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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: Draft chapters of "Getting Started with AOO" need reviewers
Date Wed, 25 Apr 2012 21:54:58 GMT
My question is in the context of the recommendation that some users, including RGB.ES (quoted
below), make concerning how unadvisable it is to make MS Office format the default for saving documents.  In the face of that recommendation, is there not a conflict with
the way that us promoted as a free, open-source alternative for working with
Microsoft formats?

I see these recommendations against exporting to Microsoft Office formats rather regularly
on other user lists.  Some seem to be political considerations: treating OO.o as compatible
with Microsoft Office formats diminishes ODF and only the native ODF format usage should be

Other cases appear to be pragmatic ones about the quality of interchange between Microsoft
Office and OpenOffice-lineage software, whether via ODF or via Microsoft Office formats (including
OOXML). Although attention is usually deflected from whether or not the OpenOffice converters
are contributors to the problem, there remain problems from users about interoperability problems
they experience.

It strikes me that there needs to be some qualification, reflected in the user documentation,
that there is no blanket promise of preserved fidelity when interchanging between OpenOffice
vis Microsoft Office formats and caution should be exercises in making Microsoft formats the
default for saving documents.  (I suspect it is in Microsoft's hands to describe what folks
can expect of its support for ODF, on the other hand.)

 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Harbison [] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 14:07
Subject: Re: Draft chapters of "Getting Started with AOO" need reviewers

On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, Dennis E. Hamilton wrote:

> It is, and continues to be a feature of that it offers, on
> install, to automatically open selected Microsoft Office formats in
> OpenOffice. (I assume this is .doc, .xls, and .ppt)
> Has promotion of this as a software product that is compatible with
> Microsoft Office documents and a free, open-source replacement been
> abandoned?

I hope not. This is a review for Jean's GS doc. Perhaps a provocative post
like this belongs on a separate thread on ooo-marketing? I certainly want
to see AOO positioned as a leading open source alternative, don't you?

 - Dennis
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jean Weber [ <javascript:;>]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 02:32
> To: OOo-dev Apache Incubator
> Subject: Re: Draft chapters of "Getting Started with AOO" need reviewers
> RGB ES wrote,
> > On chapter 3, page 9 and on chapter 11 page 19 you explain how to
> > teach the program to always save as msoffice format. I think a huge
> > warning must be there saying that this is NOT recommended: using an
> > external format to save files is a risky move that may cause problems
> > with formatting... if you are lucky.
> I think a warning about docs with important formatting is needed, but
> most people's docs have little formatting and saving in MSO format
> works fine for their purposes. Although we want to promote the OD
> formats, IMO we don't want to scare off too many people who really
> won't have a problem.
> >
> > On chapter 8 (Math), a mention to the new "align to baseline" feature
> > introduced on AOO 3.4 is needed, IMO.
> Yes, thank you! I knew there was something new to include, but had
> forgotten to do so.
> >
> > But in general, on my quick scan everything seems really good ;)
> Thanks. :-)
> --Jean

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