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IBM Joins OpenOffice.org Community

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the get-your-conspiracy-theories-warmed-up dept.

IBM 213

Petrushka writes "In a press release today, with accompanying press FAQ, IBM announces a change in its relationship to the OpenOffice.org development community. The upshot is that they're making a long-term commitment to OOo; no organization has paid off any other organization for this; they're devoting about 35 of their developers in China to OOo; and they'll be contributing accessibility code from Lotus Notes to improve current support for assistive technologies. You may recall that an alleged shortage of assistive technologies that work with OOo has been one of the big criticisms leveled against the idea of governments standardizing on the OpenDocument format, which is a file format that OOo and several other office suites support."

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213 comments

Yay (4)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537063)

One more step to not being locked into Microsoft (ie paying through the nose) for an application than can make writing look prettier, and is universally accepted \o/

OO.org 1-2-3 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20537387)

Yay! Another company which lost out to MS Office joins with another company which is losing to MS! Losers of the world, unite!

Teh FOSSies just don't get it. MS isn't the most accepted office app because of their standard. The end user barely even thinks about the file size. MS won for two reasons: first, because it was a superior application, and two, IT departments pushed for it because it costs far less to support.

The only reason FOSSies are banging the "open standard" drum now is because it's their latest tactic to try and dictate to MS how to do stuff. But having every company which failed to compete with MS come up with a standard is laughable on so many levels.

It's no wonder so many Slashdotters are conservatives. Stay the course, guys!

Re:OO.org 1-2-3 (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537609)

wtf.. it's nothing to do with being a superior application, it's to do with it being bundled with machines by default and then everyone being locked in because the file format is pretty much closed. When it comes to jpegs and the like, any viewer works. When it comes to text files, any viewer works. When it comes to files with *shock horror* text with different sizes, colours and styles, everyone seems to want or expect word. The only thing that I think makes Office stand out is Outlook, which I find is a pretty decent application to use, though it's not really very secure.

Re:OO.org 1-2-3 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20539007)

wtf.. it's nothing to do with being a superior application, it's to do with it being bundled with machines by default and then everyone being locked in because the file format is pretty much closed.


MS Office was never "bundled" with Windows. If you can send me a Windows install CD which also installs Office, I'll cut you a check for a million dollars. Such a thing doesn't exist, and you are a liar.

And likewise, as I said, the open-ness or close-ness of the format has zero to do with why MS is dominant. They are winning because they are the superior app, and people prefer their product. But rather than compete on the basis of application superiority, MS Office's competitors would rather do everything they can to degrade MS Office through litigation and trumping up phony controversy, like with this open standards garbage (which didn't exist until recently, meaning some MS-hating FOSSie though this would be a successful attack strategy).

It's really a shame the tech community keeps getting played for chumps with this garbage. I personally enjoy solving real problems, rather than spinning my wheels on made-up garbage.

When it comes to files with *shock horror* text with different sizes, colours and styles, everyone seems to want or expect word.

That's because MS has the superior product. Why wasn't OO.org competing with Word Perfect over a decade ago? Why weren't they competing with Lotus 1-2-3? Because, as usual, FOSSies only care about jealously trying to destroy market share on ground MS has already broken. It would be amazing to see FOSSies try doing something besides chasing MS's tail lights, but asking these jealous and uncreative chumps to do something constructive (rather than destructive) is asking too much.

The only thing that I think makes Office stand out is Outlook, which I find is a pretty decent application to use, though it's not really very secure.


Although it's at least as secure than all the other alternatives.

But I'm willing to bet you don't even know how to use anything in MS Office. Try talking to some secretaries, see if they care to switch to OO.org. I'm guessing they are not.

Here is a clue: people doing real work don't care about your FOSSie crusade, and they don't want to switch the application they use every few years. And that's exactly what will happen once the OO.org people get bored and move on to something else, like making another text editor for teh Lunix.

Re:OO.org 1-2-3 (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539577)

I don't even know if I want to read the rest of your post. When did I say bundled with Windows? I said machines. I know it's not always there by default, but it is the only option you get for buying an office application suite with a Dell PC for example. IMO it is dominant for the same reason that Windows is dominant, but I've always been happy to edit text documents using whatever I have to hand (Wordpad is fine for me, and I wrote a 13000 word essay on whatever version of Word that came with Windows 3.1 at one point). Word processing to me doesn't seem very different from when I first did it in the early 90s, there is no reason to me that people should have to pay so much for office other than pure greed and monopolism on Microsoft's part.

"And likewise, as I said, the open-ness or close-ness of the format has zero to do with why MS is dominant. They are winning because they are the superior app, and people prefer their product. But rather than compete on the basis of application superiority,"

That is a load of ass. People like it because they think that something is free *must* be worse, and also because the standard isn't open, they do end up with weird inconsistencies. Like one guy had a shadow being shown around the edge of his document (that had been created in word and he had tried to read in open office) and couldn't figure out how to remove it. The only thing that has stopped me converting the whole company to open office is that Outlook is a great email client that everyone is used to (and that I wrote the timesheet system to interact with Excel and cba to rewrite it for OpenOffice at the moment).

Actually I think the secretaries here would be happy to try a different word processor if I asked them nicely. I gave one of the girls an ancient machine with Linux on it, which she then overwrote with XP and realised how much faster Ubuntu was (rather than taking my word for it, which is fair enough really), then switched back. Most people only use MS because they don't know the fucking alternatives even exist, or there are Windows only apps that they want/need. I'm spending more and more time in Mac OS these days, though it's easier to use Windows at work just for ease of integration with the domain. Anyway, go take your flamebait elsewhere...

Re:OO.org 1-2-3 (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539345)

Teh FOSSies just don't get it. MS isn't the most accepted office app because of their standard. The end user barely even thinks about the file size. MS won for two reasons: first, because it was a superior application


Perhaps you could detail for us what precisely *is* superior about Office Apps?

Re:Yay (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537401)

But will they support the Office Open XML Standard ;-)

Re:Yay (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537415)

Last question of the FAQ....

Re:Yay (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537629)

Sure, but it will be called the Open Office XML Standard ;-)

Assistive technologies (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537073)

OpenOffice.org itself doesn't lack assistive technologies. OOo on Windows lacks assistive technologies. OOo with GNOME or KDE integration gets the accessibility technologies of GNOME or KDE, respectively.

Still, it's a welcome sight to see IBM participating in OOo development. OOo just keeps improving with every new release, and I find that I use it more than Microsoft Office, although I have both installed at work and at home.

Re:Assistive technologies (2, Interesting)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537385)

OpenOffice.org itself doesn't lack assistive technologies. OOo on Windows lacks assistive technologies. OOo with GNOME or KDE integration gets the accessibility technologies of GNOME or KDE, respectively.
That is a fair and accurate point to make. I do see a lot of value to this move, however, beyond just improving accessibility for Windows users. On the one hand, this may make accessibility more cross-platform, so it will be easier to migrate from one OS to another; with OO.org already cross-platform, making its accessibility features the same is a good idea. In addition, although this last bit is arguable, OO.org-specific accessibility may be better-integrated than general desktop accessibility features in GNOME/KDE/etc. So this may give us better features in that area for OO.org.

(However, there is also something to be said against this, in that we might want to not have separate accessibility frameworks for each app. That's true, however, for an office suite - sometimes the only app besides a web browser used on some PCs - it might make sense to customize it that way.)

Re:Assistive technologies (2, Insightful)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 6 years ago | (#20538335)

While you might make a solid point there (I don't really follow assistive technologies much), you're missing an important, more pragmatic point: The (perceived?) cost of migration.

Imagine I'm Joe CTO. If I just change my users from MS Office to OpenOffice, I have to handle transitioning just one piece of software (albeit a big one). Last thing I want is to change both office suite and operating system in one go. So I need Open Office with all the bells and whistles *now*, and once that transition is complete, I'll worry about changing people from Windows to Gnome/KDE and enjoy the same bells and whistles there.

And there's always the moral point: If we're out to accuse MS to be evil monopolists, we should do so from moral high ground. And that means that you don't say "KDE/GNOME have the feature so screw the Windows users".

faster!!! (1, Funny)

b1ufox (987621) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537079)

Ok for end users this is a good news. For monopolists not so heartening news.

Anyway what i would also like to see in Openoffice -
-It is terribly slow. Looks like a huge piece of bloat. It will be great if it can be faster.

Re:faster!!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20537099)

yeah faster and prettier !

Re:faster!!! (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537157)

It is terribly slow. Looks like a huge piece of bloat. It will be great if it can be faster.
When was the last time you used OOo? Since 2.0, it's not that slow. It's slow in initial loading, but that's because OOo loads the whole suite when starting any of its components, so comparing load time of OOo Writer vs. Word, for example, is not an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Once OOo is loaded, though, it responds very quickly on any fairly decent hardware -- at least like a 1.5 Ghz processor and have a gig of RAM depending on OS.

Re:faster!!! (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537275)

OOo v2.0 worked fine on a P-III 600MHz with 512Meg RAM (on Windows XP SP2). Sure startup took a while, but once you're working that doesn't matter. I used such a setup for over 2 years, until that laptop finally broke down.

Re:faster!!! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537389)

OOo v2.0 worked fine on a P-III 600MHz with 512Meg RAM (on Windows XP SP2). Sure startup took a while, but once you're working that doesn't matter. I used such a setup for over 2 years, until that laptop finally broke down.
Yeah, I don't have any basis for comparison on boxes slower than my slowest, which is an Athlon XP 1800+ with 1 GB of RAM. I should say that it ran pretty good on my wife's old machine, which is a 1.2 Ghz Celeron with 512MB of RAM on Ubuntu 6.06, though as she loaded apps, she kept hitting swap pretty heavily. GNOME is a bit of RAM hog these days...on Xubuntu 6.10, which is what the box is currently running it's definitely nicer, but I don't use that box for office apps anymore.

