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    I wonder what the person tasked with fixing this felt. Despair? Joy over a thorny problem?

    I used to give MSFT a lot of cr*p when I was younger and dumber but the more I read and hear about them, the more their dedication to backwards compatibility becomes a weird badge of honor.

    Their branding department should be fed to the wolves, though.

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      My guess is:

      1. They lost the source code or the rights to it, but still have the right to distribute binaries; remembering that this was licensed from Design Science.

      2. The source code doesn’t compile with modern toolchains, and getting it working would require a massive refactor, more so than a binary patch.

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        Commenters on the reddit thread have the most likely theory: they need to keep the addresses of functions identical, because that’s how lots of old documents are linked.

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          That sounds like wet streets cause rain.

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            They do sometimes. It’s called the water cycle. I see your point, though.


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              I believe tedu was referring to this Michael Crichton essay, which includes the phrase:

              Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I refer to it by this name because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.)

              Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

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                Never saw that essay before. Thought Ted was just doing his wise guy routine. I probably stand corrected.

                That was a great essay, too. Thanks for sharing it.

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            Does someone have details how it work? Aren’t MS Equation objects OLE objects? Tried to find anything in .doc specification, seems that it has special treatment (not OLE-generic) for revision history for such objects, however it can be confused with new equation functionality in newer Word.

            And seems that Word loads equation editor .exe in similar manner to .dll? Are offsets to its functions stored right in .doc file?

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          Great patching and write up.

          Trying to save as much space as possible reminded me of my high school years. I was involved in the crack scene and tried to build the smallest crack template possible. I ended up putting assembly instructions in headers and jumping between them to save a few bytes more. I even managed to include the group’s logo. There’s also an article about producing the smallest possible ELF binary.

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            What’s the “crack scene”?

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              A part of / spin-off from the broad warez scene. The demoscene is also related.