OpenOffice marketing



  • Here are a couple of the screenshots OpenOffice has chosen to represent the Mac version of their software (click for enbiggenification):


    Is it possible to generate an uglier pie chart?



    Oh here's a common use-case for an office suite... I can't tell you how many secretaries and administrative assistants have complained that MS Word doesn't handle the differentiated form of the Maxwell equation properly!



    what is this I don't even


    If you're curious, OpenOffice for Mac apparently competes with NeoOffice for Mac. Which is also OpenOffice. Let that sink in for a second. Here's a feature NeoOffice is showing off on their "marketing" page:


    You can select text! And it uses the OS-default text selection color! This is a "feature" (apparently)! To demonstrate this revolutionary feature, they show a current text selection in 5 windows simultaneously, which is ridiculously broken! (And seems to negate the advantages of using the correct selection color...) (Bonus jaggy-line in the lower left. Because it's 1993 where this software was built.)

    Yah, I don't think Office for Mac has anything to be scared about here.



  •  Thread moved to "Side Bar WTF". Because those screenshots are WTFs. WTF!



  • And this is why all OSS projects that don't hire at least one usability expert (I'm looking at YOU, KDE/Gnome) are doomed to extinction.

    OOO and any derivatives of it are (most regrettably) built on Java, so they don't have access to native widgets - only Sun's shitty and buggy re-invention of said widgets. I'm guessing the NeoOffice guys finally got the correct text selection colour in their widgets, which is probably a huge milestone for the 1 guy who actually cares about the project. And the irony of OOO competing against itself for a few percentage points of marketshare... that's just sad.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Yah, I don't think Office for Mac has anything to be scared about here.
     

    I haven't found MS Office 2008 for Mac to be fantastic, since I use OpenOffice on Mac (or MS Office 2003 on XP, though for some things OOo is better) and hear constant bitching from the next desk when he tries to use Word 2008 on his 27' iMac. Office 2010 is meant to be better. Apparently it is in the TechNet subscription, and apparently I have access, but they still haven't sent me the details for it...



  • It looks like OpenOffice is aggressively targeting the community college student market. Either that, or employing freshly graduated AAs in marketing.



  • @frits said:

    or employing freshly graduated AAs in marketing.

    Alchoholics Anonymous?



  • The second screenshot isn't that much of a WTF, IMO.
    MS Office has a formula editor, too. And being able to optionally use LaTeX-like input syntax for that is a nice feature. Although the typesetting still looks shitty. Just look at the vector arrows, they're totally misplaced.


    I agree with the rest you said, though.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @frits said:
    or employing freshly graduated AAs in marketing.
    Alchoholics Anonymous?

     

    Good idea.  They'd probably get better results.  And you can just pay them in Muscatel.



  • As I recall, OOO runs just fine without Java even installed on the host system. It's optional, because supposedly they use it for extensions. The GUI code is undoubtedly C/C++ (or miscellaneous other native), not Java. And even if it were Java, SWT / Eclipse looks just fine, so that's not an excuse either.



  • @The_Assimilator said:

    And this is why all OSS projects that don't hire at least one usability expert (I'm looking at YOU, KDE/Gnome) are doomed to extinction.

    OOO and any derivatives of it are (most regrettably) built on Java, so they don't have access to native widgets - only Sun's shitty and buggy re-invention of said widgets. I'm guessing the NeoOffice guys finally got the correct text selection colour in their widgets, which is probably a huge milestone for the 1 guy who actually cares about the project. And the irony of OOO competing against itself for a few percentage points of marketshare... that's just sad.

    That made me boggle the most. It's an open source project, why did they fork it just to port it to a new platform? (If you read NeoOffice's FAQ, it's a whole bunch of feel good crap that doesn't answer the actual question-- although it implies that the answer is "we don't like Oracle, and we didn't want to do the paperwork.")

