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From "Anthony J. Rudgers" <>
Subject Re: All essay text turned to hashtags--commentary; reply to commentary responders
Date Wed, 08 Jan 2014 00:40:57 GMT
Greetings All,

    I’ve read w/ interest all the ensuing postings engendered, both by the 
original problem of a woman’s daughter’s essay, created using OOo software, 
being turned into textural gibberish when an attempt was made to save it as 
a document, & my short, general commentary on this problem as being 
symptomatic of flaws inherent in the present OOo office suite.  First, let 
me state that, pointing out that flaws exist in any product, isn’t at all 
equivalent to saying that said product is w/o value.  Next, let me stand 
corrected on my erroneous use of the term “hashtag,” as was pointed out by 
an observant member of this community.  (Instead of alluding to a text file 
purportedly turned into “hashtags,” I should, perhaps, have referred to that 
file being turned into a “fondue of un-interpretable symbols.” (FoUIS 
?)—among these symbols there being visible many hash marks (#).)  Finally, 
let me state, as succinctly as I’m able to, what the purpose in of my 
previous posting was.

    I’ve encountered numerous problems w/ my use of OOo software, 
principally the Writer word-processor.  I recognize that some of my 
difficulties arose from my total unfamiliarly at the outset w/ the OOo 
product in question.  Being a really “old-timer,” who grew up on technical 
instruction manuals & user guides, all of which were available in print 
form, I, early in the game, bought ALL the guides to OOo software that were 
available on Amazon.  I found, however, that I could NOT resolve many of the 
problems I encountered w/ OOo by consulting this documentation.  Hence my 
previous statement asserting that OOo documentation is meager & inadequate. 
(I will stand by that!)   Furthermore, from my installed OOo office suite, I’ve 
never been able to get online help while I’m working, since my installed OOo 
software cannot connect to the Internet.  (Moreover, for this reason, I 
cannot install updates to my OOo software.)  Years ago, when I first 
installed (via the official OpenOffice web site) the OOo suite, this 
Internet connection didn’t work, nor did it work when I reinstalled the OOo 
suite on several other occasions, in hopes of correcting this problem. (Now 
a functioning Internet connection certainly might be something that could be 
fixed,  if only I knew enough about OOo to turn this service on.  Or it may, 
indeed, be indication of a bug in my OOo software AS IT INTERACTS W/ MY 
WINDOWS 7 OS on my particular HP laptop.  I’ve really no idea, but I’ve more 
& more come to believe my “bug hypothesis.”)

    Consequently, I turned to two of these OOo email “forums” to see if I 
could, perhaps, get some help w/ my particular problems from other, more 
experienced OOo users. I watched the traffic on these OOo sites for more 
than 2 years  w/o posting anything, hoping to learn more about how people 
were using the OOo software,  how queries for help were addressed by other 
members of the community, & how to pose such queries for help myself.  I’ve 
learned  much of interest about OOo during my past silent sojourn in these 
email forums, but, unfortunately,  not much that I learned helped me become 
more proficient in actually using OOo to accomplish my personal projects. 
It would be of little purpose for me to give the reasons for this, as I’m 
sure it’d only cause more vituperative cries of “Troll!, Troll!” to be sent 
in my direction.

    So on to my main point.  What I did observe from following the 
conversations carried on in these email forums, & attempted to comment on in 
my previous postings, was that many of the problems OOo software users 
reported in the past strongly suggest the presence of flaws in that software 
package.  I’m a software user, not (at this time in my life) a software 
developer, so I certainly can’t pinpoint where these bugs occur within the 
extensive OOo code package & how to debug this code.  However, ordinary 
users of the OOo software, doing ordinary things w/ that software, have been 
regularly posting “field reports” of problems that are symptomatic of 
software bugs.  And these field reports don’t seem to be taken seriously & 
tracked down by any but a v. small cadre of  OOo proponents.  These few do 
seem genuinely interested in improving the OOo software, but their number is 
too few, & the time they have available is too limited, for addressing all 
the OOo software issues that these email forums seem to raise.

    Many, other than these few, seem to attribute most, or all, user 
problems to either stupidity or ineptitude (or both) on the part of the user 
w/ the problem.  Software bugs as a cause of user problems never seems to be 
a consideration to these individuals.  I should point out that this position 
is refuted by many of the very postings on this forum.  When OOo 
transitioned from version 3 to version 4 in the immediate past, their were 
many postings from long-time & experienced OOo users complaining of things 
like missing, inaccessible, or corrupted files.  Or else, reports of 
procedures that worked w/ OOo vers. 3 that no longer worked once they 
installed vers. 4.  That was all due coding problems w/o doubt—these 
long-term & experienced users didn’t suddenly become stupid &/or inept. 
What should be done & what will be done about bugs in OOo software certainly 
isn’t up to me.  But what is done, or not done, w/ OOo software will 
determine the future prosperity, or the future decline, of the OOo office 

    BTW, my use of the “cyber-cliché” “imho” in my postings has been an 
attempt at humor rather than of sarcasm.  It’d be a shame, indeed, if being 
a good-natured guy would serve only to bring the wrath of the present OOo 
“community” down on his head.

