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re: Windows '95 MS Office or Freedom

>>>>> "Craig" == C Oda <> writes:

    Craig> The next jump in Internet use will be in integrating human
    Craig> resource networks and work procedures into a virtual

I *like* this idea!

But ... will it happen here in Japan, where secrecy is a mania?  I
mean, in a reasonably short space of time?

    Craig> workspace.  I agree that it is easier to do this if
    Craig> everyone is using Windows '95.  Hey, it would be easier to
    Craig> do this if everyone used Macintoshes or any other single
    Craig> platform.

Maybe not Linux ... I can't imagine what my old secretary Joanne would 
have done with Linux ;-)  I'm sure it wouldn't have been funny, though.

    Craig> Instead of telling employees that they cannot use Linux in
    Craig> their work, why not set a policy where they have to submit
    Craig> their work in a common format that is editable across
    Craig> platforms?  If Linux supports this format then use it.  MS
    Craig> Word is widely used, but it is not a standard like SGML.

But "MS Word file" fits the bill, since any idiot can use it, at the
incredibly low cost of buying MS Word.  And most idiots already do.
(And a few smart people like Ted do, too.  The point is not that you
have to be an idiot to use MS Word, it's that if you're computer
illiterate you can, and most people are and will remain computer
illiterate.)  Ie, just like "ISA" (which *really* stands for
"IBM-imposed Standard Architecture"), MS Word (with its intrusive
"toolbars" and excessive featuring) becomes a de facto standard.  So
if you can convince MS to fit an SGML back end to MS Word, that would
be really cool.  Not on your life!!

At least, not until the revolution you are trying to start gets into
full swing.  "The Gates is Dead!  Gratefully Dead!  Long live the

But this requires real advantages on the side of the revolutionaries.

    Craig> While companies may be efficient now using MS Office and
    Craig> standardizing on Windows '95, I feel that these companies
    Craig> will eventually become too rigid in their thinking to adapt
    Craig> to change rapidly enough.

Yes, but by setting a standard of say, "HTML 2.0," aren't you doing
the same thing?  On the other hand, if you (rightly) in my opinion
specify "SGML", then you are looking at a potential anarchy as people
design their own formats.  SGML or HTML browsers are already humongous
(Netscape 3.0 beta is over 4MB, and the whole library used to be
statically linked into it in version 2.0x!!)  So you're going to have
to submit your DTD with any SGML document (maybe internally you'll be
OK, but won't you have to put the corporate DTDs under lock and key?
To keep people from adding bugs and features, I mean?  Even then,
you'll have to send the DTDs out with the docs for outsiders.)

    Craig> Freedom breeds creativity and creativity is the seed of all
    Craig> solutions in a rapidly changing world.

You're in Japan, old boy.  Make that "freedom breeds anarchy and
anarchy is the seed of all problems in an otherwise comfortably static 
world."  :-(? :-)?

                           Stephen John Turnbull
University of Tsukuba                                        Yaseppochi-Gumi
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
Tennodai 1-1-1, Tsukuba, 305 JAPAN       

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