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Peter Rodwell wrote:
Quoting T. J. Brumfield:

However, in developing countries Android tablets may be the most accessible and affordable computing platform of the future. It shouldn't be ignored.

Agreed -- it certainly shouldn't be ignored, I just think that giving it
priority over Windows is ridiculous, is all.

> Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Next should be platforms of the future.

Oops! I deleted the letter I was going to reply to which was on the UI thread, but this thread is almost as on topic to what I intended to say so I will stick it onto this one. First thing, the font selector has been where it is for so long, that I think it would be a serious mistake to mess with it. From the very first WISIWIG word processors it has been at about that spot, and has worked about the way it does now. My first Windows WP was not MS Word, or even Word Perfect, it was a program that few people today even remember, WordStar. People just expect some of the most basic things in a WP program to be where they have always been, and it is unwise to change them without a truly compelling reason. I suspect that the actual typical user of OOo/LO is a home user, who uses it because they could not afford MS Word, or at least could not justify the cost of it for home use. Most of the documents created with Writer are probably not screenplays, legal pleadings, or technical manuals, but rather have file names like, Xmas Newsletr 10, or Letr to Aunt Joan, or Garagesalesign. The database is probably used most for things like keeping track of record or DVD collections, or membership lists for clubs or fraternal organizations. Little kids use Draw for a coloring book. Elementary school kids use Writer for their school papers, ones that have to be turned in as hard copy. If I had to guess, it would be that the single most common use for the spreadsheet is to do check registers for personal checking accounts.

I would also guess that many of the businesses that use OOo/LO do so because someone in management used the program at home and liked it. Power user features and capabilities certainly lead to corporate and government use of the suite, but basic ease of use for simple things is what gets people to try it in the first place. I could be wrong about this, but what I suspect, is that nothing else could promote the popularity of LO more than having a good users manual in the download package. Despite the truth of the old saying "When all else fails, read the manual". A lot of users like to read a good manual to find out what else they could do with a program that they aren't doing now. Also I would recommend formatting the manual for 8.5x11 rather than the usual 5x7 so that if the users want a hard copy it won't result in the usual horrible amount of paper waste that you get with 5x7 formats. For example being able to get the whole thing onto 60 pages rather than needing 100. Or perhaps format both ways, 5x7 for on screen, and 8.5x11 for printing. Help functions are OK as far as it goes, but many times you need a hard copy so that you can read how to do a thing while actually doing it. Many times I see the question, how can we be better than Microsoft, this is one place where this would be easy. In recent years MS has declined badly in user support, especially in the area of user manuals. They may do all right with the Fortune 500, but with small business, to say nothing of home users, frankly they suck! They have also gotten sloppy with little details about how their software works, one thing I have noticed, Win 7 files incorrectly, files with numeral titles, as an example, the following files 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5 end up filed in the following order 6.5, 6, 7.5, 7 We all know that this is idiotic and WRONG! My point is that it shouldn't be that hard to put out a product that people perceive as better than such junk. Time for me to get off of my soapbox now. Robert Derman

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