Linked by lemur2 on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 22:30 UTC
Features, Office The Calligra Office Suite has announced its second snapshot release. The project, which is a fork of KOffice, is building a suite of productivity and creativity applications and is working towards its first formal end-user release due in October. The project is seeking feedback from end users particularly in the area of usability of the GUI. With this snapshot Calligra Office Words is claiming better compatibility with .docx than LibreOffice, and also claims to be approaching the best compatibility with legacy .doc formats.
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holding things back
by stabbyjones on Thu 23rd Jun 2011 05:18 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

The two things holding open office suites back for me is the poor docx conversion and horrid interfaces.

The old ms office style of menu after menu is overkill and a horrid waste of time. It doesn't have to be a ribbon, it just has to use the space better.

The final step is to make sure I can open my resume and it looks the same as it does in Word.

Technically this isn't totally their fault; but Microsoft makes it very easy for people to keep relying on Office. When they can't open documents they've created earlier and print out an exact replica they go right back to Office.

Office OpenXML really pisses me off...

Reply Score: 3

RE: holding things back
by lemur2 on Thu 23rd Jun 2011 05:45 in reply to "holding things back"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The two things holding open office suites back for me is the poor docx conversion and horrid interfaces. The old ms office style of menu after menu is overkill and a horrid waste of time. It doesn't have to be a ribbon, it just has to use the space better.


These are the very two areas that Calligra Office hopes to improve on. This aim was stated in the first snapshot release:

http://www.calligra-suite.org/news/calligra-announces-first-snapsho...
Our goal is to provide the best application suite on all platforms based on open standards. That is no small goal. We feel now that we have improved the foundation enough to start working seriously on improving the user experience. For this, we need the help of our users!

We will therefore release monthly snapshots, starting today, until the final release in October. These snapshots will be packaged by most major Linux distributions and instructions on how to install them will be provided too. We hope to get lots of feedback on the snapshots so that in October we can finally announce "Calligra is now end user ready and is the most usable free office suite of all".


For an indication of the state of play with regard to the Calligra Office suite GUI, there was a "Tour" posted at the time of the first snapshot release a month ago:

http://www.calligra-suite.org/news/calligra-2-4-snapshot-1-tour/

The GUI is one of the primary areas targetted for improvement, along with compatibility with MS Office, performance and layout. The existing GUI has widescreens in mind, and it is fairly consistent across the multiple applications.

The final step is to make sure I can open my resume and it looks the same as it does in Word. Technically this isn't totally their fault; but Microsoft makes it very easy for people to keep relying on Office. When they can't open documents they've created earlier and print out an exact replica they go right back to Office. Office OpenXML really pisses me off...


This is actually a double standard, if you think about it. MS Office is, after all, absolutely abysmal at opening documents and having it look the same as in the originating application if that originating application was not MS Office. Abysmal. Utterly hopeless.

Edited 2011-06-23 05:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: holding things back
by stabbyjones on Thu 23rd Jun 2011 06:50 in reply to "RE: holding things back"
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

Tables and weird formatting just never seem to convert correctly. I'll install all the KDE libs just to get better docx conversion.

An included mobile version is a great idea too. I'm really looking forward to trying this out now!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: holding things back
by bassbeast on Sat 25th Jun 2011 15:45 in reply to "RE: holding things back"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Ya know I hear this "meme" for lack of a better word, of MS Office being incompatible with itself but honestly I've never seen it and I mess with some seriously large docs with all kinds of funky formatting. I also have multiple versions of MS Office to deal with, with this machine I'm typing on running my beloved Office 2K while my home machine has Office 2K7 and my oldest has Office 2K3. I also had to deal with a project where I had people collaborating with Office 2K, 2K3, 2K7, and one on Office for Mac (2K4 I believe) and again ZERO problems.

Compare this to Open Office where I've actually seen family members get their grades dinged because OO.o turned out word salad when opened in Office 2K3, with broken headers and footers and when I was in school I myself got dinged because the teacher couldn't open an Open Office doc with MS Office without it looking like a shotgun splattered mess.

This is why I only give LibreOffice (I swear, what is it with FOSS and lousy names? Caligra? LibreOffice? Gimp? what's next, the Goatse video player?) to home users with the warning that as long as they are gonna print the results, or are just writing a doc for their own use? its all gravy. but if you are actually needing to share or collaborate with the outside world, or heaven forbid send a resume? Do NOT use a FOSS Office suite.

Oh and there is a DocX compatibility pack for MS Office 2K and 2K3 and it works quite well, I have NO trouble opening the files created with Office 2K7 and up. There are plenty of things to complain about when it comes to MSFT, but the quality of their business software ain't one of them. there is a reason why despite "free as in beer" people would rather buy or pirate MS Office, and that is because it does make a difference when you have to share your creation with the outside world.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: holding things back
by Neolander on Thu 23rd Jun 2011 05:55 in reply to "holding things back"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Give right clicks a chance. The popup menus really have improved a lot in recent releases of OO/LO, now toolbars and menus have become a secondary interface that does this job relatively well, at least in my typical workflow.

