Mac OS X & Windows... "two" worlds ? Issue #1 of ~

Today's issue: Mac and Windows: The randomly missing SPACE

Hallo everybody,

this is the first issue, so before I start writing please allow a short foreword:

The consulting I am currently doing get's me into the wonderful situation to sit between all seats in terms of the IT environment. So I thought it is time to start occasionally Issues about interoperability between Apple Mac OS 7 - X and Microsoft Windows 2000 - Vista and Linux diverse distributions and UNIX diverse variations at all - but mainly I am very sure you will read stuff about Apples and Microsofts OS'es :-)

I promise - even though I consider myself more "in love" with Windows - to be as neutral as possible. If something is wrong on the one or other side, I am happy to correct it.

Note Users of both sides tend to be polemic and fundamental the moment you are talking about 'their' OS - since this is a moderated blog, everything I believe is a polemic, fundamental or whatever and does not help forward to overcome the issues etc. will not be published. So please think twice before you start posting.

Now the issue: The randomly missing SPACE

We got an interesting lead - thanks again Jörg - and I started to write the offer on my Windows PC with Office 2007, after some hours I finally felt like I entered the road to victory - the last thing was to have someone doing the editorial and of course the proofreading. As you know, after several hours working on the same doc, four eyes see more than two. My counterpart for this was a Mac OS X user with Office 2008 for Mac. After some forth and back changes us decided that's the offer to go. Great so far...

Two days later we got the information that the management of the company we offered our services declined the offer and to work with us - simply because they felt like we just delivered a sleazy made offer to them.

What happened?
Thunderstrucked by lightning we wondered what they mean. And "of course" they didn't give us the slightest hint. Re-reading our offer, we figured out that we lost several spaces so their feelings definitely were not about the numbers we were offering to them.

After some investigation we found the issue: Mac OS X & obviously many programs running on it do have several interoperability problems with SPACES. Even though this is nothing real dramatic since other systems despite of their age did and do have similar issues, here the issue is quite annoying - especially since I didn't get the chance to discuss the offer and of course didn't get the contract as well.

It also looks like this issue is not only limited to one version of OS X, up until today, 2008-07-23, all versions / updates of OS X do report similar issues - even though I found only one posting in the macrumors forum that is in relation to Word 2008. I described the issue more detailed at my answer of this post. The thread can be found at http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=5886400.

Not a solution, a work-around: As of today we simply changed our processes in the hope sooner or lattle Apple or Microsoft get's the problem solved. Our process enhancement simply forces everybody to do proof-reading of the entire document before it leaves the company or is stored as final.


Due to the fact that Mac users won't see the problem at all when printing the doc or reading it on their screen, they should save a PDF Version of the doc and proof-read here, this seems the only way to pin the issue down - or, give it to a 'Windows" colleague to open and save it on his machine and proof-read afterwards.

I am looking forward to get more stories or feedback on this one,


Ingo-Stefan Schilling


freeman said...

unfortunately some corrections are required

"Due to the fact that Mac users won't see the problem at all when printing the doc or reading it on their screen,"

correction: "Due to the fact that this incident only happens when a windows office user opens the document from a mac office user, double check the final version before you send it out"

because the document is on the mac "all fine" unless it has been opened and edited on the pc afterwards :-)

the 3 words version: " get a mac " :-)

freeman said...

I need to ad two lessons: even if you add minor changes to the so called "final version", always re-check your docs!

Second: if you send something at night, let a second person check your work.

This is burned into my head by now ;-)