Well, if ever there was any doubt that what's going on with the desktop is a hot topic among IT professionals, put it to one side. We had an overwhelming response to our reader poll in this area with over 4,800 of you participating, so thanks to those who took the time. The first thing we learned from the poll was that …
Microsoft Office 2003 is at the top for a reason
I'm a huge proponent of open-source software, and I use quite a lot of it myself (I'm in love with my Firefox extensions). However: I work with proofreaders and editors and translators in the translation business, and I would never consider seriously using OpenOffice. I work as a professional proofreader and editor and there are many of the features of Microsoft Office which are either unique to it or much, much better than in OO.
1) lots of Betas. I need something which is broken or inferior in the current version, and I can't be sure that it'll be fixed in the next one - never mind (sometimes major) changes to the UI and core system.
2) lack of features. Sure there's a way around them, but I don't want to spend ages doing the 'way around' when I have a one- or two-click solution in MS Office.
3) lock-in/export. Exporting and format of exports is sadly not very good between OOo and, well, anything else. And a lot of my clients use MS Office; I really need to keep document layout and formatting the same; I don't want to have to worry about pointless layout problems.
4) change auditing. Due to the nature of my industry, I need these sort of collaboration tools which OOo just doesn't provide. Ahh, proofing tools.
5) lack of localisation. This is done in OOo on a voluntary and completely random development basis - unless you are happy to stick with enUS, which surprisingly, a lot of people in the world don't find to be their mother tongue.
6) yes it's open source and yes it's free, as in beer - but that just means that I'm not paying for reliable, helpful customer support. I have no assurances that my problems will be dealt with.
7) it's slow to load. I work with deadlines. 'Nuff said.
8) it's customisable. You can fix and/or report bugs yourself. But that's not really a good thing, because most people lack either a) the time, b) the inclination, or c) the knowledge:
"The myth of open source rests on two improbable assumptions. The first is that a significant proportion of users can fix bugs. That is true at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the concept of open source was first formalised in the 1980s by Richard Stallman and others, and it is true in some of the geekier corners of the internet. But on programs intended for use by the non-programming public, it's a very different story.
"This is important because of the second crucial false assumption: that even if not all users can fix a bug, they can help find them. They can't. Most users just think: "The computer isn't doing what I want."
From The Grauniad.
Now, I could keep going on but I'll stop there. While OOo/the open source movement in general is a wonderful thing, please don't do cut-and-paste rants. Try to keep an open and objective mind. I don't particularly like Microsoft (from a business and ethical point of view) but there's nothing wrong with thier post-XP products (XPSP2, Office 2003) which have worked well and consistently ever since I started using them. A lot of the bias against Microsoft actually isn't well thought-out and comes simply from ignorance, the reputation of past incarnations (I'm sure we all remember Windows ME), and jumping on the it's-cool-to-hate-Microsoft bandwagon. That sort of shallow ignorance is what will really end up destroying the open-source scene - how many of you Microsoft-haters actively work for or program open-source projects?
No big surprise there. The cornering of the market by microsoft, and the lock out that they pulled on other software providers has pretty much cemented their position in offices large and small.
Noticably nobody really wants the latest and greatest Office 2007. Not as "compelling" as Microsoft would like :-)
Hmm I can’t say I’m surprised. Why would businesses want to use online services currently? With MS Office you get a whole arsenal of tools for distribution, policy, management etc. SaaS can’t be taken seriously for anything else than sending a letter to granny!
Nice analysis too, but what seems to be the case - and speaking as a helpdesk operative myself, is not that there's a failed adoption of other applications such as openoffice or firefox etc, but that general users are not given the option, neither do they even know that other options exist.
Seriously, ask your average company Operations Manager endowed with company car and company laptop to 'fire up a web browser' and rarely will you find someone who even know what you mean. Its not that its not central to their operation, but they refer to it as 'data warehouse isn't working' when in actual fact their proxy settings or home page are set incorrectly, they have no idea that the 'application' they are using is indeed a web page in a web browser.
Microsoft, bless em, have come a long way in helping to make our jobs difficult in this way by dumbing down their error messages and keeping users blissfully unaware of how technologically potent their computers are, but in reality, without that kind of kindergarten push, people would be just as confused as your average 'power user' is when faced with a more advanced desktop OS like Linux, where there are no kiddie steps or helping hands.
