> My 2 cents :
> In fact Todd has also been spouting ( moaning? <g> ) on the Windows/PHP
> list too ;-)
> Certainly, parsing Word docs is not necessarily a PHP-DB issue, but an
> interesting problem or hack nonetheless.
> IMHO M$ have set themselves up for 'illegal' hacking of their file formats
> simply by virtue of their widespread use and insistence on not releasing
> the source for their products. But surely, this sort of stuff is worth
> considering as an exercise - if *everything* was easy there would be no
> jobs for people in the IT industry generally!
> >=Word is a Microsoft product. Have you been moaning on their lists (always
> >assuming anyone from Microsoft
> >actually responds/is helpful on such lists), asking where the Word-PHP
> >interface is? Why attack only one side of
> >the 'problem'? Perhaps like many others you have a perception that
> >Microsoft couldn't care less about what you
> >are trying to do? Why then make "the Open Source community" your whipping
> >boys (and girls)?
> Hope you guys have cooled off & settled your differences. DL Neil finished
> his rather vehement <ahem - ggg> discussion of the benefits of open-source
> et al , by *providing 3 helpful suggestions* how to tackle the overriding
> problem. I think perhaps 'childish remarks' might be an appropriate
> description *IF* the remarks were meant as a personal attack, rather than
> an expression that perhaps this list is not appropriate for
> reverse-engineering discussions.
>  >>I don't know what crawled up your ass and died or pissed in your
>  >> cheerios this morning.
> <snip>
>  >>Geez, whats with you types? I mean, You think Open Source is the
>  >>ultimate solution and Bill Gates it the evil empire. Grow up and don't
>  >>respond to my inquiries. I don't like childish remarks from an
>  >>incompetent fool
> Competence is in the eye of the beholder ( ducks under desk for protection ! )
> I've only been on this list for a few weeks, but it's proved very helpful
> for my development, to think about solutions to other peoples problems, and
> provide help where possible. Very grateful for the input others have
> generously provided. I think though that the nature of this list is
> probably more for newbies than experienced MCP or open-source guru
> discussions, preferably for discussion of PHP and Databases - and welcome
> any flames suggesting otherwise <vbg>

In fact this list provides an interesting mix of problems for/from 'newbies' and 
'gurus' alike, and let's face
it, the 'triad'/LAMPS offers such an amazing 'width' of facilities, few people would 
claim to be 'experts'
across the board - so someone who can perform extremely complex SQL SELECTs might find 
PHP a major challenge,
and vice-versa. I certainly enjoy the learning/stimulation.

'Decoding' Word would be an 'interesting hack' - although I don't think such would be 
necessary. Following up on
some of this thread's references - and their references, eg Alain's article shows that 
the COM interface allows
easy (and perfectly legal/expected) access to MS/Word functionality. From then on it 
seems possible to perform
anything that Word will do from the keyboard (I'm not VBA-competent - just know enough 
to slightly extend
macros). Trouble is, those commands are not PHP (etc) - this would require Word/VBA 
mastery! One day I'll have
'a chat' with one of our Office specialists - who does know his MS oats, and see how 
realistic it might be.
Unfortunately it has not been my experience that the MS 'support' lists are as 
friendly and competent/quick to
respond as are the various PHP and MySQL communities!

Thank you for your comment about competence. Although he has said nothing to me/about 
it, I notice that Todd has
taken 'my' suggestion to his client and received positive feedback. Sometimes 
technical questions can be best
tackled in the non-technical environment! It often pays to step back from the 
coal-face to take a wider look at
a 'problem'.

You observe my comments to be vituperative - and yes they were. I will apologise if 
you think they were overly
so. Note that the Microsoft-OpenSource issue was raised previously - mine was a 
reply/riposte. Some want to dish
it out, but can't take it. Certainly I took issue with 'blame' or 'complaint' being 
laid one-sidedly at the door
of PHP/OpenSource - it would be unusual for some incompatibility between two products 
to belong exclusively with
any one or the other? Certainly MS won't accede any fault - even between Access and 
the rest of MS-Office!

The superb ironies are that the best (from the client's point of view) answer he has 
came from the guy he least
admires (shall we say...); and that my history (in PCs at least) is Microsoft 
through-and-through (some would
guess that's how I know about Word) and I count myself as still very much a learner in 
the LAMPS environment.

Unfortunately (speaking for myself) there was a 'personal' component. As you observed, 
the individual has a
reputation for 'moaning', or more precisely for asking questions which indicate that 
he (repeatedly) doesn't
research/think before launching out - and the same with replies half-read and 
half-processed before the next
email 'round' begins. Such behavior is beneath his competence. List members are happy 
to help, but to actually
be criticised for not doing a guy's job for him - I don't think so Tim! He's 
apparently an intelligent guy
(tells me he's an MSCE). I wouldn't have thought you could achieve that without loads 
of reading - MS technical
info is often scattered around and buried in all sorts of unlikely places. Why then, 
all the hassle? When it
goes wrong, why is it always someone else's fault? Observing this took on an 
interesting dimension. You (and I)
register (even 'unsuccessful'/'not what I wanted to hear' assistance thankfully. 
Anti-social types (even once
told of the irritation they cause) prove any such suspicions.

As far as the list goes: When newbies come up with 'innocent' questions (you know the 
ones that can be observed
on a weekly basis...) it is a small chore to refer them to the manual or a suitable 
tutorial site, and later a
positive pleasure hear back from some about their successes in tackling their project. 
The fact that their
'project' might be some simple (say) catalog of a personal CD collection is no less 
valid, nor does the result
generate any less pride, than (say) some commercial Internet banking project - 
certainly I get the same 'kick'
out of it.

Thanks for the peacemaking/temperature adjustment!


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