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On 1 Jan 2011 at 14:53, Lee Hyde wrote:

On 01/01/11 10:26, Jonathan Aquilina wrote:
The advantage we have of using dicollect is that sophie part of that
community already lee. We would have the backing of the lead dev as well as
their entire team of devs to help work with us in implementing dicollect.

Please understand that I wasn't suggesting you dump dicollect (and
Sophie) in favour of wiktionary. But rather that you collaborate with
both in an effort to:

1) Pool your collective resources, in particular wiktionary and
dicollects collective submission 'crowds'.

Sophie and all others have done great work and their experience should not be overlooked.  
I hope she will remain a valuable part of LibO for a long time to come.

A few points to remember though:
We are in a long-term goal to replace MS Office as the package of-choice.  As part of the 
wider open-source fraternity, we are in long-term campaign to remove Microsoft's influence 
and bring back proper choice to the user.

Do not underestimate Microsoft's resources, strength or man-power.  They published the 
Encarta dictionary in the 1990s as an attempt to 'standardise' English.  Having a huge body 
of work to draw on is a useful weapon for them.  They freely share clipart, fonts and heaven-
knows what else between their projects.

So why is there so much duplication of effort in the campaign against MS?  Wiktionary want 
a fully catalogued English language (plus French, German, etc).  TDF want this also.  
Scribus want this.  Thunderbird wants this.  Any open-source document preparation tool 
wants this.

It is logical to pool our efforts in this area.  Why does Thunderbird, which ships with 
American English need an extension before it can use a British English dictionary?  Why 
can Thunderbird not share a dictionary with LibO.  What about Scribus? MSO users are 
used to a shared dictionary across apps.  

It's a small thing, but I know a lot of people who use a lot of 'small things' as an excuse to 
keep using MSO.  Whether it's dictionaries or the interface, people like the new program to 
work like the program they are used to.  If it doesn't, they become unhappy. 

Users of Microsoft products have a fairly seamless experience.  They have MSO on the 
desktop and now on the web.  There's integration with Bing.  Hotmail and Outlook are 
designed to work together.  If I use the (formerly) open-source Paint.NET, I have proper 
access to the MS Windows clipboard.  GIMP cannot paste in something copied from 
Paint.NET.  I know the reasoning - most users may assume GIMP is broken.

There can be a lot of fundamentalism in the open-source world - championing your own fork 
or project and ignoring others.  While a choice of FreeBSD or Linux is great, I don't 
understand why FreeBSD users scorn Linux users.  Or why Debian users can scorn Ubuntu.  
Will we see LibO users mocking OOo users in a few years?  Do LibO/OOo users mock 
Symphony users?  Is there someone readong this post who thinks "If you don't like the 
dictionary that ships with LibO just download some other obscure thing, run a few 
commands that make no sense to most users, check a few boxes, and there you go - same 
initial dictionary files as Thunderbird.  Now set up a daily job that syncs them."  

Remember the users.

Microsoft won because they focused on the fact that most users neither know nor care how 
things work.  Users just want the complexity hidden away and a consistent experience 
across applications.  That's (in part) why Word/Excel on Windows flattened 1-2-3 and 
AmiPro or Word Star, which had little in common and could not easily share data. 

Now that MS are giving away Office for free (on the web), or cheap (£40 to UK school 
students - free to many University students).  Now that MS are buying up chunks of 
commonly used apps (have you seen the advertising on Facebook and how it links with 
Bing?).  Now that MS are managing a seamless experience for users, at reasonable costs... 
it's time for FOSS to realise that free-to-use and free-as-in-speech are not the selling points 
we think they are.  

Most users don't care about file-formats, until they have 10 years worth of data locked into 
Most users don't care who supplies their on-line tools.
Most users don't care about the reasons why application A does not fully work with 
application B.
Most users don't care about arguments that make the FOSS community seem like religious 

Most users just want something that works.  
(and if they want religious views, they will go to their nearest church / mosque / temple / 
synagogue / cable TV outlet)


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