Subject: Re: SGML
From: Chet Ensign <Chet_Ensign%LDS -at- NOTES -dot- WORLDCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 10:07:55 LCL


I'm sharing some of this back with the mailing list because I think that you
are raising an issue here that's important for us all to think about. You wrote

> Wouldn't it be more logical and be far more productive, if the entire company
> was using the same word Pro? ... it seems a little ridiculous, that
> departments a re using different word processors...

I'm with you. But the truth is that different systems in different departments
is the real world norm. First, there are often real reasons why different
groups use different tools -- their requirements can often be very different.

Second, my experience has been that making everybody use the same tool often
only gives the appearance of standardization. Take an organization I know that
standardized on WordPerfect several years ago. They now have several different
release levels scattered around the organizations, they have a mix of
Macintoshs and PCs and they quickly learned that the two were not precisely
identical in features -- especially where the macro language was concerned ---
and they have people on UNIX workstations who are still on their own.

Lastly, it has always been amazing to me how differently people can make their
files, even when everything else -- product/platform/release -- are exactly the
same. I've seen files come from one department that simply could not be merged
with the document I was working on because they did things so radically
different. We had a contract worker helping us out one time and she was on the
phone with MS support for 2 hours trying to figure out why the Word files we
were merging into our document was blowing Word up. It turned out to be some
wierd little thing in a table, as I recall, but it illustrates the point.

And, I promise, the final thought on this issue -- just review the thread on
Winhelp to OS/2 that has been running parallel to this one. The
25-words-or-less summary of the suggestions that I've seen has been "Dump to
ASCII. Retag."

One product **never** does the job.

Best regards,


Chet Ensign
Logical Design Solutions
571 Central Avenue
Murray Hill, NJ 07974 censign -at- lds -dot- com [email]
908-771-9221, Ext. 164 [Phone] 908-771-0430 [FAX]

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