Any working SIP-phone on FreeBSD?
perrin at apotheon.com
Mon Jun 20 16:01:47 UTC 2011
On Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 01:36:17PM +0200, Polytropon wrote:
> On Sun, 19 Jun 2011 11:30:46 -0600, Chad Perrin wrote:
> > It's not "prejudice". That assumes I prejudge. My judgment is based
> > on years of fighting with the BS features of office suites of all
> > descriptions for years, and loathing every minute of it. I don't
> > care whether they're open source, closed source, or blue-green algae
> > source.
> I think you're fully right, I also made comparable observations during
> many years. Allow me to point you to the following document:
I started reading it. I intend to finish reading it some time before
lunch, though I have other things I need to do for a while first.
What I have seen so far seems pretty accurate, though.
> You can easily deduct what happens when the table of contents changes,
> or when the font size changes. Hell, I've even seen people doing two
> column documents with spaces. SPACEs!!!
For my purposes, that wouldn't be as bad as the converse, sometimes. I
sent someone a set of two simple text files last week, each line a label
and a value separated by ": ". I asked for the values to be edited to be
correct for the recipient's circumstances (too much to go into to explain
the particulars, so we'll keep it vague). The idea was that, once I got
it back, I would use a simple script to pull the data from the file and
insert it into a hierarchical database, where each file corresponded to a
Yesterday (after sending my previous email to this thread), I got the
result back. The data had been combined into one MS Word OOXML document
(.docx). Well, that wouldn't be *too* bad, I suppose, because I could
just "save as" plain text if it was in the same format, and use tail and
head to break the data into two files again. Unfortunately, the
mutilation of data was not so simple. It had been shoved into one page
per text file's worth of data, arranged in four tables of one column each
to present a four-column format on the page.
I still managed to do everything I needed to do in under twenty minutes,
but if the data had been left in the plain text, linewise format I had
sent to this person, I would have been able to do it all in about *two*
minutes, including the time spent writing the script to grab the data and
shove it into my database.
The thing that most bothered me about all this is the fact that it must
have taken this person twenty minutes *at least* just to create that
absurd table-columnar format in the first place, and that's assuming the
person had some way to automatically place the data in these tables'
cells, rather than having to cut and paste each datum individually. So,
basically, people are so compromised, so brainwashed, so afflicted by
office suite Stockholm Syndrome, that they will spend between twenty
minutes and an hour formatting simple text data in a frankly hideous four
column format when the end result is that I will have to spend another
twenty minutes undoing all of that to insert the data into a database.
Yes, this person knew I was going to use a script to put the data into a
database and throw away the file. Somehow, though, it *never* occurs to
such people to just leave well enough alone, save everyone some time, and
do the minimum that needs to be done.
This is what happens when an office suite "expert" gets his or her hands
on a simple data format. If it was some amateur who created columns
using spaces, it would have altered the data format I expected and
required me to add an extra step to the script I used to bend the data
back into a useful shape -- but it would not have appreciably increased
the time needed. Things would have been *much* easier to deal with under
. . . and, somehow, social convention tells me it would be rude to let
this person know (for next time) that everything will be much easier for
everyone if the data is just left in its original format.
> > For all the document merging and management features of these things,
> > in the end one is usually better off not using any of them; just cut
> > and paste instead. Cut and paste takes less than a minute, but I've
> > seen "expert" MS Office users spend half an hour screwing around with
> > document merging to do what could as easily have been done with a
> > simple cut and paste.
> It can be even worse, when documents get faxed and retyped and
> corrected many times. Yes, that really happens, I frequently see this
> "professional" stuff in action.
Oh, it's even worse than that. My girlfriend had a co-worker not long
ago who received a Microsoft Office document that the higher-ups wanted
her to edit and enhance somewhat. She spent ten minutes trying to figure
out why she was having such a hard time making the needed changes. My
girlfriend (has a technical, rather than office administrative, job --
and is thus regarded as a "computer expert" and asked for help with such
things) was asked for help. After poking at it for a little bit, my
girlfriend figured out that her co-worker had printed out the document at
some point (probably for easier reading), then scanned it back in to make
edits. Obviously, this was not going to work. My girlfriend solved the
problem by suggesting her co-worker edit the *original* file instead of
the scanned copy.
This was a Microsoft Office "professional", of course.
> Honestly: I've build a working environment in the past where
> multi-platform operations are essentially needed, for creation of
> technical documentation. I had my kids... erm user, users! :-) learning
> CVS and LaTeX, a bit of GNUplot, and one of them can also write scripts
> (shell, awk, sed, perl and so on). They now do fully function and
> produce high quality documents, used for web publication and printing.
> They were coming from a MICROS~1 environment, and they had never
> believed me that investing a little time into learning could make them
> that productive.
> Do I need to say more?
That pretty much sums it up. Minimal-complexity standards compliant
formats, flexible tools that each do one thing well, and an environment
that allows rapid and natural composability of functions (e.g., FreeBSD)
are the tools of people who want to get things done.
Office suites are the tools of people who want to look busy. Consider
the stories of major corporations literally banning use of PowerPoint and
seeing a significant productivity boost.
Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
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