Providing an answer when one can't clearly anunciate what it is?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/08/06 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

You may have seen the movie Class Action a few years back. It had Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in it.

The movie isn't very important to this blog, other than to note the whole concept of "dumping" a ton of documents during the discovery period of a trial when one subpoenas a single bit of information.

Obviously this a great way to hide information that one may not want the plaintiff to get, while still not violating the law by not handing over the requested information.

This makes for great drama, as you can probably imagine.

In many other cases, there are no nefarious purposes; there is just no easy way to determine how to get the information, so the "dump" is done to meet the letter of the law since the spirit is really hard to respect.

The latter kind of happened to me not too long ago. :-)

It all started when regular reader Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven asked over in the Suggestion Box:

Also Michael,

does Office 2007 introduce any new fonts, aside from the Vista C* fonts, with any language pack?

So I asked my Office colleagues if they had this information.

They had something.

What I got in my inbox was a ~1mb Excel spreadsheet listing 500 different font file names (separate file name when there were separate files for bold, etc.) in the columns and 771 different language/product/SKU combinations in the rows. And then any time that font file name shipped with that particular language/product/SKU combination, there would be an X at the intersection of that row and column.

There were 65,583 of those X's.

When the whole spreadsheet was converted to a PDF file, that PDF file was 1,258 pages and abot 4.59mb.

The spreadsheet could only be viewed in Excel 2007 since the 256 column limitation exists in prior versions....

It might have been faster to admit that they did not have the specific requested information. :-)

In theory the information could be retrieved from this, assuming the supplementary information of the fonts in Vista was also available so one could remove those items from the list.\

Or someone in Microsoft Typography could probably look at the list and with some time and some lookups could probably put the information together, too.

But all I can really say about this huge mound of information that I can't really publish to the blog or provide as an Excel spreadsheet of PDF for download is that the answer to the question is "maybe", though in all likelihood the only fonts that would meet the requested criteria would be fonts that have also shipped in prior versions and/or language versions of Office (this supposition based on the instincts of one of the Ofice people!).

But if you need definitive factual information then we're fresh out here, sorry!


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Larry Lard on 6 Aug 2008 8:01 AM:

You probably mean 'enunciate'. Or maybe 'annunciate', but that makes less sense.

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