TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Platform of choice From:Mitch Berg <mberg -at- IS -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 11 Feb 1997 12:05:06 -0600
Wing, Michael J wrote:
> >I believe a majority of people use Windows for two reasons: they have to
> >or they have to...[snip]...
> >Most of us use Windows because everyone else uses it. No other reason.
> >It's a vicious circle.
> I very much resent the implications in the above statements. I, for
> one, choose the windows platforms. No apologies here...[snip]...
> Many Tech Writers seem to view the platforms through the blinders of
> word processing and graphics...[snip]...The
> same goes for integrating other objects into a word processor. If you
> are writing a manual for mechanical design software and you want to use
> an actual design file, drop the design right into the word processor...[snip]...Same with
> working the text in the design package. To my knowledge, other
> platforms don't behave this way. (By the way, you need an
> object-oriented WP such as Word; I don't think Frame supports active X
First, Frame IS Object-Oriented. Second, none of this depends on
ActiveX - the NeXT OS has had this capability - FOR TEN YEARS (or at
least since 1989)! Furthermore, it's not particularly far removed from
OLE2, which is supported by many, many systems.
> Automation allows the Window's user to develop their own package. They
> can actually write a VB program that incorporates selected graphics
> functions, word-processing functions, spreadsheet functions, and so
> forth. They can create and customize an interface that seamlessly
> processes the data between these functions.
First, NONE of this is specific to Windows. I can do this in NeXTStep
(in fact, using OpenStep, I can do it FOR windows!), or MacOS.
Furthermore, it's not particularly simple in any of the Opsystems.
> The trend is to package software by functionality...[snip]...Windows is well positioned to allow the user
> to upgrade functions without removing and replacing the whole package...[snip]...
Again, technologies pioneered by NeXT, and implemented in other OS's
loooooong before Windows.
> I do care. That's why I buy Windows.
I'm not particularly dogmatic about it - my home box uses Win95. But
EVERY "groundbreaking" feature in Windows was implemented first in
either NeXTStep, OS/2 or MacOS. ActiveX? Gimme a break, they
piggybacked on work that Sun's been doing for most of the decade!