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LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

Posted Feb 12, 2013 21:33 UTC (Tue) by flammon (guest, #807)
In reply to: LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet) by sfeam
Parent article: LibreOffice 4.0: First Take (ZDNet)

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.


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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.


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