[Wolves] Re: The Open Source Development Paradigm

Kevanf1 kevanf1 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 8 14:43:06 GMT 2005

On 08/12/05, Howard Berry <h.berry at blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> Kev,
> It was good to read about the use of OOS in NHS. But to bring people back
> to earth have a gander at this. I think there are some good
> complacency-pricking points made. What do you think?
> http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,16376,1660763,00.html
> "OpenOffice is the only free and open source product competitive with
> Office, able to read and write Microsoft format documents almost
> flawlessly. For Linux desktop users, it is the only way to communicate in
> the universe of business. But it also vividly demonstrates the limitations
> of open source as a way of producing software, and its futility as an
> ideology."
> --
> Regards,
> Howard Berry
> Supporting Open Source Software
> http://www.opensource.org
Hi Howard.  There are some very real and totally valid points made in
that piece.  It is the sort of article more people in the FOSS arena
should be reading and accepting.  We all know that OOo is absolutely
apallingly slow to start up - I personally do not have the Quickstart
running due to the memory hog it takes.  Besides, if we are ever going
to compare like for like does MS Office need a 'quickstart' facility? 
However, I don't think the article actually tells the whole story... 
It does depend heavily on the proprietary MS document format.  This
may, or may not of course, be on its way out.  If it does topple from
its perch of being the format of choice where business is concerned
then there will be other office type suites that will be in the
running as a contender to the crown.

Overall though I have to say that the article is indeed pretty much
fair.  The majority of the world's businesses use MS software.  They -
the buyers - know that it crashes, they know that it is expensive but,
still they use and purchase it.  We cannot ignore that fact as much as
it may hurt.  It's up to us to improve on projects like OOo and to
showcase the software that works well.  I did notice that the author
stuck resolutely to a comparison of MS Office and Open Office org. 
Pity he didn't mention Firefox and Internet Explorer.  I'm willing to
bet that the majority of PC users have more to do with the internet
and web browsing than they actually use any office package.
I am only human, please forgive me if I make a mistake it is not deliberate.
Take care this Xmas.  PLEASE DON'T drink and drive.
Kevan Farmer

Linux user #373362

34 Hill Street
Cheslyn Hay

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