Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds) - Joel on Software

A very timely reality check -- read the full post

[...] A normal programmer would conclude that Office’s binary file formats:

  • are deliberately obfuscated
  • are the product of a demented Borg mind
  • were created by insanely bad programmers
  • and are impossible to read or create correctly.

You’d be wrong on all four counts. With a little bit of digging, I’ll show you how those file formats got so unbelievably complicated, why it doesn’t reflect bad programming on Microsoft’s part, and what you can do to work around it.

Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds) - Joel on Software

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