[OT] documents for the general public need to be generally readable

Bart Silverstrim bsilver at chrononomicon.com
Wed Oct 29 15:11:33 UTC 2008

Wade Smart wrote:
> 20081029 0948 GMT-6
> This is a small rant of mine.
> My son is in orchestra and his teacher sent out a file in a Microsoft 
> docx format to ALL of the students in the music department. What upsets 
> me about this is, first, to assume that all parents are using the latest 
> Microsoft Office much less Microsoft Windows is ignorant. 

Um, no. Having experience in a related field, the reason they did it is 
they *don't think* about the format. They just type it up in "Microsoft" 
and send it out.

A great many
> of the music students use Mac and therefore may or may not use Office. 
> And this says nothing of all of us who use something else. Second, if it 
> is for the students of a public school system then it needs to be 
> something that is generic enough to be opened by someone with any type 
> of system.

Again, public schools don't adhere to the idea of doing things in an 
open manner. They use what they want to use...which is generally the 
latest version of "Microsoft" and "Windows". Anything else like 
formatting or archiving for future use...i.e, can't read WordPerfect 
easily much anymore, but RTF readers have been around forever and a day, 
so documents should be in that format so they don't lose a reader 20 
years down the road...aren't a thought.

These things aren't though of unless something bad happens then there's 
a scramble to "fix" it with some kind of band aid solution.

Long and short of it is you're attributing to malice what is actually 
attributable to lack of forethought and a lack of giving a damn in the 
first place. They don't care. Good luck with your crusade, though :-)

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