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Month: November 2011

Re: [trinity-devel] KOffice Suite

From: Darrell Anderson <humanreadable@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 13:52:14 -0800 (PST)
> > First, we are discussing TDE users. That fact
> distinguishes those users from other users because a TDE
> user is using a Linux based system and not Windows. Few
> users of Linux based systems are as naive as the majority of
> Windows users. :) That is, many Linux based users have a
> clue about computers.
> Except the new converts. Even today, I as a Linux user am
> still somewhat naive, though not nearly as naive as a few
> years ago when I used Windows exclusively.

My use of the word naive was a poor choice. I think the point I wanted to make is Linux based users tend to be less intimidated by computers than Windows users. Just a couple of months I ago I conducted a training class and one of the attendees uttered, "You can do that?" when I demonstrated a particular method of performing the computer task we were discussing. I know all of the people in that class. All of them are smart and sharp. None of them are computer people. If nobody shows them how to work more efficiently on a computer with certain tasks they never learn.

I have watched people type information into dialog boxes. Instead of using the Tab key to keep their hands on the keyboard, they type into one text box, stop, grab the mouse, click into the next text box, type, stop, etc. These people don't "grok" computers at all. People who adopt Linux based systems are more likely to explore and ask questions. I think that was my point.

Until the day arrives, if ever, when Linux based systems with TDE are preinstalled, then I think we keep dealing with that type of user.

> > I suspect for simple documents that KOffice will
> import MS Office documents. I can test that. Yet users need
> to understand that the more complex the document the more
> likely importing will be disappointing. We need to provide a
> little tough love, so to speak. I still have floppy disks
> from the early 90s of a software package that was nothing
> more than many dozen file conversion filters. The challenge
> of file compatibility is nothing new. There never has been a
> smooth solution and never will. If there was then none of us
> would support the idea of open formats. :)
> The hard core FOSS-only people at GNU still would ;-)

I probably would too. I remember the 1980s and 1990s when there were many more apps on the market than just MS software. File conversions were a nightmare and a profitable business, even moreso than today. Even way back then I wanted common file formats.

> The solution I can think of here is to provide a warning
> box when people open a MS Office document. Tell them that
> since we do not work with Microsoft or have access to the
> code, support for their format is not and will never be
> perfect and may yield unexpected results.

I like that idea. If we provide such a dialog box then be sure to include a check box "Don't show this message again."

> WINE is not an illusion for MS Office, I tested this myself
> with Office 2003 and 2007. While it may not be perfect, it
> isn't perfect with running them on Windows either. I can't
> comment on FrameMaker since I've never heard of it.

I have tried WINE, although a few years ago. Not worth the stress. Additionally, there is no official support in WINE for macros. Several of my templates depend heavily on macros and that was the end of my testing right there.

I was very happy when VirtualBox became available. I bought new hardware and have been happy with running Windows that way. I accept that not everybody wants to do that or has the hardware to handle that kind of load.

I am one of the few people who rarely experience MS apps crashing. I've heard the complaints for years but that has not been my experience. Likewise with BSODs. I never saw that many. Then again, I've been around computers a long time. Perhaps I was configuring my systems in a manner that avoided those problems. I also tend to be a single tasker and don't run two dozens different apps at one time.

FrameMaker is a de facto standard app in the tech writing world. FrameMaker actually started on Unix systems back in the late 80s. Only after Adobe bought the software in the 90s did Unix support end. There was a brief fling a few years back from the Adobe people with a beta version for Linux based systems, but never went to market. Too bad. Because of my professional dependence, I more than likely would have purchased a copy. Expensive vertical market software too.