LO instead of MS Office...
I for one think this is a massively overlooked area... In the corporate arena to use corporate-speak, it would help migrate people away from MS-Office for starters...
The absence of enterprise-grade support for free and open-source software (FOSS) is the single biggest pain point for business customers who are using it. That’s according to a survey by data-centre automation company Univa, which found 64 per cent of respondents were prepared to pay for supported open-source software. The …
I for one think this is a massively overlooked area... In the corporate arena to use corporate-speak, it would help migrate people away from MS-Office for starters...
And why would want companies migrate away from MS exactly?
Some of them need to communicate with their customers or other companies. Mostly MS is the de facto standard for files. Converting them to OpenDocument or opening them in LO? Ever tried doing that with a more 'complex' document? Do I have to list out what mark-up or even content you might be missing?
Needing hundreds of MB's of RAM (LO) instead of dozens of MB of RAM (MS) for a pretty simple document?
Having an unstable application instead of a stable one?
Training their hundreds/thousands of employees to start using another office suite : cost = hundred thousands of euros.
Paying some company even more money for yearly support and maintenance than for the MS licenses. Bcs which CIO can defend NOT having a support contract for a critical business software???
The only ones I know that did the migration were governmental organisations, since they want FREE/CHEAP stuff, and have an affection for the word 'OPEN'.
Please think twice before posting such wild ideas...
"Needing hundreds of MB's of RAM (LO) instead of dozens of MB of RAM (MS) for a pretty simple document?"
FUD ! Absolute garbage !
AC: "Please think twice before posting such wild ideas..."
Disagree. I'm confident it can be done. I've worked with Office at the very highest-level on Trading Desks for Quants at mega-corps. The biggest barriers overall are Time and Macros. Yes LO isn't the best product and the future will bring other options, but the central problem is most companies are too busy to tackle it.
If we take a bank for example, you could never migrate elite users such as traders, quants, institutional sales staff & marketers, wealth managers, portfolio and risk managers etc. But there are a significant number of other staff who are mere 'consumers' of spreadsheets, word documents and presentations and NOT the content creators. Those users are mostly using Office as a Viewer with minor formatting or calculation changes. However, the accepted practice has been to give these users full versions of the products too, even if they could work equally well from PDF's / RTF's / HTML or alternative Open Office type formats etc.
If I was asked to save money for a company I'm confident I could find the savings. I would leave the power-user unaffected and focus solely on the less-sophisticated 'Consumer' users. Staff could also be downgraded to older versions of Office if re-licensing is permitted in their area. This of course implies legacy Office software can be resold, which is a contentious issue still being fought out in the courts.
At SMB's I often find myself being forced to use legacy Office versions as old as Office 2000, which is able to exchange a range of files with newer Office versions using the free 2007 Compatibility Viewer to work around file format changes. None of these legacy organizations want to purchase the new office! That would mean millions of euros of retraining costs!!!
Moreover, there's nothing to stop companies sending formatted HTML / PDF / RTF to their customers instead of Office! The latter are more likely to work in all environments too. History has shown it can dangerous to make assumptions about what versions of Office your customers are using. Early adopters of DOCX / XLSX lost contracts from sending out quotes in newer file formats that customers couldn't open!
Not really garbage...we have proof and posted these issues at https://bugs.freedesktop.org, which is the libreoffice bug tracker, shouldn't you know. And they ACKNOWLEDGED the issues...but you will know better for sure....
We used the EXACT same document in MS Word and LibreOffice. Memory consumption in MS Word is 30-40 MB, memory consumption in LibreOffice is 250 MB....
again, FACTS, not dreams or hopes....FACTS!
Also, when just using a scroll-bar up and down constantly, have a look at CPU loads and ever increasing memory consumption. FACTS, my dear FOSS-lover....
I think he might have been having a go, but my troll detection skillz need teh upgradez.
If the document in question is the 38 page one ( in Dutch ?) I find that in LO 3.6 running under OpenSUSE 12.3 -32 bit. the document occupies 24MB more than an empty document on initial loading. Scrolling this increases memory use to ~50MB but then this stabilizes and on further scrolling the memory use varies in the range 30 -50 MB. Scrolling a lot uses ~75% cpu but that's on an old 1.6 GHz Celeron laptop with 1GB memory.