Re:faster!!! (1, Insightful)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537899)

When was the last time you used OOo? Since 2.0, it's not that slow. It's slow in initial loading, but that's because OOo loads the whole suite when starting any of its components, so comparing load time of OOo Writer vs. Word, for example, is not an apples-to-oranges comparison.
I use 2.0 and I find it slower than Word. I did not know that when I loaded OOo writer it also loaded all the rest of the suite but why waste time doing that at all? Normally I open office by clicking on a document which I want to open, in which case I do not want it to waste time with alot of features that are not relevant to the document type I have just opened.

I would bet that this is why it is always accused of being slower thet MS Word and this is one of the reasons I would have a hard time convincing anyone else to use Open Office over the MS version. Trying to explain that it was not a fair comparison would not really wash with alot of people (myself included) as they were not likely to understand why it worked the way it did and what was gained from doing it the way it does from a useability point of view.

MS Word is worse. (3, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537977)

I would bet that this is why it is always accused of being slower thet MS Word


MS Office actually load its whole suit in memory, *at boot time*.

But there's a taskbar widget for OpenOffice.org that can do the same stuff if you want to get the same startup speed and you don't mind wasting a lot of RAM.

Re:MS Word is worse. (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20538173)

MS Office actually load its whole suit in memory, *at boot time*.

But there's a taskbar widget for OpenOffice.org that can do the same stuff if you want to get the same startup speed and you don't mind wasting a lot of RAM.
The answer to this depends on where I am. Currently I am at work so I find this feature bloody useful as I use office alot and open a large number of different documents to view the contents or make small edits. When I am at home I would find this more annoying though as I spend less time opening Office documents.

Re:MS Word is worse. (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 6 years ago | (#20538837)

you have the choice with Open Office, you have no choice with Microsoft Office, the memory will be used...

Re:MS Word is worse. (3, Interesting)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539239)

MS Office actually load its whole suit in memory, *at boot time*.
How did this get modded informative? That doesn't happen at all, and you can take that from someone who just installed Office 2003. There's no trace of a service or process related to Office, and physical memory usage is the same as it was before.

Re:MS Word is worse. (2, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539457)

Shut up with your objective comments, we are trying to bash Microsoft here!

Re:faster!!! (0, Flamebait)

y86 (111726) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537211)

It's a Java Application.....

If you want it to run faster buy a decent PC. I've got a AMD x2 3800 with 2 gigs of ram and it runs like the wind along with about 10 other applications at the same time.

Java apps are all CPU intensive. If your PC was as fast as my 2 year old PC you'd be all set :-)

Re:faster!!! (5, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537295)

You're misinformed... OpenOffice.org has a few Java components (notabily in Base, I think) but it is not a Java application. You don't even need a JRE to run it.

Re:faster!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20538227)

Java apps are CPU intensive, they are memory intenstive.

Finally some non M$oft news in the oo world. (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537085)

It's nice to have a big backer in the oo arena that isn't part of the whole m$oft mess. I also think IBM's timing was very well thought out here.

Re:Finally some non M$oft news in the oo world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20537207)

It's nice to have a big backer in the oo arena that isn't part of the whole m$oft mess.

Like Sun is a MS supporter. Piss off.

IBM backs ODF (0, Redundant)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537125)

Having IBM back ODF is a blow to MS. Hopefully IBM's move will speed up the acceptance of ODF.

Huh? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20537129)

and they'll be contributing accessibility code from Lotus Notes
That's about what, 2 lines of code? =p

WTF? (5, Informative)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537133)

IBM has its own office package: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/sma rtsuite/ [ibm.com]
Is this another case of the one division not knowing what the other does, or is IBM giong to drop smartsuite?

Re:WTF? (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537145)

Maybe they donate part of Smartsuite to the OS community, or they develop code for the implementation of ODF in both suites?

Re:WTF? (1)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537403)

Well, if they abandoned it, I'm sure all three existing users would notice.

Smartsuite is installed on all corporate IBM PCs but the option to install Office is the first thing in the global software repository, and it generally has to be used to share documents with clients. Sun have similar issues but at least StarOffice can talk .doc.

Re:WTF? (2, Interesting)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537505)

Aye -- IBM has apparently abandoned SmartSuit -- they don't plan on even making a Vista-compatible version, from what I hear. Trust me, I know -- it's what we use in my shop, and we're in a awful mess right now because there's so many spreadsheets flying around in SmartSuite's (unfortunately) proprietary format.

Re:WTF? (2, Interesting)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 6 years ago | (#20538619)

Aye -- IBM has apparently abandoned SmartSuit -- they don't plan on even making a Vista-compatible version, from what I hear.

Maybe that's part of the rationale behind this. Maybe IBM wants to be able to promote OpenOffice as the migration path for SmartSuite users.

Re:WTF? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20537795)

No. It goes to show that OpenOffice is one of those projects that exist in order to block open source implementations of something, while still being bloated and never as good enough as the commercial alternative.

Who will sit down to write an open source word processor now that we have OO.org which is not only Open Source, but also well funded and backed up in the news media and bloggers?

