The Cold War Between OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice
Oct 22, 2010 GMT
For the past month, I've wanted to express an opinion about LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org. However, I've refrained, because I didn't know what to think either way. I still don't, but my conviction is growing into that this uncertainty is worth expressing. Although many people want to see a hero or a villain in events, I'm not convinced that anyone who is involved deserves the uncritical support of the community.
If you follow free software development at all, then you know what's been happening. Mistrusting Oracle's intentions towards OpenOffice.org,... more »
Microsoft compares OpenOffice.org Writer and MS Word
Oct 15, 2010 GMT
Until now, I had somehow missed Microsoft's "Why Microsoft" videos, explaining why users should choose Microsoft Office over OpenOffice.org. The title of the series alone warns you to expect bias, but you might not expect are the high number of errors, omissions and misleading statements in the videos. In fact, there are so many that it took me over twenty minutes to view the six minute video on Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.org Writer, since I had to stop after almost every... more »
OpenOffice.org's 10th Anniversary: The Difference a Decade Makes
Oct 08, 2010 GMT
October 13, 2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the OpenOffice.org project. It's a significant landmark, both for me personally and for free software in general.
For me, OpenOffice.org was the wedge I used to find a niche in computer journalism. In the early years of the millennium, few people were writing about OpenOffice.org. Almost by accident, I started comparing it with Microsoft Office, and writing How-Tos in my spare time. Before I knew it, I was writing full-time. For a while, I was worried that I would be too closely identified... more »
Sep 30, 2010 GMT
According to one theory of history, in the right circumstances, certain developments are inevitable. Given a few decades of an industrial revolution, half a dozen people will invent the steam engine. Given a few decades of biological studies, and theories of evolution start to emerge. If that is so, then for the last year or so in the history of the free and open source software community we have been in Forking Time -- and for the life of me, I can't decide whether this is a healthy development or not.
Certainly, there have been no shortages of recent forks although they do not always go... more »
OOo4Kids: A workable compromise
Sep 22, 2010 GMT
I am always of two minds about office suites or applications for children. On the one hand, I can see the value of offering a simplified interface for learning on. On the other hand, I wonder if children shouldn't start with the interface they will be using as adults, so they don't how to learn the interface all over again. OOo4Kids balances these conflicting needs better than any application I've ever seen -- so much so that I think that the main OpenOffice.org project could benefit from adopting its... more »
Booting from a USB drive and other imponderables
Sep 13, 2010 GMT
It started out such a good day. Then I came face to face with ignorance.
I set out this afternoon to buy a netbook computer, in the hopes of taking advantage of the back-to-school sales. I came armed with a USB drive with a bootable copy of GNU/Linux on it. Rather than buy a computer and take it home, only to haul it back if it didn’t run GNU/Linux, I planned to start it from the USB drive in the store first.
In case you are unclear on a concept, when you boot from a USB drive, it takes the place of the hard drive. Nothing is installed on the... more »
WriteType and the philosophy of educational software
Sep 09, 2010 GMT
As a writer, I have a weakness for word processors. The announcement of a new one leaves me slavering to try it. But new word processors are rare these days, so when I saw an announcement for WriteType last week, I immediately downloaded it. However, despite some interesting intentions and features, WriteType is still very much in beta -- and very pssibly misses an important point as well.
Max Shinn, the lead developer, began WriteType when his mother, an elementary... more »