open source questionnaire

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A student doing a research paper on open source asked me if I could be interviewed. I said yes, of course, since I love doing whatever I can to advocate Linux. She sent me a questionnaire by e-mail.

A Word document attachment.

I politely wrote her back and suggested the use of non-proprietary formats in the future, especially when sending out an open source questionnaire – I was nice, though, and told her I’d extracted the text already. To this, she replied that she didn’t have any non-proprietary software on her system, but that she was working on it.

Ah, such is the insidious power of Microsoft! It causes people to forget that plain text and HTML files are eminently more open than the native Microsoft Word document, and much smaller too. Pffft. Not only that, people have gotten far too used to saving plain, unformatted text files as a Microsoft Word document, unaware of the other document types and the fact that they can produce such…

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