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[ossig] OpenOffice.org vs. M$ Office - migration gotchas/issues?



Hi all...

I preface this discussion with two injunctions:

1.  Thou shalt not flame.
2.  Thou shalt not cheerlead, nor shalt thou troll.

Ok, so that's really three.  Whatever.


I'm beginning to  to evaluate  whether and  how to replace  M$  Office
(hereinafter "M$")  with OOo at  my father's small  law firm.  Project
planning and needs-assessements aside,    I have some   very practical
questions  about   the potential     speedbumps in   featuresets   and
interfaces.  For  example, most people make  the highly subjective and
therefore   highly varying    observation  that  "advanced"   document
properties do/do not migrate  properly from one  format to the  other.

I'm pretty   ignorant about basic productivity-suite  functionality (I
use productivity-suites less than .001% of my computing time, and then
use about 1% of  features) and have not closely  analyzed OOo - so I'd
like  to   put   the  question  to   all    of  you:  What    specific
non-compatibilities, feature mismatches  and general fsckups are to be
found in a migration from M$ to OOo?  More specifically:


The featuresets in  use vary greatly from  org to org,  but  at a very
general  level there are  "show stoppers" in the feature compatibility
between two different systems.

  What significant white spaces  exist in feature-mappings between OOo
  and M$?   For example, XEmacs can't use  XFT fonts and would require
  significant hacking to implement them,  whereas Kate does so nicely.
  Broadly, in  strict terms of functionality, what  can M$ do that OOo
  can't?  What M$ functionality does OOo implement, but so badly as to
  impact usability?

  What  significant  incompatibilities  exist   between  OOo and   M$?
  Disregarding scripting  issues  and the potential  for  change in M$
  file  formats, are there any important   document features which are
  either impossible to import to OOo or which import wrongly?

Since  OOo  obviously can't implement VB    or any other  M$ scripting
technology (since it's a  cross-platform app), document scripting is a
big  compatibility hurdle.  Are there any  conversion  tools which can
port M$ scripts of varying triviality to the  OOo (|| Python || Pascal
etc.) language?

Another great concern is   training - the  user base  will have to  be
quickly brought to a  level of productivity/comfort roughly equivalent
to what they  had with M$.  What  are the best  existing resources for
training users  to migrate M$ -> OOo?   Imran's Mimos  docs are great,
what else out there is Ready For Primetime?


Note that rules 1-2 leave you  free to tell me  to RTFM or STFW if I'm
asking obvious questions.

-- 
~ You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike.

  Christopher DeMarco
  cdemarco@fastmail.fm
  +6013 389 5658


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