FC4 slimfast slimfest

Dan Williams dcbw at redhat.com
Tue Feb 22 16:19:06 UTC 2005

On Tue, 2005-02-22 at 10:40 -0500, Paul A. Houle wrote:
> 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  
> documents.

Umm, Insert->Note?

> 	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  
> changes".

Umm, File->Versions?  Edit->Changes?

All these things have been around for more than a year.  They are
supposed to be more or less equivalent to the Word features they refer
to, and if there is missing functionality for them, that is a bug that
needs to get fixed.

> 	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.)

For most people, the functionality offered by at least OpenOffice.org,
and possibly KOffice/Abiword/Gnumeric is sufficient.  We're not trying
to get 100% compatibility overnight here, that's impossible.  But what
the project does try to do is be "Good Enough", which is the formula
that Microsoft itself uses for most things.  When you're Good Enough for
most people, the product starts to get used, and you gain marketshare.
When you gain marketshare, people start having to deal with your file
format, and more and more people eventually are able to do both formats.
Its a gradual thing that takes a while, even MS Word took quite a while
to overtake WordStar (or whatever that was), as Excel too time to
overtake 123 and VisiCalc.  It took years before Word & Excel were "Good
Enough", but when they were, people really started to use them.


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