On Thu, 2010-02-11 at 10:16 +1100, Ross McKay wrote:

> On Wed, 10 Feb 2010 10:12:01 -0500, Robert Cummings wrote:
> >I'm doing quite a bit more work in public sector these days. Recently ne 
> >department finally did away with IE6 and moved to IE7. Here's what I had 
> >to do to accomodate this gotcha:
> >
> >     Nothing
> >
> >See, that was tough. Why was it so hard? Because I developed for 
> >Firefox/Opera and touched up for IE6, 7, 8 since these are inevitable 
> >paths of evolution in the public sector. [...]
> We work the same way and generally just encounter a bit of swearing and
> minor CSS rework when we get around to IE6. Otherwise, it's all fine.
> Working to the standards and then patching for IE6 is easier than
> working to IE6 and patching for *everything else*. :)
> Regarding platforms, IMHO the main reason IE6 is so persistent is that
> it comes with Windows XP. Vista was such a flop that Windows XP is still
> the base of most SOE/COE distributions both in government and business.
> Now that Windows 7 is out and shown to be somewhat more worthy, IE6 will
> be replaced by IE8 in due course as Windows 7 becomes the SOE/COE base.
> I too am hoping for a switch to more Linux desktops, but I can't see it
> happening soon at most government / business organisations that deal in
> Microsoft Office documents until OpenOffice.org can better support the
> huge range of spottily formatted Office documents out there. That, or
> everyone moves to Google Docs, or regulations enforce exchange of
> government documents in OpenDocument formats :)
> -- 
> Ross McKay, Toronto, NSW Australia
> "The documentation and sample application having failed me,
>  I resort to thinking. This desperate tactic works, and I
>  resolve that problem and go on to the next"
>  - Michael Swaine,  "Programming Paradigms",  Dr Dobb's Journal

There's a good reason for OpenOffice having some difficulties with MS
Office documents. Back when MS rushed through getting their document
standard ratified by ISO (which itself is a whole other story) they
didn't explain all the details quite as well as they might have. Later
on, MS found they were having some difficulty following their own
'standard' and so altered it in various ways in Office2007. Needless to
say, ISO weren't too happy when MS asked if they could just 'change the
specs' for their file format, and quite rightly refused to do so.

In short, this means that there is a MS ISO standard that MS is the only
one not trying to follow, and software like OpenOffice is left to
reverse engineering the format again.


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