Re: Working Within the System

From: Martin Ling (
Date: Tue May 02 2000 - 10:17:43 MDT

On Sun, Apr 30, 2000 at 07:36:56PM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:

> > > > Sun have produced StarOffice, which is fully compatible with MS Office
> > > > and free for personal non-commercial use. It's distributed with several
> > > > of the Linux distributions.
> > >
> > > Yeah, but its not fully comparable, feature for feature. It only has
> > > file format compatibility.
> >
> > For one thing, I don't see why it should have to be feature for feature
> > comparable. I said it was fully compatible, by which I mean it can read
> > and write files in MS Office's formats such that users can use either
> > with no hassle.
> Sure, but WordPad can do the same in Win95, and I don't consider that
> much of a word processor either.

Although StarOffice does not have a feature set as wide as MS Office,
it's certainly a lot more than WordPad, and possibly wider than some
more simple suites like AppleWorks.

Anyway, I'll leave this one or we'll go too subjective - I could push
for Emacs being a more full-featured word processor than Word.

> > One of my gripes with MS Office (I'm not saying MS shouldn't be allowed
> > to do this, it just annoys me) is the continual new versions. The vast
> > majority of users never use 90% of the features (hence why StarOffice is
> > a viable alternative for many - not that it's particularly lacking in
> > features itself). As soon as businesses start to upgrade, files start
> > circulating in the new formats,
> For doing things like writing letters, etc. you don't need many
> features. If you are doing any kind of publishing production, you HAVE
> to have those features.

Agreed, but I was referring to the majority of use - which is letters,
invoices, contracts, company documents and the like. DTP is a whole
other ball game of course.

> > > The 'quirky' comment I've heard elsewhere, mostly because the header
> > > normally found in Debian is not present. It can be put back in with no
> > > problem, but the point of the Corel implementation was to make it easily
> > > installable by a newbie on an average desktop machine.
> >
> > And this it does very well. Let me say that when I first saw a Corel
> > system running I was *very* impressed - they had obviously put a great
> > deal of work into making the interface consistent and easy to use,
> > including writing a lot of their own software.
> >
> > However, when I obtained a copy and tried the install, it had problems
> > on quite a few machines, including some with quite basic common
> > hardware.
> Could you give me a list? I deal with a few linux people at corel and
> I'd be interested in passing along feedback... and for my own
> edification as well, as I'm debating using that release for my servers.

(I've now done this briefly in another post - sorry if I shouted a bit
in that one, btw.)

For what it's worth, I wouldn't really have advised Corel for servers -
not on the basis of any quirks, but because it's very obviously been set
up with the emphasis on the user-end desktop. RedHat, Debian maybe?

> > I'm not someone who spreads rumours, and I'm not someone who acts with
> > prejudice. Any comments I make are based on my own experience and
> > knowledge.
> Ok. Its just that that particular adjective seems to be common among
> conventional linuxheads when confronted with CLOS, so I'm wondering if
> everybody has just read the same review by some sourpuss.

I have to admit, it has popped up a lot in a number of places. I think
'quirky' was probably just the best word :)


| Martin J. Ling              Tel: +44 (0)20 8863 2948   |
|      Fax: +44 (0)20 8248 4025   |
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