    Oh Windows, OpenOffice can run without Java, although I think some features don't work. Both Mac versions seem to require Java, but it's not a huge deal with OS X has that built-in and it's not really a vector for viruses (yet!) on this platform...

    Sooo... does anybody have an extra Office:Mac license they don't need?

    Edit: oh and make sure you visit the page those screenshots are on! It's made using WikiMedia, and apparently they thought an attractive layout was to have each screenshot displayed at a random size, with no copy at all.



  • I'm a happy OpenOffice user, and I wanted to defend it... but I can't.

    This just makes me sad.

    Oh well, I shouldn't complain - I'm not about to volunteer to re-write their marketing material.



    The formula editor is actually quite good though - I used it for my uni assignments, back in the day. The Office one was just painful.



  • @aihtdikh said:

    The formula editor is actually quite good though - I used it for my uni assignments, back in the day. The Office one was just painful.

    That's because Microsoft knows that it's a super-niche feature that 99% of their users will never touch in their entire careers. I mean, I guess it's a differentiator, but I think the one on OpenOffice is good not because someone said "hey we need to differentiate ourselves from Microsoft" but because someone said, "hey I have to do Maxwell's equation on my math homework, and since I have no friends and live in my mom's basement I'll just write some OpenOffice code to do it."

    I mean, that said, Apple gained a significant marketshare in the early-mid-90s focusing all their marketing on education primarily, so it *might* be a good strategy. If it is a strategy at all. Which I doubt.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @The_Assimilator said:

    And this is why all OSS projects that don't hire at least one usability expert (I'm looking at YOU, KDE/Gnome) are doomed to extinction.

    OOO and any derivatives of it are (most regrettably) built on Java, so they don't have access to native widgets - only Sun's shitty and buggy re-invention of said widgets. I'm guessing the NeoOffice guys finally got the correct text selection colour in their widgets, which is probably a huge milestone for the 1 guy who actually cares about the project. And the irony of OOO competing against itself for a few percentage points of marketshare... that's just sad.

    That made me boggle the most. It's an open source project, why did they fork it just to port it to a new platform? (If you read NeoOffice's FAQ, it's a whole bunch of feel good crap that doesn't answer the actual question-- although it implies that the answer is "we don't like Oracle, and we didn't want to do the paperwork.")

    Oh Windows, OpenOffice can run without Java, although I think some features don't work. Both Mac versions seem to require Java, but it's not a huge deal with OS X has that built-in and it's not really a vector for viruses (yet!) on this platform...

    What makes it even more daft is that OOO is now independent of Oracle as well!

    I refuse to believe that OOO no longer requires Java; even if it doesn't require a JVM to be installed, I'm quite certain it has its own built-in JVM. How else is it possible to explain OOO's legendary sluggishness?



  • @Zemm said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Yah, I don't think Office for Mac has anything to be scared about here.
     

    I haven't found MS Office 2008 for Mac to be fantastic, since I use OpenOffice on Mac (or MS Office 2003 on XP, though for some things OOo is better) and hear constant bitching from the next desk when he tries to use Word 2008 on his 27' iMac. Office 2010 is meant to be better. Apparently it is in the TechNet subscription, and apparently I have access, but they still haven't sent me the details for it...

     

    When you say Office 2010, are you still referring to the Mac version?  'cause 2010 is Windows only, 2011 is Mac only and isn't out yet.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    didn't want to do the paperwork.")

    Oh Windows, OpenOffice can run without Java, although I think some features don't work. Both Mac versions seem to require Java, but it's not a huge deal with OS X has that built-in and it's not really a vector for viruses (yet!) on this platform...

     

    Apple has discontinued their Java version.   Future releases of Java for OSX will [url=http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20101112005253/en/Oracle-Apple-Announce-OpenJDK-Project-Mac-OS]come directly from Oracle[/url].



  • @powerlord said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    didn't want to do the paperwork.")