All in all though, do we really want this to change? I always try to judge the intelligence level of my users as they call me, when someone tells me they 'can't get on to email' when their dial up password has expired, or they're typing with caps lock on, there's no point in any education, but when someone offers you their IP address early on in order for you to look into their problem, or even goes so far as to tell you whats wrong, but says they dont have access to change the settings, your symapthy goes out to them, as you know that one day they may in fact end up being on my side of the phones helping hapless users out themselves.
Just my take on things. For the record, the web browser, or more specifically Firefox, with a little extension known as IE Tab for those stubborn in house apps developed for IE only, is my most central application, and it even serves as my portal to email via Gmail and Outlook Web Access.
This raises one question we all chuckle about down here....
Do you think Bill Gates uses Outlook, or does he really just use Gmail like the rest of us?
Cheers guys, keep up the good work
A perfect example
"Microsoft, bless em, have come a long way in helping to make our jobs difficult in this way by dumbing down their error messages"
I have just spent 2 days troubleshooting a Windows Update issue which returned the error message, "installation did not complete." No error numbers, no indication of *why* the installation did not complete, nothing useful whatsoever. Since the update in question is the core of the Windows Update system (KB898461), nothing else could be done until the problem was fixed. Ultimately, it took roughly 12 hours of my time and 12 hours of the time of an assortment of Microsoft support people (ranging from script-readers to reasonably competent technicians) to determine that chckdsk /r would take care of it. Had the package returned "unable to write to disk block" or something more useful than "I don't work," I have no doubt that at least 20 man-hours could have been saved.
Jason, you're an idiot.
If you actually think that you're points are valid points, then you're an idiot or MS fanboy refusing to believe facts (or both). I am not a fanboy of anyone, so I'm capable of making an informed decision and notice differences. If someone was to ask em if OOo can be used reliably when interacting with MS-Office documents, of course I would say no. There are differences (most likely due to Microsoft's refusal to let other guys look at their specs without onerous licensing terms).
1) lots of Betas. -- I don't know what you're trying to say here. Are you saying that OOo or MS-Office has lots of betas? OOo has many more from what I've seen. But in either case, who cares? Professionals don't (or at least shouldn't) use betas. If it matters, don't use beta. And you can never be sure that a problem will be fixed with any vendor, not OOo, not Microsoft.
3) lock-in/export. -- You're kidding, right? Microsoft has the lock-in, not OOo. It's impossible to have "lock-in" when you're using an open standard. If you want to complain about interoperating with MS-Office documents, look at Microsoft. They're the ones not playing fair. Now, if you want to talk about the formatting issues, etc, then you have a valid point. But to call it "lock-in" is a complete misrepresentation.
6) yes it's open source and yes it's free, as in beer - but that just means that I'm not paying for reliable, helpful customer support. I have no assurances that my problems will be dealt with. -- This is where you really show how stupid and ignorant you are. With Microsoft products, you don't get support. When you call Microsoft, you have to pay for support; it is not included with your product. And with OOo, you're more than welcome to pay for reliable, helpful customer support if you want to. Just go to openoffice.org and click on "Support". Under the "Commercial" heading, you are given two options: "OpenOffice.org Consultants Directory" and "Sun Microsystems, Inc.". Are you implying that Sun Microsystems doesn't offer reliable, helpful customer support?
7) it's slow to load. I work with deadlines. 'Nuff said. -- Yeah, because MS-Office is a quick loader. On every system I've used, the MS-Office applications load just as slowly as OOo.
8) it's customisable. You can fix and/or report bugs yourself. But that's not really a good thing, because most people lack either a) the time, b) the inclination, or c) the knowledge: -- are you kidding? The ability for fix to fix problems themselves is NOT a good thing?!? Just because YOU lack the time, inclination, or knowledge to fix a problem or report a bug, doesn't mean that it's not a good thing. What are you going to say next? Maybe allowing people to change the old in their own autos is not a good idea, simply because I lack the time, inclination, or knowledge to do it? See how stupid it sounds?
No open source? No kidding!
No wonder that open source software isn't popular with professionals and business-users. In the vast majority of cases the commercial option/evil vole-ware is simply the best and most efficient option.
