[clug] weird tender requirements

Paul Wayper paul.wayper at anu.edu.au
Fri Oct 27 06:29:42 GMT 2006

Alex Satrapa wrote:
> Do *you* know what version of a document you sent to your client?
And what they get if they check the revision history, or start undoing
saved edits, or start looking around in the document with a hex editor. 
Do they see that the document was originally named
"Rake-in-the-bucks.doc" or "Stupid-bloody-tender.doc" and that you've
just slotted their names in a stock template?  So many of these things
have happened in real life.  It's partly for these reasons that things
like PDFs were invented.  At least by exporting it to e.g. RTF you get a
document untainted by its own history...

I also think that the 'editable document' problem is not insignificant. 
Most people don't keep a paper copy, or even an obvious backup copy, of
documents they send.  If you found out you'd won the tender and then
found out that you'd agreed to an extra set of conditions which somehow
miraculously appear on their copy and don't on yours, who's going to
win?  Do you take them to court?  Maybe this isn't so much of an issue
with some situations, like tenders, where the application is the first
step in a process which sees people meeting in boardrooms to go over
documents together.  But it's a possibility for a whole spectrum of
other situations.

It's worth pointing out here that this is one of the ways that
Microsoft's pushing DRM into Office: so that people can read documents
but can't edit them, and you can verify who wrote and published the
document.  You can see why big businesses and government departments
might fall for the idea that this would make their documents more
secure; when in fact Microsoft is the implicit signatory to all of these
transactions and has locked them into using Microsoft products even more
than before?

Have fun,


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