Edited 2011-06-23 05:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: holding things back
by lemur2 on Thu 23rd Jun 2011 06:07 in reply to "RE: holding things back"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Give right clicks a chance. The popup menus really have improved a lot in recent releases of OO/LO, now toolbars and menus have become a secondary interface that does this job relatively well, at least in my typical workflow.


I have found this certainly to be true of LibreOffice. There is now a fair amount of functionality that can be easily accessed via the right-click mennu right there where you need it, no longer necessitating a round trip of the mouse up to the toolbar and back.

Old versions of KOffice relied a fair bit on drag & drop from the toolbars on to the document area. I hope they don't persist with that in Calligra Office.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: holding things back
by Neolander on Thu 23rd Jun 2011 06:03 in reply to "holding things back"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Oh, and another thing which I don't understand : do people absolutely need to be able to edit your resume ? If not, why don't you use PDF ?

Personally, I hate it when people send me final versions of documents in the doc format. Not only is it almost guaranteed that the formatting will be messed up (even different versions of Office open different versions of doc differently), it also forces me to fire up an office suite and drill through its visually crowded interface when I could be enjoying the simple and fast interface of most PDF readers.

PDF is the right tool in this context, I think.

Edited 2011-06-23 06:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: holding things back
by stabbyjones on Thu 23rd Jun 2011 06:47 in reply to "RE: holding things back"
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

People don't need to edit it, I do. I keep it up do date and export to PDF when I need to send it to someone.

My current version was built off a Word template given to me by a friend in recruiting about 4 years ago now. It looks great in Word but has never formatted correctly in OpenOffice or now Libre Office. That's why I want better conversion for old documents.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: holding things back
by Laurence on Thu 23rd Jun 2011 11:25 in reply to "RE: holding things back"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Oh, and another thing which I don't understand : do people absolutely need to be able to edit your resume ? If not, why don't you use PDF ?

Personally, I hate it when people send me final versions of documents in the doc format. Not only is it almost guaranteed that the formatting will be messed up (even different versions of Office open different versions of doc differently), it also forces me to fire up an office suite and drill through its visually crowded interface when I could be enjoying the simple and fast interface of most PDF readers.

PDF is the right tool in this context, I think.

I agree with you in theory, however Job Agencies seem to need to edit it as everytime I sent them a PDF of my CV, I was asked to convert it as they couldn't edit it.

I'm not really sure the reasoning for this - I can only assume it's to do with how they store the data at their end. However it felt completely backwards to have TXT and RTF preferred over PDF.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: holding things back
by tanishaj on Thu 23rd Jun 2011 15:35 in reply to "RE: holding things back"
tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

Oh, and another thing which I don't understand : do people absolutely need to be able to edit your resume ? If not, why don't you use PDF ?


I have not looked recently but my personal experience has certainly been that a lot of HR departments require resumes in Microsoft Word format (or even plain text).

A big part of this is just the non-technical and somewhat retarded culture of HR.

Another factor though is that these documents need to play well with whatever systems the companies are using internally. I suspect that many HR departments are applying some level or processing or parsing (scanning for keywords) to these resumes before people even look at them. The tools they are using may not be able to handle PDF as easily as Word files.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: holding things back
by Dave_K on Thu 23rd Jun 2011 13:23 in reply to "holding things back"
Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

The final step is to make sure I can open my resume and it looks the same as it does in Word. Technically this isn't totally their fault; but Microsoft makes it very easy for people to keep relying on Office. When they can't open documents they've created earlier and print out an exact replica they go right back to Office.


That's certainly why I keep on using MS Office. More significantly it's why just about every single organisation and charity I encounter in the real world uses MS Office, even when a free alternative would be perfectly usable and save them some money.

I can get used to a different interface (even if it's a bit of a mess) and I don't really need any extra features offered by commercial software. But I do need to be able to open MS Office documents received from other people, and send them back documents that they can open. Messed up formatting is unprofessional and unacceptable; documents need to look as they were intended to look.

The only software capable of doing that with reasonable reliability is MS Office itself. That gives it a huge advantage that I can't see disappearing any time soon.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: holding things back
by twitterfire on Fri 24th Jun 2011 17:42 in reply to "RE: holding things back"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11


But I do need to be able to open MS Office documents received from other people, and send them back documents that they can open. Messed up formatting is unprofessional and unacceptable; documents need to look as they were intended to look.

The only software capable of doing that with reasonable reliability is MS Office itself. That gives it a huge advantage that I can't see disappearing any time soon.


That's the most important point when someone chooses an office suite: being able to use that suite to open documents sent by someone else and keep the same formatting and sending to someone else a document which that person can open and keep the same format.

Any other office suite beside MS Office -either free, open source or commercial - do a very, very poor job when opening doc, docx, xls and ppt. Which is totally unacceptable for anyone but open source zealots.

To add to the shame, MS Office runs faster on Linux under Wine than native Open Office or Libre Office. Ironically, the best office suite for Linux, is MS Office running under Wine or Vmware.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: holding things back
by Temcat on Sat 25th Jun 2011 21:26 in reply to "RE: holding things back"
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

IME Softmaker Office 2010 has flawless MS Office compatibility. It's not free, but cheap.

Reply Parent Score: 2