Why Microsoft Word must Die – Charlie’s Diary

On Microsoft Word’s overstay – Charlie Stross, novelist, is able to articulate what many think. Word’s jumble of conflicting standards, mutating interface and, for nearly everybody, unnecessary complexity has led the rise of alternatives. Stross outlines the steady march through history of Word to become the defacto, unavoidable monolith, and questions it’s necessity.

I happily subsist on a diet of Sublime Text, Vim, and LibreOffice (with occasional Google Docs collaboration), but to each their own.

“The .doc file format was also obfuscated, deliberately or intentionally: rather than a parseable document containing formatting and macro metadata, it was effectively a dump of the in-memory data structures used by word, with pointers to the subroutines that provided formatting or macro support. And “fast save” made the picture worse, by appending a journal of changes to the application’s in-memory state. To parse a .doc file you virtually have to write a mini-implementation of Microsoft Word. This isn’t a data file format: it’s a nightmare! In the 21st century they tried to improve the picture by replacing it with an XML schema.”

Why Microsoft Word must Die – Charlie’s Diary

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