You raise an interesting question. The very short answer is a mismatch between programming resources and procedures
and the task of putting out TMG 8.
I am taken by the utter ignorance of the true state of affairs at WG among all of us debating this issue (including myself)
regarding WG's programming capabilities. Thus, we are all reduced to speculation as to the reason for various delays,
decisions among alternatives, etc. My personal vision of the programming staff at WG varies betwen dozens of
programmers with state-of-the-art tools and Bob Velke laboring at writing the code all by himself. I am sure that the real
situation is somewhere between the two extremes, but I fear that it is closer to the second.
Michael Hannah offers a reason that "the Version 7 report generator was an old third-party commercial product which waswritten in 16-bit code
" - although I must have missed the fact that it had "been reported by WG several times over the pastseveral years
". Given Mr. Velke's pride in having written the earlier versions of TMG primarily by himself, I would tend to
doubt that the 16-bit code of the report generator was in fact a third-party commericial product - but I am willing to accept
that the report generator code through TMG 7 was old and 16-bit.
But, given this, I still do not believe that the addition
of a WordPerfect reporting capability to the initial release of TMG 8
is a significant programming task. My reasoning, which was based on my reasonable speculation that an intermediate
report format template was used, was given earlier (before Michael Hannah's speculation):
In order to accomodate multiple output word-processors, I would think that the design of the report writer would be to first
produce an intermediate form of the report. This intermediate format should have all the information required for generic
word processor in an immediately accessible form. This intermediate "report" would include specific data on the
individuals, the parsing and completion of the sentences, index pointers, tab settings, etc. This, in fact, might be difficult -
or, in John Cardinal's words, "time-consuming and frustrating". And it should be the major part of the work in rewriting the
But, this intermediate stage has to have already been completed - for, among others, Microsoft Word or other word
processor support. All that remains in the case of WordPefect is the mapping from the intermediate format to the specifics of
the WordPerfect file format. Given that the WordPerfect file format has not changed for ages and that Wholey Genes already
knows how to format a WordPerfect file from their work in the earlier versions of TMG, no research would seem to be
needed. Neither would there be any ambiguities to be resolved or other hidden obstacles overcome. Again, I don't see any
In case the point of the quote was missed, I said that rewriting the report generator was perhaps difficult, but once
accomplished (as was the case in the initial release of TMG 8), the addition of a WordPerfect capability was not at all
The history of TMG 8 points to a serious understaffing of the programming resources devoted to the rewrite. The several
years delay in its release was telling. The programming magnitude of the rewrite, aside from the report generator, was
modest. The labyrinth of the TMG 7 file structure with its duplications and redundacies was retained and the incremental
capabilities offered were relatively simple to implement. The fact that, after such a delay, the initial release should only
concentrate on a Microsoft Word capability speaks to the sparsity of the WG resources devoted to the task.