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Hi all,

I was perusing the upcoming and ongoing website in
English and am going to stick my neck out and give MHO here. I would
have put comments directly on to each page, but it appears I don't have
author rights for the English part of the website. My comments are
intended to be objective criticism only, at least to the extent that I
have tried to be objective ;-)

With regard to :

Other than the hype / spin, of which I'm not a fan in general (e.g.
"There are literally millions of satisfied LibreOffice users
worldwide"), I would be wary of touting things that are not, or can not
be supported in fact.

For example :
1) "with no fear of copyright infringement"

Are you really sure about this ? It takes a brave (or irresponsible)
person to make such a bold statement, notwithstanding any legal
liabilities that it may create.

2) "it's a stable and functional product"

Functional yes, stable at the moment, well as Einstein might have said
"that statement is all rather relative". One man's stability is another
man's worst nightmare. Again, we should be mindful of whom we are
targeting with our statements. The problem with stating things like that
is that they imply a sense of responsibility - yet, the LGPL, in fact
the majority of all open source licences, explicitly deny any fitness
for purpose or product liability (which by the way is completely illegal
in certain jurisdictions, notwithstanding the common practice of doing so).

3) "LibreOffice has been extensively tested by security experts, giving
you security and peace of mind"

Do we have anything to support such a claim, in fact ? Liability issues
spring to mind.

4) "A fully-integrated help system"

The help system is not, at present, fully integrated, indeed quite the
opposite to my knowledge. On Mac, yes, the help is still integrated
(thank goodness), but I believe that such is not the case for other
platforms (Windows most notably).

5) "Create presentations that look even more professional than the
standard presentations you commonly see at work."

Having not used Powerpoint for a few years now, I can not say how well
the two compare, but AFAIK, Impress still lags behind PP presentations,
one major gripe that I have often seen written in forums being the
incomplete / inexistent multimedia support in Impress. Like I said, I
have no idea about the truth of the matter compared to PP today, and if
that is effectively settled, then my comments in respect thereto are moot.

6) "You can create and modify tables, forms, queries and reports that
use MySQL, PostgreSQL or Microsoft Access,"

As a frequent and long term user of StarOffice Base, OOoBase, NeoOffice
Base and now LibreOffice Base, I think the wording could be adjusted to
avoid leading people into a false sense of the capabilties of this
module. Base does not import MS Access forms or queries directly. Apart
from being able to read data from your Access database, everything else
has to be recreated, at least that was the case last time I tried
accessing a MS-Access database. And you can forget even dreaming about
using a MS-Access db in read / write mode via OOo on a platform other
than Windows.

7) "or – better still – take the next step to a powerful, stable,
integrated HSQL database."

HSQLdb on its own is indeed a powerful database, but its integration in
OOo is delicate and far from reliable. Reading forum messages and trying
to help people out over the past 7 years or so with their problems of
corrupted hsql based ODB files has been no fun, I can assure you. The
other systems you mention in the first part of that phrase have
demonstrated themselves to actually be far more stable and error free
than the HSQL integration. The old argument of cross-platform
portability was often touted with the hsqldb/ODB paradigm, but even that
fails regularly.

/Subjective Opinion On/
The HSQL/ODB combo is not up to par with Access, FileMaker, or even
Lotus Approach (both of which are fine GUI db file creators) and as far
as I'm concerned, never will be. Judging from current discussions on the
developer lists, the move appears to be towards using SQLite instead of
HSQL, but for the moment of course, things are only just starting, and
users who have adopted HSQL/ODB will need to have some kind of migration
solution as well when and if SQLite integration becomes a reality.
/Subjective Opinion Off/


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