Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Word: 1; Google Docs: 0 / Unix: 1; Web2.0: 0

Sometimes - not always, but sometimes - raw functionality wins out.

Case in point: I wanted to create a Google document for sharing that would contain a list of directory names in a two-column table so that a group could comment on the names. I figured that would be easy: paste the list into a document, select all of the names, and insert a table. Nope - Google docs apparently can't do that.

I had to first create that table in Word, then select that table and past it into my G-doc, where it was promptly recognized.

Welcome to the world of using bits and pieces of various applications to get the whole job done. The concept is a little like the Unix paradigm of creating lots of little single-function programs and then allowing us to connect them together with the "pipe" operation. It worked great and assuming you knew all the little programs that were on a Unix system, you could build your own little stream of simple tasks to accomplish a much more complicated problem.

Now that we have way more computer power and functionality, we're reduced to emulating the pipe mechanism with manual cut-and-paste operations.

This is progress?

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