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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
(Nearly) full tickless operation in 3.10
that isn't very standard
LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)
Posted Feb 13, 2013 2:53 UTC (Wed) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167)
The core Office applications pre-date Unicode on Windows, and accordingly they have their own esoteric idea of what the relationship is between what the user types, what appears on the user's screen and what should be saved in the document file.
This is most obvious when moving documents between a Mac and a PC, but it happens between PCs as well.
Likewise the spreadsheet "standard" leaves a bunch of things undefined, this was more obvious back when actual real users sometimes had different families of CPUs, but it remains problematic for financial and scientific work where it often turns out that the are undocumented restrictions on the accuracy or repeatability of calculations.
AFAIR the outcome of all this was that Microsoft has itself simply declared that the de jure standard mentioned above is a figment of people's imagination. Only a subset of Office document features are actually supported meaningfully, most of the documents you receive are the MS Office equivalent of foo(x++, x++, x++); in C.
Posted Feb 13, 2013 3:04 UTC (Wed) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167)
Posted Feb 13, 2013 5:10 UTC (Wed) by tnoo (subscriber, #20427)
For example as SUM would be SUMME in German an SOMME in French... what a nightmare. And people were happily living with this, adapting formulas in docuemnts by hand!
Posted Feb 14, 2013 8:03 UTC (Thu) by ebirdie (subscriber, #512)
IT consuming public forgives a lot to the vendor and forgives little to nothing to others offering alternatives. The same goes to IBM and its successor Lenovo. I had to acknowledge this while working in IT management some years ago.
Posted Feb 13, 2013 16:25 UTC (Wed) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
It's called a 'de facto standard'. Unless you want me to make up another term and assign it the same definition.
It's standard because it's standard. It's accepted. You are expected to be able to communicate using that format.
I don't know what else to say about the subject.
Posted Feb 13, 2013 21:00 UTC (Wed) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
Posted Feb 13, 2013 22:07 UTC (Wed) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
You are assuming that 'de facto standard' is a standard. It's not. It's something which people perceive as a standard while in fact it's not one.
As for .doc files... Grab old version of MS Word (straight from Microsoft's site, no less!) and try to open .DOC files created by in a latest version of MS Office. I'll wish you luck - you'll need it.
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