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Interesting article, and indeed it is true that the file format is the
most important aspect of the office suite debate, but I think you are a
little naive in your assumption that LO should stop doing any other
type of marketing.

Firstly, the question of a truly open and compatible format *is* used
when discussing the problems with MSO. Secondly, we are so few, that to
stop accepting MSO formats would doom us, not convince the vastly
larger uneducated crowd that they need to switch. Thirdly, most people
don't really care, because it doesn't affect them. All that affects
them is that they can communicate with others that equally don't care,
and so the entrenched establishment is perpetuated. Unless the dominant
system is changed out from under them, or the dominant system stops
working for them, they won't care. Our job is to slowly erode the
dominant system until there no longer is a dominant system. Having the
dominant system become as flaky as .docx is only helps us by making the
problems actually affect the majority of users, making them care about
choices, and making them more likely to make a conscious decision to
choose the best alternative.

Thirdly, while it is true that many people use word processors
incorrectly, due to not being educated about their use, this is not
relevant to the discussion of marketing LO. It is just a fact of life.
Many people need word processors, but not nearly as many have the time
to learn them properly, or even to understand computers properly. Many
people do view computers as more complex typewriters. To fix this would
require insisting that all those people stop doing these jobs for
themselves and instead hire professionals. In many ways bringing
computers to the masses was both Microsoft's greatest good and its
greatest evil, although if MS hadn't done it, I'm sure it would have
happened anyway. And the ability for people to do things for themselves
that computers have facilitated is a benefit for society as a whole,
one that projects like LO support. Instead of only being able to do
what some company (like Microsoft) thinks you should be able to do, and
only if you pay them very well, open source software believes that
everybody should be able to do whatever they want. That's the very
nature of Open Source: you have the source, change it if you need to.
The fact that most people can't is irrelevant; it is the ability to do
so that the open source movement believes *must* exist, so that
collaboration and innovation can happen when enough like-minded and
able people get together. The potential for self-betterment is what
open source is all about. The fact that the potential for good use
means that there is lots of use that is poorly implemented is one of
the prices that we gladly (though with plenty of grumbles) accept.
Though we (should) never stop trying to educate users.

Just my point of view.


On Sat, 9 Nov 2013 18:59:12 +0100
"M. Fioretti" <> wrote:

Twelve (TWELVE!!!) years ago I asked OpenOffice users “Are you
advocating OO correctly"..

Continues on my blog:

Feedback very welcome, of course!


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