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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I get similar nonsense at work. I email a cow-orker asking how much we paid for X, he sends me a reply that says "The attached spreadsheet contains the information that you requested" - so I wait while Excel fires up, scroll through the spreadsheet to find the answer, close down Excel.
    I wanted his reply to be "£23,000"

    Of course as long as the software has "send to" in the menu - people are going to use it. Your accountants might not be too IT savvy and so don't realise that it is inefficient, clumsy,
  • I'm surprised that Word was able to cram all that text into a mere 20 kB. I didn't think Word documents could be less than half a meg or so.

    Too bad there wasn't any incriminating "deleted" text left in the file.
  • They're not insisting on using Word. It's what they're familiar with, and it's what they like. Some people use Word the way I use vi. They don't see any reason NOT to do so.

    And really, why should they? So it's 20K instead of 300 bytes. Why is that a problem?

    Now, the example of sending an Excel file when the real answer is "23,000" is a problem, because it makes it tougher for the reader. Or in the original case of sending unformatted text in a vessel that is made for formatting text, you also have



    • It's a problem for me because I don't have a machine capable of running Excel or Word. None of the data output I produce can be in either format -- it's all either XHTML or XML. Where I could read plain text straight from e-mail, or save a plain text attachment and open it with vim, I have to open either AbiWord or Gnumeric. If I'm working over the network, forget it.

      You're right; I don't particularly care for either tool. My problem is that it makes my life much harder while providing almost no gai

    • But really, how much of the concern is the extra work being done, and how much is just disdain for the tools they use?

      I don't see a difference; the tools being used are what cause the extra work. If Word didn't cause a lot of extra work, there'd be no issue.
  • You need something that can read your mail, and catch any MSWord or Excel documents that are in any message, kill the message, and send an auto-reply form letter saying basically "no, resend as plaintext" or whatever.

    When the reply is swift, automatic, and icily impersonal, people will be trained that sending things in those doc format is a BAD BAD THING.