Shameless integration with the goatse paradigm shift.

Re:WTF? (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539411)

Who will sit down to write an open source word processor now that we have OO.org which is not only Open Source, but also well funded and backed up in the news media and bloggers?
Abiword [abisource.com] ?

KWord [koffice.org] ?

TextEdit [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:WTF? (1)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539391)

If they're abandoning it, it's a pity as AmiPro/WordPro/WhateverItIsThisMonthPro was a nice alternative wordprocessor a few years back. I had been told unofficially by an IBMer once that they had an internal port to Unix started, but vehement managment opposition to it ever seeing the light of day. I'd kind of hoped they'd treat it like DataExplorer [opendx.org] , and let it fly free. (They would be encouraged to keep Notes down on the farm, preferably muzzled and in a cage.

Good lord.. (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537141)

Any time you need interface contributions from Lotus Freaking Notes, something is badly wrong.

I'm curious about the accessibility support for that helpful feature it has, where entering the password characters puts up random numbers of bullets while hieroglyphics blink randomly around the input box, apparently to distract and confuse shoulder surfers. Do they have a similar function for blind users? And how about sighted users and blind shoulder surfers? Shouldn't it make random annoying noises as well, to confuse them?

Re:Good lord.. (4, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537175)

For those fortunate enough not to know what I'm talking about: see the last entry on this page [mac.com] .

Re:Good lord.. (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537235)

It gets even better than that. Ever tried using Notes on a Mac? Version 6 was the retarded little brother of the Notes family. Thankfully with version 7 they've managed to put him into a nice suit, but he still acts funny and drools all over himself...

Re:Good lord.. (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537589)

Can someone please explain to me why there is so much hatred for Lotus Notes here on Slashdot? Doesn't everyone know that the only alternative out there is Microsoft Exchange?

Does the hatred for Lotus Notes here actually override the hatred for Microsoft? Amazing!

Re:Good lord.. (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537777)

Have you actually used Notes? While it does the job, this is one instance where I actually have to say that the Microsoft alternative--though far from perfect--is considerably better.

Re:Good lord.. (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537843)

Yep -- I actually use it every single day. Never had any more problems with it than I do with any other program. My organization mostly uses the backend part of notes (IBM Domino) to run web applications, and those run just fine, too.

Re:Good lord.. (0, Flamebait)

moeinvt (851793) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537885)

"Can someone please explain to me why there is so much hatred for Lotus Notes here on Slashdot?"

I suspect it's a matter of a few individuals with an intense hatred which gives a false impression of widespread dislike. I can easily understand how a poorly configured Notes environment could be nightmare scenario, but I'm surprised that a community of folks who use Linux (where the willingness and ability to fine tune the program are almost required) are hopelessly frustrated by a highly configurable e-mail/messaging/collaboration environment.

Re:Good lord.. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537915)

Well Novell Groupwise is another popular alternative, BUT . . .

I do think some hatred of Lotus Notes is misplaced. Yes, it does feel a bit bloated, and there are a few "odd" behaviors in the user interface, but overall, it's a usable groupware/email program that provides all the little bells and whistles (ie, heavily integrated calendar and scheduling and such) that corporate users want, and even has a LINUX client now. That's cool IMHO. I just wish we had a good open source competitor. You can setup a very decent mail server with open source stuff, and if you're willing to go web-based (Horde in particular) you can get a decent little calendar/scheduling system, but nothing out there touches the level of integration that Exchange and Notes currently offer.

Re:Good lord.. (2, Insightful)

Zebedeu (739988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537997)

After being subjected to Notes for the past 8 months, yes, Microsoft Outlook would be a blessing!
Seriously, if you don't hate it, you never used it -- it's that bad.

Re:Good lord.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20538203)

Mostly they hate it for the same reason people hate anything else -- ignorance. If they'd stop viewing it as JUST an email client and take the time to peek under the hood and see what the product can really do, they might come away with an entirely different attitude. Especially with the new (Eclipse-based) Release 8, Notes is now a thoroughly modern development and deployment platform. But there's a definite "Aha!" point that you have to reach, and a lot of folks never seem to get there -- especially if they've only ever worked with highly structured, relational data. But most organizations also have vast amounts of non-structured or semi-structured information, and that's where Notes can really shine.

Re:Good lord.. (4, Informative)

hachete (473378) | more than 6 years ago | (#20538299)

I've used and programmed Lotus Notes on and off for the past 10 years. It's not that bad for what it does. For a networked environment the database replication was way ahead of it's time, and it still has no real competitor in that field. OK, so the field has moved on; and the interface is shit. Still, admin wise it's pretty good, and IBM has done a lot of good work with Notes.

We've rolled out a wiki in the same breath as running a huge Notes infrastructure. What I don't understand is that, as crap as the Notes interface is, it's still way ahead of any browser for editing documents. Anyway, so the Notes database is the back-end, and the web-browser is the new client. Call it a wiki, and people love it. Call it Notes database and they'll run a mile. I suppose it must say something about the whole thing.

RTFA!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20538519)

This is a useability interface which is being plugged in to both Notes and OO.