I don't know if this is a 64-bit version issue - I'll try when I'm back home - but I can't reproduce on this laptop.
If these businesses don't understand that, then FOSS support is the least of their problems...
"According to the survey, the biggest single problem businesses are encountering with FOSS is a lack of stability"
Oh, and you get what exactly when you pay MS for their stuff?
It would be interesting to see what areas firms are complaining about. The kernel or applications?
From my experience with Linux, I'd say the kernel is pretty robust and stable but some of the apps. do leave a little to be desired, yes Mozilla, I'm looking at you.
If on the other hand it's the pace of development, causing concerns about stability, then the obvious choice is to use a long-term, conservative distro. like Slackware, Debian or even Ubuntu LTS. Or even use one of the BSDs, they are renowned for their reliability.
What is probably going on is that firms don't have enough FOSS technical support so that when things do go wrong they are left without adequate backup and thus feel vulnerable and exposed.
Indeed, because it is damn nearly impossible to find sufficient personnel who REALLY know the FOSS products, and the ones you might find are so scarce that they'll cost you an arm and a leg....
btw, FOSS is not only an OS or some basic apps like a browser or whatever. There is far more than that.
I'll have to agree that RHEL is very good (though not free, nor cheap), and that SOME projects backed by huge companies (read MS competitors) are pretty stable and good (though far from cheap!).
But the majority of FOSS is SH*T.
Paid enterprise level support is exactly what RedHat does.
What's happening here? Do businesses say "they want us to pay how much for free software?", missing the point that they want you to pay that much for professional support with SLAs and all that sort of thing.
Or is this about the bits they don't cover - OpenOffice and all that?
FOSS is more than GNU/Linux
The moment you step outside Redhat's tightly defined environments, your support goes away. If there's a bug, you may wait YEARS for a fix that's already applied in the non-RH environment (Several instances of this have irritated the bejeezus out of me). If I'm paying several thousand per year, per machine for support, (and $orkplace is) then that's the kind of thing which makes me a very unhappy camper.
The restricted environment model is ok when you're a top-10 bank using RH on 100,000 locked down terminals to access intranet servers, but it's becoming more and more of a problem in normal business and research activities.
FWIW RH has pretty much decided that said banks (and other large customers) are worthwhile customers and everyone else is just nuisance value.
There is still a few vestiges of BSD code to be found in the Microsoft's tcp/ip stack.
We're a company developing a software solution targeted towards bigger companies, especially financial companies.
The product is mainly written in Java and uses quite some open-source third party components and frameworks. And the experiences with that are not that positive.
For one, we use open-source Java libraries from Apache and Eclipse projects. On first sight they provide exactly what we needed, but later on, unfortunately too often in production, we notice some things are so wrong in these libraries.
Namespaces trying to retrieve the XSD from the INTERNET(firewalls anyone?), very slow and memory-consuming CORE libraries, like for XML handling, non-responding Jetty-server on high CPU load,... too much to all mention here, but we've encountered hundreds of show stoppers. I don't want to calculate how much money/time we've lost on this...
First we try to log the issue in the bugtracker of the corresponding lib provider, but too often it is closed without being solved bcs : sponsoring or payment is advised, the issue is not big enough for fixing, the project members are undermanned to supply stability and performance, their main focus is following the specs (Eclipse WTP project), the issue was opened too long and no-one worked on it, so it was closed,......and so on
We also use LibreOffice in our product through a UNO API. We've encountered numerous bugs when used in an automated way, especially related to memory leaks, excessive memory usage, slow performance and as a consequence to that serious instabilities leading to x crashes a day per machine.
So, logging the issue will place it in a queue of thousands of other issues. If it is important enough, they MIGHT solve it within the next 6-12 months. If you pay them, it might be solved faster. BUT...pricing of open-source developers is incredibly high, especially since the commercial companies behind these developers want their share as well.
Trying to solve it yourselves since 'it is open source' is such b***sh*t. Have you ever tried to download the code, and build it?
If you passed that one, then tried looking in the code, if you happen to know the right programming language? For a project like LibreOffice it's like a hobby-programmer trying to fix the code of say Windows/linux where hundreds of clever people worked on for decades...good luck with that!
