Poll

Which software is more useful?

Word/Word processor
20 (58.8%)
Web Browser
14 (41.2%)

Total Members Voted: 34

Author Topic: SOFTWARE Round 1: Word vs Web Browser  (Read 1888 times)

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PSMKay

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SOFTWARE Round 1: Word vs Web Browser
« on: Dec 01, 2014, 12:08 am »
It's been predicted that the software division is going to be the one to watch for brutal matches this year, and this opening pair-up is leading the pack in a major way! We've got two heavyweight candidates on the block vying for your votes. Who will move on to round two: the word processor or the web browser? Only ONE will survive the next three days!

Word
Word processing as a technology dates back to the 1920s. Software that allowed typing and saving of documents to diskettes was available from the earliest incarnations of personal computers. Historic predecessors to modern WYSIWYG word processing software include Multimate, WordPerfect and pfs:Write.

Microsoft Word came along in 1983 and was designed to be used with a Mouse and display text in a "What you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) format. This style of word processor took off. MS Word helped to make common such tools as the spellchecker, the .doc extension and mail merges.

The cost of MS Word has been prohibitive for many artists, including stage managers. Free open source clones such as LibreOffice Writer have made word processing power more accessible.

It has been said on SMNetwork that Word, along with fellow competitor Excel, allowed stage managers to lead the charge bringing computers into the backstage environment. The question this year is whether or not it has been superseded by newer technologies as the most useful member of the SM's digital toolkit.

Browser
Word is facing a massive competitor in this first match in the form of the web browser. Web browser software has a history to rival word processing, dating back to NCSA Mosaic in 1993. Whether you use IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, Dolphin, AOL Browser or some other software of choice, there's no denying that the web browser is the doorway to nearly every other competitor in this season's lineup.

Browsers can be big and unwieldy, and their exposure to the internet mandates frequent patching of security flaws to keep your data safe. It could be said that the difference between a smartphone and a dumbphone is delineated by the ability to handle a web browsing app.

The browser's existence as a portal to the internet makes it a dual-edged sword. While it can be a connection to historical data, web-based email and many of the tools we'll be discussing this season, it can also serve as a major distraction in the rehearsal room. Its siren song has led many stage managers to ban laptops in rehearsal.

Will this drawback be the downfall of the browser as it goes up against Word? Your votes will tell the story this week. This poll will remain open through Dec 3 at midnight EST.
« Last Edit: Dec 03, 2014, 08:49 pm by PSMKay »

mlerolston

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Re: SOFTWARE: Word vs Web Browser
« Reply #1 on: Dec 01, 2014, 11:15 pm »
But... but... Google Drive is on a web browser and eliminates the need for separate word processing!

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Maribeth

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Re: SOFTWARE: Word vs Web Browser
« Reply #2 on: Dec 02, 2014, 10:22 am »
Ah, but I think Google Drive is less "print-friendly" than Word....It's great for sharing things like meeting notes, but less helpful for something with particular formatting.

Plus, Word works even if you don't have internet!

Tempest

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Re: SOFTWARE: Word vs Web Browser
« Reply #3 on: Dec 02, 2014, 12:55 pm »
If this were Excel vs. either of those, I wouldn't have a problem choosing, but Word vs browser...

I'm gonna go with web browser. Most of what I use word processing for, I COULD generate by hand, or do just as easily in excell, but I can't research most of the stuff I find myself looking up during rehearsals without a web browser.
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BenTheStageMan

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Re: SOFTWARE: Word vs Web Browser
« Reply #4 on: Dec 02, 2014, 02:17 pm »
I have to agree with Tempest here.  Although Maribeth is right, Google's solution isn't as good about creating something to print out.  But keep in mind with Office.com, you can have Word IN a web browser!  So the web browser gets my vote.
"Show people are doomed!  Doomed to a life of booze...and pills...and heavy meals late at night!" -Judy, "Ruthless!"

nick_tochelli

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Re: SOFTWARE: Word vs Web Browser
« Reply #5 on: Dec 02, 2014, 03:44 pm »
Wow......these results are shocking....almost appalling really.

You know you can do word processing in a web browser, right....

bex

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Re: SOFTWARE: Word vs Web Browser
« Reply #6 on: Dec 02, 2014, 05:52 pm »
changed my vote... forgot about google docs!
You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

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loebtmc

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Re: SOFTWARE: Word vs Web Browser
« Reply #7 on: Dec 02, 2014, 09:34 pm »
I have to go with Word. Cuz I work in small companies that have older (donated) computers or luddites in the office. So, Word means they can open, interact and print easily. Anything else is way, way beyond their ken.

LSteckman

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Re: SOFTWARE: Word vs Web Browser
« Reply #8 on: Dec 03, 2014, 08:10 am »
It's true that Google Drive doesn't allow as specific of formatting as Word, Excel, etc, but it DOES have an offline mode that works great (continues to auto-save, and updates your online version as soon as you reconnect to the internet). I also love the way that Drive integrates chat functions into documents, so you can edit things alongside the rest of your SM team AND communicate with them even if you are spread out over multiple rehearsal spaces. Does it count as cheating for the purpose of December Madness if you download google docs in Word format? :)

Of course, Word is a godsend, but almost everything you can do in Word, you can do in a web browser, especially Chrome with all its addons. And, if I had a nickel for every time I saved five minutes of rehearsal time by googling something the cast/director were arguing about/trying to remember/etc ("Who was president in 1932?" "How big is [dog breed]?" "It's just like in--oh, what's that movie, the one where she rolls around in money?")...well, I'd have a lot of nickels.
« Last Edit: Dec 03, 2014, 08:13 am by LSteckman »

Michelle R. Wood

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Re: SOFTWARE: Word vs Web Browser
« Reply #9 on: Dec 03, 2014, 09:47 am »
Wish there'd been a write-in option for LibreOffice Write. :)

Seriously, though: I had to go with web browser. While it is true I rely a lot on offline tools to get things done (some theatres and rehearsal spaces still don't have good WIFI access), the number of things I can do with access to the Internet (email, research, DropBox, etc.) increases exponentially from the number of things I can do in Word. Not to mention, if for some reason I don't have software for something, I can easily hop online and download it or anything else I need.
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BenTheStageMan

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Re: SOFTWARE: Word vs Web Browser
« Reply #10 on: Dec 03, 2014, 02:23 pm »
Meanwhile, Google Docs just added the ability to edit MS Office Files without having to convert them to Google's formats.  Story here on Engadget:http://www.engadget.com/2014/12/02/google-drive-office-files-gmail/
Maybe it's enough to swing the votes in Web browser's favor? Or is it too little too late from team Internets?
"Show people are doomed!  Doomed to a life of booze...and pills...and heavy meals late at night!" -Judy, "Ruthless!"

PSMKay

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Re: SOFTWARE: Word vs Web Browser
« Reply #11 on: Dec 03, 2014, 02:28 pm »
Wish there'd been a write-in option for LibreOffice Write. :)

From the opening thread instructions:
Quote
One special note for this year: the bracket due to limited space uses commercial software that's also available in popular free alternative versions. The use of a brand name is not meant to discount these alternatives - please include them in your considerations. The function matters more than the brand. (In other words, if you use LibreOffice Writer feel free to consider it in the place of MS Word when it's game time.)

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