I've used Open Office, Office 2003 and Office 2007, and my favorite is Office 2007, because f the innovative userinterface.
I have to agree that Open Office is the weakest link. It's slow, bulky, and lacks interoperability with the common officeformats (Microsofts) that everyone else uses. Is this Microsofts fault for being selfish and evil, and not letting anybody else in on their formats?
I don't care, and neither does 95% of other users. All we know is, that Open Office can't open .doc documents, and that other people can't open the documents that we send them.
There are lot's of very good reasons why open source software will never be popular outside the tiny minority that swears by them, but this is the most important one: The open-saucers and linux-fanboys out there who develop the software simply don't understand what regular user want and need. Just look at Chris's comment above.
Open-source fanboys and developers don't concentrate on making a better product or understanding users. They're too busy on blaming Microsoft for all the evils in the world. When they don't get their way, they get pissed off, because grownups are mean, and go back in their corner to play with their toys.
Recently I had a sit-down with management on some cost-cutting measures to do with our licensing, and while the upper-echeleon of management see the need to bring this under control, middle management who are handed the budgets that control what resources we have under our roof, don't want to see those budgets cut.
I had brought up the option of Open Office on really an investigative level, and the moment the CEO and CFO walked out of the room, the middle-management were completely against Open Office because it would reduce their budgets!
This is an issue in all areas, not just technology. Until viewers from the top start to truly gain a grasp on the costs of technology and an actual understanding of the engine under the hood that drives our organisations, Open Office or other will not be introduced en masse to business, especially large business!
Small business where, one or two people control the cash flow, will be the only adopters for the most part because they directly feel the impact of the cost of MS and their licensing. They tend to at the very least look at the alternatives.
MS Office in and of itself is a great product, and more importantly, my users, use it at home, so the training on MS's product is next to nill. If I were to introduce Open Office or another similar option, my staff would feak out, and just to calm them down, they would require costly training even though I personally know that if you can use one, you can use the other.
As for Google, and their applications, they are great for what they are, and I think right now that is for personal use. I think that it's easy to underestimate what they are doing, but it would seem to me things can have forward momentum by leaps and bounds when it comes to this approach. I love it, and I hope that it does not take long for Google or someone else to make a truly competitive product with Billy's empire, and I don't think it's going to take even 5 years.
I would have liked to see Lotus Notes as it's own option. Not for the office suite question (not till Notes 8 - with that stuff embedded - comes out this year anyway), but for the central application question it would fit under several of those categories:
-Email, contacts, calendar client
-Client for a specific business application
-Systems development, monitoring or mgmt tools
Most likely went under:
-Other app or combination
Could also go under:
-Web browser (OK the built in one is a stale piece of junk, but there it is, and you can use IE embedded into Notes, just like Netscape 8, or apparently Firefox with a plugin - I just have it launch Firefox. Plus a chunk of those people who use a real web browser will be accessing Notes applications with it!)
"Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, or some other messaging/PIM client"
Notes is quite a bit more than that! Outlook == Notes if you add a whole pile of other MS junk.
Anyway, just would have been curious to see what kind of use it gets out there, similar to the way you specifically mentioned some office suites. Like I said, it was hard to choose which category to put it under, so it's hard to guess how many people are using it.
Yes I'm a Notes fanboy, but not rabidly ;-)
Unfortunately, the most obvious implication is that the sample respondents spend far more time on email, spreadsheets and word processing than on doing any "real" work.
I would expect accountants to use an accounting app, engineers to use CAD, hotel staff to use booking systems, sales reps to use a contact manager, airline staff to use a reservations system and so on.
Is this a signal that the paper-pushing bureaucrats have defeated the real workers?
Or that the survey doesn't accurately reflect the situation beyond Planet Geek.
Chris, you're "an idiot."
While you may have had valid points Chris, insulting Jason and following-up in a derogatory manner gives the impression that you're a "fanboy" and Jason's post hurt you personally, hence the need to retaliate in that tone.
I think both sides have valid points, but for larger businesses who work with others, I personally think MS Office is the only way to go at this present moment simply because everyone else uses it. It is true that OpenOffice follows open standards, but if lets say 95% of the world uses MS Office, realistically, that is the 'real' standard that matters. Keep in mind that Jason was talking about sending and receiving files from his clients.
