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Re: 233 MHz CPU system - Debian and SO 5.2 question

On Sun, 24 Feb 2002 15:53:16 -0500 dman <dsh8290@rit.edu> wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 24, 2002 at 02:26:58AM -0800, ben wrote:
> | On Saturday 23 February 2002 06:53 pm, Bob Underwood wrote:
> | [snip]
> | > >
> | > > | Is the Star Office 5.2 address book reliable enough for mail merges, or
> | > > | has any other word processor (Applixware?) an address book that can be
> | > > | used for mail merges?
> Is a "mail merge" an operation by which a form letter is filled in
> with values from a database?  If so, the reason such an app is not
> readily apparent is because it is rather easy to script such a thing.


[snip example]
> I'm sure someone more familiar with sh/sed/awk could do it with those
> tools.  The point is that with text-based markup like LaTeX or groff
> or DocBook, it is quite easy to come up with a tag system of your own
> and a script to fill in the fields from a DB of your choosing.  This
> could be extended to grab the data from a SQL database or an XML file
> or whatever you want.  Certainly this script is not robust -- it
> assumes the input is valid.  The UNIX philosophy is to Do One Thing
> and Do It Well.  As a user you plug the tools together to get your
> work done.  Databases already exist.  Typesetting tools already exist.
> Plug them together for yourself.

But then then The Average User would have to learn the tools (read: 
programming languages).  It's been an end-user operation for 20 years 
(going back to WordStar 2.x) even on a nerdy OS like CP/M.  

Remember, The Average User doesn't care about The Unix Way, but
just wants a system that doesn't crash, get infected with virii,
and make him/her learn a lot of "hard" stuff.  In this case, all
the man wants is a pre-written system that lets him combine his 
form letter with his (probably flat-file) mailing list. 

| Ron Johnson, Jr.        Home: ron.l.johnson@cox.net        |
| Jefferson, LA  USA      http://ronandheather.dhs.org:81    |
|                                                            |
| 484,246 sq mi are needed for 6 billion people to live, 4   !
! persons per lot, in lots that are 60'x150'.                |
! That is ~ California, Texas and Missouri.                  !
! Alternatively, France, Spain and The United Kingdom.       |

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