And think about this : if a major security risk or problem is found within a solution or even a component, and you get the request to pay for a fast solution, or the suggestion to try to solve it yourselves.But then people with bad intentions can just scan the OPEN bug trackers to see what major flaws are known to many distributed apps and exploit them as long as they're not fixed. You don't have that with 'closed source'.
The credo 'it's open source, so ANYONE can dive in and fix it' is so lame and is just fooling themselves.
On top of this, we also deploy an open-source BPM system from a well-known brand to design a workflow and triggering our services. They also needed to supply us with a specialist of theirs, since it it so complex to setup. Even the specialist had quite some trouble and needed weeks of research and calls to the main developers of the product to know what to do. And oh yeah, we needed to book the guy weeks up front and he needed to come from some other EU country, since there are just a couple of specialists of said product in the EU/world?
Then we and our customers also need to pay for a subscription. This calculation is based on the type of server, intended usage and then some. And this is on a yearly basis. We were appalled when we noticed that the amount to be paid actually will turn up a lot higher than say using microsoft solutions, which have easier installation procedures and tend to be more stable as well...
We're using PostGreSQL in-house, an opensource cloud software,... and they all had MAJOR problems, like going corrupted, losing important data and so on. It is too bad to see the FOSS adepts in our company keeping defending it with arguments like : "yeah, but it is free", and "yeah, this version had some regression', or "but they such a nice vision", or whatever crap they want to sell. Bottom line is that it is not functioning, and we might just have lsot some critical data that actually was pretty PRICELESS.
So, all in all, I wouldn't really recommend using FOSS software, no. I would even strongly recommend NOT to use it for businesses.
>very slow and memory-consuming CORE libraries
Wow in Java. No way. You lie!
Actually based on what you posted you obviously don't have the chops to actually run an enterprise IT department so you are getting everything second hand as rumors. Yes FOSS like all other software varies greatly in quality. That is why if you are incapable of doing due diligence you are better off sticking to one of the proprietary big boys you can try and sue when you fail. But then its easier to use FOSS because you don't have to ask your cheap boss to spend money and then when you encounter problems you can blame all FOSS there eh AC (seems most of Microsoft's PR misinformation dept is AC these days).
Hmm. In response to specific problems he's named, you come up with :
i) "You obviously don't have the chops ..." Riiiight. As usual, FOSS stuff isn't to blame, people are just so much dumber than you that they can't grasp it.
ii) Some nice generic "You didn't do due diligence" argument. Bit vague, but due diligence is always a nice defence, huh?
iii) "But then it's easier to use FOSS because you don't have to ask your cheap boss to spend money and when you fail you can blame all FOSS there eh AC" - He's blaming what he's had problems with. And if you think most bosses who OK the use of FOSS software are doing so because they love the "It's free as in choice not as in beer" thing you're blind.
iv) Oh, my - the inevitable. Accusations that anyone who posts anonymously (always rich from someone who hides behind a handle,) is an MS shill.
Just like the old days; criticise FOSS and the personal attacks fly. Good work, asdf. Since Eadon hadn't posted it's nice somone has stood in for him with the usual vague handwaving and shill accusations.
AC gives advice - why would anyone listen ?
Is that a dig against AC posting or people who disregard what ACs say?
Hello AC - what do you think ?
The Vogon & RICHTO often post as AC judging by their syntax, bad grammar and general ranting - who, indeed, are you ?
The same poster here again.
"Due diligence"...haha, nice, of x thousand components and two huge frameworks...that would cost the company more than a year to do this in-depth, (since "superficial" tests were done before obviously), I don't have to explain you what that would cost, money-wise and the cost of not having a marketable product for more than a year....I think the investors would back down...
But of course, you can stay blind for the economic reality most companies live in.
We're not all the size of HP, MS, Apple, or even Red Hat y'know...
Talking of this last one.
So their BPM (actually BRMS system), is based on all "open-source" sub projects, which are developed towards working inside their top-range product(s).
I put "open-source' between quotes, since, indeed, the code can be downloaded, but hardly anyone apart from RedHat personnel, is working on the product, or is able to grasp the technicalities AND the functionalities. So yes, the code is 'open', but no one else in the world will ever modify the code, knowing what they're really doing.
But anyway, so, all their sub-projects "could" be bundled by any other player, but since it is complex and only red hat people know the code, they alone have bundled it in the BRMS.
