waldojim, on 13 April 2012 - 12:28 AM, said:
RobinLim0bf7, on 12 April 2012 - 11:03 PM, said:
Okay I am not going to flame you. A desktop operating system is pretty much just an app launcher. If you had Linux versions of MS Office, Adobe Photoshop and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim than more people would be on Linux.
If you want to covert people to Linux you have to convert them first to using Libre Office or GIMP on their Windows PC or Mac. Once people are comfortable with cross platform software Linux use will increase. As more users come in, maybe more developers will follows.
But see, now you are asking people to give up tools they are familar with, or in some cases, use to bring home the BACON! Also, Libre Office/Open Office is NOT 100% compatible with MS Office documents. You could either A. Give up MS Office and spend hours upon hours reformatting the text, just to have it broken again by the next person who opens it with MS Office. B. Use a web only editor that is cut down to near useless levels. Or C. Keep using what works, get the job done quickly, and move on. Which do you see happening?
When you ask anyone to ever do anything new, you're asking them to give up something they're familiar with by definition. When I'm presented with the choice of using program X instead of program Y, I know there will be a cost in time to learn program X and and additional cost in giving up my expertise with program Y and starting from a lower level of experience. There will often be a monetary cost for the software as well. What I have to weigh is what I gain for the tradeoff of time and possibly money. However, to suggest that needing to invest any time at all is a dealbreaker regardless of benefit is just silly.
Once again we're confronted with the urban legend of OpenOffice and its alleged vices. On a personal note: does it really matter? How often are people giving you Microsoft Office documents that you have to look at in pixel-level fidelity? Here's a hint: if you need pixel-level fidelity, you don't send a document in Microsoft Office format; you send it in PDF format. It's rude to send any document in any proprietary format, actually.
But if compatibility with Microsoft Office is your big bugaboo, then you shouldn't be using Microsoft Office
. Huh? I'll explain and then you'll understand the hypocrisy in attacking LibreOffice with charges of compatibility. Up through Office XP, Office saved document settings based on the default printer of the machine it was saved on
. This means that someone opening up a Word doc on another PC with the identical copy of Microsoft Office
could see differences if they had a different default printer! OpenOffice dealt with this by surveying many users as to their default printer. They then averaged these values and used them to open a Word doc. The result was that often OpenOffice was more accurate than the same version of Microsoft Office used to create the document when opened on a machine with different default printers.
OpenOffice never saved its own documents like this so did not share this problem. Somehow the entire world continued to use Microsoft Office even though Microsoft Office wasn't completely compatible with Microsoft Office. The same people who did this now complain that LibreOffice isn't completely compatible with Microsoft Office.
But wait, there's more. Access 2000 would automatically convert Access 97 documents when they were opened even if the user never saved any data to them (and being closed source, naturally gave the user no choice in the matter). This meant that if anyone just opened an Access 97 database in Access 2000 it could never be opened in Access 97 again
. Thus, Microsoft Office was not only not completely compatible with Microsoft Office, if you looked at certain documents with Microsoft Office they'd become incompatible with other versions of Microsoft Office. This was a little bit more difficult to swallow for "no one ever got fired for buying Microsoft" folks so many users skipped Access 2000 entirely. In true Microsoft fashion, they responded to the complaints by making things worse. Access 2003 didn't screw up Access 97 files... because it couldn't open Access 97 files at all! Problem solved! Not only that, you couldn't install Access 2003 alongside Access 97 like you at least could with Access 2000. It wasn't until Access 2007 that the ability to (non-destructively) open Access 97 files returned to Access, finally restoring interoperability a mere decade later! Again, somehow Microsoft Office continued being considered the One To Beat because LibreOffice might not render every pixel of MS' proprietary files correctly. That would be unacceptable.
Of course, there's even more. A statistics professor examining Excel found it was not very accurate with calculations involving the "tail end" of distributions (very small or large values). The same problem existed with an open source spreadsheet called Gnumeric. The professor preferred to say that Gnumeric was such an accurate clone of Excel that they even copied the bugs!
The professor reported the issues to the Gnumeric folks and they fixed them to the point where Gnumeric became extremely accurate. Excel... didn't change at all. It eventually did change... it became more accurate at the tails while becoming less accurate everywhere else! The professor was flummoxed in that standard algorithms for calculating these values were widely available in reference books that didn't have these errors. He was even more floored by the fact that just a few people in their spare time producing Gnumeric for free were able to do what Microsoft couldn't (or wouldn't?) do with Excel. Gnumeric even has 157 functions in areas like engineering and finance that aren't in Excel. Meanwhile, in tests of Excel 97, 2000, XP, and 2003 it continued to be left in the dust on a standard set of statistical accuracy tests by Gnumeric. The professor published a paper with all of these findings advising anyone working with statistics to avoid using Excel. You can read the whole thing here:
So to recap... Microsoft Office has often been not completely compatible with Microsoft Office and could make its own files incompatible with other copies of itself... when it can even open copies of its own documents, which may take a decade give or take a few years to get right. It has also been shown to not be completely compatible with reality, at least in the realm of statistics. And these are just the things I can think of off the top of my head. There's a few more I haven't seen myself but heard from others that I won't get into as I don't have all of the details.
Meanwhile... LibreOffice uses and always has used an open file format so there's no need to reverse engineer it to read it or any other excuses for poor compatibility. It is not only compatible with itself, it reads formats from many other programs (including my old Microsoft Works format documents, something Office can't do without downloading, installing and using a tool to convert the Works to Word documents first, which makes LibreOffice more Microsoft-compatible than Microsoft). OpenOffice could directly create PDF documents (not print-to-PDF) for compatibility years before Office gained the feature. In fact, LibreOffice offers "hybrid format", a really awesome idea that embeds the LibreOffice document in a PDF of the same document. LibreOffice can see the embedded document and open it for viewing/editing while anyone who can't read it can still have the PDF to view the file with!
In addition, the latest version of Office supports the Open Document Format so there shouldn't be much excuse to be sending documents in proprietary formats anymore. The city of Munich, Germany just finished converting 18,000 desktops to Linux, so apparently this imagined crippling incompatibility is no problem for Munich.
Finally, any incompatibility in LibreOffice would not be a mark against it and a source of pride for the Office user; it would be just the opposite. It would exist because Microsoft intentionally created an undocumented file format and worked to keep it from being reverse-engineered. They would have done this to create vendor lock-in to prevent you from moving to another program very easily. If LibreOffice weren't compatible with your Office documents that should be a source of sadness for you, because it would mean you were stuck with Office no matter what thanks to MS and thanks to you yourself choosing to use something with a proprietary format in the first place. Whatever your software preferences, vendor lock-in should be avoided like the plague; it's a terrible place to be in.