    Oh Windows, OpenOffice can run without Java, although I think some features don't work. Both Mac versions seem to require Java, but it's not a huge deal with OS X has that built-in and it's not really a vector for viruses (yet!) on this platform...

     

    Apple has discontinued their Java version.   Future releases of Java for OSX will come directly from Oracle.

    Good, maybe that will finally and at long last kill off Java on desktop computers. Well, we'll still have fucking WebEx...



  • Wow, you guys need to stop downloading Java-based apps made by college students from Outsource University in the 1990s.

    I've made OpenGL games out of Java without any runtime lag, and belive me I do not have much tolerance for slow programs.  I'm pretty sure OOo is laggy because it tries to be a sucky bug-compatible clone of an already sucky office suite designed for mouth-breathing technically illiterate business users, not because it has Java somewhere in its source.

    If you want to bust on Java, I've got a mile-long list up my sleeve, but slowness is nowhere on it.




  • @Xyro said:

    Wow, you guys need to stop downloading Java-based apps made by college students from Outsource University in the 1990s.

    I've made OpenGL games out of Java without any runtime lag, and belive me I do not have much tolerance for slow programs.  I'm pretty sure OOo is laggy because it tries to be a sucky bug-compatible clone of an already sucky office suite designed for mouth-breathing technically illiterate business users, not because it has Java somewhere in its source.

    If you want to bust on Java, I've got a mile-long list up my sleeve, but slowness is nowhere on it.

     

    You do know that OpenGL isn't written in Java, right (as in the library)?  Also, it's not that all Java programs are inherently slow, it's that almost all Java programs with GUI's are slow.



  • @DescentJS said:

    You do know that OpenGL isn't written in Java, right (as in the library)?
    I just added that detail to confirm that it was a desktop application. The program used OpenGL for it's pretty triangles, but obviously the meat of the logic was all Java.  (I also have created a dozen or so enterprisey enterprise server e-enterprise Java applications, too, but that's a different class so whatever.)@DescentJS said:
    Also, it's not that all Java programs are inherently slow, it's that almost all Java programs with GUI's are slow.
    I don't see how that follows.  I suspect there is some confirmation bias hidden in there; if a program runs quickly and smoothly, one wouldn't think to check if it was running from Java.  Of course I have seen some ugly Java GUIs in my day, but the aesthetics of the programmer are quite independent of its implementation method.  Olden Java GUIs didn't double-buffer by default, iirc, maybe that's what has caused the bad taste. 

    Right now I'm running the NetBeans IDE and Oracle's SQL Developer (AKA poor man's Toad).  They're behemoth Java applications, but I've never found the GUI to be a problem.  ... I've found many other things, but not the GUI.



  • @Xyro said:

    I don't see how that follows.

    Well, we've seen desktop apps written in Java that are sluggish, but we've never seen one that isn't. I'm with Descent on this one.

    @Xyro said:

    I suspect there is some confirmation bias hidden in there; if a program runs quickly and smoothly, one wouldn't think to check if it was running from Java.

    Please. There's no way a Java app can masquerade as a non-Java app for longer than 5 seconds. For one thing, the stupid Java icon pops up in the system tray. For another, the widgets are all wrong. For a third, they're all really sluggish. And now we've gone full-circle.

    If there's such a thing as a non-sluggish Java desktop app, then by all means, show it to us. I won't run it on my home computer, because fuck Java, but next time I'm at work (where I unfortunately still need it) I can give it a try and tell you how wrong it is.

    @Xyro said:

    Of course I have seen some ugly Java GUIs in my day, but the aesthetics of the programmer are quite independent of its implementation method.

    I've never seen any that weren't ugly. Most are also broken. (Eclipse puts on a pretty good show, until you realize their text boxes are totally busted.)

    @Xyro said:

    Right now I'm running the NetBeans IDE and Oracle's SQL Developer (AKA poor man's Toad).  They're behemoth Java applications, but I've never found the GUI to be a problem.

