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IBM Software Linux

IBM Joins OpenOffice.org Community 213

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the get-your-conspiracy-theories-warmed-up dept.
Petrushka writes "In a press release today, with accompanying press FAQ, IBM announces a change in its relationship to the OpenOffice.org development community. The upshot is that they're making a long-term commitment to OOo; no organization has paid off any other organization for this; they're devoting about 35 of their developers in China to OOo; and they'll be contributing accessibility code from Lotus Notes to improve current support for assistive technologies. You may recall that an alleged shortage of assistive technologies that work with OOo has been one of the big criticisms leveled against the idea of governments standardizing on the OpenDocument format, which is a file format that OOo and several other office suites support."
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IBM Joins OpenOffice.org Community

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  • Good lord.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Monday September 10, 2007 @08:47AM (#20537141) Journal
    Any time you need interface contributions from Lotus Freaking Notes, something is badly wrong.

    I'm curious about the accessibility support for that helpful feature it has, where entering the password characters puts up random numbers of bullets while hieroglyphics blink randomly around the input box, apparently to distract and confuse shoulder surfers. Do they have a similar function for blind users? And how about sighted users and blind shoulder surfers? Shouldn't it make random annoying noises as well, to confuse them?

  • by twitter (104583) * on Monday September 10, 2007 @09:02AM (#20537267) Homepage Journal

    If you consider 35 developers a small investment, you understand why non free software can't compete with free software. 35 developers is a considerable cost for any company but nothing compared to the number any major free software project will attract. As ESR noted years ago, M$ can muster 20,000 developers but the free software world easily has ten times that. Things have only gotten better since then.

  • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Monday September 10, 2007 @09:02AM (#20537269) Homepage Journal
    You bring up a good point Open Office will not cure stupidity. This is important to remember.
  • by Corporate Troll (537873) on Monday September 10, 2007 @09:10AM (#20537329) Homepage Journal

    He installed it, and the next day went to me "Frankly, it sucks. I won't use it."

    What about: "It's Corporate Policy. Don't like it, feel free to search another job".

    That's what they told me when I didn't want to use Microsoft Office 2003 at work...

  • by jimicus (737525) on Monday September 10, 2007 @09:19AM (#20537411)
    What if....

    ...you took OO.o as it stands now, rebranded it "Microsoft Office 2009 Preview" (just the splash screen, title bar and help text should be adequate) and showed it to someone who'd made such a complaint. Tell them that "Microsoft found people were confused by the change of interface in 2007 so they changed it back again to something which looks more like Office 2000" or other such bull.

    I bet most of the complainers would announce themselves to be perfectly happy with this, and far prefer it to OpenOffice.
  • Re:faster!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ash Vince (602485) on Monday September 10, 2007 @09:59AM (#20537899) Journal

    When was the last time you used OOo? Since 2.0, it's not that slow. It's slow in initial loading, but that's because OOo loads the whole suite when starting any of its components, so comparing load time of OOo Writer vs. Word, for example, is not an apples-to-oranges comparison.
    I use 2.0 and I find it slower than Word. I did not know that when I loaded OOo writer it also loaded all the rest of the suite but why waste time doing that at all? Normally I open office by clicking on a document which I want to open, in which case I do not want it to waste time with alot of features that are not relevant to the document type I have just opened.

    I would bet that this is why it is always accused of being slower thet MS Word and this is one of the reasons I would have a hard time convincing anyone else to use Open Office over the MS version. Trying to explain that it was not a fair comparison would not really wash with alot of people (myself included) as they were not likely to understand why it worked the way it did and what was gained from doing it the way it does from a useability point of view.
  • Re:Good lord.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zebedeu (739988) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:05AM (#20537997)
    After being subjected to Notes for the past 8 months, yes, Microsoft Outlook would be a blessing!
    Seriously, if you don't hate it, you never used it -- it's that bad.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:18AM (#20538163) Journal
    If IBM (and sun) really want to make a dent in Office, they should work on MsPM and Visio clones. In particular, if they first do the file format library (open, read, write close files), then it allows other OSS projects to move forward. Then followed up with clones/improvements. By doing these 2, they pretty much remove one of the large blocks to corporate adoption.
  • by Manic Miner (81246) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:24AM (#20538273) Homepage
    Notes can be a git to use, takes a lot of getting used to... but it is WAY better than Outlook & Exchange, Organising meetings is easier, the replication features make it easy to work "off-line" on a laptop then sync up your changes when you get into the office.

    Once you are used to the user interface and have learned a bit about the power of notes, it makes Outlook look like a childs toy.
  • by xouumalperxe (815707) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:28AM (#20538335)

    While you might make a solid point there (I don't really follow assistive technologies much), you're missing an important, more pragmatic point: The (perceived?) cost of migration.

    Imagine I'm Joe CTO. If I just change my users from MS Office to OpenOffice, I have to handle transitioning just one piece of software (albeit a big one). Last thing I want is to change both office suite and operating system in one go. So I need Open Office with all the bells and whistles *now*, and once that transition is complete, I'll worry about changing people from Windows to Gnome/KDE and enjoy the same bells and whistles there.

    And there's always the moral point: If we're out to accuse MS to be evil monopolists, we should do so from moral high ground. And that means that you don't say "KDE/GNOME have the feature so screw the Windows users".

  • Re:OO.org 1-2-3 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gratemyl (1074573) * on Monday September 10, 2007 @02:03PM (#20542013) Homepage
    -1; Troll???

    "Disagree" == "Troll"?

    I personally don't agree with the above comment. There are other arguments for and against MS Office, these are lame - but "Troll" moderation?

    I would have thought that /. moderators would have a bit more ... oh, wait!
  • Price is important (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kenodi (880090) on Monday September 10, 2007 @02:30PM (#20542369)
    Is important that Open Office keeps getting improved and all the help from IBM is welcomed. At some point (if not already there), the dominant MS Office will have to make a revolutionary step in order to justify the price tag.

    Users will look at the quality/price ratio although a bit difficult if you have to divide by zero for Open Office :)

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