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On 11/09/2013 12:59 PM, 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!


There are two different "topics" here.
1 - Open File Formats - ODF
2 - Free and Open Source Software office suites - LO and OOo/AOO

Open File Formats

Not having to deal with proprietary file formats for you office
documents is a given.  As long as you have such open formats, most
office suites will be able to handle documents create by other office
suites, and Window, MacOSX, or Linux.  If you are a Linux user and you
friend, or even a client or boss, sends you a document in one of the ODF
formats - let us say .odt text document - then even though you have a
different OS and maybe different office package, you still can read and
edit the document and send it back to the sender.  The key is you are
not required to use the same OS or the same office package as the sender
to be able to work with it.  No need to hope your office package can
open properly some complex MSO 2013 .docx that is sent to your system
that has MSO 2010 or you are using MacOSX or Ubuntu.  You hope for the
best.  I still have State "agency" people send out MSO 2010 or 2013 Word
.docx files to other agency people who still have MSO 2007 and did not
have the budget to buy 2010 or 2013.  They still cannot understand that
there is a limited backwards compatibility to the .docx formatted files
between the newer to the older MSO packages.  If, they were using a
package that saved these documents in ODF [or even .doc for Word] then
they would not have these troubles.


The first advantage to using a FOSS office suite - LO as the example -
is to the budget when you add another computer to your home or business
environment.  Sure there may be business costs to get the documents
saved in a common file format - i.e. ODF - but after than the costs are
much less than needing to buy, or even rent, a copy of MSO.  For limited
budget households, buying the hardware is costly enough, so adding the
costs of all that "paid software" can really add up.  If they substitute
all of the packages they need with FOSS, when available, then you cut
down on the total cost of that computer[s] in your home and maybe work.

For someone who uses both Linux and Windows, and some who add MacOSX,
having one FOSS office package on every desktop/laptop they own helps
the user, or family of users, be able to use the same package no matter
which desktop/laptop they are currently using.  One day they will have
the same option on Android as well.

This is just one set of examples why promoting Open Document Formats
instead of promoting FOSS.  They are two different "ideas" altogether. 
It is the classic Apples and Oranges.  Both are fruit but they are
totally different.  They cannot really be compared like two different
types of apples could be or two types of oranges. 

I think that is the problem with some people who look at the field of
Open Document/Office Formats and Open Source Software [FOSS or not]. 
They are two different parts to the puzzle and need to be dealt with
individually and not compared as if they were the same idea.  You can
have Open Source Software that can read proprietary files formats, and
you can have paid software that can read ODF.  We need both to make the
whole work for businesses and for home.

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