inessential by Brent Simmons


Radio UserLand 7.0b34 is out. Among the bug fixes is one that has annoyed me for a long time -- on Windows 2000, when you click the Edit With Radio button, Radio actually comes to the front now rather than just flashing in the taskbar. AFT.

Mac users -- I need your help. I need a word processor. The last word processor I used regularly was Word 5 for Macintosh (in 1995). So it's been years; I'm out of touch.

I tried Word 98, and didn't like it, so that's out. (See #3 below.)

What else is there?

Here are my requirements:

1. It should be actively maintained. That means no WordPerfect, sadly. An OS X port in progress is a bonus, though I don't need an OS X version now.

2. It should output to at least one format that Word 98 can read. (Unfortunate but necessary.) RTF would be fine.

3. When I freakin' double-click on a freakin' word, it should not freakin' select the freakin' space after the freakin' word, it should just freakin' select the freakin' word it-freakin'-self.

4. I need to be able to run a demo before I buy.

5. If it has a ton of toolbars and icons and stuff, I need to be able to turn them off. The closer I get to a plain blank window, the happier I'll be. Everything else distracts.

6. I need to be able to set the default font and font size for new documents.

7. I need to be able to save as plain text.

8. Scriptability is a bonus.

Suggestions? Send me email or reply to this message in the discussion group. Thanks!

Update 2:30 PM: The most common recommendation so far is Nisus Writer, followed by AppleWorks and FrameMaker. One person suggested that I could customize Word 98 to make it work the way I want it to. Another suggested a combo of BBEdit and Quark XPress.

What I'm going to do: 1) download a demo of Nisus Writer and 2) try AppleWorks. Those are the contenders.

Update 3:24 PM: It was suggested that I try BBEdit. My response was: "I'm already a BBEdit user. It and Stuffit Expander are the only two apps with aliases on my desktop. BBEdit is the reason I've been able to go the last 5 years without a word processor."

This is cool -- at the bottom of Paul Andrews' latest column in the Union Record, there's a link to his weblog.

Well, sort of cool -- it's not really a link, just the URL. And they spell it as "Web log" rather than "weblog." Oh well.

The Union Record website is a PHP site. PHP is cool, btw. But one thing I find funny about the site is that you can make any article appear in any section. (Not the fault of PHP.)

For instance, just by changing the URL, Paul Andrews' column can appear in the Sports section.

Probably only someone who works on content management systems would get a kick out of discovering minor glitches like this.

The first part of the path /sports/ or /biz/ or whatever controls the template. The ?ID=1785 part identifies an article. It's such a nice, simple system.

At long last, the Linux 2.4 kernel has been released.

As part of some tests I did yesterday, I installed Netscape 6. And you know what? I'm still using it, on both Windows and Macintosh. I was surprised to find that I like it. So far I haven't run across many bugs, nothing more than very minor annoyances. (MSIE has its share of bugs, too.)

I'm using the Modern theme. Netscape is prettier than MSIE. That counts for something, indeed it does, because it's important not to get depressed by the drab flat grayness of MSIE.