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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"Numerous statements concerning LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice are incorrect or outdated," the groups said in the letter.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 Solandri on 11/19/2012 3:07:44 PM , Rating: 3
That's kinda beside the point. If you want a program which lets you edit words, you use a word processor. If you want a program which lets you edit the way your words will appear on the screen/printout, you use a layout program like PageMaker, QuarkXPress, or if it's for final consumption you make a PDF.

So if you're sharing documents with someone for review and editing, use a word processor to come up with the text you're going to use. Then put that text into a layout program to make it appear exactly how you want it to appear, and send that around for review and editing. The problem is, people want their cake and to eat it too. They want a layout program which also doubles as a word processor (or vice versa).

Microsoft Word comes close in most people's minds, but even it will show different layouts depending on what fonts are installed (varies with version of Windows) on the particular computer you're using. So this isn't a case of one solution works while the other doesn't. It's one strikes a better compromise to most people's minds. If you really wanted what people say they want, you'd use a separate word processor and layout program like I described.

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