    Seriously?

    I've yet to come across a Java GUI app where the GUI wasn't a problem. Typically, it's also the *biggest* problem. (I actually love a lot of the features in Aptana Studio-- pity it's Java.)



  • @powerlord said:

    When you say Office 2010, are you still referring to the Mac version?  'cause 2010 is Windows only, 2011 is Mac only and isn't out yet.
     

    No, I meant Office 2011. I was typing that on my way home from work away from my Mac. Now I'm on my way to work - last day for over two weeks due to summer holidays.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @aihtdikh said:
    The formula editor is actually quite good though - I used it for my uni assignments, back in the day. The Office one was just painful.
    That's because Microsoft knows that it's a super-niche feature that 99% of their users will never touch in their entire careers.

    If there's dog mess on my garden, I don't really care why it was left there. Similarly, I don't care why software which doesn't do what I want is like that. In each case, the best solution is often to throw it away.
    @blakeyrat said:
    I mean, I guess it's a differentiator, but I think the one on OpenOffice is good not because someone said "hey we need to differentiate ourselves from Microsoft" but because someone said, "hey I have to do Maxwell's equation on my math homework, and since I have no friends and live in my mom's basement I'll just write some OpenOffice code to do it."

    If you care, you could easily find out who wrote the formula editor, and what that person's current occupation is. As it just looks to me like yet another false belief you hold, I'm not really interested either way.
    @blakeyrat said:
    I mean, that said, Apple gained a significant marketshare in the early-mid-90s focusing all their marketing on education primarily, so it might be a good strategy. If it is a strategy at all. Which I doubt.

    Microsoft has heavily subsidise their equivalent program when they sell to students for years, so there's clearly a history of people thinking students are a market worth chasing.



  • @aihtdikh said:

    The formula editor is actually quite good though - I used it for my uni assignments, back in the day. The Office one was just painful.
     

    I really liked the equation editor from Microsoft, even bought the full version (Mathtype). It was(/is?) much faster to type than raw latex and WYSIWYG too. The only thing was to remember the shortcuts.

    <hints id="hah_hints"></hints>



  •  I grew up on the formula editors of WordPerfect and LateX. Word's efforts are a major pain to work with. OpenOffice is slightly better. Things like the greek symbols not being in alphabetical order also annoy me.

     And Miscrosoft Office for the Mac has it's own quirks. For example, documents made in Word 2004, even though they claim to me Word XP/2003 documents, often do not work properly in other versions of Word as MircoSoft messed some things up with the big/little endianness when storing images in the files. Also headers/footers, indexes and some other things can go horrible wrong when opening a Word 2004 document in another version of Word.

     And Office 2011 for the Mac is out, I just installed it on some machines this week.

     OpenOffice and MicroSoft Office both have their flaws. I still consider WordPerfect the best word processor (I've used all versions up to X3), but Excel the best Spreadsheet. None of the presentation programs really do it for me. I have no serious experience with Apple's own office suite though.

    And Eclipse doesn't get it right as far as widgets go either. I could not use it on OSX 10.4 because when it was rendering tables, the text would not match up with the cells it was supposed to be in.

    OpenOffice runs fine without Java on the Mac. Somehow it can't find the JRE anymore since Apple went for the Oracle version, and it does complain about it, but then functions without a problem.



  • @Xyro said:

    Right now I'm running the NetBeans IDE and Oracle's SQL Developer (AKA poor man's Toad). 

    As to the above, the fact that this is true is why I hate Oracle.  When the developer, creator of a back end application can't do better than INSERT ORACLE FRONT END TOOL HERE then it's a fail.  Oracle's proprietary front end software all looks like first generation beta open source, with GUI's built as High School CS homework assignments by the bottom half of the class.



