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Hi :)
In England we have a phrase "The grass is always greener on the other side [of the fence]".  I've 
not seen it in other countries (except maybe in the US in movies) but we often have tiny gardens 
and some people take great pride in tending them very carefully.  Trying to make theirs look nicer 
than their neighbours.  Coming into the country by plane you see the back gardens of houses looking 
like a "patchwork quilt" of slightly different green colours.  

I think that when a description doesn't look quite right in English it might help to see the 
nearest Excel equivalent just to get inspiration but in the 1 case earlier i found the ODF 
description was plenty.  The Excel ones are written for corporate America and don't always suit us. 
 Also there might be copyright issues if we do follow them too closely.  We do have to follow them 
to some extent but if we are always following then we will always be behind them.  So, an 
occasional glance in their direction is good but slavishly following them is not.  (in my opinion)

As a native English speaker i have to say that while the strings are not always perfect English 
that sometimes makes them seem exotic.  It gives them a flavour of far away places, far from the 
petty troubles that bog me down in daily life, far away from the howling wind and constant rain 
battering down on my head now that it's summer here.  So it's not always a bad thing if something 
is a little badly formed.  

There are tons of things that LO does far better than MSO.  The main thing (for me) is that the 
quality of documents produced using LO is far better for much less work.  When i need to place 
logos or position images LO allows me much more freedom and wraps the text faster so i can show 
different ideas to my boss faster.  Bullet-points line up and stay the same shape and size.  
Numbered lists don't lose count.  Styles don't suddenly change and the dictionary doesn't keep 
flicking back into American so my spell checker is more reliable.  Exporting to Pdf gives more 
options.  I don't use fancy features but i think LO outperforms there too.  

People in England also often think there are only 2 business models
1.  "Stack them high.  Sell them cheap", ie don't worry about flaws or problems, just keep prices 
low so that big profits only arise from selling large quantities = this is the Windows approach 
2.  "You get what you pay for", ie that Quality is expensive = the Apple approach
Unfortunately in IT it doesn't quite work like that but people still hold onto those notions.  
Windows charges too much and doesn't give better quality but because of the higher price people 
assume that it must be better.  There is a great kids book "The Emporer's New Clothes".  People 
don't seem to realise that NOT giving profit to competitors is also a good approach and that 
pooling resources with other companies can also help keep expenses/overheads down.  People tend to 
only think of buying&selling a product.  They don't think about cost-of-production and the politics 
of becoming dependant on a competitor.  

Regards from 
Tom :)  

From: Sérgio Marques <>
Sent: Friday, 28 June 2013, 12:55
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-l10n] Word "basis" in formulas

2013/6/28 Olivier Hallot <>

Hash: SHA1


Em 28-06-2013 07:43, Sérgio Marques escreveu:
Many strings are badly formed but many of those were written in

Correct. Long time ago, the English was written by Germans, and carried
many unvoluntary germanicisms. Later, SUN did a review on the strings
and the quality improved.

Several of them are even incorrect according with ODF formula like the
You stated before.

If I get it right, LibreOffice should comply with ODFF, before it
complies with Microsoft Excel. A review of the functions description can
be set as an easy-hack. Currently I agree that the functions
descriptions in the function wizard are a bit too terse.

I also think that LibreOffice should comply to ODFF. But to help users
migrate from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice I think it´s better to have
similar strings (my locale and not other). But if devs apply properly the
ODFF (description, variables...) this could be changed.

This could lead to corporate entities not adopting LibreOffice as main
office app.

That is a shameless excuse. And by the way, you can have English
function names in a local UI. It is an option for Calc.

I guess you missed the point.

If I use an application in English were some of the strings are badly
formed isn´t this a step back?

My problem isn´t with localized strings but with original ones. If those
have errors, I´m not having a very good impression. Do you?

Of course translators can always change strings not respecting the
ones but many of entities tend to use English language due to
localization errors.

I am surprised on this statement. I don't see it in Brazil at all.

Well, I´m not an Brazilian user. If you don´t change strings accordingly,
Brazilian users are the only ones that can complain.

As Mihovil stated before do you think that "The basis" is a good string? I
don´t. That´s why I felt the need to change strings to
benefit Portuguese users. But that´s a choice that community has to make.

I think Brazilian users are better than Portuguese. It´s an cultural issue.
We tend to say that what come abroad is better than ours.

As well with paid software. Most of the people say that if it isn´t paid for
it sucks. We still have many work to do in Portugal to change that state of
mind. For me OSS is better (most of the cases) than paid-for apps because of
freedom they provide. Of course there´s always some apps that can´t be
replaced by OSS software.

On a side note, I noticed ODFF had in the past function not available in
Excel. At the translation time, I had to create a new name for the
function. Later the function was introduced to Excel and, guess what?...
with another name. I was asked by the community to change the name to
comply with Excel... Rats!

That´s the community choice. If they think that it won´t benefit users....


Sérgio Marques

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