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While I understand your points, and Mike's, I can't say I agree with
them particularly.

On one issue we do agree and it is perhaps something to be looked at
by the development team. That is the automatic timed save of documents
while worked on. It is the case that should you lose a working
document LibO or OoO will try to recover it next time it is started,
but it does not always work nor assure a copy is made of all
documents. As you say, that is not usually acceptable to businesses.

However, for the rest I disagree. I have heard the claim about files
from Microsoft Office needing to be changed in Open Office before but
only rarely seen it to be true with a word-processed document.

It is true that not all Powerpoint comes over to LibO accurately since
LibO does not have available all the features that PPT can guarantee
by being a closed and proprietary system. To me, this seems absolutely
inevitable and not a fault at all.

Similarly, I have heard about problems with Excel and especially the
way pivots and data handling operations are carried out but also with
"rounding features" to make the spreadsheets balance out. And yes,
there are differences - although for the "rounding features" I have
seen used are because there are technical errors with storage of some
numbers in Excel that have been widely discussed on the web. I have to
say that while I have seen that doing "the same sort of thing" to the
Calc GUI results in a different operation, it is not yet clear to me
whether the difference is the way that Calc is used or the way the
same operation is carried out. Perhaps you could give us details?

Most common of all though, is the complaint that "my company macros"
don't work. Frankly, I am sick to death of hearing this one! MS macros
are written in an MS language for MS features in an MS environment on
MS software. There is no way in *hell* and Open Source software can
pinch it, copy it, reverse engineer it, duplicate it in new code or
anything else. If the macros are any use, then rewrite the damn things!

On 05/04/2011 20:08, Steve Edmonds wrote:
I tend to agree with Mike on many aspects.
We use 12 instances of LO in our business and I support more privately.
I inter-react with an educational institution and others predominantly
MO, our business is mainly LO.

For a corporation or large entity to adopt LO it must be able to
transfer MO docs well.
I find that probably 90% of MO docs I receive don't open in LO without
need of reformatting, a corporation could not tolerate this. I found
that LO does not time save (auto backup) .docs, a corporation would
not tolerate that.

LO development is going great, but to be considered for
corporate/large organisation environments some consideration of "what
is stopping LO adoption" is required.
These are not show stoppers but a different emphasis on development
and bug fixing. May be this is not the interest of developers and may
be corporate environment is not the future of LO.

I have seen some discussion regarding the mapping out of the future of
LO, LO design and developer focus. May be it is a good discussion to
have soon.


On 6/04/11 5:12 AM, Mike Hall wrote:
I think an appreciation of this point is absolutely crucial to a
successful product, which is why I bang on about it. And I'm only
faithfully recording my own experience.

Unfortunately there is a difference in quality, which implicitly you
seem to recognise. Yes, it's true that there have been several poor
MSO releases, but in a large organisation those are not normally
deployed on the corporate desktop until the problems are fixed. MS
does eventually retreat on its silly ideas and there are, to all
intents and purposes, almost bug free MSO versions so far as the
vast majority of end users are concerned. This isn't the case with
OOo/LibO - there has never been a release of such a quality that
support costs could be contained at a realistic level. I wish there
were and I can fully understand why this community would be very
inclined to argue black is white here. Further, it's pretty
frustrating to report bugs and find that they aren't fixed within a
reasonable period. I don't think you would deny that that is a
fairly common experience and complaint from OOo/LibO users. I see
that on many bug reports.

My perception and experience of the choice of application software
in large organisation is that it is much more rational and
hard-headed than you imply. The main cost is not the licence, for
which in any case large organisations generally pay very little per
desktop. It's user support that is costly, ie overall cost of


On 05/04/2011 16:52, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
Hello Mike
(since we're all top posting in this thread)...

To claim that MS Office is devoid of bugs is somewhat extravagant.
There have been several versions of MS Office that were plagued with
bugs; people complained but the products continued their roll-out. I
don't think MSOffice dominance can be attributed to a better quality
than OOo/LibO or any other contender, but to a specific framing of
the market environment better known as a monopoly. As someone who has
spent over 10 years analyzing competition in IT I can tell you most
governments are prone to external pressure and lobbying. Choice of one
office suite over another is decided almost never on quality, but on
price, peer-pressure, business advantage, personal ties and favours,
and more often than not, laziness and fear of the unknown.

This being said, LibreOffice does have bugs -just like any other
software- and we need to tackle them, so let me invite everyone
here to
report bugs on our bug tracker, and if possible to propose a fix;
we'll deal with more bugs better and faster :-)


Le Tue, 05 Apr 2011 15:56:11 +0100,
Mike Hall<>  a écrit :

I worked for perhaps 15 years with various versions of MSO as both a
power user and as a senior manager with responsibility, inter alia,
for MSO support. I met all the senior international people at the
time, from MS and many other suppliers. During that time, whether
with short or long documents, I personally came across only 2
instances of genuine MSO bugs.

Since retirement 16 years or so ago, I have been almost exclusively
using and promoting OOo/LibO. I know what some of the technical
advantages are, and I appreciate them. However, each time I start a
major new activity or project, I run into a major deficiency or bug
which has typically taken me a day or more's work to understand,
write bug reports and work out how to get round. Most of those bugs
are still unfixed. This kind of 'wasted' effort simply does not occur
with MSO, or at least it didn't to me, nor did I hear complaints of
that kind from the thousands of end users I was to some degree
responsible for internationally.

In my professional opinion and with the maximum regret, I do not
believe that OOo/LibO has a product offering of adequate quality to
be cost-effective in a high-cost labour economy. The support costs
are just far too high. Thus, it is my considered though painful
conclusion that the majority of IT managers in those economies would
correctly judge MSO to be the better option. As I said, I wish it
were different, but it is not. We can lobby and protest as much as we
like, but in my opinion there is absolutely no chance of extensive
corporate or governmental adoption in Western economies until the
product is of comparable quality to MSO, by which I primarily mean an
absence of bugs.


On 05/04/2011 12:37, Kürti László wrote:
Have you ever tried to work with MS office? Have you ever made a
doc longer than 10 pages? How many times you had to reedit those MS
docs? Just about every time you opened it in a different PC.

Pls don't get me wrong, but MS office works just as OO.o or LibO.
And this is not the case, but please let yourself off the hook of
MS FUDs. :)


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Hall"<>
Sent: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 1:21:03 PM
Subject: Re: [tdf-discuss] European Commitee enter talks with MS
licences,    Please make your action today against it.

On 05/04/2011 12:11, Kürti László wrote:
Even with docx, xlsx format could be read and written by OO.o or
LibO (or at least a workaround can be find).
Don't get me wrong, I entirely agree with all your sentiments.
Unfortunately, in practice the description of the situation I gave
will dominate. The quote from your email above seems to confirm
that even your company has experienced significant end user support
issues. I just wish it were different.

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