User: Password:
|
|
Subscribe / Log in / New account

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 12, 2013 20:35 UTC (Tue) by sfeam (subscriber, #2841)
In reply to: LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet) by dskoll
Parent article: LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Speaking only for myself here, but the only reason I have for running LibreOffice at all is to import MSOffice files sent to me by colleagues or by branches of the US government. So intercompatibility with MSOffice is for me the most important part of the review. And I can confirm that LO 4.0 is no better than LO 3.6 at importing MS Office files. So the commenters are making a valid complaint.

It is not a matter of whose "fault" it is, it's a question of whether or not LO 4.0 solves (or at least ameliorates) a long-standing problem. Unfortunately, it doesn't. So I will continue to use MS Office running under Wine until a workable alternative comes along.


(Log in to post comments)

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 12, 2013 21:33 UTC (Tue) by flammon (guest, #807) [Link]

the only reason I have for running LibreOffice at all is to import MSOffice files

Then any office suite other than MS Office is probably a bad choice for you.

it's a question of whether or not LO 4.0 solves (or at least ameliorates) a long-standing problem

The problem was solved a few versions ago. It's called OpenDocument. Oh, you mean your problem with your colleagues not wanting to use a standard document format when exchanging documents. That's a user problem and you can only correct it with education. Software won't help much with that problem.

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 12, 2013 23:05 UTC (Tue) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

There is a useful way to categorize standards. There are de facto standards and there are de jure standards.

Word documents are a standard to such a extent that by using anything else, no matter how open, you are ruining your interoperability in ways that can really harm you. And its not colleagues that are the problem here.

So while everybody here understands the value of open standards and the like, there are other standards that sometimes we need to have the ability to deal with.

Luckily Libreoffice isn't that bad.

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 12, 2013 23:11 UTC (Tue) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

what do you call a 'de facto standard' that can only be implemented by one company? and that breaks with every version they release?

that isn't very standard

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 13, 2013 2:53 UTC (Wed) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167) [Link]

More humorous is that it's not usefully "standard" even within the product from that one company.

The core Office applications pre-date Unicode on Windows, and accordingly they have their own esoteric idea of what the relationship is between what the user types, what appears on the user's screen and what should be saved in the document file.

This is most obvious when moving documents between a Mac and a PC, but it happens between PCs as well.

Likewise the spreadsheet "standard" leaves a bunch of things undefined, this was more obvious back when actual real users sometimes had different families of CPUs, but it remains problematic for financial and scientific work where it often turns out that the are undocumented restrictions on the accuracy or repeatability of calculations.

AFAIR the outcome of all this was that Microsoft has itself simply declared that the de jure standard mentioned above is a figment of people's imagination. Only a subset of Office document features are actually supported meaningfully, most of the documents you receive are the MS Office equivalent of foo(x++, x++, x++); in C.

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 13, 2013 3:04 UTC (Wed) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167) [Link]

ugh, that should say "the de facto standard" not the "de jure standard" although of course Microsoft did _write_ a de jure standard named ISO 29500, it's just that they've never shipped a real working _implementation_ of that standard, it was written mainly to poison the well.

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Jan 29, 2014 23:26 UTC (Wed) by PacoBell (guest, #95283) [Link]

I thought Office 2013/360 supports exporting to ISO 29500:2008, at least, and possibly ISO 29500:2012.

http://blogs.office.com/2012/08/13/new-file-format-option...

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 13, 2013 5:10 UTC (Wed) by tnoo (subscriber, #20427) [Link]

This "standard" went so far, that Excel formulas were not tranferable between the same software in different languages (no idea whether this is still true today).

For example as SUM would be SUMME in German an SOMME in French... what a nightmare. And people were happily living with this, adapting formulas in docuemnts by hand!

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 14, 2013 8:03 UTC (Thu) by ebirdie (guest, #512) [Link]

>For example as SUM would be SUMME in German an SOMME in French... what a nightmare. And people were happily living with this, adapting formulas in docuemnts by hand!