  • @The_Assimilator said:

    I refuse to believe that OOO no longer
    requires Java; even if it doesn't require a JVM to be installed, I'm
    quite certain it has its own built-in JVM. How else is it possible to
    explain OOO's legendary sluggishness?
    Do you try to fly by
    refusing to believe in gravity, too? I don't care what you "believe,"
    it's fact. OOo is not java, can work without a JVM, and doesn't have one
    embedded.



  • @Sir Twist said:

    @The_Assimilator said:

    I refuse to believe that OOO no longer
    requires Java; even if it doesn't require a JVM to be installed, I'm
    quite certain it has its own built-in JVM. How else is it possible to
    explain OOO's legendary sluggishness?
    Do you try to fly by
    refusing to believe in gravity, too? I don't care what you "believe,"
    it's fact. OOo is not java, can work without a JVM, and doesn't have one
    embedded.


    http://www.openoffice.org/ states that OOo includes JVM on systems other than Debian and Mac OS. I'm assuming that's either due to licensing or those systems having a working JVM by default.



  • @Xyro said:

    I'm pretty sure OOo is laggy because it tries to be a sucky bug-compatible clone of an already sucky office suite designed for mouth-breathing technically illiterate business users, not because it has Java somewhere in its source.

    If you want to bust on Java, I've got a mile-long list up my sleeve, but slowness is nowhere on it.

    I used to use Word 6 on a 486 PC followed by a 68020 Mac (Word 6 in 16 MHz … could be faster), and I struggle to think of any features that Word 2003 has that were not in 6, from around ten years prior. Word 6 had master documents, multilevel bullets and numbering, revision tracking, index and TOC generation, fields, and stylesheets, all features that nobody these days seems to be trained to use nor discovers (OK I doubt master documents are of use now we all have gigabytes of RAM). It's really painful seeing the mess that people get into from not understanding even Word's more obvious features.

    I strongly disagree that Word is meant for “mouth-breathing technically illiterate business users”. At least, not prior to 2007, because Word is complicated and for a reason: it's powerful. Word is designed for highly trained people or people willing to explore and learn. Word 2007 put a cutesy ribbon on it to help mouth-breathing technically illiterate business users understand it, but the only result was making it impossible for anyone to use, who already knew where any of the features are. I don't know that Word 2007 has anything new either, but I've not spent a lot of time around it, so I won't write it off as hippie Word 6 clone yet.

    I wish there was an equivalent to Word that didn't suck, simply for open standards reasons, but Word itself really is quite decent.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    post

    How the hell did you manage to post that big one?



  • It looks like you're writing a long post.
    Would you like help?

    • Force Alex at gunpoint to dump CS.
    • Go back in time to abort CS before its birth.
    • DIAF



  • @Xyro said:

    Oracle's SQL Developer (AKA smart man's Toad).
    FTFY



  • @RogerWilco said:

    I still consider WordPerfect the best word processor
    I haven't used it since it was a DOS app so I can't judge its current quality, but obviously you haven't used Google D--- HAHAHAHAHAHA sorry I couldn't even finish that one.



  • @dhromed: Alex has not put back his changes? It just worked. Now it's broken again. Yesterday I had trouble even posting a single image.



  • @The_Assimilator said:

    And this is why all OSS projects that don't hire at least one usability expert (I'm looking at YOU, KDE/Gnome) are doomed to extinction.

    OOO and any derivatives of it are (most regrettably) built on Java, so they don't have access to native widgets - only Sun's shitty and buggy re-invention of said widgets. I'm guessing the NeoOffice guys finally got the correct text selection colour in their widgets, which is probably a huge milestone for the 1 guy who actually cares about the project. And the irony of OOO competing against itself for a few percentage points of marketshare... that's just sad.

     

     

    No, no, no!

    OOO - and its derivatives - are _not_ Java based... (except some completely optional modules, like BeanShell integration....). OOO is (an admittedly huge) C/C++ project, with a modular UI layer, which in fact does use native widgets. (If you'd say that the way it uses these widgets is absolutely crappy, then i'd agree with you :) )

     

    Trivia: on Linux you can actually choose whether the software uses GTK+ or QT natively: set the OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP environment variable to gnome, or KDE, and you get the respective gui toolkit.


