[TUHS] attachments: MIME and uuencode

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Mon Mar 13 11:28:13 AEST 2017

On Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 08:34:27PM -0400, Dan Cross wrote:
> Or when the project management consultants ask to see your requirements
> document and you send it to them in troff and they write back, "I can't
> open this in Word." Sigh.
> One of my pet peeves when I got my first job outside of a university
> environment was that I was expected to drop all of the tools I'd been
> accustomed to using and start using "the standard", which basically meant
> something Microsoft based. Even though I was running FreeBSD on my
> workstation, and not Windows NT. It was somewhat maddening; whenever I
> tried to use Windows I felt like I was typing in jello because it was so
> unfamiliar.

Yep, agreed.  I fought the good fight in my company, our commercial
contract is a troff document (complete with troff's version of #ifdef so I
sourced a generic MLA, an Intel specific one, a Cisco specific one, an HP
specific one, an educational one, and something else I'd have to go look).

Invariably the customers would suck the roff output into word and wack
it and send it back.  I built up tools to deal with that, I'd export
back to text and then run it through something I call pfmt which 
reformats stuff such that each sentence starts on a new line.
That made it very easy to diff and see changes.

This actually caught some really bad behaviour on HP's part (this is
all ancient history so I doubt anyone cares).  They sucked it into Word,
turned on track changes, made some minor changes, then turned off track
changes and made some major changes.  If I had been trusting Word's
history we would not have noticed the major changes.  But I didn't,
I caught them, when they were presented to HP they did the classic
"however did that happen, we have no idea, blah, blah, blah".  Pretty
darn sleazy.


P.S.  For those of you who are business guys, yeah, every single customer
we have ever had has been on our paper.  Including Intel.  We may be the
only small company that can make that claim.

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