Monday, October 06, 2003

Another review

It�s been a long time since office suites in general, and Microsoft�s in particular, generated much heat. The features that most users depend on most often were hammered out before these programs were even ported to Windows. Word�s document-handling prowess and Excel�s analytical power have matured over the years, and they are formidable assets, but the truth is the average information worker has little need of them. R�sum�s, memos, and e-mails are written in Word by habit, not by necessity. Excel is typically used just to format, convey, and visualize tabular data. The way to reinvigorate Office was not to pile on more elite functionality, but rather to expand the scope of routine tasks. Office 2003 does so in ways that make it, arguably, the most compelling upgrade ever.

8-1/2-by-11-inch pages, it�s a lousy way to feed a database. So, most Monster users rely on the cut-and-paste method to transfer r�sum� content from Word documents into its database. Soon, De Lorme says, Monster will try an alternative method. Job seekers who have Word 2003 will be able to download Word templates that solve two problems at once. First, they will allow users to create, edit, and print r�sum�s in the normal way. Second, their data will be mapped to XML elements and validated against HR-XML, the dominant XML schema in the human resources realm, allowing the information to be parsed by machines. If the experiment succeeds, job seekers will save time and everyone will benefit from high-fidelity data that can be easily exchanged and effectively searched.

Mozilla and hypocrisy

Right, but what about the experiences that Mozilla chooses to default for users like switching to  Yahoo and making that the default upon ...