     



  • @borsi said:

    No, no, no!

    OOO - and its derivatives - are not Java based... (except some completely optional modules, like BeanShell integration....). OOO is (an admittedly huge) C/C++ project, with a modular UI layer, which in fact does use native widgets. (If you'd say that the way it uses these widgets is absolutely crappy, then i'd agree with you :) )

    Yes yes, we get that. But here's the thing, people assume OpenOffice is Java-based because:

    1) It used to ship with, and install, Java

    2) It's just as sluggish as a Java desktop app

    So in short, OpenOffice dug a deep, deep hole and now they're sitting at the bottom of it. Not having any kind of usability or marketing people, they haven't been able to persuade people in ~5 years that OpenOffice isn't Java. Not having any engineers worth shit, they haven't been able to increase the performance of the app to non-Java desktop app levels. And so they're still in the hole. Of course, none of this really helps-- it just proves you can write crummy software in C++ too.

    But you can't blame people for thinking that OpenOffice is Java when for years it did a really good job of pretending to be a Java app, and they haven't yet done anything to correct the mistaken impression.



  • @borsi said:

    in fact does use native widgets.
     

    For a very, very loose definition of 'using native widgets'.

    Using a stricter definition: OOO does not use native widgets on Vista.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Yes yes, we get that. But here's the thing, people assume OpenOffice is Java-based because:

    1) It used to ship with, and install, Java

    2) It's just as sluggish as a Java desktop app
     

    I use OOO for document viewing because I didn't want to mess with MS Office cracks, because I often prefer not to crack (some exceptions granted).

    I'm considering doing it anyway, because MSO seems just better software, even though I still can't find anything in the Ribbon, which I chalk up to myself for not using it often enough to learn.



  • @dhromed said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Yes yes, we get that. But here's the thing, people assume OpenOffice is Java-based because:

    1) It used to ship with, and install, Java

    2) It's just as sluggish as a Java desktop app
     

    I use OOO for document viewing because I didn't want to mess with MS Office cracks, because I often prefer not to crack (some exceptions granted).

    You know MS has read-only file viewers for free (i.e. not even WGA verification) download for all the office formats?




  • @DaveK said:

    You know MS has read-only file viewers for free (i.e. not even WGA verification) download for all the office formats?
     

    I did not know that and will investigate & thanks for the heads up.





  • @blakeyrat said:

    Gee, I wonder why people think OpenOffice is in Java...

    [quote user="http://download.openoffice.org/common/java.html"]

    Java is required for complete OpenOffice.org functionality. Java is mainly required for the HSQLDB database engine (used by our database product Base) and to make use of accessibility and assistive technologies. Furthermore some wizards rely on Java technology. If you do not require these features, then you do not need to have Java installed for running OpenOffice.org.

    [/quote]

    So it's not IN Java but it uses it for some things. Sounds fair to me.

    Edit: Well, no. Sounds weird to me. Choose a technology and stick with it. But it's not impossible I guess.



  • @b-redeker said:

    So it's not IN Java but it uses it for some things. Sounds fair to me.

    Edit: Well, no. Sounds weird to me. Choose a technology and stick with it. But it's not impossible I guess.

    Saying you "only" need Java for "some wizards" is more than a little misleading, when the very first wizard that runs automatically after it's installed requires Java. In any case, it's not like the end-user installing the software is going to read that FAQ first. they're just going to click the download link and get hit by the error message.

    Edit: Of course the real WTF here is that OS X actually ships with Java, and OpenOffice is somehow not finding it.



  • BTW this makes for a fascinating read: http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=115180

    Basically, it seems that when a recent Java upgrade on OSX moved $JAVA_HOME, OO didn't detect it and crashed.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.