FC4 slimfast slimfest

Paul A. Houle ph18 at cornell.edu
Tue Feb 22 15:40:08 UTC 2005

On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 10:21:05 -0500, Dan Williams <dcbw at redhat.com> wrote:

> For 2.0 a bunch of work went into the Word & Excel filters, so
> compatibility there is much greater than just 90%.  A lot also depends
> on the fonts you have, even on Windows with Office if you don't have the
> same fonts as the document requires, Office has to do some guessing same
> as OOo does.

	For me the showstopper is lacking the ability to write comments on  

	This is almost 100% of what I use MS word for.  Even back in '99 when OO  
was called Star Office I felt that it was adequate for writing  
documents...  I'd convert it to word and send it to the publisher and  
everything was cool.  But then I'd get it back in word format with  
comments and I'd need to use Microsoft word in order to see the comments,   
reply to them,  make edits that the system could track with "track  

	Since my publisher went out of business,  I've rarely used any kind of  
office program to create a document -- I generally use "emacs".  I think  
that e-mail attachments are a great way to pass unimportant business  
documents around,  but if you really want me to read something (rather  
than put it off to something I might do next week) you'd best do it as  
ordinary text,  and that's true even if I'm reading my mail on Windows.

	I think the "import filter" idea is 100% of what's wrong with workflows  
that involve office programs and other software (such as CMS systems.)   
It's necessary,  because different systems use different representations,   
but then even 99.9% accuracy isn't enough because the kind of people that  
exchange office documents with other people expect to be able to do  
round-trip scenarios and even the slightest bit of mangling is a huge  
annoyance when it has to get unmangled again and again.  (Or doesn't get  
noticed until you get back 1500 copies from the printer.)

	My wife's sister works for a social service agency where they'd bought  
one copy of MS word and installed it on all the machines.  At some point  
they realized they weren't in compliance with the license but they  
couldn't afford to buy MS Office for all their computers -- so they  
switched to Star Office.  They had the kind of "round trip" problems  
dealing with outside agencies and found it just wasn't worth the bother  
and they finally found the cash to pay the troll.


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