Do try to pay attention.

Re:Good lord.. (3, Informative)

file terminator (985503) | more than 6 years ago | (#20538913)

I'm not defending Lotus Notes in general, but in this particular case you're wrong. I had to work extensively with Lotus Notes many years ago, and the reason for the hieroglyphs was NOT to confuse shoulder surfers, as you seem to believe.

It used to take quite a while to authenticate when using a modem (you know, the 56kbps stuff and earlier). The hieroglyphs were there as a visual clue that you had entered your password correctly, BEFORE you even attempted to authenticate. The same password always produced the same hieroglyphs. If you recognized the set of hieroglyphs, it was likely that you punched in your password correctly, and that you'd authenticate successfully.

To forestall the inevitable "So shoulder surfers could deduct your password from looking at the hieroglyphs? BRILLIANT!" response, it should also be mentioned that lots of password strings produced the same set of hieroglyphs. An attacker would still need to perform a dictionary attack, even if he knew "your" set. (I have no idea if there were extra safeguards in place that reacted quicker if someone tried to brute-force a password with various strings that produced the same hieroglyphs as the correct one, but it would seem prudent.)

All in all, while not Lotus Notes' best "feature," and perhaps of dubious usefulness (especially today, when bandwidth is measured in Mbps, not kbps), it certainly wasn't its worst. It still tends to amuse me when, in spite of the many quirks Lotus Notes had/has that you constantly ran into, people pick the password dialog to complain about. (Especially when they get it wrong. The purpose of the hieroglyphs may even have been explained in the Lotus Notes Help, although it is too long ago that I can say with certainty.)

Re:Good lord.. (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539257)

I appreciate the correction -- I'd been mystified as to why the blinking hieroglyphics where there are at all, and when I read the Hall of Shame page, figured that must be the explanation.

It still seems like an annoying solution to a complete non-issue, or at least something that would be an non-issue if it weren't for the even more annoying random number of bullets per password character. (Does that also have some utility I'm not noticing?) I'm more than old enough to remember modems and don't recall lengthy authentication failures being a big problem.

Anyway, I brought it up because I was wondering how it could be extended to support accessibility. Obviously, it's not nearly as egregious a "quirk" as, for example, Notes' dealing with archiving emails to a full disk by irreversibly setting their length to zero.

Re:Good lord.. (1)

charlieo88 (658362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539035)

What is the problem with the password generated pictogram? I always thought that was a great feature.

Lotus Notes (1)

emj (15659) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537149)

We all now Open office is slow so lets hope We get the fast and Wonderfull Lotus notes interface on Open Office.

Re:Lotus Notes (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537595)

Fork the OO code NOW!

35 chinese developers (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537167)

What's that as a level of investment? $50,000pa?
 

Free and Non Free. (1, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537267)

If you consider 35 developers a small investment, you understand why non free software can't compete with free software. 35 developers is a considerable cost for any company but nothing compared to the number any major free software project will attract. As ESR noted years ago, M$ can muster 20,000 developers but the free software world easily has ten times that. Things have only gotten better since then.

Re:Free and Non Free. (2, Interesting)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537379)

35 American developers is a big investment in terms of money. 35 Chinese developers, is a signficantly smaller investment in terms of money. In skill, ideally, the investment would be the same though. Obviously the OP was talking about the financial investment, not the skills IBM is investing into OOo.

Re: Not competing at all (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537605)

Focused companies can have a senior executive order their devs to get something Out The Door. Apple at its best the last few years has done this. Microsoft DID do this for 8 years from 1993-2001 until their code imploded for Vista.

Open Source projects with good leadership can deliver efficiently with a "soft" approach. I think Mozilla has done some great work. But when a "Bazaar" project splinters too much, then Open Source loses its advantage.

IBM must be angry at Microsoft's previous moves. So this announcement says they're committing about a million dollars into Microsoft's direct competitor. I'm not sneezing at 35 extra devs.

I wonder .... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20537635)

if they are trying to kill OO with low quality code? I hope not, but China? Crap, I have seen the code that comes from there, and it makes their toys look positively great.

Oh dear God! (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537181)

they'll be contributing accessibility code from Lotus Notes to improve current support for assistive technologies.

Please keep those people far away from interface design! ;-)

Re:Oh dear God! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20537633)

Have you Lotus Notes bashers even taken time to look at the latest (Release 8) rendition of the product? You just may be surprised. It's now built on Eclipse and has a customized version of OpenOffice built right into the product. There's also integrated IM, RSS feeds, and other features using a nifty sidebar on the right-hand side of the screen. You can even develop your own plugins using Java or whatever and turn the Notes client into an enterprise portal, if that's what you need.

The user interface has been greatly improved. It now uses CSS so you can modify colors, fonts, or just about anything else you'd want. The IBM chief designers even used blogs and forums to correspond with and query customers both during the development phase and the subsequent beta tests (how often does M$ do that?). Take a look -- it ain't quite your daddy's Lotus Notes anymore.