A big feature of MS Office is Outlook - my clients extensively use its scheduling features with Exchange to check and sync appointments with everyone else in the office. Sync'ing all their appointments with their phone, whether remotely or when at their desk, also works well. Cached exchange mode is also a blessing for those with laptops. I haven't been looking around, but is there an opensource equivalent for the Outlook/Exchange combo that works well and has all the major features?
It'd be interesting to see what happens with Office 2007 now that it uses an open standard.
Re: Jason, you're an idiot.
As Jason said:
"While OOo/the open source movement in general is a wonderful thing, please don't do cut-and-paste rants. Try to keep an open and objective mind. ... That sort of shallow ignorance is what will really end up destroying the open-source scene "
Did you miss that part? :D
I quite agree that Microsoft is largely responsible for the interoperability problems. I'm sure nobody could disagree. But you see, I don't think there's any mileage in responding to the legitimate complaints of genuine business user by calling him "an idiot" - Somehow I think this might be counterproductive for the Open Source movement.
It doesn't matter *whose* fault these compatibility problems are (be they Microsoft, Sun, or anybody); they exist: and until they don't exist, users like Jason will not be able to use OOo. Calling him an idiot isn't going to change that, and it may well cause him to question the general professionalism of the Open Source movement.
Arguably, your response was bit of an embarrasment of the Open Source movement as a whole.
Finally: is Microsoft responsible for OOo's lack of quality language support, and lack of features which Jason needed? The only way OO can compete is by being realistic about the needs and expectation of the end user. If it can't meet these, it is dead in the water.
Open Office Is Good For One Thing At Least
Under the heading "Open Source? No kidding" the anonymous poster, in amongst personal attacks on "Open-source fanboys" etc writes:
"Open Office is the weakest link. It's slow, bulky, and lacks interoperability with the common office formats (Microsoft's) that everyone else uses...
"All we know is, that Open Office can't open .doc documents, and that other people can't open the documents that we send them."
A mildly amusing rant. I'll give it 5 out of 10.
It just goes to show how little he really knows. One of my favourite uses for Open Office is to rescue MS Office files, especially Excel but Word as well, when MS Office refuses to have anything to do with them. Does that mean that Open Office is more interoperable than MS Office?
Chris proving Jason's point...
With unfriendly people like you being the advocates and indeed the unofficial tech support of such software, it's no surprise that people end up settling for Microsofts friendly, if albeit slightly less efficient version of support ;)
Are SUN notably unfiendly?
Having been given as one of the _official_ sources of support for OOo?
Process the data, not the wrapping.
MS Office's dirty secret
MS Office is the product that benefits most from widescale software piracy in the home.
A high proportion of MSO installations on home PCs are pirated in some way; if everyone was forced to go legit I suspect that a high proportion of those would 'discover' OOo and that that would build.acceptance in the business environment as well Thus M$ owes their 95% domination largely to piracy.
No open source? No kidding!
If that post was written with Office 2007's grammar and spell checkers you have destroyed your case!
Well, color me confused.
I've been using both Word and OOo for at least three years. Never had any problems with sharing files between them. I don't know if it's some magical pixie that lives in my fingertips that makes it possible, since so many other people seem to find it impossible. I'd love to hear some theories about this, though!
Would be interesting to break up M$ Office suite figures into which version was used. I suspect MS might be disappointed at the number still using <= office2000!
Chris - flies are caught with honey, not vinegar
I certainly like the idea of Open Office. However, I have found time and again that even simple Word docs can get mangled in presentation. Not the fonts or sizes, but rather things like borders. Now, maybe it is M$'s fault with their closed format. Or not.
Tell you what: I don't care. I don't want to worry about formatting issues, end of story. One of these days, OO will be good enough and I won't use Word anymore. But today's not that day. Charissa, you might have a pixie, or, more likely, you are better with OO than myself.
Chris, as others have pointed out, yours is just the poor type of people skills that turn people right off Open Source. I use plenty of Open Source programs and I also use Microsoft stuff when I have to. Or, just when I _feel_ like it, thank you very much.
How folks like you equate software freedom with badmouthing anybody that doesn't do what you want escapes me entirely. Last but not least, your arguments were specious at best. For example, I certainly don't pretend to have C++ skills allowing me to fix my problems with OO's border formatting. Do you really expect me to believe that you do???
