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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RE[4]: holding things back
by Dave_K on Sun 26th Jun 2011 05:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: holding things back"
Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

The simple solution for this is for OpenOffice/LibreOffice users to save documents (meant for interchange with other parties) as MS Office legacy formats (.doc, .xls etc). MS Office 2K3 does have a reasonable ability to open documents in these legacy formats. No word salad then.


The handling of MS Office formats (legacy or otherwise) in OpenOffice/LibreOffice is not even close to being trustworthy. I tested this myself with OpenOffice not so long ago, using forms, manuals and training presentations in .doc and .ppt formats. These were all real world documents, mainly produced by the UK government.

Not a single one of them kept its formatting intact when opened in OpenOffice and saved back into an MS Office format. A couple of the .doc forms (a job application and grant funding proposal form IIRC) were badly mangled, with the formatting a mess and some of the content unreadable. One seemed to have been corrupted be the conversion, as it wasn't even possible to edit parts of it. The presentations lost various effects as well as having formatting issues.

Other documents were just mildly messed up, with formatting glitches and things out of alignment, but even that's unacceptable when documents are expected to be perfect. I'd have looked utterly unprofessional and incompetent if I'd worked on those documents in OpenOffice and sent them out without checking the results.

A even better solution is to export documents meant for interchange with other as PDF files.


That's not an option when people have specifically asked for work in a particular MS Office format.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: holding things back
by bassbeast on Sun 26th Jun 2011 07:29 in reply to "RE[4]: holding things back"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Thank you as that is EXACTLY what I was talking about! Not a single doc I saw mangled was saved in ODF, all were saved as .doc (the 97-2003 compatible setting I believe) in Open Office. I lost 15 points from a mangled Open Office doc, dropping the paper from an A to a C, and my oldest lost 10 points with the latest Libre office because of the same reason.

So it is as I said, if the ONLY thing you are doing is saving docs for your own use, or to print? Then FOSS Office Suites are fine. If you need to collaborate or heaven forbid send a resume (which BTW no HR dept will accept PDF, as their placement software uses keyword search that doesn't work on anything but .doc) to try to land your dream job? Do NOT use FOSS Office suites, as they WILL horribly mangle even the most simple formatting. It has gotten better than the days of OO.o 1.x-2.x but that is like saying your horse costs less to feed now that its dead.

If you are getting graded, or collaborating, or have any weight at all attached to a document? Buy MS Office, hell even the student edition will do. Because if you send a .doc done by Open/Libre Office it WILL look like garbage when opened in MS Office. Personally I wish it weren't so, as I give out libre Office on all new home builds and I hate how folks end up having to spend nearly $100 on Office Student just to get anything done, but ATM LO/OO just butchers the .doc format when opened in MS Office. If you don't believe me do as Dave K did above, download any reasonably complex doc from any government website, edit in LO/OO and then save as .doc and open in any MS Office. You'll see the thing gets all kinds of hosed.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: holding things back
by lemur2 on Sun 26th Jun 2011 09:10 in reply to "RE[5]: holding things back"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Thank you as that is EXACTLY what I was talking about! Not a single doc I saw mangled was saved in ODF, all were saved as .doc (the 97-2003 compatible setting I believe) in Open Office. I lost 15 points from a mangled Open Office doc, dropping the paper from an A to a C, and my oldest lost 10 points with the latest Libre office because of the same reason.


My goodness you Americans are utterly spineless. I presume you are American, you clearly aren't Brazilian or anywhere sophisticated like that.

If my son or daughter handed up a file which they could demonstrate worked perfectly, and their teacher was so incompetent as to be unable to open it, especially as a PDF, and the teacher further then had the audacity to try to penalise my son or daughter for the teacher's incompetence, then I would petition to have that teacher sacked.

If the school resisted, I would take the case to the educational body that ran the school, and try to have the school's funding revoked.

I am the customer here, and I am right. It is not up to my son or daughter to have to teach the school how to do IT. The school has not one leg to stand on here, given that the technology they needed to be able to keep up with the competence of their own students was free software which would cost the school absolutely nothing to install.

Who is supposed to be teaching whom?

Who is paying for the service of providing the education, who is paying for the teacher's wages? ... I'll give you a hint, it isn't the school.

Edited 2011-06-26 09:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: holding things back
by lemur2 on Sun 26th Jun 2011 10:12 in reply to "RE[5]: holding things back"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So it is as I said, if the ONLY thing you are doing is saving docs for your own use, or to print? Then FOSS Office Suites are fine. If you need to collaborate or heaven forbid send a resume (which BTW no HR dept will accept PDF, as their placement software uses keyword search that doesn't work on anything but .doc) to try to land your dream job? Do NOT use FOSS Office suites, as they WILL horribly mangle even the most simple formatting. It has gotten better than the days of OO.o 1.x-2.x but that is like saying your horse costs less to feed now that its dead.

If you are getting graded, or collaborating, or have any weight at all attached to a document? Buy MS Office, hell even the student edition will do. Because if you send a .doc done by Open/Libre Office it WILL look like garbage when opened in MS Office. Personally I wish it weren't so, as I give out libre Office on all new home builds and I hate how folks end up having to spend nearly $100 on Office Student just to get anything done, but ATM LO/OO just butchers the .doc format when opened in MS Office. If you don't believe me do as Dave K did above, download any reasonably complex doc from any government website, edit in LO/OO and then save as .doc and open in any MS Office. You'll see the thing gets all kinds of hosed.


You have got it utterly backwards, completely the wrong way around.

Free software is completely able to generate and faithfully re-open the files, in many alternative formats, it is MS Office that almost utterly lacks the ability to do so. MS Office is abysmal at interoperability, it is utter garbage. If you are doing any kind of collaboration, MS Office should be avoided like the plague.

http://jimmywales.com/2004/10/21/free-knowledge-requires-free-softw...
"We produce a massive website filled with an astounding variety of knowledge. If we were to produce this website using proprietary software, we would place potentially insurmountable obstacles in front of those who would like to take our knowledge and do the same thing that we are doing. If you need to get permission from a proprietary software vendor in order to create your own copy of our works, then you are not really free.

For the case of proprietary file formats, the situation is even worse. It could be argued, though not persuasively I think, that as long as Wikimedia content can be loaded into some existing free software easily enough, then our internal use of proprietary software is not so bad. For proprietary formats, even this seductive fallacy does not apply. If we offer information in a proprietary or patent-encumbered format, then we are not just violating our own commitment to freedom, we are forcing others who want to use our allegedly free knowledge to themselves use proprietary software.

Finally, we should never forget as a community that we are the vanguard of a knowledge revolution that will transform the world. We are the leading edge innovators and leaders of what is becoming a global movement to free knowledge from proprietary constraints. 100 years from now, the idea of a proprietary textbook or encyclopedia will sound as quaint and remote as we now think of the use of leeches in medical science."


Your recommendations are 100% the wrong thing to do in the best interests of nearly everyone on the planet.

Edited 2011-06-26 10:15 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: holding things back
by lemur2 on Sun 26th Jun 2011 09:17 in reply to "RE[4]: holding things back"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

That's not an option when people have specifically asked for work in a particular MS Office format.


When it comes to my family's education, for which I pay school fees, the school is not the customer, I am.

Reply Parent Score: 2