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back to article OpenOffice 3.2 - now with less Microsoft envy

OpenOffice 3.2 - now now available for Windows, Mac and Linux - boasts faster start-up times than before. But the really big news is that now - finally - this open-source suite offers full compatibility with files created using Microsoft's Office 2007. If you've ever tried opening or converting .docx and other Microsoft Office …


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No, the key to switching to OO is...

to be nerd with no real friends or relations except for "social netwroking friends/nerfs". They all use OOo too and you can as well. Anyone else who isn't a nerd will uninstall the crap the first time they have to finish something from work or when the wife needs to write a disertation and couldn't give a hoot about the level of compat. the OOo offers because more then likely the Prof. reviewing it aint going to be using OOo.

If I didn't need OOo for writing TYPO3 extension manuals I would ditch the crap form my PC and used Office 2007 exclusively.

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another one gets it! it's a virus spreading through the interwebs!!!!

damn straight, thats exactly what most people do.

but if it looked good, worked well, had optimised processes that people actually use in the way that people actually think, or people are used to, your argument would be reversed.

lotus symphony 3 beta 2 has the ability to reverse that trend by making a version of openoffice that seems that it was designed in the last couple of months instead of 10 years ago, it's not perfect, but it's actually quite nice, if they made it faster.

I ditched using openoffice also, it's awful software, even if it does give me a warm glow of changing the world, free software, etc, etc. It's like gimp, millions of people scream at the developers YOU ARE WRONG YOU ARE WRONG YOU ARE WRONG and yet, the same interface for about what? 10 years? I am sure the same problem exists with the openoffice development team

it's only now they are changing? why? because someone must have realised the reason why people don't use it, I mean, 10 years isnt a lot to wait for someone to drop his stubborn are bang on the money.


you can tell the freetards are here because

you see everyone modding down everyone who has the correct point of view, thats the problem with freetards, they dont believe that someone can think for themselves and agree with the status quo, they believe that anyone who does this, must be a corporate schill.

unfortunately for them, there are more of us than there are of them.

so mod us down, you're still wrong :D

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@Chris Thomas Alpha

Your shrill voice repeating the same ill-informed arguments for rolling over and submitting to Big Business as it owns you is getting tiresome.

I can only hope that the Beta version of Chris Thomas is better, and by the time they get round to the release candidate, the rough edges will have been knocked off, and it will be fit for purpose.


ill informed


if I'm ill informed, you'll have no problems in pointing it out, but as it happens, you're just another guy putting down myself as a person who has repeatedly put point after point and instead of going against the argument, you go against the man. well done, you win the prize for being in the idiot group.

ill informed? prove it, otherwise, shut it, nobody is interested in your "omg your so wrong!!!!one!" arguments.

it's all there, read it, disprove it, but dont come here spouting crap like that and expect anyone to take you seriously.


you can tell I was right

because within 2 minutes of putting my reply online, it gets modded down 1 point.


I didnt ask anything other than, put up an argument, I didnt shout, nor scream, nor abuse (badly)

I asked that if you have an argument, please, tell us all why you disagree, go into some more detail about why I Was wrong and why I am misinformed.

Yet, after that, I get modded down, have to wonder why someone would be AGAINST opening their opinion up to scrutiny. The problem here is that people dont want to explain themselves, because they are wrong and because they are ultimately full of shit, like most screaming freetards

they must have a key on the keyboard that says "reply crap that doesnt matter"

you dont want to detail your opinion? must be something wrong with it, THATS THE SCIENTIFIC WAY. you are just playing politics and showing yourself a fool for doing so.

Here is an article on my blog about how to perform online discussions, I hope it helps you peter gathercole in your quest for becoming an intelligent human being as opposed to a freetard who thinks arguments are won by who shouts the loudest.

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@Chris Thomas

I posted about alpha, beta and release candidate for laughs, and judging from the thumbs up, several people understood.

But having just read the comments again, several of your arguments just do not add up. You've used the fact that MS Office sells in large volumes to justify it's goodness, without taking into account the self-perpetuating dominance that Microsoft have on the market. Many copies are sold because of FUD or momentum, not because people make a reasoned comparison.

You've also effectively said that because you understand and were willing to learn the ribbon, that anybody should be able to, and if they do not, they are lazy or in some way intellectually challenged. That is far more insulting than anything I've said, including the alpha, beta, rc jibe.

I have said that change taxes some people, but I've experienced lots of people who just don't understand why this constant churn is necessary. They get bewildered by the huge range of options, menus and inconsistencies between packages and different versions of the same package. This is not because they are stupid, but because they use computers as tools rather than the computers being their profession. They want to learn something once, like riding a bicycle or driving a car, not have to relearn it every five years.