And let it be this same BRMS system (= integration code around the components) that is NOT open source, and is NOT freely downloadable, but actually costs MORE than competitive products (not only MS mind you).
Therefore it feels like a very big hoax, and the only thing that they need is would-be socialists, which need to be convinced that the world NEEDS open-source, and that 'everyone' can contribute and profit from the code.
Apart of some smaller projects like Gimp and alike, this is b*llsh*t.
I don't understand why you are not opposed to the big car manufacturers to make their parts 'open-source' so everyone can tinker with their cars. Or demand it for your iPhone or your Blu-ray player for that matter.
I attended quite some FOSS conferences and open standard conferences and meetings the past years and it really strikes me that it seems that for most projects their main goal is to 'fight MS', they really have quite some hostility (like you) towards MS.
And quite funny actually, is that most of them seem to know the MS products very well, and want their products to 'mimic' MS functionalities and features... pretty hypocrit... And then implementing it halfhearted bcs they don't get it, or don't have the time/resources to do it well enough.
Well these are my real-life experiences, but you can always make counter-arguments based on dreams and phantasies....
The biggest problem with AC is because it is impossible to check their post history and see either A). they created the account today and have one post (probably vested interest that googled and found the article) or B.) they are a disgruntled employee like Eadon who does have an axe to grind and so can be ignored. I am not saying FOSS is always the answer. In fact right now I am developing on Win7 using VS 2010 but also rely on FOSS tools like subversion which has the mission critical job of storing my companies most valuable asset (with very robust backups, etc of course). Some FOSS tends to much more appropriate for mission critical task like subversion or apache. I also am not some right wing jagoff who think a single person must own everything or the world will end (ie FOSS is dirty socialism).
People may have once been worried about Microsoft limiting their computer choices but luckily that ship has sailed. Microsoft had done a very good job of making themselves irrelevant the last five plus years. At this point its a good idea to have some FOSS skills on the resume because the days of single vendor skills lasting your whole work career are long gone. There are sure alot of MCSE praying they can make it to retirement without having to ever show how worthless they are with the command line.
Don't like FOSS simple don't use it. In fact it's often not a good idea to integrate FOSS into your codebase because then you might have to consult lawyers later (which is true with microsoft somewhat too, look at the whole past WTL fiasco). You can't put the genie back in the bottle though and go back to the late 1990's where having only microsoft skills mattered. Many companies have figured out the best way to collaborate on a large project is through open source think Webkit, Hadoop, etc.
"Hello AC - what do you think ?"
Well, at first I thought it was sarcasm about people writing off any AC comments, and was surprised to see it coming from you, who can't tolerate anyone pointing out any problems with FOSS. Then I realised it was loosely worded enough to go either way. Disappointing; I'd had a brief moment of hope that you weren't pulling the tired old FOSS fan trick of telling yourself that AC posts don't matter when you don't like them. That's a major failure on your part.
"The Vogon & RICHTO often post as AC judging by their syntax, bad grammar and general ranting - who, indeed, are you ?"
Asks "Chemist". See what I did there? Hint - I pointed out your hypocrisy. AC or a handle - same thing; you're hiding either way.
> AC or a handle - same thing; you're hiding either way.
Except for the fact you can go look at every comment chemist ever posted. How about you buddy?
One of the main reasons why enterprise is willing to look at FOSS at all is because vendor lock in can be so painful. Its awful easy to get abused by Oracle or IBM once they know your business relies on their products and that switching to someone else is far from trivial.
The post history argument is invalid. As I've stated in my response to "Chemist" you're just clinging to a comfort blanket.
"I am not saying FOSS is always the answer."
But you certainly got snotty and personal when someone said it wasn't the answer for them. That was my point.
"I am not saying FOSS is always the answer. In fact right now I am developing on Win7 using VS 2010 but also rely on FOSS tools like subversion which has the mission critical job of storing my companies most valuable asset (with very robust backups, etc of course). Some FOSS tends to much more appropriate for mission critical task like subversion or apache."
Doesn't mean all FOSS does. Don't throw tantrums when people have less than stellar experiences.
"I also am not some right wing jagoff who think a single person must own everything or the world will end (ie FOSS is dirty socialism)."
Er - what? Where does that come from and what does it have to do with my points?
"People may have once been worried about Microsoft limiting their computer choices but luckily that ship has sailed."
