[plug] explanation of free software, OOo in particular

Paul Antoine pma-la at milleng.com.au
Thu Dec 27 14:45:11 WST 2007


How about this one:


One word of caution with OOo, while the word processor and spreadsheet 
programs are ok, I am ashamed to say that they are not as nice as Word 
and Excel in their functionality and UI's.  Sacrilege I know, but as a 
long-time user of both since the orginal Mac versions I have to say OOo 
annoys me despite my desire to support them.

Unfortunately the presentation app in OOo is shocking... truly shocking. 
So much so that I use Crossover to run an old and very stable version of 
the M$ Office suite (Office XP.)

For simple word processing and spreadsheet tasks OOo is fine and I do 
use them that way for simple documents.

How do others on the list find OOo??  Am I expecting too much?  Are 
there simply too few contributors to OOo?  I know Sun has been an M$ 
software-free zone for a long time (McNealy would shoot anyone who tried 
to use them), so maybe Sun's biases are driving things?


BTW: I was using an Unix-based office suite back when the company I ran 
used a MIPS server with X terminals... the name of which escapes me now 
but was excellent for the time (1995?)

Gregory Orange wrote:
> Hi all,
> My father-in-law is interested in quality software. He can't quite cope 
> with the change to a Linux install just yet (altho I'll be putting 
> Ubuntu[1] on his second computer relatively soon), but he sees the value 
> in considering alternative software to what came prebundled with his 
> machine. Specifically he's using Thunderbird and Firefox.
> Now, with the grief that various versions of MS Office have caused him, 
> I think OpenOffice would be a big step forward for him. He's interested, 
> and now I just need to sell him on it. Ok, on to my point...
> He's asking questions about free software, freeware, open source 
> software, "Who Writes this Open Office?", etc - all quite valid 
> questions which I can answer usefully, but not succinctly. Can anyone 
> point me in the direction of a nicely written article or page on the topic?
> I've found heaps, but they're white papers, full definitions, discussion 
> papers about the various types of licences, etc. How about one simply on 
> who writes Open Office (some description of 'the community') and how it 
> relates to Star Office and Sun and the rest. Even a touch of history. 
> I'm not asking much, am I (: Altho I reckon something's buried in the 
> OOo website or metasites somewhere... just finding it.
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html was helpful, but really 
> just for the picture at the top!
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html is good too - I'll send that 
> to him.
> http://about.openoffice.org/index.html - ugh, where to begin?! There's 
> so much there.
> TIA,
> Greg.
> [1] Or some other distro if someone wants to try and convince me that 
> it's a better idea

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