IT consuming public forgives a lot to the vendor and forgives little to nothing to others offering alternatives. The same goes to IBM and its successor Lenovo. I had to acknowledge this while working in IT management some years ago.

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 13, 2013 16:25 UTC (Wed) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

> what do you call a 'de facto standard' that can only be implemented by one company? and that breaks with every version they release?

It's called a 'de facto standard'. Unless you want me to make up another term and assign it the same definition.

It's standard because it's standard. It's accepted. You are expected to be able to communicate using that format.

I don't know what else to say about the subject.

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 13, 2013 21:00 UTC (Wed) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

ok, which version of .doc files is the de facto standard? or are each of the different versions their own separate standard? and if so, why do people talk as if they are part of one standard?

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 13, 2013 22:07 UTC (Wed) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

You are assuming that 'de facto standard' is a standard. It's not. It's something which people perceive as a standard while in fact it's not one.

As for .doc files... Grab old version of MS Word (straight from Microsoft's site, no less!) and try to open .DOC files created by in a latest version of MS Office. I'll wish you luck - you'll need it.

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 12, 2013 21:59 UTC (Tue) by dowdle (subscriber, #659) [Link]

Saying that LibreOffice has not improved their Microsoft Office document compatibility in the 4.0 release is inaccurate. They HAVE improved it. They DID add a couple of formats that they did NOT previously even support (Publisher and Visio). They have also greatly improved formula stuff too.

Now that isn't to say that the import is perfect... or that it will ever be perfect... mainly because as previously stated, they use somewhat open but not totally open formats. Sure Microsoft went through the ISO standards body and got their OOXML format ratified... but just how they did that is a somewhat scandalous story... and the fact that the container is an "open standard" doesn't mean it isn't full of undocumented binary blobs. That is all by design.

Some pragmatic people might want to reward Microsoft for gaining and maintaining a document format monopoly. I prefer not to whenever possible.

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 12, 2013 22:00 UTC (Tue) by jensend (guest, #1385) [Link]

Your claim "LO 4.0 is _no_ better than LO 3.6 at importing MS Office files" is simply false. Maybe it didn't fix the particular problems you're having, but there are incremental compatibility improvements in every new version, and the ZDNet piece mentioned several of them.

The fact that Word documents in which comments had been linked to ranges showed up in OO/LibO with the comment only at a single point had been a showstopper for a couple of my family members, who need to collaborate with others on editing and reviews. 4.0 fixes this, and though the fix won't make them switch over immediately, it will finally allow them, when the need arises, to do most of their work just fine on other computers besides the ones where they have MSO installed.

With reverse-engineered formats, it can be difficult to discover bugs. Please consider signing up for a LibO bugzilla account and submitting a bug report and, if possible, the problem documents. They've recently streamlined their bug submission process (https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/bug/).

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 12, 2013 23:11 UTC (Tue) by luya (subscriber, #50741) [Link]

Real problem is Microsoft badly support their own format standard. I have several case when Microsoft Office struggle to preserve its own documents it created.
Trying to blame LibreOffice for Microsoft own issue with their own formats is misplaced with documented evidence how Microsoft deliberately sabotaged the effort to adopt Open Document Format within governments and organization.

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 13, 2013 14:03 UTC (Wed) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

And before anyone opines that notions of sabotage are creations of an overly cynical mind and that Microsoft gains only from the merits of having an ISO standard covering one of its formats (never mind how it got that standard ratified), when people start to suggest that "doc format" be considered a standard (for example, in the Norwegian state bureaucracy), it becomes clear that by merely sending the signal that the company believes in standards, people can use that as an excuse to maintain their own negligent stewardship of public infrastructure, perpetuating a significant financial commitment to, and a dependency on, an unaccountable corporate entity instead of acting in the public's best interest.


Copyright © 2017, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds