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Re: OpenOffice.org 3.0 Already on Millions of PCs

Snit wrote:
> "LusoTec" <nomail@xxxxxxxxxx> stated in post
> 7rmdnRGfot9KXpzUnZ2dnUVZ8uSdnZ2d@xxxxxxxx on 10/24/08 5:47 AM:
>> I don't have first hand experience with US IT ecosystem but some things
>> are certainly different.
>> In Portugal, FOSS is being promoted by *part* of the government and
>> public administration. There was a CD being distributed in schools and
>> public services with OpenOffice, Firefox, GIMP, and several other FOSSs.
>> All public web services are tested in Firefox. The new laptop for young
>> school children has a GNU/Linux option along with Windows XP.
> In one of the schools I set up I have a Linux lab (Ubuntu, specifically)
> with all of the software you mention, excluding GIMP.  I would love it if
> there would be a greater insistence in this country that things work on
> Firefox - though some things that used to work on FF2 no longer work on
> FF3 (which is not to say it is not a wonderful browser!)

I also had to do some minor changes to some templates, mostly minor changes.
IE8 and Chrome support required more work. Now if only IE6 died for good
instead of being a walking rotting nasty zombie I would be a lot
happier. ;)

>> One other aspect that is different from the US is that Macs are a very
>> rare bread here. Linux has a significantly higher market and user share
>> than Macs.
> That is very different than here... we have about 20% Macs in the home
> and, maybe, 1% Linux.  In the business world, though, Macs are not nearly 
> as common.

I did not know Macs had such a high user share in the homes. I wounder why
did it not take has well in Europe.

>> It may be a "bit much" but ... it works. People download it and some
>> start using it as their main office suite.
> That works when you are in a position of some authority... but what if you
> needed to send files to a client or a boss or a teacher and they wanted MS
> Word files?  I am in that situation... have had to go back to MS Word more
> than I wanted to.

I'm not in a position of authority (not exactly) but most times people need
to see the documents I send them more than I need them to see the documents
(I think that is what I mean).

When someone says (s)he can't open the document I send them information on
OpenOffice and ODF. When someone asks me to send the document in another
format I don't make any resistance and send it to them (if I possible can)
but still put a word for OpenOffice and ODF. I have no intention to force
or even pressure people to use a format or program. I don't even insist, I
inform the person once and that is it.

>> Agreed. A "consistent user experience" is important for an inexperienced
>> user. It softens the learning curve. Powerful customization possibilities
>> are only attractive for experienced users.
> A consistent user experience is important for far more than just new
> users. It is, I think, one of the things that is holding Linux back in so
> many parts of the world.  There are some pockets where Linux has taken 
> hold, sometimes based on government action, but for the most part it is a 
> bit of a mess right now in terms of usability.  I suspect, however, that 
> this will decrease as an issue greatly over the next few years.

I don't know, you may be right.

What I know is that the more customization options are available the
less "consistent user experience" there will be and GNU/Linux certainly has
many many many options.

I have several friends and colleagues that have used GNU/Linux for many
years and are very experienced with it. If you look at their personal
desktop environment you will not see two that look similar.

Some have lots of widgets, icons and whatever on the screen (think air plain
cockpit), some have 4 toolbars one for each side of the screen and the
windows open in the middle, some have one toolbar (top or bottom), one has
nothing on the desktop and has to click to open menus and such, one does
not even use X windows on a regular base and sticks to several virtual
consoles and ssh connections with liberal use of screens.

On top of that, some use KDE, some Gnome, some E8, etc, with different
widget sets, window decorations, most use 3D composition with a bunch of
effects, some don't, different key shortcuts, different locales, etc.

Even a experienced GNU/Linux user will take a pause to check his(er)
bearings when at first looking at one of those systems.

This much customization certainly hurts "consistent user experience" but I'm
certain that none of them will trade customization for consistency.


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