From the nimble fingers of BMichael@... (BMichael@...) (8/4/2001 3:19 PM) came... > AFA Word, if people would quit sending me Word documents, I'd be a happy > camper! I always blast right back with a "please resend this in some > format readable by someone who has not chosen to spend several hundred > dollars on an inferior program", and give options. <sigh> > > Bill also he said... > WriteNow. Period. No additional features desired or wanted, _except_ that > it should be able to open the current set of "other types of documents" > instead of the set that was common seven years ago. And should be "9.1 > compliant" and use all the features that weren't around then. From what > I've seen, that covers all of the wish-lists posted, except HTML, but I'm > not sure we need that... > > Remember, we're trying to replace WriteNow, not BBEdit! > > Bill Rant #1... Lots of those Word things arrive here too, and Maclink+ sorts them out (to AW5) fairly well; some of the formatting looks a tad strange, but the substance is available. AW is a staple here, extending to several FB apps we've written that generate output data as AW spreadsheets: the calibration record shipped with each of the 4,000-odd lasers we ship every year is generated by Appleworks directly from data generated by an FB app that runs the whole microcomputer in-circuit programming and laser calibration procedure. All shipped to large US company with a written policy outlawing the presence of a Mac on the premeses. There IS justice in the world... Doesn't everybody already own a copy or two of AW? Doesn't everybody's box have a few hundred Meg of RAM and several gig of disk space? WriteNow looked - and genuinely was - good on the old 512 in '84, leaving bags of room on a 400 k floppy, but is tininess anything more than a curiosity now? Looking over the last 30 AW documents generated here, there isn't a single one that hasn't got a photo or a drawing or a spreadsheet buried in it somewhere, with the text all neatly flowing around it, and with headers and footers and several sections and, more often than not, sent off as an Acrobat file 'cause you just can't put all that good stuff in enough different formats for everybody to read. In case you haven't noticed, I'm an AW fan, albeit one usually mad at some small detail of it, but appreciating the whole picture. And, dare I say it again, having a single document open in several split-able (two ways at that!) windows is a feature that dashed near everybody on this list would sell their first-born to have included in their favourite compiler's editor. Rant #2... An object lesson was learned in that earlier-mentioned calibration software. Its first incarnation managed a fairly rigid set of (external) hardware functions in a fairly rigid way, and evolution of the calibration procedure required evolution of the FB app. This stopped being fun after a bit, so I re-wrote the entire thing to read and execute an externally-generated calibration script (which is a text file that looks sort of like assembly language). The production people routinely write scripts to alter the calibration procedure or to do QA checks for laser repeatability and such nonsense. The best part of all is that now I get to stand aside and watch. The point to all of this rambling (if there's a point to it) is that the next "killer app", rather than providing a stiff subset of widely-available features, should be something of a blank page that the user can fill in: not unlike FB itself, but one rather more user-friendly. Messrs. Staz et al. have put something of a buffer between us and the Toolbox. The World-At-Large might like another buffer between themselves and the Staz-level folks. Could you write a compiler - in FB, of course - that would let the user, graphically, write, or draw, his own app? Do all the nasty goopshit in the closet where the user doesn't even know it's happening, and let the user write his own word processor or calendar app or web page generator or Hypercard stack. Rant #3... Anybody remember or lament Hypercard? Any zonk could cobble up something cool that rolled and changed wiped and did neat stuff. Even I could do it. All of our internal (staff) and external (customer) training documents were Hypercard first and paper second. Now they're Acrobat, but the animation's gone. Wake up. It's over. Hit [Delete]. -- Ted Spencer; ted@... -- Time is Nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once.