Really? The camps have always been people who don't mind using Microsoft and those who refused to. Don't see either side worrying there. If you mean OEMs "being forced by MS" to ditch Linux, then you're missing the point that the OEMs lacked the balls to stand up to MS and the faith in anything else that they could survive without MS.
"Microsoft had done a very good job of making themselves irrelevant the last five plus years."
Less competitive yes. Irrelevant? You've pulled an Eadon there :)
"At this point its a good idea to have some FOSS skills on the resume because the days of single vendor skills lasting your whole work career are long gone."
Not an absolute truth. Depends on what employers are using and, if they're an MS house, MS dying.
"There are sure alot of MCSE praying they can make it to retirement without having to ever show how worthless they are with the command line."
Funny how FOSSers like to claim that MCSEs are too stupid to learn Linux/BSD/whatever. That's just the old-school FOSS arrogance - are you one of those types who got into Linux because you thought that was the way to look like a real techie? And don't forget that Windows has a command line too ...
"Except for the fact you can go look at every comment chemist ever posted. How about you buddy?"
You can look at everything he's posted as Chemist. I see you're having trouble grasping the problem - the Internet has explanations of what sock puppets are if that helps.
"Don't like FOSS simple don't use it."
Don't think anyone was waiting for your approval. Can't speak for others, but for me the problem is evangelists.
"You can't put the genie back in the bottle though and go back to the late 1990's where having only microsoft skills mattered."
Of course not. And I'm not denigrating FOSS. Merely knee-jerk defence of it that is unable to tolerate any criticism.
"Many companies have figured out the best way to collaborate on a large project is through open source think Webkit, Hadoop, etc."
Fair enough, as long as you don't try to present FOSS as an automatic, universal solution.
>Fair enough, as long as you don't try to present FOSS as an automatic, universal solution.
I never did. I didn't come in here and automatically say FOSS is the only solution. This whole chain started with some AC above trying to claim FOSS was a bubble and fad and should be avoided. Plenty of Fortune 100 companies would disagree including some of the companies with largest internet infrastructure (Google, Amazon, FB, etc).
>And don't forget that Windows has a command line too ...
And until powershell it was a joke. Powershell though is very nice mainly because M$ swallowed their pride and copies some of the better features of Unix shells.
>Really? The camps have always been people who don't mind using Microsoft and those who refused to. Don't see either side worrying there. If you mean OEMs "being forced by MS" to ditch Linux, then you're missing the point that the OEMs lacked the balls to stand up to MS and the faith in anything else that they could survive without MS.
Yeah that is why they are a convicted monopolist that had to buy their way out of punishment (god bless W Bush coming in at just the right time for M$ as they may be the only entity that benefited having the village idiot in charge).
>Less competitive yes. Irrelevant? You've pulled an Eadon there :)
When was the last time a Microsoft product release disrupted a market? Irrelevant. Windows 8 is actually killing the PC market which is disruptive I suppose.
>Depends on what employers are using and, if they're an MS house, MS dying.
Funny I bet IBM mainframe people were saying the same thing in the mid to late 1980s.
"The product is mainly written in Java..."
"ii) Some nice generic "You didn't do due diligence" argument. Bit vague, but due diligence is always a nice defence, huh?"
You didn't check things out properly and you cannot spell. I had to add that because it shows either your metal state is fragile at the moment or
"i) "You obviously don't have the chops ..." Riiiight. As usual, FOSS stuff isn't to blame, people are just so much dumber than you that they can't grasp it."
Yes, that's true. If you are a programmer, engineer, architect, etc., you really should be able to read the code you are using. Otherwise how are you supposed to check it out? Say you have choice of 3 possible libraries to use for a certain component of your software. You really should write code for all 3 to test them. Or at least have your code organi(s/z)ed enough to swap out libs without too much effort. You are doing it wrong. There are probably other ways things will work out well, but you have not chosen one of those well trodden paths. Not that there is anything wrong with experiments. Just keep them out of trunk. ;)
(re: the rant about RH)
If you were sucker enough to fall for RH's marketing, you'd have an even deeper romance with MS or Apple. Their marketing is amazing - world class I hear.
It seems you are a bit jaded. It's as if someone has planted this illusion in your mind that source code is the answer to all your problems. Then when this silver bullet turns out to be a sort of social contract between developers and technicians, you break down and cry. Source code will not empower you unless you can read it. Reading has never been as important. Yet so few people take the time these days.
