Re: Article: Document or else

Subject: Re: Article: Document or else
From: "Katie Kearns" <katie -dot- kearns -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "List,Techwriter" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 10:52:26 -0700

On 7/2/06, Lou Quillio <public -at- quillio -dot- com> wrote:

Yeah, but it's guilt-free pleasure. Too bad the EU has to drive
this comeuppance alone. The bottom line, to me, is that MS has
relied unfairly on file-format lock-in and has refused to compete on
product quality, because ... because it didn't have to. Where U.S.
authorities have not, the E.U. particularly understands that open
file formats are the key to a healthy, low-litigation desktop
market. That's insightful leadership.

That's ridiculous. If people didn't like it, they shouldn't use it. No
company should be compelled to engineer their product a certain way just
because some regulatory agency thinks it should. (I mean, if there's no
health impact, etc -- I am a fan of making sure product won't outright kill
people. But no one was ever killed by a file format.)

Why don't we legislate that cars have to use metric measurements because
it's annoying to find the right kind of tools? Or that car manufacturers
have to stop using Torx bolts, because I don't feel like buying a set of
torx wrenches? Maybe it's the best thing for the job, and they didn't want
to do it another way.

What if someone decided all technical documentation had to have two spaces
after a period, because they found a study that proved it was more legible?
Or all procedures had to have exactly 5-9 steps? After all, they have a
study that says that... I think we should find all companies with any
procedures with fewer than 5 or more than 9 steps. Never mind that the so
called study people always cite has absolutely no bearing on it...

If people don't like proprietary file formats, then they should choose a
tool that doesn't use them. Don't legislate how people should make things.
Especially since industry changes a heck of a lot faster than government

Sorry. Apparently I needed a good rant this morning.


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Article: Document or else: From: Stuart Burnfield
Re: Article: Document or else: From: Lou Quillio

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