The term freetard is very derisive in the way you use it. Not everybody who uses Open Source software is to be scorned. There is much in Open Source that is good, and just because someone gives their work to the community in general is not a reason to sneer. Save your scorn for those people who steal other peoples work by not paying for licenses. Of course, it may be that you are one of the people who feel threatened by other people giving away their work for free, but you should only be worried if the quality of the package you write is worse that that in the Open. The answer to that is to either get better, or find another career.

I buy good software, and all of the music and other media that I consume. I use Open Source because it often does the job I need, and saves me money. I don't steal software, movies, music or books.

I find the poor grammar, and lack of correct capitalisation in people's comments notable. I equate it to people having an unreasoned rant, and not taking the time to consider their use of English, which I extrapolate to mean that they have probable not considered the content of their comment either. This was the cause of my 'foaming at the mouth' comment.

You come across as dogmatic, condescending, and often arrogant. If you came across like this during a sales pitch, I would probably quietly show you the door, regardless of whether you tried to impress me with the quality of your designers, programmers, or the result. But I respect your point of view, even if I don't agree with it.

The fact that you can't take criticism, or reasoned argument without descending to insults (and you've done this more than anyone here) probably indicates some type of insecurity.

I'm leaving this particular set of comments now, because I don't think I have anything else to say without repeating myself.

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Hear, hear

"You've used the fact that MS Office sells in large volumes to justify it's goodness"

Indeed, it's called "Appeal to Common Practice " and it is a fallacious argument.

By this argument IE6 is "the best" browser as it is (depending on exact metric, I know) the most popular. Anyone who has to actually work with and code stuff up for IE6 knows that this is a patently false statement!


Fact is that office 2007 might not...

be the best interface you can use for these tasks, but you all are failing to see what I'm really trying to say, I can't imagine why it's so difficult, but I will spell it out.

EVEN IF, office 2007 has it wrong, they clearly put effort into designing the tools so that they look professional, they act professional and they are used by professionals.

OpenOffice by contrast, looks like it was written by a blind monkey with leprosy. almost everypart of the user interface looks ugly and unprofessional.

So, freetards, please get off the pedestal, you clearly didnt understand what I was trying to say. It's not that office 2007 is amazing OMG it's so super cool, but it's PROFESSIONAL, wheras openoffice is not.

I personally like the ribbon and I know lots of people do and I am able to grok the argument that says the silent majority will never be see, it's the noisy majority who complain, so I can understand that whilst you hear lots of arguments about the ribbon being awful, I can also understand that most people don't care, nor mind and are able to adapt.

openoffice developers need to realise this and take their application in directions that make it look more professional.


Office 2007

The real reason for Office 2007 was they needed an upgrade. Every one who was going to upgrade to 2003 had, companies that had paid for SA were feeling ripped off. They had to produce an upgrade and it had to be shiny so they could sell it to managers in a few powerpoint slides. Sure they put some work into new features and usability but that was secondary to "we need an upgrade, and we need it now, and it has to look big!". Like Vista (and also like Vista it didn't work until after the first service pack).

Anonymous Coward

Then do a different theme!


Personally I find M$O a processor hungry mess. We have our own views on things ... but if you don't like the style of openoffice there is no problem changing it. That is if you are a reasonable programmer. ... Not something you will ever be able to do with M$ code!

Personally I'm just happy everything looks identical on my Linux notebook or my Linux development machine or the token Windows box for those customers who have yet to see the light!


@Chris Thomas Alpha

Don't get so worked up man! It's only software.

Use what you want to use, don't use what you don't want to use, let it all slide by..

Go have a beer. Or 3.

Me: I'm still using WP5.1 as I haven't yet found anything better :-)

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hmmmm beer...I like...

this one :D


@Chris Thomas Alpha

Chris! Chris! Mummy says your tea's ready.

Leave that computer & make sure you wash your hands before you sit down.



Are you not a fan then Chris Thomas Alpha?

I'm with you on the OpenOffice looks bloody awful. The font picker still screws up on novelty fonts. And that sodding life-belt icon needs throwing out to sea. Presumably they used OO Draw which I find unusable, etc., etc.

I think it's a general malaise of FOSS: they are pretenders to the BigCorp throne - we can do better than that paid-for stuff; here's a free copy. OpenOffice is a near clone of old MS Office, Gimp is a near clone of old Photoshop, and all of them _worse_ than the original versions - never mind the modern ones. Even of the more usable desktop managers GNOME is mis-proportioned and awkward to use - ironically the easiest way to improve its look is to use Microsoft fonts (KDE's even worse). There's no actual innovation in the UI - it's just lazy - oh we'll use a dialog box and some check boxes for that.