Best wishes,

Anthony J. Rudgers
Orlando, FL U.S.A.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Keith N. McKenna
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2014 6:30 PM
Subject: Re: All essay text turned to hashtags--commentary

Hash: SHA1

Anthony J. Rudgers wrote:
> Greetings All!
> The present "hashtag" problem is is symptomatic of the entire OO
> software suite.  An ordinary user of OO, doing ordinary things w/ a
> word processor or other office-suite software, suddenly gets
> something that is really screwy, & doesn't know what to do to fix
> it.  Much of their production gets lost, or else, they spend a lot
> of time attempting to get their WP document or spreadsheet the way
> they want it by trying again & again to get around built-in or
> default features (or bugs!) of OO that they don't understand or
> know how to modify (& OO documentation, as I have found, is meager
> & inadequate).  Unless you're a long-time & dedicated user, the OO
> suite never seems to do quite what you'd like it to do & you
> usually can't figure out how to fix things ON YOUR OWN COMPUTER W/
> YOUR EXISTING SOFTWARE.  One has to have the ability to fix things
> quickly on their own w/o "going to the experts" every time a
> problem w/ OO arises!  For the casual user, the OO product appears
> flawed.  People who use any software product want to spend their
> time & creativity on what they are developing, rather than spending
> time & effort on issues associated w/ the tool they are using to
> develop it. OO office software needs much effort to make it more
> efficient, largely error-free, & much more user friendly.
> Beat wishes,
> Anthony J. Rudgers Orlando, FL U.S.A.
Mr. Rudgers;

Though your criticism bears much truth I feel it over emphasizes
certain aspects. Many of the support questions that are seen here and
on the forums are in the ways that AOO differs from other software of
the same type.

Most of my 20+ years in industry were spent in doing direct support
and I know from experience that many "ordinary users" frequntly do not
even bother to consult the help resources that are available or just
complain that it does not work like xyz did.

This particular problem is one that is very difficult to track down
because it happens so infrequently that it is difficult for QA and
developers to replicate.

You say that documentation is meager and inadequate. I would direct
you to
Though these are for Version 3.3 much of the information they contain
is relevant to later versions, including version 4.0.1. Also available
is a getting started guide for version 3.4 from

There is an ongoing documentation effort to create up to date
documentation for Version 4 and beyond on the wiki. We are always
looking for volunteers to help with this effort and could use your
knowledge and skills in this effort. More information can be found at
our orientation page at

All software is imperfect and has bugs. The only way any software
product to improve is open and honest dialog between all parties. This
is specially true for Open Source Software. Honest discussion on
venues such as this and clear reports of possible bugs in the projects
Bugzilla tracking system at are ways
that all users can help make this a better product. The QA volunteers
have provided excellent hints for creating good bug reports in
Bugzilla at

Keith N. McKenna

> -----Original Message----- From: Gary Frost Sent: Saturday, January
> 04, 2014 8:26 PM To: Subject: Re: All
> essay text turned to hashtags
> Maybe, I'm an anomaly here, but I've never had any of these issues
> at all. Generally, I work on a MacBook Air with the current up to
> date OS. I do also create PDFs so that I can work on documents on
> my iPhone in Pages. Using the iPhone is usefully for last minute
> work for me.
> I've thought about good version options for other iOS devices such
> as the iPad Air which I intend to purchase. I work scrips and
> other technical documents so it is essential for me to use best
> practices to prevent loss of work.
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Jan 4, 2014, at 5:15 PM, Alan Cliffe
>> <> wrote:
>> I don't know if it can be retrieved; for whatever it's worth,
>> I've had that happen too once or twice so now I always create a
>> PDF copy of everything I do in OO.
>> ________________________________ From: natalie guttridge
>> <> To:
>> "" <> Sent:
>> Saturday, January 4, 2014 8:04 AM Subject: All essay text turned
>> to hashtags
>> Please help My daughter has written a 2000 word essay. She saved
>> it and then when she opened it again the whole text has turned
>> into hashtags...can anything be done? Regards Natalie
>> Sent from my iPad
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