Bummer

August 7th, 2006  |  Published in etc

Macworld: News: WWDC: Microsoft updates Universal status of Mac apps:

Virtual PC isn’t the only Microsoft technology getting the axe — Microsoft also indicates that it is discontinuing support of Visual Basic scripting in the next version of Office for Mac, but on the flip side, the company said it’s going to increase support for standard Mac scripting methods like AppleScript and Automator. VB macros embedded within files will not be accessible, but the files can be edited without affecting or changing the macros, according to Microsoft.

For the record, I hate VB macros. I can read them, and even pick at them a little when they’re inflicted on me, but I don’t like them.

That said, I worked one gig where being able to use them made things immensely easier in a “someone has already done this for me” kind of way. Faced with the same body of work and improved Applescript support but no VBScript, I doubt I would have been up to writing scripts of that complexity on my own. Scripts that saved hours of drudge-work per job.

On the one hand, yay ‘coz more billable hours. On the other hand, suck, ‘coz more time spent doing stupid stuff.

More to the point, Macs in general will be just that much less interoperable in general in contexts where that interoperability is crucial: Places where Office is a must not because of a general need for “being able to read .doc files,” which anything calling itself a word processor can at least *kind of do*, but where it’s a must because there’s a massive ecosystem of cobbled-together glue scripting that’s inconceivable on another set of tools either because of the implied porting effort or the simple lack of Office’s gargantuan feature-set.

Huh. On a few moments’ reflection, I guess I’ve had an opinion about this for a few years.

Leave a Response

© Michael Hall, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.