08 June 2008

Some virtues in OpenOffice

One of the many/various things which OpenOffice Writer allows me to do is to open an HTML file, swiftly hack through it (converting tables to text, wiping odd styles, etc) adjusting it to be actually readable, etc.

Then I can save it as an ordinary document (ODT), and/or as a PDF for someone to just read, or an MS-Word DOC file for them to play with on their ’Doze box, or RTF for someone on a Mac without MS-Office installed, or just plain ’ol HTML again, for re-publishing on the web in more readable form, lighter-weight, easier-to-Copy-Paste etc.

Or just plain easier-to-deal-with HTML sans a lot of the crud that “commercial” HTML editors enjoy adding (or just plain crud that MS-Word buries the HTML in).

Philosophy Alert! (-:

Those of you who know Jethro Tull’s song Thick as a Brick will begin to recognise that this kind of virtue becomes fairly much inevitable as a spin-off of software written by the end-users for the end-users instead of by employees under management/marketing direction for single-minded accountants or shareholders.

In short, it’s not the technology which matters at the core of the difference, it’s the motivation, the attitude of the creaters — which is not something which can be reliably bought or churned out of an institution.

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