Acts of Volition


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Martey -

<i>For these reasons, it is not good enough that freedom be available as an option. Freedom must be on by default.</i>

The question is how to best convince companies like Microsoft and Apple that it is their best interest to support open formats, instead of their proprietary DOCs and ITLs.

Charles -

Marty: Ah, but you see, the problem is that it's not in the best interest of companies like Microsoft and Apple to use open formats. If people don't need to spend $400 on an office suite in order to open a document, they probably won't.

And on a side note, does anyone know of an open source, Linux compatible, spreadsheet app that can write Quatro Pro files? v2 can do Word Perfect documents, but last time I looked it couldn't deal with wb3's.

Leons Petrazickis -

<i>(I was dismayed to here<tt>[sic]</tt> complaints about the spreadsheet component)</i>

To here or not to here; that is the Question.:)

The Spelling Nazi has spoken.

sil -

Excellent addition to the series, Steven.

(Very minor picky point: in the footer, this is part 3, not part 1.)

Juan -

> Spreadsheets, presentations, desktop databases, and the common text document hold must of the business information of our age.

Excellent past couple of entries. Just wanted to say that in this sentence, from the first paragraph, didn't you want to say "most" instead of "must?"

Alexandre -


"And on a side note, does anyone know of an open source, Linux compatible, spreadsheet app that can write Quatro Pro files?"

IIRC, Gnumeric can

Daniel -

There's an interesting quote from Bill Gates in a recent interview at Fortune. Aside from the Linux desktop community, he's right that almost everyone has Office. Not that that's ideal, but for much of the world it's pervasive enough that it's functionally fine.
<blockquote>Interviewer's Question: What about your open-source rival OpenOffice?</blockquote>
<blockquote>Bill Gates: Well, most people already own Microsoft Office, and so it's free to them, whereas OpenOffice is not the same quality, not innovating, and doesn't have all the modules. We compete with our installed base by innovating.</blockquote>

AkaXakA -

Also worth nothing is that Lawyers tend to work with Wordperfect documents...

Idan Gazit -

Regarding DVD's: even with a DVD which doesn't implement CSS it is *still* illegal to watch DVD's on linux for patent licensing reasons. DVD Video is encoded using MPEG-2, which is a decidedly non-Free (in any sense of the word) standard. Every MPEG-2 encoding and decoding product must pay the MPEG-LA (Licensing Association) a fee for the pleasure of using MPEG-2, which is covered by some 39 patents IIRC.

This in and of itself is not an obstacle to "legit" DVD playing, however the licensing costs are not footable by Average Joes (tm). There are no price breaks for F/OSS projects. So, though it seems pretty unreasonable to "us", the MPEG patent holders are completely in the right as far as the law is concerned: they have the "rights" and anybody who wants to use their idea has to pay them. This hasn't stopped development of Free mpeg-2 libraries and applications, however. :)

idan AT fastmail DOT fm

Block Sheep -

<br> as far as the OpenOffice problem goes, *this* seems like the obvious answer to me:
<blockquote><b>Feature Request: OO documents plugin for Microsoft Office</b>

<i>Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2004</i>

> I think OO should use a Microsoft tactic agains Microsoft.
> OO should produce a plugin for all the versions of MSOffice
> so that OO documents (.sxw .sxc, etc.) could be opened
> (and maybe saved) right from within MSOffice. That way if
> someone can't leave MS Office yet, they could at least be
> able to receive OO documents from OO users. Since the OO
> document formats are superior IMO, <u>it would help to make</u>
> <u>them more universally accepted</u>.</blockquote>

Nick -

Note: that OpenDocument support by other suites isn't theoretical at all, the recently released KOffice 1.4 already has support for OpenDocument and they're planning to make it the default format in later releases. I don't want to criticise the Gnumeric chap too much as not only is it a very fine spreadsheet but it's created for free but KOffice were part of the standardisation process of OpenDocument, which has been going on in public for over a year. If they had serious misgivings then there was plenty of time to talk about it before the spec was frozen!