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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stop using Word!

I felt a rant come over me this week....


Hey, you!  Yes, you!  You know I'm talking to you.


I tried to look at that meeting agenda you sent me.  You know, the one that you sent as an email attachment, and where the attachment is a Word document. But because I was using a web browser to access my Exchange email account, the browser won't show me the attachment unless I was to right-click on it and save it first.


And I was reading this on an iPad!  Sheesh.


So, you know, that meant that I didn't look at the agenda until this morning when I got back into the office.  Oh sure I could have made the time to boot up a Windows machine to try to get to web mail that way, but really.


So when I did open this thing, I found this agenda:

  1. Introductions
  2. Problem statement
  3. Brainstorm solutions

And this couldn't just go into the message as text?

Oh, wait, here comes another one.....

You over there!  Yes, you, the guilty-looking one.


I was looking for the policy on Widget Transformations yesterday on our CMS.  I knew we had a policy because you made me go to all of those policy meetings.  (I wasn't sure at the time that we even needed such a policy, but there you go.)


So I was searching and browsing and clicking and scrolling.  And searching.  And searching.  No luck.


So I finally got so frustrated I asked Fred if he knew where it was.  He found it right away.  (He had it bookmarked.  Good ol' Fred.)


It was a Word document.


Don't you know that our CMS is really lame and it doesn't search these things?


But the worst part is when I opened the policy document.  I figured that it must have been done in Word since it had a lot of extra fancy content.  But here's what I found:

Widget Transformation Policy

It it the policy of ICPSR that no widgets should ever be transformed.

And that was it.


This couldn't just go into the CMS as text?

Whew.  Feeling much better now.

But I wish I had a nickel for every time I couldn't find something or read something because it was in Word, and where it was something very plain and very simple.

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