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Hi :)
In 10 years of OpenOffice being just 1 product under Sun i only bumped into 2 people in daily life 
("word on the streets" or "word of mouth") that used it.  Both were considered "somewhat strange" 
and "difficult".  I never saw any articles about it in the press, not even in obscure magazines 
focussing on IT issues (also difficult to find anything about Gnu&Linux tbh).  In 10 years of using 
other people's public access machines i found OpenOffice just 1 time and even then it was only 
downloaded, not installed (so the managers thought it was rubbish and didn't work so they bought 
MSO to replace it (note they didn't bother to find out why it wasn't working)).  

Nowadays i see articles about either LO or AOO (or both) almost every month, sometimes every week, 
in various magazines in my local supermarket.  I bump into people every few weeks that have heard 
of it.  Users are not considered in such derogatory ways anymore, or at least not so often.  In IT 
training it's more common to hear the tutor mention "and other office suites".  On public access 
machines it is more normal to find OpenOffice fully installed.  

Also it seems that we have more devs in LO than contributed to OpenOffice in an equivalent 
time-frame.  I thought someone said more in LO in 2 years than had contributed to OOo in 10years.  

So, do i think we should amalgamate and return to just one product?  Lol!! 

To me i think the idea of re-combining makes sense initially.  The old argument about a "fragmented 
market".  However this argument is only applied in IT circles.  Do people say that there should Not 
be so many flavours of ice-cream?  or that there should only be 1 company allowed to produce 
ice-cream?  Outside of IT "fragmentation" is considered a driving force and it's seen as good when 
companies compete with each other.  

Regards from 

Tom :) 

From: rost52 <>
Sent: Wednesday, 12 December 2012, 1:43
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] A Tale of Two Office Suites


Thanks! It can't be said better!

Isn't the statement that competition helps to improve not simply an excuse to not being force to 
work on an attempt that both (LibO & AOO) teams can work together again?

Isn't MSO a good competitor, which helps improve an OpenSource Office (the combination of LibO and 
AOO) suit  being available for those who just cannot afford MSO?

I really would like to understand what attempts have been made to get both teams together and why 
the attempts failed? And when will the next attempt be made?

I German is a phrase which I found being translated at LEO into English as:  "Constant dripping 
wears away the stone". The Japanese say: "Until the ears hurt".

I hope the responsible persons of LibO and AOO keep talking to each other until they find a way to 
cooperate again as one team to create the best Office Suit available.... and affordable for those 
with less financial resources. That is the real challenge and worthwhile to go for it.


On 2012-12-11 07:28, VA wrote:
I may be way out of line here, but I’m sending this post to the user lists for both LibreOffice 
and Apache OpenOffice. I have both programs on my computer and regularly use both. Like many of 
you out there, I have subscribed to both user lists.

I don’t know the full history behind the Libre/Oracle split, but from what I have read on 
various forums and lists, there is considerable emotional pain resulting from the split. The 
result is two different FOSS office suites.

Some have pleaded for the two to combine forces. Others have noted that the competition is good 
for the end user as it results in more rapid development of improvements to both suites.

I see both sides, but I’d like to point out one thing I have noticed in my own use of the two 
programs. Some computer programs are what I would call “load and use.” Programs like web 
browsers and mail clients, etc., require little to no configuration or customization. One can 
simply do productive use without much thought. I can easily bounce back and forth between 
Internet Explorer and Firefox, Live Mail and Thunderbird.

Not so with office suites. To get the most out of my office suites, I create and edit templates, 
page, character and paragraph styles. I have to set the autocorrect functions of each program to 
my liking to prevent a (c) from turning into a ©.  While it’s not essential, I tend to customize 
my toolbars and have created helpful macros. Effectively using an office suite requires a 
commitment akin to a marriage.

For this reason, bouncing back and forth between two suites is counterproductive. I find myself 
importing and exporting settings, styles, and templates between the two programs rather than 
simply doing my work.

Why do I put up with this inconvenience? Because each program has essential virtues over the 

For example, if I need to properly hyphenate my US English, I use LibreOffice as (to date), 
OpenOffice fails to properly hyphenate US English.

But, if I need to create mailing lists, as I just did for Christmas cards, I use OpenOffice as 
its Avery 5160 template is more properly aligned than that found in LibreOffice.

LibreOffice remembers my hierarchical stylelist setting, whereas OpenOffice does not, but 
OpenOffice more effectively supports the advanced Graphite features of the Linux Libertine font.

So, depending on my specific needs, I bounce back and forth. I’m sure many would suggest that I 
help out by reporting bugs. I have done so, but even I get lost keeping track of the bugs of 
each program that I am most interested in following.

I suspect this situation will only get worse as each program develops features that will be 
lacking in the other. And, while I’m not a developer, my guess is that both programs are so 
complex that keeping up with each other will become an increasingly elusive effort. And, the 
time will come when decisions will be made NOT to implement features found in the other program.

I truly like the motivation generated with competition, and sometimes having multiple programs 
on my computer to meet specialized needs can be helpful. But, in the world of office suites, 
where user commitment is essential to effective use, it would be very helpful to us end users if 
TDF and Apache could somehow overcome their differences and join forces to give us one glorious 
office suites rather than two almost glorious office suites.

These are just my thoughts.

I’d be curious as to how many others are using both programs because of advantages of each over 
the other.


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