The WordToys Playground
Saturday, January 22, 2005
I've just seen the ultimate killer app. And I hate it! It's called Wordfast, a translation tool used by (according to author Yves Champollion) 13,000 translators and 300 translation agencies. So, if it's so popular, what's wrong with it? Because it kills other people's business. As a Word add-in (a .dot file), Wordfast has the nasty habit of disabling all other add-ins. Yes, unbelievable but true, Wordfast bluntly kicks each add-in out of Word's Tools/Templates and Addins dialog box, and claims Word for itself!
Well, Monsieur Champollion, that's not on! I don't know if this behavior is inspired by arrogance or incompetence (or both), but there's no technical reason why your add-in can't live in peaceful coexistence with other add-ins. There's nothing on your web site or in your documentation that warns your users about this, so it's probably also illegal what you're doing. I happen to have a Word add-in (WordToys) that also has some nice features for translators, and I am not letting you kill my business.
I've found a simple hack to customize the Wordfast template, so it behaves in a civilized way. I'll publish it here in a few days time. If you're one of those thousands of translators who paid a lot of money for Wordfast, and you would like to use it together with other add-ins, stay tuned to this blog!

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