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"Numerous statements concerning LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice are incorrect or outdated," the groups said in the letter.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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Rewrite it!
By GatoRat on 11/19/2012 11:23:30 AM , Rating: 1
Remember the big selling point of open software? That if you don't like it, you can rewrite it? Whereupon you have an incompatible version and end up owning the software. Never mind the massive cost.

Another point; the cost of doing the actual upgrade and training vastly exceeds--overwhelms--the cost of whatever software they choose. Free doesn't mean something has no real costs associated with it.

RE: Rewrite it!
By ClownPuncher on 11/19/2012 11:34:56 AM , Rating: 2
Who has time to rewrite software when they are at work not being paid to rewrite software?

RE: Rewrite it!
By maugrimtr on 11/20/2012 8:05:30 AM , Rating: 2
That's a false premise. The promise of open source was to enable modification - not rewrites. OS code is freely reusable. You can grab a common open source app or library and modify it to suit your needs. Modifying something that freely exists instead of rewriting/creating your own from scratch is, in theory, always going to be cheaper and more efficient. It turns software into a cheap commodity.

Assuming it ever remotely suited some of you needs, obviously!

Rewriting software is generally believed to be a waste of time. Rewrites are risky, time consuming, costly and tend to fail big if your team sucks or the problem is too complex for your size.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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