Linking to Word Docs November 12, 2002 12:26 PM   Subscribe

What do we think about posting links to Word documents? I have no opinion on this myself, but I think it's worth discussing. Should there be guidelines on linking to things that are not web pages (or PDF files)?
posted by mcwetboy to Etiquette/Policy at 12:26 PM (17 comments total)

One thought would be to advocate notifications for anything that isn't a web page and that might require additional software (Flash, PDF, movie files). That's usually done with movies and flash, I notice.

Security might be an additional issue with Word (or other) files.
posted by mcwetboy at 12:30 PM on November 12, 2002

Yes, it would be polite to warn people...

I believe the consensus is that non-html files should be noted as such...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:48 PM on November 12, 2002

I see the .doc in my status bar, and I don't click.

[I don't even have word, and not having word, makes a word .doc a nightmare to read..]

But yes, would be nice with a small warning like (.pdf) or (.doc) like people say (flash) after linking to a flash site.

On preview.. Hey - I get no preview....??? strange [NS7 mac classic]...
Back in IE.. everythang works. okay.
posted by dabitch at 1:14 PM on November 12, 2002

It's been the norm to notify people in advance about Flash, pdf, doc, mpeg, Real, Quicktime, Shockwave, etc, links. I use the status bar, too, but I still think the poster has a responsibility to point them out, in both posts and comments. That should probably go into the FAQ, and maybe in the posting guidelines. Do folks think the security issues are serious?
posted by mediareport at 1:23 PM on November 12, 2002

Sorry, first post, will do in the future. I wasn't thinking as the .doc opened up as a web page on my browser when I found it. Humble apologies for anyone who had problems! I'm learning, will be better in the future!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:26 PM on November 12, 2002

I'm not paying for Office, and Abiword seems to open .doc formats. What is the security issue with .doc?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:41 PM on November 12, 2002

That happened to me recently anyone have any explanation what's going on that's posting previews?
posted by Pollomacho at 2:07 PM on November 12, 2002

If you're using Mac and you hit the back button, there you go . . .
posted by yerfatma at 2:09 PM on November 12, 2002

I'm on a PC and no hitting of the back button here, any advice?
posted by Pollomacho at 2:12 PM on November 12, 2002

[this could be a virus?]
posted by walrus at 2:12 PM on November 12, 2002

PST, you have a look @ thought process, can I see?

posted by thomcatspike at 2:13 PM on November 12, 2002

anyone have any explanation what's going on that's posting previews?

Oh, I wish I could blame the system. This was me hitting post, noticing a problem, hitting stop, adjusting the problem, hitting post, noticing another mistake, hitting stop, etc. all the time not realizing that 1) the posts were going through, 2) because I was making changes they weren't getting caught as dupes.

And the last post still isn't right. What the holy crap are ".doc formats"?

posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:22 PM on November 12, 2002

Back on topic, I have no problem with people linking to any sort of file format. If they link to a .doc, and I don't have a program to read it, then so what? I especially see no problem with the ubiquitous .pdf file format.

I think that if you feel the need to baby-sit for people with anemic net connections, it might be courteous to provide some sort of warning for file size if it's over a certain amount.
posted by crunchland at 2:24 PM on November 12, 2002

Pink, .doc is the standard MSWord document format. Evil people sometimes hide macro viruses in .docs, potentially crippling your PC if your security is down.

I'm in favor of a warning, but beyond that I see no problem with links to .docs or other formats.
posted by me3dia at 2:51 PM on November 12, 2002

What some call "baby-sitting," crunchland, others call acknowledging reality. The number of high-speed Internet users, while growing fast, "will still take five years to overtake the number of dial-up subscribers in the United States." And MeFi *is* an international site. Courtesy to users without high-speed access is hardly too much to ask.

And again, does anyone know how serious the security issues are here? I know there have been problems with Word and macros in the past (as I see on preview me3dia just pointed out), and I know MS has addressed the issue in later versions of Word, but I'm curious if opening Word files in IE or other browsers is still seen by security folks as problematic.
posted by mediareport at 3:09 PM on November 12, 2002

M3dia: Oh, I know what it is, but there's only one of it (I made a dummo reference to ".doc formats": I think I meant ".doc documents" which sounds stupid for other reasons). Did not know about hiding an evil macro in there though.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:13 PM on November 12, 2002

Please allow me to correct my own U.S.-centrism. South Korea apparently has the highest broadband penetration in the world, at 40% of all households.
posted by mediareport at 3:17 PM on November 12, 2002

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