Linked by Martin Girard on Tue 12th Sep 2006 13:57 UTC
Linux You must remember the period where various electronic devices, from phones to radios, were available in transparent cases. You may have found them utterly cool. Yet the simple fact that you can't find these things on the shelves anymore (except for do-it-yourself PC cases) means the crowd doesn't find them nearly that cool. While you may not see the link yet, this is exactly why the Linux desktop will never be popular.
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RE[5]: Baloney
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 12th Sep 2006 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Baloney"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Document incompatbility? I haven't had that in the nearly 4 years of 100% Linux. People send me Word and Excel files. I open them. Life is good.

Yes, you open them. I am talking about little differences. For instance, when you have a document with a frontpage (title, name, studentnumber, course info, etc) after which, on the 2nd page, the actual report starts, you position the first header carefully to align with the top of page 2 (assuming there's no need for an index page). You do this in Word.

Then open it in Writer. Big chance, esp. with a bit more complicated documents, that all this alignment is now fcuked up. And this is just one example.

Another exmaple is how Writer does not seem to properly support commenting and teacher changes/remarks. Until things like this are resolved, no chance in hell I'll be able to depend on OOo. I need to be 100% sure that whatever reports/articles I write, they appear 100% correctly on other people's Word installations.

You are making it sound like Linux is unusable as a desktop system.

Don't talk nonsense. I literally said: "It's a great system, and definitely 'ready' for normal people, but as long as there's a Windows monoculture, and everyone else is using Windows and Windows-based files, giving Linux to normal people is impossible. No matter how good the system is."

Edited 2006-09-12 15:43

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Baloney
by markjensen on Tue 12th Sep 2006 15:51 in reply to "RE[5]: Baloney"
markjensen Member since:
2005-07-26

Thom,

Your complaint about OO.o vs. MSO is just that. It has bollocks to do with Linux. Here is a solution for this in Linux: CrossOver Office. Run MSOffice. Done.

And it is exactly that last line that I was talking about: "giving Linux to normal people is impossible". Surely you don't mean that it is truly impossible for a normal person to use Linux. Do you?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Baloney
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 12th Sep 2006 15:56 in reply to "RE[6]: Baloney"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Your complaint about OO.o vs. MSO is just that. It has bollocks to do with Linux. Here is a solution for this in Linux: CrossOver Office. Run MSOffice. Done.

Crossover Office fails to install Office 200/XP/2003 for me. Tried various different versions, on various different systems. I once did get it to work, but it was so horribly slow and unreliable it just did not make any sense at all.

If the best answer you have to serious file compatibility problems preventing people like me from switching to Linux full time (because I do use Linux, quite happily, actually), is Wine...

Surely you don't mean that it is truly impossible for a normal person to use Linux. Do you?

En masse? Yes, en masse it is impossible.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Baloney
by h3rman on Tue 12th Sep 2006 15:56 in reply to "RE[5]: Baloney"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

>> Don't talk nonsense. I literally said: "It's a great system, and definitely 'ready' for normal people, but as long as there's a Windows monoculture, and everyone else is using Windows and Windows-based files, giving Linux to normal people is impossible. No matter how good the system is." <<

Please don't say something is impossible .

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Baloney
by Adam S on Tue 12th Sep 2006 15:58 in reply to "RE[5]: Baloney"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Have you ever used Excel or Word professionally? I have been using Microsoft Office in actual business since 1996. Excel and Word have problems with formatting from machine to machine ALL THE TIME. If you're concerned about specific formatting, you should use PDFs, 'cause Office just don't cut it. Now that Word (as of 2003) defaults to this new "reading layout" when oipening files, that goes double.

As far as this "good enough" vs. "it must be perfect" mentality goes, I know that you and Eugenia claim to be usability experts, but formatting and usability are simply not the problem. I watch my users all the time, how the interact with the system. They would learn to use the alternatives in no time. But they need the *function*.

I work with what I see in the real world. In the real world, the formatting is DEFINITELY good enough, and not the problem. The problem, at least with Office compatiblity, is spreadsheet omnipresence. People use linked spreadsheets and use tons of macros and VBA scripts in the files. And these don't work reliably. And that's a showstopper.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Baloney
by galvanash on Tue 12th Sep 2006 17:31 in reply to "RE[5]: Baloney"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Yes, you open them. I am talking about little differences. For instance, when you have a document with a frontpage (title, name, studentnumber, course info, etc) after which, on the 2nd page, the actual report starts, you position the first header carefully to align with the top of page 2 (assuming there's no need for an index page). You do this in Word.

Then open it in Writer. Big chance, esp. with a bit more complicated documents, that all this alignment is now fcuked up. And this is just one example.


Sorry, but this type of misundertstanding of how to use a word processor is _why_ there are so many percieved issues with document portability... The reason that what you described causes an issue is because you shouldnt be doing it AT ALL. That is what page breaks are for... Page breaks are your friend, use them.

ps. Just fyi, that document you spent all that time on getting the vertical alignment just right wont only not display properly on Open Office, but there is a very good chance it wont display properly on MS Word either if the user has a different printer or is using different margins than you do...

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[6]: Baloney
by devurandom on Tue 12th Sep 2006 18:16 in reply to "RE[5]: Baloney"
devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

I write and format scientific papers in OO Writer (I'd love to use LaTeX, but my advisor cannot but use Word).

I send and receive arbitrarily complex .doc files without a hitch. Really. My Windows-only collegues don't perceive I'm on Linux, nor my OO.org perceives their files were done on Windows.

Reply Parent Score: 1