will probably never fix master document. It really isn't broken.
It just can't work the way it was designed. It was designed to have every
document in the master document open simultaneously. Nobody has a machine
with that much RAM, so, of course, it can't open all those files. It
probably runs out of threads before it runs out of RAM.

Back in MS Word 5.0, the heap was large enough. MS Word 5.5 ate up so much
heap that there was very little space for the content of the MS Word
document, so it crashed frequently. There was no solution to that problem.
Word for Windows was brand new code, so the heap problem disappeared.

Without fixing some core issues in MS Word, the master document feature is
architecturally constrained. But, machine eating applications are really
build to push the whole "Bigger-Faster-Better" paradigm that has kept PCs
selling over the last twenty years. Multimedia and the COM/DCOM/Active-X
technologies were designed to hog memory. And, make us go out and buy new
machines. Maybe a MS Word machine will come out built specifically to make
the master document feature work.

Things that have been fixed are bookmarks and numbering. I wouldn't hold my
breath waiting for MS Word to change in any desirable ways. It changes
constantly, so even people that have used it for ages can't get things to
work anymore.

The latest peeve for me is being asked constantly to install features,
actually run a feature that is only available on the MS Office disk like I
have it just laying around, so I can use it everyday!

I've only played with the master document feature long enough to see that it
didn't work and why. Someone might try running it on a four SMP processor
machine and see if it works correctly then. If you try it, let us know how
it turns out.

David W. Locke



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