I used some of the sales and financial team at work as Office 2007 guinnea pigs. The overwhelming response was that they didn't like it, or know how to use it.
This means I don't want to use it either, despite finding it quite nice personally. Why? Time. I don't have the budget (or patience) to re-train every potential Office 2007 user.
Whilst 2003 works, and [most of] the rest of the world uses it, I'll stick with it.
As to OOo, I tried rolling OpenOffice out at work with a few users. They could not open the standard Word Documents that came in correctly all the time. Plus, the OO's spreadsheet app refused to work with any existing excel spreadsheets that contained formulae.
Don't get me wrong - I like OpenOffice (and use it at home), but the fact is, in business you're too busy to spend so much time chasing up issues and troubleshooting. I have to seem like a fanboy - I'm not - but I pay Microsoft so that I don't spend hours giving support and fixes to the staff when it's not nessecary.
People don't like change. At the moment, at least, non-geeks and OO do not [generally] mix.
Stop the pseudoneutral and fanboyish arguing?
People are making some valid points here but they're getting lost admidst the rest of the comment that they're in because the writers are getting over zealous in their opinions.
Also several points are being made without and justification or reason, and some are just plain wrong.
For one, OpenOffice can and does open .doc and .xls files quite happily in its respective applications. The only issue with .doc files is that occasionally if some of the more unusual graphical options have been used when creating the document with MS office, the layout won't be 100% perfect, but if that happens it can be fixed in all of 5 seconds by moving the graphic slightly etc.
It also takes only about 5 seconds to change the preferences in OpenOffice so that its default file types for word processing for both opening and saving documents is in fact the 'Microsoft Word 97-2003 .doc' standard. Documents saved in .doc format using OpenOffice will open perfectly well in MS Office, and its my suspicion (and it is that, i have no evidence for this) that the reason some MS .doc files don't layout properly in OpenOffice is because MS don't actually conform to their own standards for .doc files fully. (just a side note that OpenOffice has built in, for free, the ability to export your documents as PDF files, which MS Office does not. Advantage to OpenOffice in format support there.)
To clarify the point about OpenOffice running more slowly. This is not the case, but it CAN be. Both MS Office 97 - 2007 and OpenOffice have a quick loader facility, where-by the core of the software package is loaded when Windows starts up so that when you open a document the application takes less time to load. The difference is, depending on the revision of OpenOffice, it is not always enabled by default, but again this can be done easily. The reasoning behind having it off by default is to save system resources and allow faster system start up.
As far as user interfaces go.Personally i do prefer MS Office, it would be hard to argue that MS Office does not have a more polished user interface that looks prettier and can more comfortable to use for some things. However OpenOffice has a perfectly functional user interface that does everything that is required without distractions which can be preferable in some instances, I'm writing my University Dissertation in OpenOffice because I find easier to concentrate without the distraction of help tips and huge array of buttons and features in MS Office.
Well now, I think it's time for me to rejoin this fight. First of all, I only gave my opinion and the opinions of the people I work with. I also forgot to mention that other third-party tools - such as the Trados translation program - plug into MS Office nicely, which is another major cross-program plus between the translators and the proofers. There are other reasons too but I think I've listed more than enough so far!
I notice that people seem to be taking this personally - like I said earlier, I'm not a lover of Microsoft, and I use many opensource applications, but it just so happens that for my (professional) uses, Office is by far the best option. I would like to point out in response to Philip Webb that through free and easily-accessible thrid-party applications (not just Adobe Acrobat, either - I use the free PDFcreator from http://pdfcreator.sourceforge.net/), so that's hardly an issue.
As for formatting, that wasn't really one of the things I picked up on, but I agree, yes it can be a problem. However as was pointed out, it's relatively quick to fix, but again when a hundred documents come through your computer every day, spending five minutes correcting formatting errors on each one begins to build up into taking a rather hefty chunk out of your time.
I still haven't seen any arguments for anything like Microsoft's Change Tracking feature in OO, which is an integral part of the work my colleagues and I do.
The user who had the problem with so many pop-ups - the first thing I always do in Word is switch off all the auto-help and help popups, as well as most of the autocorrect options. I said it once and I imagine if I said it a million times it still wouldn't sink in, but I'll say it again just in case: I'm not a Microsoft fanboy and I don't believe all of their features were farted out of god's arse. Some of what they do is rubbish and annoying and I don't like Office telling me how to type a document when I already know perfectly well how to do it. If you find the feature annoying, simply turn it off. Easy as that.
