Re: Why should I be worried about the merger? NOT

Subject: Re: Why should I be worried about the merger? NOT
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 11:07:57 -0700


Lou Quillio wrote:

AbiWord's good to go, as far as I can tell.

I like it in a lot of ways. It's fast, and for short documents, it more than does the job. However, it's a little weak still in things like tables, TOCs and some other long document features that people on this list would probably want.

That said, it's coming along very quickly. Styles, for example, have improved greatly in the last couple of versions. Another version or two, and it should be there.

Right now, I keep it around mainly to open attachments. Its speed and MS Word import features makes it a good choice for that.


Inkscape's at 0.41 but perfectly usable and on a development rampage since forking from SodiPodi. Scribus is further away; myself, I don't have need for PageMaker-style DTP often. Scribus, though, can digest ICC profiles. There's a rudimentary GIMP plugin for color profiling. I wonder what percentage of techcomm-produced PhotoShop work is color-separation aware. Less than half, I'd guess, but if you need it, you need it.

It depends on whether you're sending things to a print shop or not. You can still work with the GIMP for print shop work; you just have to be ready to do samples before your main print run. Since I always do so regardless of the software, this isn't a great problem for me.

Also, many of the popular proprietary apps are bloated with unused features. While any of us may have a pet feature from among the bloat, where the FOSS alternatives don't replicate a feature it tends to be a superfluous one.

Either that, or there's another tool that does the job. In the past, the FOSS model was to have specialized tools for specific jobs, rather than one central program. There's still a lot of that attitude around. Once you're used to it, this perspective isn't a problem. It's just different.

Definitely accelerating. And we don't have to convert tonight, just test. That way, when the moment comes, there'll already be an experienced user of FOSS alternatives in the organization. Us.

For about three years now, I've used mostly FOSS in my work. The only proprietary tools I generally need are Flash MX and, very occasionally, an OCR program. I'd estimate that well over 90% of my living is earned using FOSS software, including the operating system, and I look forward to removing that last 10% as soon as possible. It just feels cleaner.

Most clients and employers don't seem to mind. Since the tools are free, they don't have to worry about being able to read my files, nor about the expense of buying software for me. That makes me very popular around budget time.

--
Bruce Byfield 604-421-7177
http://members.axion.net/~bbyfield

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Follow-Ups:

References:
RE: Why should I be worried about the merger? NOT: From: Spitzer, Judd L
Re: Why should I be worried about the merger? NOT: From: Lou Quillio
Re: Why should I be worried about the merger? NOT: From: Bruce Byfield
Re: Why should I be worried about the merger? NOT: From: Lou Quillio

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