Charles Engelke's Blog

November 9, 2003

OpenOffice: by programmers, for programmers?

Filed under: Notes — Charles Engelke @ 4:56 pm

When I last rebuilt my hard drive, about a month ago, I installed
OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office. I wanted to see how
practical it would be to use it instead. Turns out, it’s pretty
practical. I’ve created files that I’ve sent to Microsoft users
without a hitch, and opened files they sent me. I even collaborated
on an RFI document with Microsoft Office users.

So I’m pretty impressed with OpenOffice. Sometimes I have a hard
time figuring out how to do something that Microsoft Office does; it
can usually do it, but there’s little or no documentation to help
me.

And sometimes I run into something that reminds me that this is the
result of an open source effort, instead of being driven by a
traditional business product development process. The ruler at
the top of a presentation defaults to showing centimeters instead
of inches. Well, almost the whole world uses the metric system, so
that’s reasonable, I guess. And, anyway, I can change it. To inches.
To millimeters. To points or picas. Or meters or feet. Or
kilometers or miles.

Well, why discriminate against some units? As I said, by programmers
for programmers, or at least, for people who think like programmers.
I’m surprised they didn’t offer light years and parsecs as options.

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