Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 22 May 2008

I wonder what's behind this door?

Does this label mean anything to you: “Track changes”? Or this one: “Online collaboration. (Meet Now. Web discussions)” ?*

If so you’ve delved more deeply than I have into Microsoft Word’s “functionality” (I love the IT business. Never use one syllable when you can use five). But which of us belongs to the majority?

I think there’s an unwritten rule about software development. As version follows version more features are added and they’re used by fewer and fewer people. The aim must surely be to add a feature which no one uses. But it mustn’t be useless. The rule is it must be (a) unexpected, and (b) almost impossible to define under Help. The equivalent of the programmer shouting down a well and hearing echoes of applause from other programmers in recognition of the purity of his achievement.

Not that I’m complaining about Word. I wouldn’t be without it. In fact I have a sneaking suspicion I couldn’t be without it. What I don’t need is its next – and here’s another one of those written blurs – iteration.

* If you’re curious, they’re under Tools.

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