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As a user (and by no means a developer), I'm constantly doing battle with the features vs. stability issue. I agree that new features need to be pursued to keep LO competitive. I also agree, however, that LO is full-featured enough that users are justified in expecting a stable program. There's nothing more frustrating than finding that the program just won't complete a task because of some bug.

As writing is my thing, I currently have five word processors installed on my Windows computer. I use them all at various times due to inconsistencies in either features or stability. I would like to simply commit to one program, but no matter which direction I go, I run into either a lacking but necessary feature or an unstable feature that simply doesn't work. For example, I use the following:

Atlantis (shareware, $35.00 registration) -- Extremely stable, but lacking features I often need (PDF export, tables, etc.). However, it has a very clean interface and the best e-book exportation that I've seen anywhere. The Atlantis folks are slow to publish upgrades, but when they do, they are relatively bug-free and accompanied by very detailed instructions on how to use new features.

Microsoft Word Starter -- Came with my laptop OS. I only use it when I need 100% Word compatibility.

Lotus Symphony -- Lacking in many, many features, but one I really like is the tabbed interface, a feature I wish LO would adopt.

LibreOffice -- Overall, it works well, but I discovered this morning that, if I try to open an RTF file, every line in the entire file is centered and I lose all paragraph breaks. I end up with one, centered paragraph. When I open the same file in Apache OpenOffice or Lotus Symphony, it loads perfectly. I have no idea if this is a bug in LO or a setting issue or a problem with my computer. But, until I figure it out, I need to use another option when loading RTF files. This type of continuously having to chase down solutions to weird problems is frustrating. Thus user list makes life a lot easier.

Apache OpenOffice 3.4.1 -- I've noticed that AOO seems to hyphenate my English(USA) words at the wrong locations. I haven't had that problem with LO, but I don't know why. So, if I want to open an RTF file, I need to use AOO, but if I want to edit that file and hyphenate it, I need to load it into LO, after first saving it in AOO to ODT format.

This is the type of juggling act we users end up doing as we bounce from one program to the next trying to find the features we need and avoid the bugs that bog us down.

I don't envy open source developers. They do a seemingly thankless job, and I often wonder what keeps them motivated, other than an apparent shared disdain for MS. However, I deeply appreciate all they do in their attempt to make LO the best program available, in terms of both features AND stability.


-----Original Message----- From: Tom Davies
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 5:51 AM
To: Dr. R. O Stapf
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Indexing for Search not working?

Hi :)
I think we both want the same thing.  The question is how to get it.

1. How to encourage new devs to join? At the moment we show LO as an exciting projects for devs to get involved with and quickly see the results of their work getting out there into the real world. As a result they are likely to get into fixing any unexpected problems or side-issues that might have cropped up.

2. We need a "stable branch" where new stuff never gets added, just fixes back-ported from the newer, more exciting branch.

That is pretty much what we have already. By the time the newer branch reaches around .4 then it's usually stable enough for everyone = about as stable as the .6 or .7 of the older branch but with better compatibility with non-native formats and some interesting things.

If some of us helped the devs more by posting bug-reports earlier then we might be able to help them push that stability in earlier. We might start finding the 3. or even the .2 starts to be the one stable enough to migrate our colleagues and co-workers to as well as ourselves instead of having to wait for the .4.

It's on us more than the devs. They are working hard and need our support rather than our criticism. Do we want to push devs away unless they only get involved with boring dry stuff and no reward, no chance of showing off prowess, no chance of getting recognition out there?

I like people in here too. I also enjoy arguing with people i like and respect that have a good point of view and a good way of looking at the world. I usually take good points from here and then argue in favour of them on the marketing list because you have very valid points here.

We do need an LTS because these frequent upgrades and uncertainty are just not possible when you have more than a handful of computers to maintain or have limited download, or .... Well, tons of valid reasons
Regards from
Tom :)

--- On Wed, 17/10/12, Dr. R. O Stapf <> wrote:

From: Dr. R. O Stapf <>
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Indexing for Search not working?
To: "Tom Davies" <>
Date: Wednesday, 17 October, 2012, 9:42

It's not falling behind in development. It's about stability and
this means productivity.It's like placing an always stronger engine in an F1 car without
   considering to get the power on the road. What means the best engine
   when the suspension is not strong enough. With other words I feel I
   spent a lot of time in this forum which are reducing my productivity
   time. I don't mind being in the forum because there are nice people
here and I like to read the various opinions.)I don't know how many devs are working on new functions and how many
   on bug fixes. It would just be good to change for a certain time the
ratio of devs working on bugs.Do we want it or not we are compared against MSO. But in MSO we don't know the bugs.... MS neglects them.On 17.10.2012 17:07, Tom Davies wrote:
Hi :)Ok, so we should just get rid of or push away any devs
             that are interested in adding new functionality.There
             are a lot of other projects they could go to for that sort
             of excitement.We could build-up a strong core of devs
             that focus only on fixing things that already exist.Get
rid of any that have too much imagination.We could watch and wait while other Office Suites develop
             new functionality and then try to catch up and try to
             write code to do the same thing but without the code
             looking too similar.They would set the format and the
             way things should look and we just try to copy exactly
without looking too similar.Let our competitors do the driving and just gradually fall further and further back?!!??Alternatively we could try to help all our devs by test
             driving the new branch asap.Seek out 'bugs' or anything
vaguely wonky.Post bug reports.Find work-arounds.Fall back on the more stable release from the older branch
             (we can have 2 versions installed at once right?) for when
we need to meet deadlines.The question is do we want LO to fall behind and become
             increasingly irrelevant or are we ready to help push out
             into the world?Do we want LO to keep going in the future
             or are we happy to be forced into switching back to MSO
one day?Regards fromTom :)--- OnWed, 17/10/12, Dr. R. O Stapfreinhold@stapf-online.comwrote:From: Dr. R. O Stapfreinhold@stapf-online.comSubject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Indexing for Search not working?To:users@global.libreoffice.orgDate: Wednesday, 17 October, 2012, 8:44On 17.10.2012 16:07, Pertti Rnnberg wrote:BRAVO Anne-Ology!!Exactly that message - only in other words -- I
                 have repeatedly tried to tell to the LibO-experts
(devs) since January:they must take a brake in developing and take a
                 certain version (e.g. 3.4.xx) and make every module of
                 the suite - Base included - absolutely free of bugs
                 and inconsistencies both in programming and the
instructions and especially the LibO-Help.Every feature shall have a clear explanation and
                 a detailed guiding how-to in the LibO-Help -- easily
understood by any average non-expert user.I cannot agree more.I started with 3.5.4 a few month ago and saw some
                 problems disappearing in3.5.5 and 3.5.6. Currently I
am hesitating to upgrade to 3.5.7.I hope the dev-team listens to Pertti's words.-- For unsubscribe instructions e-mail to: users+help@global.libreoffice.orgProblems? guidelines + more: archive: messages sent to this list will be publicly
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