I don't want to spend all day defending myself from horrible overreactions, but a couple of things Chris said captured my attention. First, the random and unprovoked emotional outburst:
"If you actually think that you're points are valid points, then you're an idiot or MS fanboy refusing to believe facts (or both)."
Actually it's based on the experiences of staff where I work, who use MS Office on a regular basis, and many of them (myself included) have used OpenOffice and other applications (StarOffice, Lotus 1-2-3) and can make valid comparisons that are relevant to our day-to-day working lives.
"I am not a fanboy of anyone, so I'm capable of making an informed decision and notice differences."
I would have said the same myself.
"1) lots of Betas. -- I don't know what you're trying to say here. Are you saying that OOo or MS-Office has lots of betas? OOo has many more from what I've seen."
Obviously, I was referring to OO. Microsoft releases full releases that often act like betas (think Windows ME and Vista, Office 2007 from what I've heard) but OO often releases the same sort of thing. The difference tends to be that Microsoft believes their releases to be full and has an effective system in place for patching and updating them - and I can be more sure that the promised features in the next update will actually be as advertised, as compared to OO's often "I would like to add this but let's see" approach.
"7) it's slow to load. I work with deadlines. 'Nuff said. -- Yeah, because MS-Office is a quick loader. On every system I've used, the MS-Office applications load just as slowly as OOo."
Maybe you have a worse system than I do, but (and no, I haven't timed it, I'm not that obsessive) it seems to me that documents tend to open faster into MS Office than OO. Maybe that's just preloading on boot, I wouldn't know, but it's the result that matters in a deadline-oriented professional organisation. Why shouldn't I go with what's most efficient for me?
"8) it's customisable. You can fix and/or report bugs yourself. But that's not really a good thing, because most people lack either a) the time, b) the inclination, or c) the knowledge: -- are you kidding? The ability for fix to fix problems themselves is NOT a good thing?!? Just because YOU lack the time, inclination, or knowledge to fix a problem or report a bug, doesn't mean that it's not a good thing. What are you going to say next? Maybe allowing people to change the old in their own autos is not a good idea, simply because I lack the time, inclination, or knowledge to do it? See how stupid it sounds?"
This has been covered by other posters, but I'll just add my own two cents - I didn't say that it's bad to be able to tinker under the bonnet, I'm saying that 99% of working professionals wouldn't have the first clue about how to do it (inclination or knowledge) and those who might be tempted to try, are actually in breach of their working contracts if they're using paid work time to fiddle with pet projects not related to their work. Are you saying that all us busy working people (you obviously aren't one) should use our own free time to learn programming, and then risk a reprimand at work because we're playing with the innards of OO instead of actually doing any work?
Well, at least you made my point for me. As I said (the bit you didn't bother to read before you got all excited), please don't do cut-and-paste rants. I don't particularly like Microsoft (from a business and ethical point of view), but a lot of the bias against Microsoft actually isn't well thought-out and comes simply from ignorance, the reputation of past incarnations (Windows ME et al), and jumping on the it's-cool-to-hate-Microsoft bandwagon. That sort of shallow ignorance is what will really end up destroying the open-source scene. Chris - would you mind telling us all precisely which open-source projects you actively work on?
"I hate open source"
Sorry, I had an old URL:
PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDF files from nearly any Windows application.
* Create PDFs from any program that is able to print
* Security: Encrypt PDFs and protect them from being opened, printed etc.
* Send generated files via eMail
* Create more than just PDFs: PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, PCX, PS, EPS
* AutoSave files to folders and filenames based on Tags like Username, Computername, Date, Time etc.
* Merge multiple files into one PDF
* Easy Install: Just say what you want and everything is installed
* Terminal Server: PDFCreator also runs on Terminal Servers without problems
* And the best: PDFCreator is free, even for commercial use! It is Open Source and released under the Terms of the GNU General Public License.
As you can tell, I'm a Microsoft fanboy and I love to pointlessly bash open source applications! Oh, darn it, no matter how hard I try I just can't seem to get myself as worked up as Chris does. I wish I could feel that illogically passionate about a computer program.
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