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Thursday, September 20th, 2007, 4:26 am

Office Suites — A Rant

WHAT is all that nonesense that we find in the news about “OpenOffice.org lacking a mail and collaboration” component? Office suites are made to produce files, not to communicate directly with people. The instant messenger and the mail clients might be suitable for integration. The FTP client and the file manager also. But just as the Web browser (page renderer) never belonged next to/inside a file manager, the mail clients (e.g. Thunderbird) should remain separate from tools that are used to put together and manage complex data.

We don’t need another emacs (program as an “O/S”). Separability facilitates choice and integration can be achieved through standards. Do not borrow Microsoft’s example of integrating the Web browser with the O/S just as means of pushing Netscape out of the market. Don’t repeat mistakes by assuming that one giant framework of programs can replace a personalised collection of pertinent tools.

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