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On 04/30/2018 08:32 AM, Virgil Arrington wrote:
You are trying to find a solution to a problem.
The problem is the wrong choice of the school ('only DOC or DOCX documents')
Try to solve the problem, and try not to find a work-around as solution.

I teach at a college. I use LO, LyX and LaTeX for my work. All of my
students use MSO. The reasons? It is familiar to them and they get it
free as college students. I don't know if this is standard MS policy or
a special arrangement the college has made with Redmond.

My experience with college students is that most have no clue about
different file formats. They just save their work in whatever format
defaults on their programs, which happens to be .DOCX, .XLSX, etc.

Today, I will be drafting the final exam for my students. I will use LO
Writer for the task. I will then email it to my students and they will
type their answers right onto the computer file and email it back to me.
I need to get the file to my students in a format they can easily use
with their computers. I will use .DOC for this purpose because it's the
easiest solution to this situation.

I suppose I could insist that all of my students use .ODT file format
instead of .DOC, but I've decided its easier for one person (me) to
change his file format for a specific task than it is for scores of
students to change theirs. I want them to focus their efforts on the
substance of the test rather than the nuances of computer software.

I suppose that I could also crusade to solve the "problem" of the school
choosing the wrong office suite for its students, but that Quixotic
quest will take much more time and emotional energy than I have.

It is much easier for me to simply select a native MSO format than it is
to fight an impossible dream against the tide of inertia. I only do it
when I need to and I am deeply grateful to the LO developers for
creating a program that translates to .DOC and .DOCX so well.

But, this thread has piqued my interest in the Linux FB user's group.
I'll check it out.


I started this thread with the notice of someone on a Facebook post wondering how to default to saving to MS Word format.

Yes, a "crusade" to get schools to make the switch to Open Document Formats should be looked into.  But that is not what was implied in the thread I originally talked about.

The thread, in part, went into a sidebar about security in a computer center and control of what packages would be allowed to be accessible. I stated that I had to spend time a week to uninstall all of the user installed packages to download files that was not allowed, or illegal.  Things like porn [normal and illegal types] and copyrighted movies, TV shows, etc. Some people who we caught were evicted and/or arrested. The computer center was closed.  I told him that I tried to get the powers-that-be switch to Linux systems and only have packages like Firefox, Skype, and LibreOffice accessible to the users. Having to use a Root password to install any packages would help keep the computers clean.

Then the question of saving MSO file formats by default was posed.

After that, I posted the start of this thread.

I did not expect the call for a "crusade" to get the schools to allow ODFs to be used.  I just wanted to post that there are non-LibreOffice user groups that questions may come up about using LO.  This is not the first time I have dealt with emails and user group questions about using LibreOffice.


YES, I think schools need to move to open source packages. I looked into doing this locally. If the school[s] allow you to present this at a meeting, then you must PROVE using ODFs would useful for them and the students. Then there would be a 1 or 2 year discussion on the idea of ODF and LibreOffice. The cost to me, time and money, with the process would be more than I can do. Also, it seems that local schools and computer centers use specific software defined by the county IT people. Many people I talked with are users of open source packages, even LibreOffice, on their home systems or even on their work systems. Yet, their IT job required them to support non-open source packages.

When it comes down to it, people, organizations, and businesses, got hooked into packages and it would be really "bad" if they try to dump them. MS contracts tend to make the move almost impossible without major financial "punishment" that no one can afford.

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