Re:Oh dear God! (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537809)

Oh, come on... Can't you just take a joke? Last time I used Lotus Notes, it was R7 and it was terrible. I know many companies that went the Exchange/Outlook way just to get rid of the horrible interface. As I said in another comment: IBM might just develop an Outlook-like application that uses Lotus Domino as a backend and present it as an

Outlook/Exchange killer. After all, that's what Corporate Wienies always want Exchange for: "collaboration"... *sigh*

Re:Oh dear God! (1)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 6 years ago | (#20538553)

Take a look -- it ain't quite your daddy's Lotus Notes anymore.

Yeah - but how does the Mac version look?

Good news, and yet... (4, Interesting)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537183)

This reminds me of an issue we have at work. At work, we run OpenOffice now, it gave us flexibility and yet fully functional... except for one guy, the Editor. He installed it, and the next day went to me "Frankly, it sucks. I won't use it." So, we have this one Office 07 guy out there, and he keeps getting angry when he can't read any documents we send him, or we can't read his documents, yet it's our fault because we won't pay for Office '07 when everyone else is happy with Open Office.

I know this guy, he just went home, installed it, looked, went "this doesn't look like Office 07" and left it at that. Until we can woo this kind of person, however, I fear that OO, and any open standard wp for that matter, will never truely break into mainstream, because he is the Editor, in charge of a whole department.

Re:Good news, and yet... (1)

flynns (639641) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537223)

He'll get over it.

Re:Good news, and yet... (5, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537269)

You bring up a good point Open Office will not cure stupidity. This is important to remember.

Re:Good news, and yet... (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537677)

I think there's a patch for that in CVS.

Re:Good news, and yet... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537273)

This reminds me of an issue we have at work. At work, we run OpenOffice now, it gave us flexibility and yet fully functional... except for one guy, the Editor. He installed it, and the next day went to me "Frankly, it sucks. I won't use it." So, we have this one Office 07 guy out there, and he keeps getting angry when he can't read any documents we send him,

IIRC Sun brought out an addon for MS Office which enables it to read OASIS formats.

or we can't read his documents, yet it's our fault because we won't pay for Office '07 when everyone else is happy with Open Office.

Since he's the one making the fuss maybe he should be paying for both the software and any retraining required.

I know this guy, he just went home, installed it, looked, went "this doesn't look like Office 07" and left it at that. Until we can woo this kind of person, however, I fear that OO, and any open standard wp for that matter, will never truely break into mainstream,

Interestingly to this kind of mentality the fact that Microsoft constantly tinker with user interfaces dosn't appear to be an issue...

Re:Good news, and yet... (5, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537309)

We "wooed" employees by saying, "this is our new company policy. all computers will be changed over to this new standard effective XXXX" 95% had no problem, the 5% that did whined big time. but we had finance on our side so in the big shirts meetings when the whiners whines got to them they got shot down by the director of finance saying, "It will cost us $180,000 to switch back to MS office, replacing that employee with someone that is professional enough to understand business means change is not only cheaper but probably a good idea anyways."

It shut all the whiners up fast when they found that replacing them is far cheaper than catering to their whining.

You unfortunately have a high level whiner. so you need to have even higher than him do the smackdown.

Re:Good news, and yet... (3, Insightful)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537329)

He installed it, and the next day went to me "Frankly, it sucks. I won't use it."

What about: "It's Corporate Policy. Don't like it, feel free to search another job".

That's what they told me when I didn't want to use Microsoft Office 2003 at work...

Re:Good news, and yet... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537351)

Well I wonder how different is office 07 to office 03 and how he managed to survive the change, if he ever did of course.

A sad story nonetheless.

I'd love to see the results of a little experiment (5, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537411)

What if....

...you took OO.o as it stands now, rebranded it "Microsoft Office 2009 Preview" (just the splash screen, title bar and help text should be adequate) and showed it to someone who'd made such a complaint. Tell them that "Microsoft found people were confused by the change of interface in 2007 so they changed it back again to something which looks more like Office 2000" or other such bull.

I bet most of the complainers would announce themselves to be perfectly happy with this, and far prefer it to OpenOffice.

Re:I'd love to see the results of a little experim (2, Interesting)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539343)

In short, It works. You don't have to change anything just say it's "A new version of Office" and few people notice. The reason is that 90% of users, the only feature they use is _maybe_ change the font or font size. And File->new and File->save. That's about it for most users.

Re:Good news, and yet... (1)

dm0527 (975468) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537537)

I like the comment above about OOo not being able to cure stupidity, but I honestly think this guy needs to take another look. I'm a long time MS Office user (since Office 2 - the one prior to Office 95) and honestly, I absolutely loathe Office 2007. I'm not sure who the designers where listening to when they took the new UI cues, but it certainly wasn't people who use the product. The best thing Microsoft has ever done to push widespread adoption of OOo was to release Office 2007. It adds absolutely ZERO functionality (that I and a majority of Office users care about) and obfuscates everything you once knew how to do in previous versions in some awful UI cooked up by someone who loves mouse clicks and causing users to hunt for simple functionality. Since I was forced to install Office 2007 on my machine at work I've been using OOo and while I certainly don't think it's the best thing since ice, it's certainly better than the UI that MS put on Office 2007.