Haha! Sue non-bespoke vendor?
Well, we did such things, we've written code and we've tested it. Why would we choose that library otherwise?
So on first glance, and feature-wise the applications worked as should, but it's just quirks that only come up on very high load and stuff.
I'll give you a couple of examples:
* Eclipse WTP : for opening a +1MB XML/XSD it needs dozens of minutes and gigabytes of memory to eventually crash eclipse. You have to know that hundreds of business-class applications have been built on this platform by the likes of : IBM, Oracle, RedHat, Apache,...
And IBM have mentioned that the team of WTP need to get their act together bcs this is a big threat.
So actually, you're telling that all those multi-billion dollar companies with hundreds of whizz-kids are dumbo's as well...
The answer of the WTP team was : we don't have enough funding and developers, so we're not able to focus on stability and performance, we just try to follow the spec, that's all. --> COOL!!
* Another example : PostGreSQL. We've been using it after tests and recommendations in our SAAS offering. Apparently it is not able to cope with an unforeseen power-failure (known problem), so we corrupted all of our DB's! --> Cool!!
* LibreOffice having memory leaks and handle leaks. This wasn't noticed in our testing, since it only occurs after intensive use and processing of thousands of documents. Apparently this is a 'known' problem with a workaround that involves restarting LO at certain intervals and if it doesn't want to stop after 10 minutes you'll need to kill the process --> cool
* 64-bit LO windows version will not be developed 'because most users don't need it'....--> cool. This means we're stuck with 32-bit eclipse as a consequence and with 32-bit Java as well....thus having a memory limit of 1.5 GB --> cool!
* RedHat suggesting the latest version of BRMS, only to disclose at a later time, when we've already implemented it at a customer and needing to start with the HA setup that this version still hasn't got support for HA and we'll have to wait another year or so.... --> Nice!!
* Jetty server stops responding when the CPU flirts with the 100% mark for some time : cool, and only noticeable in specific situations, but not sth you think about to test up front....
* JackRabbit needing to write files to disk before it knows their size. For an entire repository this needs GB's of disk-space, eventually leading to disk-full errors. Adobe was using it in their Day CRM software, but they've abandoned it recently. But they too were stupid not to test it well enough, I know....
*Shall i continue....???
As long as you have rich aholes that love gigantic yachts and procure them with vendor lock-in price gouging then FOSS will have its place.
Again...some FOSS support plans for RHEL, BRMS, MySQL, ... cost MORE than other "vendor locked-in software".
And you NEED to take the support plans to get their 'working' and tested components, and the possibility to get upgrades. This doesn't differ that much from regular 'commercial' offerings.
And if you really need the source code of most (ok, not all) commercial packages, you can always get it if you pay enough. If this eases your worries that 'what if company X ever gets bankrupt'...then you could dive in and do what all those big-shot developers weren't able to pull off...bcs with your arrogance, you most definitely will do a better job than the product-specialists at company x, no doubt about that!
It's actually the same like say : "no, you don't have to pay me 20.000€ for that car, this one is for free. You'll only need to pay me 5000€/year for support for every year you drive with it." Oh yes cool, I don't have to pay a thing for the car...only "support".
Doesn't this smell a bit like fooling people????
The quality of a FOSS product is directly related to the quality of the community around the product. If there a product is well documented and has a group of active committers sysops and developers can solve theirs issues with the help from the community.
Commercial support contracts are merely a means for non-technical managers to cover their asses with higher management. Instead they should invest the money they now spend on support contracts in hiring well trained sysops and developers.
And again this needs some clarification.
Apart from some smaller FOSS products, most bigger solutions' 'community' exists of paid developers, paid by the likes of IBM, KO gmbh, Red Hat company,...
So they're no different than their commercial counterparts.
The 'community' is more like a 'partnership' between bigger companies in order to come up with a product to rival with their shared biggest competitor (MS?). Look at the contributorlist of LibreOffice and RHEL for instance.
But I'm not saying that all FOSS is bad, or is made with bad intentions. There are really nice efforts and products out there, don't get me wrong.
But the biggest well-known names like LibreOffice, RHEL, JBoss, Zarafa are abusing the FOSS label to do some dirty commercial stuff....