Thursday, March 30, 2006

The joys of rich text format wordprocessing

I needed to lookup something I'd written in Living with the Beast so I googled on faughnan OS X word processor. I found my page, but next to it I found a great article that referenced it:
O'Reilly Network -- TextEdit's Default Format: RTF... Why?

... A quick glance at Planet Jeffery's list of text and RTF editors for Windows gives you an idea of the level of demand for utilities like this. Writers, or anyone who needs to meddle with text every day, have been known to find the bloat and weight of well-known word processors too much to handle. Those who have to use Word come up with strategies for coping--see John Faughnan's Living with the Beast for an entertaining example.

Many people have simple requirements, such as access to simple formatting controls while writing. A lightweight processor, especially one that uses the RTF format, is often the best solution...
Aside from the reference to my page, it's a terrific reference that describes the pros and cons of using RTF as a file format. Today RTF is still the most interoperable file format, though I think every RTF user is hoping that a more robust open document format will replace it (such as the OpenOffice entry or even, shudder, Microsoft's maybe-sort-of-pseudo-open-for-now-kind-of alternative).

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