Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Dec 2005 20:16 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source "Of all the myths that have grown up around open source software, perhaps the most pervasive is Eric Raymond's aphorism that 'Many eyes make bugs shallow', suggesting that if lots of people can view a program's source code, they will find and fix its errors more quickly than commercial products whose code is jealously guarded. The only problem with this is that it's not true - certainly not in one of the flagship projects of open source, OpenOffice."
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FOSS - OOo vs MS Office
by pjafrombbay on Fri 9th Dec 2005 06:59 UTC
pjafrombbay
Member since:
2005-07-31

The real issue here is the complexity of the two systems. OOo is making the same mistake as Microsoft in copying the same 'feature set' that MS Office provides - a feature set that most users simply don't need. I believe that simpler software will produce more reliable software.

OOo ought to look at alternatives such as Atlantis/Nova (http://www.atlantiswordprocessor.com/en/) or AbiWord for good quality 'simple' word processing software. Gnumetric and JPS Development's GS-Calc (http://www.jps-development.com/) - which is shareware are similar options for a spreadsheet.

Follow the old addage - keep it simple stupid!

Regards,
Peter

Reply Score: 1

RE: FOSS - OOo vs MS Office
by on Fri 9th Dec 2005 10:40 in reply to "FOSS - OOo vs MS Office"
Member since:

It really depends what you are trying to do. Everyone seems to use WP for all writing projects. This is not sensible. I have just completed an 80 page paper, properly structured, with TOC and foonotes and the usual layered headings, subsections and so on.

Can you do this in OO? Yes, but you are enormously hampered by the way that it confuses layout and composition, and I found that Outlining defeated me, given the time available. Can you do it in Word? Yes, but the same thing applies, Word's outlining capability is a nightmare. Not to mention the issues about the stability of master documents, which have received widespread comment.

The problem with modern WP packages is that they have some of the features required to layout a quite sophisticated book - pagination across different files, footnotes and margin notes, all that stuff. But they also lack some features, and they have others which positively get in the way.

There is probably no solution to this within Office suites as they are presently defined. The answer may be: use WP for notes, letters, memos, short, fairly unstructured stuff. If you want a real writing tool, either use an outliner, or use Lyx. Or Mellel (for the Mac only).

People are talking here about KWord. Its a very fine page layout program, and will get better. Its totally useless as a tool for writing large structured documents. Abiword is equally useless. On the other hand, KWord or Abi word will do fine for memos, and KWord is great for DIY newsletters, brochures etc.

My bottom line is: OO is not terribly good for some kinds of writing, neither is Word. I don't know that either is much worse or better than the other. But, used for what WP is actually good for, they are probably about as good or as bad as each other - equally over featured!

Reply Parent Score: 0

chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

If you want a real writing tool, either use an outliner, or use Lyx. Or Mellel (for the Mac only).

I would like to add to this list TexMacs:

http://www.texmacs.org/

A great writing tool especially for mathematicians and physicists

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: FOSS - OOo vs MS Office
by Francis on Fri 9th Dec 2005 13:12 in reply to "FOSS - OOo vs MS Office"
Francis Member since:
2005-07-07

"OOo is making the same mistake as Microsoft in copying the same 'feature set' that MS Office provides - a feature set that most users simply don't need."

I don't see this as a mistake, some people actually need and use these features, especially business and government. It's true it's still a problem that a lot of people don't even know about the more advanced features and couldn't be bothered to use them: however, most people have simpler needs - writing basic letters, memos, etc... but you don't speak for everyone saying these features aren't needed!

For writing longer documents, Word/OOo Writer won't do everything you need, but KOffice/AbiWord are pretty useless for anything beyond simple documents. I think MSOffice/OOo do ably fill the niche between "professional/industrial" software and mere "memo-writing" programs.

Reply Parent Score: 1