Re:Good news, and yet... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20537709)

I know this guy, he just went home, installed it, looked, went "this doesn't look like Office 07" and left it at that.

Tell him it's Office 08 and he'll not only accept it, he'll tell everybody else how good it is and sneer at those that don't have it. Guaranteed.

Notes is EVIL and must be killed (3, Funny)

Shadow_139 (707786) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537277)

It was all good until I read : "....they'll be contributing accessibility code from Lotus Notes to improve current support for assistive technologies..." Lotus Notes is EVIL and must be killed, -- I forgive you Outlook & Exchange....,

Re:Notes is EVIL and must be killed (3, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537413)

Having used lotus notes while on assignment at IBM I can attest to it's evilness and lack of "straightforwardness." It's a bitch to setup without an IT support dude sitting at your ... wait a tick ... IBM makes money out of service contracts? No way...

Tom

How about actually looking at the interface first? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20538149)

Before you start dissing something try learning something about it first.

Take a look at the interface that they're contributing. It's damn cool.

Re:Notes is EVIL and must be killed (2, Insightful)

Manic Miner (81246) | more than 6 years ago | (#20538273)

Notes can be a git to use, takes a lot of getting used to... but it is WAY better than Outlook & Exchange, Organising meetings is easier, the replication features make it easy to work "off-line" on a laptop then sync up your changes when you get into the office.

Once you are used to the user interface and have learned a bit about the power of notes, it makes Outlook look like a childs toy.

This goes without saying... (2, Funny)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537353)

I, for one, welcome our new IBM overlords.

Oh no (2, Funny)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537359)

We'll get Lotus Notes into OpenOffice now - run for the Hills !

Re:Oh no (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537453)

Consider this: an OpenOffice application that communicates with a Lotus Domino sever... Outlook/Exchange killer, anyone?

Re:Oh no (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20537775)

This may actually cause the first "black hole" scenario for software. Notes combined with OpenOffice may actually be so bloated that the code will collapse in on itself and suck all surrounding code into it. When you try to open the application everything seems to slow down as you get closer and closer to actually running the program; as if time almost stops when you're at the verge of finally looking at a document.

Because three office suites isn't enough (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537467)

We use Lotus (Ami Pro/Freelance/123 etc) plus MS Office 2003 plus MS Office XP. Now we'll get OO. Gee I can hardly wait trying to open up some PM's 175 page converted Powerpoint presentation.

Lotus Notes 8 supports ODF (4, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537623)

It's also worth pointing out here that the upcoming version of IBM's Lotus Notes product includes internal support for ODF documents (.odt, .ods and .odp). Based on what I see in the beta, it looks to me like the ODF support is provided by an embedded and tweaked version of OOo, but I think it's still worth adding Lotus Notes to the list of apps that support ODF.

Notes 8 is built on the Eclipse RCP, BTW, and runs nicely on Linux (which is my platform of choice) as well as Windows and OS X. I imagine it can run just about anywhere Java does. To be honest, I don't think the new version is hugely better than previous versions, and I've never been a big fan of Notes, but for Linux users whose companies use Notes it's really nice to have a native client rather than mucking about with Notes under WINE, or running a Windows OS on another box or in a VM. As an OOo user, it's also very nice to know that I'll soon be able to send ODF documents to my colleagues secure in the knowledge that they can read them.

Disclaimer: I work for IBM, but I'm not a spokesman for IBM. IBM is happy about that state of affairs, and so am I.

Accessibility code from Lotus Notes? (1)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537641)

Am I the only person who thinks that contributing any interface code from Lotus Notes is a *bad* idea?

IBM is doing it the wrong way. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537919)

The correct way would be to promote "choice" for customers by offering yet another standard and bribe countries like Azerbaijan, Loolooistan, and Iamsodumbistan to make it an ISO standard. It should offer features like "Page break as in Lotus Notes Style" or "autospace like in IBM370/155 JCL //job card punch format" that no body else can offer. Howzthat for product differentiation? Instead is joining OO.org. How sad, the business acumen is so lacking in the Internation BUSINESS Machines!

"Superb OOXML" makes OOo obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20538085)

Who cares how many companies are joining OOo development when the "superb OOXML" is soon an ISO standard?

Who says OOXML is a superb standard? Our own Miguel, of course: http://groups.google.com/group/tiraniaorg-blog-com ments/browse_thread/thread/2a07b8b50038d8c8/2429b3 3859cf05c0?fwc=1 [google.com]

However, I have not yet heard from Miguel why all the corruption is needed to speed up a "superb standard"?

Re:"Superb OOXML" makes OOo obsolete (1)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#20538505)

Who cares how many companies are joining OOo development when the "superb OOXML" is soon an ISO standard?

Who says OOXML is a superb standard? Our own Miguel, of course: http://groups.google.com/group/tiraniaorg-blog-com [google.com] ments/browse_thread/thread/2a07b8b50038d8c8/2429b3 3859cf05c0?fwc=1

However, I have not yet heard from Miguel why all the corruption is needed to speed up a "superb standard"?,

more kool-aid?

