You haven’t presented any reasons that other people should stop using Word, other than that you don’t like it.
My counter is “I like it, and I need it for my job.”
That’s not arguing from personal incredulity. You are using your own opinion as an argument, and I’ve simply pointed out that this goes both ways. If you don’t like Word, that’s fine - but that’s your choice. The rest of us will make that decision based on our own experiences, not based on whether you like something or not.
You’re completely wrong here. It would be cherry picking to argue one point out of several, and then try to say I’m right because of this one thing. However, when the argument really boils down to one point, and you can prove that point wrong, then *bang*, you win the debate.
RMS bases his entire argument on one point. He doesn’t try to argue Word’s capabilities, its reliability, or its cost. He only argues its interoperability: that he can’t read word docs with open-source software. This was patently untrue in 2007, and it’s even more untrue now.
So if you can refute that one point, his argument is without merit.
His comments about spreading viruses are non-sequiter, since he’s not required to install Word to read a .doc file.
So let’s analyze this: the author writes an argumentative paper. He’s got a thesis and supporting evidence. He then has a conclusion, which is basically “we must shame the rest of the world in to doing things our way.”
The thesis: Some people cannot read word DOC files. Therefore everyone else must stop using Microsoft Word to generated documents.
He then presents supporting evidence: the assertion that the .DOC and .DOCX file formats are not readable by other word processors. However, he provides no references for his supporting evidence.
Finally, in lieu of a conclusion, he offers a call to action: everyone who objects to receiving a Word attachment should issue a notice to the sender, asking him to stop using Word.
Like all argumentative essays, the thesis is supported by arguments and evidence (that no one can read DOC files), and the conclusion is based on the validity of the thesis and the veracity of his evidence.
So you can invalidate his paper by refuting the logic in the thesis (IF this, THEN that.) or by challenging the evidence.
The logic in the thesis is basically “IF I can’t read your file format, THEN you must choose something else.” That’s fairly sound, assuming the evidence is satisfactory.
So what’s the evidence? That .doc files can’t be read satisfactorily. However, I can think of several tools that will allow me to read .DOC files, and I can do so without spending a dime: Microsoft Office’s online site, Libre Office, OpenOffice.org, free Word Viewer, Google Docs. And that’s just on desktop systems. I also have 3 different tools on my iPad that can read and generate .DOC files.
Then RMS goes on to argue about Word viruses. Does anyone else see the fallacy there? OpenOffice.org isn’t going to catch a virus based on a Microsoft Word exploit. Someone as educated as RMS should know this, so he’s obviously using fallacious logic to bolster his point. We call that “lying” where I come from.
As far as I can tell, what RMS is really arguing here is this: “because I don’t want to take the effort to read your communications, you must change your practice to adapt to my whim.” This isn’t an argument of fact. This is a statement of laziness. He wants the sender to do more work so that he can do less work.
Word won’t be eliminated everywhere.
Reading .doc files isn’t that hard.
RMS’s essay doesn’t prove why you should not use Word. It simply demonstrates RMS’s love for open source.