Spolsky on VBA for Mac Office

Joel’s talking about Microsoft’s withdrawal of VBA in the Office Suite for Mac users.

Joel starts by explaining why VBA was strategic for MS:

However, it was seen as extremely “strategic.” Here’s what that meant. Microsoft thought that if people wrote lots and lots of VBA code, they would be locked in to Microsoft Office.

As Joel was on the Excel team at the time you’d expect this to be an accurate reflection of what was happening. It makes sense, Office is the big cash cow and always has been.

Towards the end Joel says:

they’re effectively making it very hard for many Mac Office 2004 users to upgrade to Office 2008, forcing a lot of their customers to reevaluate which desktop applications to use.

I’m guessing the outcome MS are hoping for is different; Apple have made great in-roads into compatibility with Windows, a lot of hard work of their own but also a move to internet and intranet approaches have helped shrink the gap. To the point where Macs are showing up more and more at conferences, in businesses and in homes. The removal of support for VBA on mac is unlikely to push mac users in business to run a different office suite, it’s far more likely to push their corporate overlords to move them back to Windows, or run Windows through Parallels or Bootcamp – either way MS get a mac customer back onto windows.

Sad.

Remiscent of Plagiarism Software…

The internet is a marvellous thing. As well as making such a vast amount of information available for legitimate use it also allows that information to be used to analyse infringing uses. There is plenty of anti-plagiarism software available for analysing text.

We’ve used the technique here at work during recruitment and during assessment of third party work. We had one applicant present a multi-media piece as his own “award winning” work when the award site clearly gave someone elses name as the creator – someone we know in that specific instance…

But in the past week or so a great new case appears to have popped up. It apparently started in April when a comic artist, Dave Kelly spotted that one of his images had been used on a t-shirt design published by Todd Goldman. Wikipedia covers the basic about Todd Goldman and the accusation of plagiarism.

Mike Tyndall has put together a piece showing a great number of what he describes as Todd Goldman designs and extremely similiar design from elsewhere. He leaves it as an exercise for the reader to decide if any plagiarism or infringment has taken place. He’s received objections to the content from Todd’s lawyers.

I wonder how this one will play out.