[linux-elitists] What's some marketing buzzwords for what we do?

Alan DuBoff aland@SoftOrchestra.com
Tue Dec 31 12:37:20 PST 2002

On Tuesday 31 December 2002 11:11, Larry M. Augustin wrote:
> But when people tout StarOffice as a general replacement for MS Office, I
> start to get a bit frustrated.  I can't in good conscience recommend
> StarOffice to most people.  It's just too buggy.  I've lost too much data
> using it.  I even tried the Windows version once just to see if it was just
> the Linux version.  It wasn't.

This is where we certainly disagree. Not only can I reccomend it in good 
conscience, but to be honest there have been cases where OpenOffice would 
print PowerPoint presies where ms-dos-office wouldn't. When I was working at 
Cisco last year, my entire department (except me;-) was using ms-dos-w2k and 
ms-dos-office. I can't remember the exact version of ms-dos-office they were 
using, but a newer version came out and their ms-dos-office would open the 
document from another department, but crashed ms-dos-office when they tried 
to print it. The latest OpenOffice at the time could print it, although there 
was one or two graphics that it slightly munged...I'd take that over a crash 
any day. I was also able to edit genuine ms-dos-office documents, exchange 
those changes with my colleagues, and do the work I was needed to get done in 
ms-dos-office. It worked fine, and it didn't crash on me.

My guess is that you were probably using the older 5.2 version of StarOffice 
which did not work nearly as well. The latest StarOffice 6 and OpenOffice 
work quite well, and not just "good enough", they're worthy of reccomending 
to any of my clients. I believe I mentioned this to you at SVLUG and you said 
you weren't sure but it had been "a while" since you looked at it.
> So I suppose there are a set of people who just want basic word processor
> functionality, and therefore manage to stay within a set of StarOffice
> functions that don't crash.  Maybe StarOffice is "good enough" for them.

I would like to make it clear though, it's not just "good enough", but "as 
good" as ms-dos-office in *most* cases.

> But I still think it's crappy software...  And I really hate advocating for
> crappy software.

And that's fair. There are some things I can critisize about it which I don't 
care for and would like to see changed/fixed, but it really is able to 
function as production software at the point it is at. For instance, some 
menus/dialogs are slow to pop up, but that is rectified with most modern 
hardware. StarOffice/OpenOffice use XML for documents, and that is where 
ms-dos-office is promising to "take you tomorrow".

> > Are there any numbers on office suite ROI?
> Good question.

I'd like to see just the investment portion of that equation.

> That aside, I would guess that office suite ROI would be measured by the
> time to accomplish a task.  E.g.  define a set of "office" tasks and measure
> the time for a person with the same amount of training in each product to
> accomplish that task.  At least that's how I think of it when I do some
> office suite task.

Ok, so now we're down to the meat of the issue. Granted there are *some* 
functions that are not available as VB script doesn't run on Linux 
(THANKFULLY;-) and that could be where it could fall short. However, few 
people are really excercising that in their office documents. I honestly feel 
that a 1 day training course would have most all people using Star/OpenOffice 
that currently use ms-dos-office.

Most of these users don't need to know how to modify init scripts, compile 
new programs, or convert dec to hex like geeks do, they can get by using 
Star/OpenOffice and a mail client.


Alan DuBoff
Software Orchestration, Inc.
GPG: 1024D/B7A9EBEE 5E00 57CD 5336 5E0B 288B 4126 0D49 0D99 B7A9 EBEE

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