Work on Project Manager and visio (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20538163)

If IBM (and sun) really want to make a dent in Office, they should work on MsPM and Visio clones. In particular, if they first do the file format library (open, read, write close files), then it allows other OSS projects to move forward. Then followed up with clones/improvements. By doing these 2, they pretty much remove one of the large blocks to corporate adoption.

Lotus Word Pro (1)

henrik.falk (912694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20538177)

I hope they add a .lwp filter.

Re:Lotus Word Pro (2, Interesting)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539449)

You're reading my mind. That's the first thing I thought when I read that IBM was on-board.

I used to use Word Pro ever since it was AmiPro for Windows 3.1. OpenOffice replaced Word Pro a few years ago, but I still have a lot of legacy documents that I need to access every now and then. So, when I rebuild a PC I install Word Pro just in case. (It's only about 70 MB for Word Pro 9.8, so it's not like it's a burden on my 160 GB boot drive.) Having an LWP filter for OpenOffice would be fantastic!

Add new ideas to OO.o - move beyond Office clone (0)

morganew (194299) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539029)

During the entire fight about OOXML and ODF I heard the ODF folks praise the "innovation" in ODF. Well, I have news for all the hard working XML folk out there: People don't buy a format, they buy an application! And given that OO.o is nothing more than an intentional knockoff of an antiquated product, it's hard to make the case that supporting ODF is not just about improving IBM's market position, instead of creating better workflow or innovative ways of interacting with documents.


Right now, our productivity apps are essentially feature-set upgrades on the old MacWrite/Microsoft Word for Mac paradigm we all learned back in the 80's. Most of the menus and icons remain conceptually unchanged. Hate it or like it, at least the 'ribbon' in the latest version of Office is slightly different. Unless OO.o goes somewhere new, why should anyone buy it other than to "stick it to the man" at Microsoft? And before someone points out that you don't "buy" OO.o, In the government space someone is going to get paid, either for a license or for a service contract.


IBM and other corporations who want to fund OO.o with a long term goal of lining their own (corporate) pockets need to think beyond the clone. Until they do so, OO.o will remain nothing more than a sales tool in a marketing brochure. What would serve the world better is an OO.o that rethinks our document world.

German Flexibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20539183)

The main problem with OOo is not the lack of coding power but the heavy processes OOo has inherited from Sun. Throwing in few dozen coders don't make any real impact until the ratio between managers insisting byte-by-byte level docs and engineers producing new code is fixed. These processes which work as only German flexibility can just causes the workhours per lines of code being probably higher than in any other open source project. Yes, it is probably the largest open source project, too, but it would be essential for some people to recognize that just documenting after documenting is not going to fix the issues in code and the lack of polish (e.g., threading, Win95 UI). At this point it is already useless to have heave docs for OOo 2.0 when OOo 2.3 is almost out of the door but the code written for 2.0 is still there. Code should be documented, of course, but these byzantine requirement for documentation remind me of days when I was writing software for telecom operators where coders were hopelessly outnumbered by the hoards of middle-managers/document writers/hand-wavers/etc.

IBM does alot with Linux (2, Interesting)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539205)

This is pretty cool.
I was working with an engineer from IBM who had a Linux laptop setup by IBM for his work computer. It used OOo, as well as a Linux version of Lotus notes. (I know many of you hate Notes, but like the Mainframe, it'll be around forever b/c my company runs many critical apps off of Lotus notes databases)
He also had working VPN (I think it was IBM's connectivity software), so he could connect back to his office LAN from my office.
I was very impressed. He said that many of the engineers were piloting the new Linux desktops/laptops.

35 developers in China (0, Troll)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539273)

Wow, that should cost IBM, what, about $35 a week, right? I'm so glad they are behind open source. I can't wait to see the new "pwintew pwevewences" dialog.

[que Flash Gordon Theme Music by Queen]


China - a-ah - saviour of Open Source
China - a-ah - you've saved everyone of us
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
China - a-ah - it's a miracle
China - a-ah - land of cheap labor

IBM should open source Lotus 1-2-3 (1)

scottsk (781208) | more than 6 years ago | (#20539409)

IBM should release Lotus 1-2-3 as open source. It was once the de facto industry standard and there plenty of people who remember it. It is one of the most well-documented application programs ever, and its @ functions are still cloned to this day. It ran on all platforms from DOS to Windows to UNIX. The WKx (WK4, WK3, etc) file format is very well documented and an industry standard. I'm not sure IBM even remembers they own 1-2-3's source, since they got it with their purchase of Lotus to get the groupware stuff that was all the rage in 94 or 95 before the Internet took off. If IBM released 1-2-3 as open source, and maybe used their 35 Chinese developers to update it a little, it would be the new industry standard plus GPLed so no one could ever take it away from us again. I imagine a few months after the open source 1-2-3 was released, people would have trouble remembering there ever was an Excel.
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