Word 2004: Bug that causes Word to hang when using Spell Catcher X or TypeItForMe

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 4th, 2004 • 4:36 am

Word 2004 introduces a new bug that can cause an incompatibility with Spell Catcher X, TypeItForMe, and other tools used to automate text entry in documents.

This bug is described by Evan Gross, developer of Spell Catcher X, in a comment on one of Rick Schaut’s recent blog entries.

It’s a nasty one, but you will only encounter it if you have automatic entries that are longer than 127 characters and do not contain any paragraph marks (which is why I didn’t notice it right away: I don’t have any entries that are that long).

Microsoft is aware of the bug, which actually already existed in Word X, but in a less deadly form (Word would just truncate your entries, instead of hanging). Needless to say, Word is the only known application that has this bug. I am no developer, but Evan Gross’s description of it sounds like yet another indictment regarding the quality of Microsoft’s code. It’s basically a problem with Unicode routines that are not implemented properly in Word 2004.

Evan is already working on a work-around for Spell Catcher X — but of course the blame rests squarely on Microsoft’s shoulders, once again.

4 Responses to “Word 2004: Bug that causes Word to hang when using Spell Catcher X or TypeItForMe”

  1. Warren Beck says:

    From a reading of Rick Schaut’s blog entry, it is now very clear that the MacBU developers do not fully understand what is in the Word code base–there are things that were added by the WinWord people that have no relevance on the Mac side, and there are things there that were added in 1986 or so when the code base targeted old machines with small memory. It is amusing that Rick continues to defend their complex code base as an asset when he describes how hard it is to figure out why Word does unintended behaviors. The argument that Rick gives against starting over from scratch is also spurious. I renew my suspicion that the developers at Microsoft are drinking too much of the special Kool-Aid that they are provided by management. If they don’t stop drinking this Kool-Aid pretty soon, they will be in some trouble–they won’t be able to work productively with the code base. It can be convincingly argued even now that no progress is being made with Word.

    I think that this is a depressing trend; so much progress was being made in the late 1980s and early 1990s in developing useful desktop productivity applications. No progress is being made at this point, and one might even argue that things are starting to slide backwards. The problem is that as Microsoft goes, so goes the world. Now, the Linux and open software guys would argue that they offer an alternative route… but I think that it will take quite a few more years before professional users will find OpenOffice and the like an acceptable alternative to Microsoft Office.

  2. Evan Gross says:

    Warren…. Bingo!

  3. james says:

    although, by that time the openOffice (and other huge efforts) DO have a maintained cade-base whereas MS slides away more and more

  4. james says:


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