Re: Proprietary standards (long even by list standards)

Subject: Re: Proprietary standards (long even by list standards)
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 20:36:00 EST

At 06:37 PM 8/19/96 -0400, you wrote:
<stuff snipped due to whimsy>

>Point taken. For some reason, I've worked at a lot of companies where
>Tex or TROFF had been recently replaced with Frame or somesuch, so I
>guess I've been assuming that there are a lot more people familiar with
>these standards than maybe there are. And one of the commoner reactions
>I've seen is a lot of frustration over the same things that frustrate
>me--namely, the inability to dink with the code by hand. Wow. Maybe this
>is a generation gap thing. You krazy young "hepcats" with your
>newfangled cipherin' boxes! You wouldn't know an honest day's work if it
>bit you on the leg!!!

Hey, I've had to rip through native RTF coding and decipher software
operations by reading code, but it's just not possible anymore. The size of
files precludes it, and ever-tightening deadlines don't permit the
time-intensive solutions anymore. Try perusing the code spat out of a 4GL
tool and you'll see what I mean. The day when technophiles can strap
together ad hoc solutions just for the challenge of it all is in its
twilight. That's been relegated to games houses, and even they are changing

<my original deathless prose reluctantly snipped>

>True. I think that right there you've got an excellent argument for
>hiring good people and treating them well, as opposed to farming work
>out to contractors.

>There still are companies out there that hire people for the long term
>and don't mind doing the training and the front work. If the company
>you're working for doesn't mind planning for the long term, the
>investment in time and training can save some heartache and misery in
>the future.

>Of course, your point is absolutely valid for companies that have a high
>turnover or just don't have the volume of work to justify a full-time

Sorry, that's wishful thinking rather than hard reality. To those who cling
to this ancient way, I say to you...start a company and run it. Then come
back in a few years and see if you still feel that way. I don't mean to
sound callous, but the marketplace is a taskmaster that knows no days off
and feels no pity. Contractors aren't just a bean-counter's crabbed wet
dream. They're a vital, indispensable part of today's production
environment. You pay for them with more than money, of course; You also pay
with corporate culture and loyalty. But the rewards are modularity and
speed, and those attributes are of the highest value today because the
half-life of so many products is so short and so many companies are spawned
only so they can be sold quickly. Deplorable? Yes, I agree. But I have to
earn a living in the muck so I can retire to the riverbank. Perhaps the
biggest companies, the Kodaks, Allen-Bradleys, and Hewlett-Packards can take
a long-ball approach. But they're in the minority and the smaller, lighter
enemies have beaten them to death in hundreds of markets by being faster and
more willing to leave broken soldiers by the side of the road.

>If you continue your unprovoked ad hominem attacks, I will be forced not
>only to associate you with brutal and oppressive dictatorships, but to
>have you permanently banned from the internet as well. See how you like
>THAT, Mr. Monkeyboy.

Hell, I ALREADY associate with brutal and oppressive dictatorships (see
business analysis above), and I can't be banned from the internet...we're
both too redundant. And if you continue your scurrilous attacks on me, I'll
see to it you're given a Briggs-Myers, MMPI and Stanford-Binet and that
you're consigned to the specific spots in hell reserved solely for those who
flunk such tests!
And for your information I'm not from the south and I don't eat hominem!

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
FrameMaker support ForeHelp support

Makers of DuoFrame, giving you online help and paper
documentation from a single parent FrameMaker document.

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