Word attachment...on linuxtoday


I have read your article with great interest. We have been doing just what you advise for the last 2 years with some success.

We receive many word attachments that we don't need to work with but just view or print, like quotes, reports, etc...

We have advised all our suppliers that they should PDF the document instead and send it to us. In many case we win a lot of bandwidth as most professionnal communications will include huge embeded logos that pdf will easiliy reduce. Another way will be to zip all attachments...Some mail software do that but I personnaly don't like to click 10 times before being able to read the message.

I have been toying with the idea of forbiding word attachments from my Internet mail system because of the potential threat of containing viruses. In fact I would like to have a filter that check attachments to authorise only the ones that DO NOT contain code, like jpg, gif, pdf,... Many opensource file formats do not contain code YET. I have warned on the gnome devel list about creating file formats that will contain code. It is bound to happen to help users make it easy. I fear that it will happen soon in gnumeric and may already be contained in many openoffice file formats... The solution , each application should be able to save in a format that contains no code...

As for PDF, I have heard that the last versions of PDF will contain scripts. I was very disapointed with this decision as it will mean very soon that PDF documents will not be safe from viruses...

The drawback of PDF is that you need a proprietary software to convert your document into PDF. I think the FSF and GNU should think about a display/printing format free of any patent and widely published. I'm not sure if the format of PDF is open. Anyhow the limitation is that you have to acquire an Adobe licence to convert your files to PDF. In the old time in the Unix world many people were using compressed postcript to send documents, but this solution didn't make it to the windows world due to the obligation of buying a postscript viewer. There should be a FREE printer driver on windows and linux that print any document into a compressed format that can be viewed in a FREE reader.

By the way PDF do not understand transparency it seems.

In the latest technologies for e-books we see coming more proprietary format. I think it is time GNU do to documents what ogg vorbis did to mp3.

I think you have a call for volunteers to make....

Franck sopac org

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