Some clue as to why may be offered here, Intel, Sun, RedHat, Novell, Canonical and some academics. I don't believe any of them has had a successful - we'll say loved - desktop product.

The web browsers are a noticeable exception, but even they look better on Windows.


OOo more like a fat Whippet and not a fat Labrador

I truly regretted buying Office 2007. I was an idiot because I knew nothing of the idiotic ribbon nonsense. I tried for a while then ditched it and went back to using OOo. I have accepted that the money was 'lost' though user stupidity...yeah, should have checked it out first.

We live and learn. The reward is that OOo 3.2 is the dogs...

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Personally speaking...

...I find OpenOffice wholly unusable because of the deranged way it handles paragraphs. Simply put, it doesn't allow the user to search and replace across paragraph boundaries. This makes actions which are a breeze in MS Word - like finding two paragraph codes in a row and replacing them with a single paragraph code and a TAB (for example) - a brain-croggling adventure in regular expressions.

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Entertaining ... and I agree

The Alpha version of Chris, is, in fact exactly, perfectly spot-on correct. I regret that the youinger nerd brigade have some issues with this fact.

I have been waiting what seems like an eternity, but is really just 10 or so years, for a professional "look" for OO. I have been disappointed with each and every new version.

Now, like Alpha-Chris I have personally been in this business a long time, in fact since Bill Gates was in High School. And I learned a long long time ago that the visual aspect is the single largest factor in software acceptance, perhaps followed functionality. Code quality is almost at the bottom, as long as it sort of works most of the time. the great unwashed masses will put up with anything, as long as it has a cool, professional and visually appealing interface (MS may be responsible for this dumbing down and low expectation level, but that is another discussion)

If you do not believe this, then you have missed the entire corporate history of microsoft, which is one of selling "flash" at the expense of quality, followed by endless upgrades of functionality at the expense of quality. In fact, the reason that Office fills about 4TB is all the "flash" that makes it look so cool and professional and slick. As far as I am concerned, it's still pretty braindead at formatting, but hey, what do I know, I just use it. OO is not too slick at formatting, especially once you start slipping in images and fancy wrapping and column formats either.

IMHO WP 5.1 still does a better job at text formatting - but unless your a legal document writer, it's probably a no-brainer to choose MSO, because, well, it looks slicker.

So, thanks to the Alpha version, I look forward to seeing more of him here!


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Back in the fray.

I know I said I'd stop, but the latest comments about desktop managers, and the look and feel of some noticeable Open Source packages got my attention again.

It is clear that some people here just are not prepared to give any ground to Open Source. The comments about look and feel from Colin Barfoot point out the fact that if there is a different look and feel, there would be complaints about difficulty of use, lack of common interface etc. If the look and feel is made similar to other packages, there are complaints about lack of innovation. There is no common ground that would satisfy these two positions.

Yes, the font handling is not as good as it could be in several places, but the comment about using Microsoft fonts is only true because so many web sites and documents use Microsoft specific fonts (such as Arial and Calibri, for example). If you do not have access to these fonts, because of some licensing conditions, then substitute fonts must be used, which will always look odd unless the metrics exactly match. If document writers and web designers kept to the common subset (and by this, I do not mean the Microsoft CORE font set, because this is licensed), then everything would work much better. This is another example of Embrace and Extend that Microsoft is so fond of. It is interesting that CORE fonts are available for Windows and OSX, but Microsoft have not granted a free-to-use license for the rest of the industry. I wonder why this could be!

I don't know how many people here have looked at the complexities of font design, but to make a font that uses the same spacing metrics, but is sufficiently different from another licensed font to avoid copyright infringement is very difficult. And with Microsoft changing their standard fonts from one proprietary set to another proprietary set in the latest Office incarnations just reinforces the moving target argument.

The whole technology led world is currently in such an inward looking spiral, requiring change for changes sake and revenue generation, and going faster and faster so that it will eventually implode. I hope for all of your sakes, that it comes apart gracefully, rather than a nasty mess.

And for the record, I too have been working in the industry since before the IBM PC was launched, though slightly after Bill set up Microsoft. I've seen and used X10, X11, NeWS, Looking Glass, Sun's pre-X windowing environment, Motif, CDE, Aqua and virtually all versions of Windows. The difference is that I started with UNIX, and I am still earning my living in that environment, extending it to include Linux. This longevity in a single industry sector is something that few can claim.



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