Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 29th Mar 2008 23:02 UTC
Features, Office Version 2.4 of the OpenOffice productivity suite was released on Thursday, boasting enhancements to all its core components. Possibly the most significant alteration in the new version of the free suite is in the description of file types. The 'OpenDocument' description has been replaced by 'ODF', which stands for 'OpenDocument Format' and is becoming a well-known acronym thanks to rivalry with Microsoft's controversial OOXML format.
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RE[7]: New features
by sbergman27 on Sun 30th Mar 2008 14:19 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: New features"
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

What's that got to do with anything?

I'm surprised that I have to spell this out for you. But why should I take advice on business spending policies from an OSNews poster who has never managed a business, over the proven track record of a successful and growing local business which has, over the last several years, expanded its service area to cover 2 states? Risk your own money starting a business. Gain some experience. And if you are successful, you'll have some credibility points. Until then, don't tell successful businesses how to spend their money, and what their policies should be.

Of course, what you are really going for, in this thread, and with limited success, is to paint me and my client as tyrannical, pointy haired dictators running a sweatshop right here in the American mid-west. To which I say that one of the things that I have been impressed with about this company is the way that it feels like a smaller company. Sure, as a growing enterprise, we have lots of newer employees. But many of the people I work with there I have been working with for the whole 16 years that this client has been under my care. It is, in a lot of ways, a big family. It's not the Walton's, of course. There is squabbling and disagreement, as in any normal family. But it is far from being a "faceless corporation". For the most part, everyone a each of the branch offices is on a first name basis with everyone at the other offices. And that includes the upper management and the owner.

Most of the employees recognize the benefits (and inevitable trade-offs) that the IT policies which we have implemented over the years bring. And most are comfortable with them. Perhaps the new features of OO.o 2.4, including the one which this one employee has been wanting, will make her comfortable, too.

Or perhaps you, sappyvcv, would like to make the business case, on her behalf, for why the lack of drag 'n drop column reordering in OO.o 2.3.1 is a significant enough impediment to warrant a change of policy? Please be specific in your arguments. I'm listening.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[8]: New features
by sappyvcv on Sun 30th Mar 2008 16:51 in reply to "RE[7]: New features"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

"Of course, what you are really going for, in this thread, and with limited success, is to paint me and my client as tyrannical, pointy haired dictators running a sweatshop right here in the American mid-west."

Nope, only that you and some others are slightly overzealous about getting people to use software X over software Y when they want to use Y, and them using Y over X doesn't intefere with them doing their job effectively. But I guess unless I run a business, I'm not allowed to have an opinion.

Now what if we switched this around? Myself, I prefer using Enterprise Architect over Microsoft Visio when I'm writing specifications. My company already had a license for Microsoft Office for me. It wouldn't be "cost effective" for them to purchase a license for EA. But they did. If I worked for the company you do, would you have approved a license? I can certainly get the job done with Visio as well.

Edited 2008-03-30 16:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: New features
by sbergman27 on Sun 30th Mar 2008 18:07 in reply to "RE[8]: New features"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Nope, only that you and some others are slightly overzealous about getting people to use software X...

I can't speak for "others", but only for myself. But as a professional consultant, I have no choice but to be a pragmatist, despite my personal leanings. I have to be able to demonstrate that my solutions are effective or I lose my credibility. And credibility, once lost, is very hard to win back. So I have to be careful. And I have to balance my responsibilities. And I have to be cognizant of short vs long term tradeoffs involved in my recommendations.

The way I do that is to be willing to hone my skills, and put in extra effort to make what I feel is the best long term decision, which is usually to go with OSS, work and work well, in the short term, as well. Very often, my extra efforts, often unpaid, are successful. Inevitably, there comes a time that the challenge proves to exceed my capabilities. And when I find myself in such a position, I *must* acknowledge it and do what is best. If I am truly cramming an OSS round peg into a business square hole, the the decision, distasteful as I might find it, is actually simple. Forcing an OSS solution that just isn't adequate is very poor advocacy. This is why I always keep the latest version of Crossover Office on my desktop servers. Some of the employees legitimately require IE. And, as a good consultant and OSS advocate, I must heed that. So far, fortunately, we have not had a legitimate need for MSO. The employee in question is very obviously blowing smoke. And as a good consultant I must heed that fact, as well. (Hence the tone of my original post, to which you seem to have taken so much offense.)

Sometimes I get myself in hot water with certain members of the FOSS community by showing my pragmatic side in public. But in my 20 year experience as a consultant, I have simply found no other way to do my job and also sleep well at night.

I hope that this helps to clarify my position.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: New features
by apoclypse on Sun 30th Mar 2008 20:29 in reply to "RE[8]: New features"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

I think your opinion is valid but impractical. I have yet to work in any business in the IT field where a user has a choice as to what software they use. Everythign is standardized where I work, from software to hardware. Right now we have all standardized on office 2003, some users have asked for 2007 and the answer is usually a hell no, unless they are program officers (big dogs) and they usually get a warning that they may not get support from us on that particular version due to our policy. That is the case if they use their own personal equipment and software.

We have been pushing OO.o to users through citrix (which makes it even slower) and have adopted pidgin as an IM client and that also is getting pushed through our login scripts. Users have no choice or say in the matter. They can install aim if they want but wil only get support for pidgin because its what we want them to use. You may think its unfair but this is done avoid arguments with users and to avoid costs on software we have no business supporting in the first place. We haven't even pushed vista yet, any machine we get gets our company image and that is using xp. Only 2 or 3 users are currently using vista as a test case and they are tech savvy users who know what they are doing and this includes the IT staff.

Reply Parent Score: 3