Word 97 to Frame and Microsoft Bashing

Subject: Word 97 to Frame and Microsoft Bashing
From: "George F. Hayhoe" <gfhayhoe -at- SCESCAPE -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 09:20:43 -0500

Regarding the Word 97 to Frame question, Peter Gold noted:

<<Frame imports RTF nicely; has anyone tried this?>>

Apparently not; it's so much easier to complain about the
evil empire of Redmond. :)

I can't offhand think of a single software product that has
gone through half as many versions as Word and maintained a
single file format.

Why do file formats change? Why does anything change? It's
the price we pay for progress--in this case, new features
that the old file format cannot support.

What does all of this have to do with technical
communication? Not a whole lot on a superficial level, but
there's a kernel of relevant project management lore to be
discovered here. Never adopt new software products or
releases without analyzing the consequences of the change
on your current and prior projects, and planning your
migration strategy.

It's not difficult to determine what your software
dependencies are (no, that's not a form of addiction!) and
to determine workarounds such as the one Peter suggested.
But it's generally much easier to do this before you commit
yourself or your organization to the new product or
release--when stress is minimal--than to install the new
product and find yourself with unanticipated compatibility
problems 24 hours before an important deadline.

The bottom line? Don't just do it; plan first.

--George Hayhoe (gfhayhoe -at- scescape -dot- net)

George Hayhoe Associates
Voice: 803 642 2156
Fax: 803 642 9325
Announcing the debut of http://www.ghayhoe.com

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