Print 28 comment(s) - last by maugrimtr.. on Nov 20 at 8:05 AM

Open-source software groups are angry atone German city's claims

The German city of Freiburg has been using OpenOffice 3.2.1, which is an open-source productivity suite that is used as an alternative to Microsoft Office, for the past five years. The city has announced that it plans to ditch the open-source office suite and return to Microsoft Office after running into numerous problems.

Some of the issues cited by the city council include documents that were improperly formatted when opened in another office suite and conversion problems between presentation programs PowerPoint and Impress. The Council also felt that Calc and Impress performed significantly more poorly than Microsoft alternatives.

"The divergence of the development community (LibreOffice on one hand Apache Office on the other) is crippling for the development for OpenOffice," the council wrote.

The Free Software Foundation Europe, the Document Foundation, and the Open Source Business Alliance protested the city Council's findings. The groups said that the city Council was comparing apples to oranges.

"Numerous statements concerning LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice are incorrect or outdated," the groups said in the letter. They also added that the support of LibreOffice and OpenOffice is at a professional level these days. The group continued saying, "The assessment of the evaluation that compatibility to Microsoft Office cannot be reached in the next few years, is also wrong."

It's worth noting that while Microsoft Office 2013 hit RTM status in October, Freiburg will be using a combination of Office 2000 and Office 2010. 


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RE: How cute
By swampjelly on 11/19/2012 11:11:21 AM , Rating: 2
You are assuming the document no longer needed to be edited.

I started using OpenOffice to type and edit documents in German; I still have periodic problems locking up when I print.

RE: How cute
By bug77 on 11/19/2012 11:23:20 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not assuming anything, hence my second phrase (importing into other products is beyond OpenOffice's control).

Quite frankly, we ditched both at work and are happily using Google Docs. Surprisingly (for some), it does everything we need. And instead of mailing docs around and wondering about versioning and compatibility issues, we can just share them instead. Go figure.

RE: How cute
By sviola on 11/19/2012 11:52:17 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not assuming anything, hence my second phrase (importing into other products is beyond OpenOffice's control).

Well, Open Office has serious issues with document formatting compatibility, both with MS file formats and ODF formats. Not sure what the dev team did there, but many times I've come across OO having problems with files I had created in it (messing the formatting).

Quite frankly, we ditched both at work and are happily using Google Docs. Surprisingly (for some), it does everything we need.

Migth work for you, but from the article, it seems to me the Germans in case have advanced features need that OO is not providing (much less Google Docs will), specially with Spreadsheets macros (and while OO support it, it is not as good as in MS offering).

RE: How cute
By Jeffk464 on 11/19/2012 1:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, I did the same. I used open office for years and then made the switch to google docs and couldn't be happier. Unless you are a heavy office user for work or school, it just doesn't make any sense to pay the cost of MS office. Since I switched to google docs, I have never lost a document which is a very nice feature.

RE: How cute
By Jeffk464 on 11/19/2012 1:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
By the way google docs allows you to save documents as PDF's so the formatting will be exactly the same when opened on any computer.

RE: How cute
By bug77 on 11/19/2012 1:59:41 PM , Rating: 2
Or, you can share the document as read-only.

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