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Microsoft payback

2002-11-21 16:51:25+00 by Dan Lyke 11 comments

Okay, after having spent most of yesterday trying to get Direct X[Wiki] to behave sanely (never mind consistently) on a few different machines, with the result that I'll be doing Windows 2000[Wiki] reinstalls today, it's time for some Microsoft mayhem. We'll just note the last two days of /.: First off, there was yesterday's report about whining that after over a month of no response from Microsoft[Wiki] on yet another Internet Explorer[Wiki] hole, someone posted an exploit that allows formatting a user's hard disk. Today there's a report of another exploit that Microsoft Support Bulletin MS02-065 suggests you fix by removing Microsoft[Wiki] from the list of trusted publishers. I did this for a while, had troubles with Windows Update, and now simply only use IE when I'm running Windows Update[Wiki], never otherwise. Finally, /. pointed to a Microsoft whitepaper that talks about total cost of ownership and ease of administration in terms that... well... don't show up in their marketing materials. Security Office found the paper, The Register has excerpts and commentary.

[ related topics: Microsoft Open Source moron Net Culture Marketing ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-11-21 17:32:15+00 by: ebradway

It looks like Security Office got Slashdotted to death. But the Register article is really well organized and has some juicy highlight. I really like this article (and the Whitepaper itself is probably useful as well) because it pretty much gives a feature-for-feature breakdown of why Unix is easier to administer than Windows - something that I have had trouble really explaining to people, especially non-techies.

#Comment made: 2002-11-21 20:27:47+00 by: Dan Lyke

While I'm taking potshots, one of the things I like about OpenOffice.org and StarOffice is that their file format is so freakin' reasonable. unzip the file and you get a set of XML documents. Microsoft[Wiki] has promised that they're going to XML[Wiki] in Office[Wiki] "real soon now". /. reports that Microsoft has declined to participate in OASIS' attempt to standardize XML for those documents, further indication that while an XML parser might not choke on whatever Office[Wiki] decides to output, interop is not going to be a priority.

#Comment made: 2002-11-25 19:48:29+00 by: Dan Lyke

In the comments because y'all are really really sick of Microsoft[Wiki] bashing, but I need to let it out:

This weekend I tried to upgrade to Linux kernel version 2.4.19, had problems, and wondered if I was giving Windows a fair comparison. This morning on the ferry I sorted that out (and, of course, the laptop was still usable in the meantime if I didn't try that particular boot option), then came into work where I'm trying to get a DirectX Windows 2000 issue sorted out on my desktop machine. I'm now in the process of trying to recover from:

*** STOP: 0x0000007b (0xEB81B84C,0xC0000034,0x00000000,0x00000000)

I withdraw my charitability.

#Comment made: 2002-11-25 22:46:34+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

FWIW, see http://www.intertwingly.net/blog/967.html on Office XML formats.

MS says they're going to let everyone define their own XML mappings for documents.

OOo wants to standardize on a single schema.

I'm with Sam Ruby -- the middle ground is better. Extensibility and standarization.

#Comment made: 2002-11-26 01:36:11+00 by: Dan Lyke

Mark, I'll have to look at this a little more. My only knowledge on the topic right now comes from the fact that I've used the current OpenOffice.org[Wiki] format, it worked, and made it relatively easy to extract the information I wanted.

I have yet to be able to consistently get good data out of .doc files, let alone get text back into them outside of Word[Wiki].

Sam Ruby says:

"I may have missed it, but I don't see any provisions for additional user or tool specific elements."

I'd like to see some specific examples of what he means and how he'd like that to be preserved when an application works on one of those files.

#Comment made: 2002-11-26 01:37:47+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh yeah, I'm on the expanding Windows Update from hell right now, each update results in two more critical updates, and so on, and...

#Comment made: 2002-11-26 15:43:24+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

Does OOo offer tools to allow you to create documents based on your own DTDs? That'd be ideal -- use the standard as a default but allow people to create their own DTDs for reports, purchase orders, etc. I think LyX already does that, but I'm not sure.

OOo has a good format. They should keep it. MS should work with others to use it or develop a standard default DTD. But, it would be nice if OOo gave the average user tools that they could use to build "templates" (i.e. custom DTDs) for their own documents.

#Comment made: 2002-11-26 16:47:26+00 by: Dan Lyke

No, as much as I figured out it looks like it mostly encodes its internal structures, and marks them with attributes to denote style sheet information. So you've gotta look at attributes to do your own structure stuff. But Perl will do that fine if XSLT doesn't...

If Charlene ends up with any more interesting OOo applications maybe such a tool will be one of my contributions to the world.

#Comment made: 2002-11-27 12:56:36+00 by: meuon

Pro-Linux Comment: My desktop machine is a RedHat 7.2 system, running a Matrox GL200 card and an Accellerated-X server for good dual-head support. I just downloaded Mozilla 1.2, and installed it without a glitch, reboot, or changing any settings anywhere... No DLL Conflicts, no browser taking over control of things..

#Comment made: 2002-11-27 12:57:39+00 by: meuon

(Surprise!) - I did not even have to log back into Flutterby to post! :)

#Comment made: 2002-12-03 04:23:32+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

meuon; Were you using 1.1 prior to 1.2? I made the jump from 1.0.x to 1.1 awhile back but jumped back as I wasn't happy with the stability (on Windows) and some of the UI changes they had made. Do you feel qualified to give a comparison to 1.0.1?

I'd love to upgrade, but I'm bothered by the fact that this, apparently, is not a production/stable version. (I've read something about a "stable version on an unstable trunk", whatever that's supposed to mean...) I generally don't run beta software any more unless there are extenuating circumstances and/or it's something I really need.