Thursday, September 6, 2007

Please, don't send me .doc attachments!

.doc as in Microsoft Word's proprietary format file

I know, thousands of MBytes have been written on this subject, but
beside the fact that it's a proprietary format and all those points that I support:

  • Microsoft Word documents cannot always be read by other word processors.

  • Documents produced with one version of Microsoft Word cannot always be read by other versions of Microsoft Word.

  • Microsoft Word documents are not guaranteed to look and print the same way on every computer and printer.

  • Microsoft Word documents are extremely large compared to other file formats.

  • Sending Microsoft Word files can violate your privacy.

  • Microsoft Word files are a security hazard.

I'd like to highlight one more aspect: if it's not a DOCUMENT then you should not send it as an attachment at all: just copy the bloody text in the email body. Or, at least, attach it as a text file that most email readers can parse and print in the email body.
Why am I so mad?
I received, a few hours ago, a simple table (1 page long) where I had to lookup my name and confirm some data written there. But guess what, it was an attached .doc instead of plain csv in the email message. And I had to go through all the mess of downloading it and opening the editor to read it.
I also received announcements (like "some papers are due until day x, 12:00 PM") in .doc attachments, or even empty emails that gave no sign about their purpose until you opened the attached .doc.
I cannot see the rationale behind these kind of actions: I mean, I know, it was probably easier for that person to attach the .doc she created for HER OWN PURPOSE then re-format that for the rest of the world, but you don't speak your native language that the other one does not understand just because it's easier FOR YOU. If you knew what you are doing and still did it for YOUR OWN COMFORT then you're a stupid lazy bastard and you fully deserve my eternal hate!
I can't imagine that people that send .doc attachments don't now that:

  • it is so damn annoying to have to download things (where to store it (damn, the desktop is full)? oh, and now I have to wait for that to download?, etc, etc)

  • the office editor (either MS's or OpenOffice) takes some time to load and this gets really annoying if you have some other applications running (you must now this, don't you?)

Imagine how much time this takes compared to just reading a piece of text in an email! I'd probably ignore that email if it didn't concern me too, and this is actually what you were counting on, isn't it? You devil! The next time I will send the response in hexa, because it concerns you and you're the one responsible of reading it and making communication between us possible!

For all these reasons,