RE: Could be "Why Open Office kicks MS Word's butt"

Subject: RE: Could be "Why Open Office kicks MS Word's butt"
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "Sarah Stegall" <siliconwriter -at- comcast -dot- net>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2006 10:34:20 -0800


Your results don't surprise me. I have consistently seen audiences
choose a familiar tool over a new and supposedly "superior" tool. When
an audience changes, they seem to be motivated by severe problems in the
old tool instead of new features in the new tool. Only a few people are
early adopters.

I first ran into this years ago when I worked at Hewlett-Packard. HP had
a line-drawing program called HPDraw which ran on the HP3000
minicomputer. It was slow, buggy, and very hard to learn.

When I was working at HP's Personal Software Division, we came out with
a real breakthrough drawing product called Drawing Gallery, which ran on
HP PCs. We tried to convert HP users, particularly admins, to DG instead
of HPDraw, with little success. The admins did not want to spend extra
time learning a new product when they understood the old one.

I think that developers switch to new languages/APIs/open source for
reasons other than improved features. These may include:
* cost. A startup in particular may choose open-source/freeware
* platform support. Open-source solutions often work on multiple
* Solution space. Web-based solutions, mobile phones, PDAs, etc. use
open-source because these areas were
pioneered by non-Microsoft technology.

By the way, HPDraw used the first implementation I ever saw of scaleable
fonts, and Drawing Gallery pioneered the drag-and-drop drawing method
that Visio now uses.

Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Sarah Stegall
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2006 10:11 AM
Subject: FW: Could be "Why Open Office kicks MS Word's butt"

Yes, I have tried this. I am the lone tech writer in a small startup,
and have the ability to decide our format by fiat.

When I came on board, all our documentation was in Word. I am blessed
with some developers who are excellent writers, who actually write
Far be it from me to mess with that. They use Word, even though most of
their development (and in fact, the company software product) is written
for Linux deployment. Most of our tools are open source. However, the
software developers are not terribly interested in learning a whole new
writing tool, so they stick to Word.


Now Shipping -- WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word! Easily create online
Help. And online anything else. Redesigned interface with a new
project-based workflow. Try it today!

Doc-To-Help 2005 now has RoboHelp Converter and HTML Source: Author
content and configure Help in MS Word or any HTML editor. No
proprietary editor! *August release.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Link from PDF to topics in a chm
Next by Author: RE: Asking for opinions about this job
Previous by Thread: RE: Could be "Why Open Office kicks MS Word's butt"
Next by Thread: Re: Could be "Why Open Office kicks MS Word's butt"

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads