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Re: wordperfect 5.1 for unix, and debian?

On Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 3:19 AM, Gary Dale <garydale@torfree.net> wrote:
> On 20/12/14 10:21 PM, Karen Lewellen wrote:
>> Not you Patrick, someone else.
>> I am sort of quoting
>> "I still do not know what you have against <whatever they  were
>> suggesting> it is  far superior to wordperfect.
>> Odd idea about a virtual machine too.
>> The is far superior is the sort of thing I mean.  Especially when so many
>> others have reasons to appreciate their own  word processor preferences.
>> Kare
> I believe I'm the person who made the remark. It's based on comparing
> features,

features that you like and know how to find

> ease of use

according to what you're used to

> and stability.


I laugh in your face.

Unless, I suppose, you mean the stability when tryihg to run it in
wine on current Linux boxes, or perhaps the Mac version.

WP 5.1 on DOS was as stable as word processors get. Period.

Macintosh WordPerfect of the same vintage, not so stable. There were
technical reasons for that involving the ability of the old Macintosh
libraries to support techniques used internally in WordPerfect.

> If you took an independent evaluation
> of the current crop of word processors available in the world, and compared
> them against WP51, I doubt anyone would rate WP51 above the major free
> options.

I suppose you're into doubting the existence of countries you've never
been to? Even when engaging in a conversation with people who claim to
be from that country?

This thread includes posts from people who use LO/OO reguarly and
would rather use WP, you know.

> At some point we should just accept that some products are just better than
> others.

Do you really mean to say that, at some point, everyone should accept
your opinion?

> Familiarity may make you comfortable with a product but the computer
> world never stands still. Clinging to the past leads to problems with
> keeping things current - such as finding a way to run WordPerfect on a
> platform that the manufacturer no longer supports.
> I also recall WP's reveal codes. Funny thing is, I've never missed them.
> LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org before it never messed up my documents enough
> to make me want to see what they were doing.

And that explains exaclty what makes WP uninteresting to you.

Which is fine with me.

> As for whether the user interface is good or bad, I don't really care. I
> hate a lot of the current crop of user interfaces because they try to get
> too clever. The best user interface is the one that works for that
> particular user.

You can say that much, but you can't admit that the underlying
paradigm might also have its advantages and disadvantages? That the
best way to process text internally is the one that works for the
particular user?

I don't think we are talking about simple algebraic automata with,
say, ten inputs and ten outputs and a pre-specified algebraic
language, such that all word processors must implement that algrebraic
language to be called word processors.

> For the great unwashed masses of us who don't spend all day "word
> processing", we want one that allows us to find the features we want when we
> need them. LibreOffice does that.

For you it does, apparently. For me, frankly, I'd rather use MSWord,
even with that accursed ribbon interface.

Hmm. Some people actually like the ribbon interface. And I'm not
saying that with a wink and a nudge and a knowing chuckle.

It collects the stuff they need where they need most often and puts
where they can find it. The only complaint I have about it is that
Microsoft wants everyone to accept that their UI and internal
paradigms, their definition of a word processor, is "superior" and
"more modern" and therefore everyone should just up and abandon
whatever they think they like best and come running and use
Microsoft's Office products.

Salesmen who talk like that see me smile and nod politely, but they
rarely see my money. If they get offended about it, they just see the
door that much sooner. But it doesn't bother me that my co-workers use
MSOffice, unless my co-workers get sucked into cooperating with those

> A lot of the new crop of interfaces like
> to hide things away to make the top bar smaller. This effectively gives you
> an extra layer of menu to get to the feature you want. It may look snazzy
> but it doesn't help me process words.

You can see this, but you can't see that.

OK. That's fine, too. Just don't be surprised that some people
disagree with you, and that some find the way you offer your opinions

(I've heard people whose opinions I respect opine that, had
WordPerfect opened their source code instead of selling the company,
MSOffice would be a dead product now, with all the ramifications that
would hold.)

Points on topic:

People who haven't tried LibreOffice/OpenOffice might find it worth
their while to do so. Or not. It's probably worth an hour or two of
trying it out.

Likewise the various alternatives based on TeX, such as lyx. Those who
find "reveal codes" functionality useful, depending on their reasons,
may well prefer the TeX-based solutions, as well. And TeX isn't going
to disapear soon either.

(And I'll kind of not really mention SGML based word processing, which
both MSWord and LO/OO are trying to use, but not yet doing very well.)

For those who want to use WP5.1, the Unix versions are going to be
harder to find emulators for than the DOS versions, and the DOS
versions are going to be most stable under a DOS OS, whether direct on
the hardware or under a VM. (And Linux is not Unix. Sigh.) And the VM
option will continue to be available for a while, too, thanks to open
source and fanaticism about old systems. (Hurray!)

Be aware that WordPerfect does not support Unicode very well. Also be
aware that newer versions do work with Japanese, for instance, using
the older character encodings.

And there are ways to convert formats, some with less loss than others.

(And I'm still curious as to which Unix for which CPU Karen's find was
for. I'm sure it's valuable to someone, even if Karen doesn't decide
to go hunting for an emulator for that Unix, for the thrill of the

Joel Rees

Be careful when you look at conspiracy.
Look first in your own heart,
and ask yourself if you are not your own worst enemy.
Arm yourself with knowledge of yourself, as well.

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