"this will be the year of Linux on the desktop"
An ever-increasing proportion of people work from the smartphones and/or tablets nowadays. Linux is in the lead today and has been for years!
44 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Feb 2023
"Also static damage isn't, to coin a word, binary ... it can degrade the transistors on the chips to the point they're more likely to fail earlier"
Thanks for this, I have seen this a lot. We had quite a few big data centres each with a dedicated engineer at each site, many of the systems upgrades involved handling the electronics. One of the sites had many random system failures ongoing for a couple of years, all other sites were reliable, this was a huge problem. One day a more-experienced engineer was on-site and saw the local dedicated engineer failing to follow the anti-static precautions. So they swapped out all parts that the previous dedicated engineer had touched (10s thousands $) and there were no more problems.
Static damage frequently causes degradation, perhaps components shift out of their specified tolerances, not always obviously destroying a part, but when it is under a specific load the shift away from the specified tolerance eventually conflicts and causes an overall failure. One slacker who thinks they know better break things for others.
"it's basically like chrome but faster". Not in my experience, Microsoft even says it uses the same engine as Chrome, says this when it is trying to prevent you from installing Chrome.
Edge is intended to become the new IE, it is 100% about vendor lock-in. If you were effected by this you won't forget. Can't believe systems admins enable it as their default browser.
So glad the devices get 10 years now, I've had total success with ~40-50 Chromebooks in business critical workplace environments (hospitals) and also with about 20 home users.
In the hospital they were setup and managed from admin.google.com all settings I needed were there, used 24/7, concrete floors, extremely reliable. The home users who want me to fix their laptops in return for favours, well I never waste time on you know what, I just convert to ChromeOS Flex or give them Chromebooks they have never gone wrong.
No going backwards to last century for me - only when I go to work, what a croc of shit, last Friday I discovered that Microsoft can't even set a default language for new documents in Word for the Web for spell check (proofing), it is always US, same for Powerpoint and Excel, cmon it is 2023, what a joke.
"Open Office, Libre Office"
Hi, a couple of corrections which make me wonder where you really sit, you should know this:
1) It is OpenOffice and LibreOffice, no spaces.
2) OpenOffice has had no major update in 9 years, LibreOffice receives huge ongoing development. i.e. OpenOffice is a decoy, minimal effort applied to keep it alive, stagnating in increasing incompatibility. Kind of reminds me of the SCO IP legal fights, for the sole benefit of FUD, that went on for decades and was funded by Microsoft.
If you really don't know this, you're probably not who you would like people to believe you are.
"an Outlook equivalent" Why does one need to be included? But there are options, why not use webmail or Thunderbird:
Webmail, well Microsoft web based apps suck compared to competition, so USE the competition if you can think outside of the square.
Thunderbird: I worked at an MSP supporting 150 companies, 1 in 5 calls incoming calls were Outlook problems (50+ calls per day) there was another company supported that had almost as many users as all of these 150 companies added together, but they used Thunderbird email/calendar, they had 1 or 2 email problems a year, it just worked and didn't interfere with their business.
"better put someone on the Mailmerge functionality"
I used to use the mail merge a lot, I wonder why you struggled. Don't forget, it is essentially a volunteer developed product, you can improve things too. It's fun to see how it scares the pants off Microsoft.
The Collabora Online suite (that uses LibreOffice Technology) has much more functionality than Microsoft for the web apps, it would be interesting to see these compared...
"I think it's a reference to Apollo 11's repeated computer errors (1201/1202?) during the descent from lunar orbit to the surface, which were (probably?) caused by the crew turning on the rendezvous radar in case they needed to abort back to lunar orbit. I think this was a last-minute (untested?) addition to the flight plan, and the extra computational load caused the aforementioned errors."
Yes, also another unnecessary thing was that Neil adjusted the angle of descent because it didn't 'feel' right, this sloshed the fuel in the tank causing the "fuel low" to try to alarm but it overloaded the computer because they had left the rendezvous radar on to feel safer (it was only supposed to be switched on when leaving the moon). Changing the angle of descent must also have changed the landing place by overshooting. If humans hadn't interfered, there would have been no drama, they nearly crashed by fiddling with it. Still the most amazing superheroes though.
Unrelated, Apollo 10 almost crashed into the moon when one of the astronauts switched the autopilot on as planned, and the other astronaut turned it off thinking he was turning it on, it started spinning until almost uncontrollable just a few 10s of thousands of feet above the moon before they realised what had happened. So brave and exciting!
How about now, is Apache OpenOffice dead now?
1) IBM bought Red Hat a year ago.
2) Red Hat paid engineers now no longer paid to work on LibreOffice as of a month or so ago.
3) Red Hat will stop integrating LibreOffice.
4) IBM probably prefer the more restrictive license of Apache OpenOffice, maybe they are going to try to revive Apache OpenOffice, but it would require 100s of man-years of development to catch up with LibreOffice...
"Apart from LibreOffice and OpenOffice there are at least two other cross-platform suites targetting the MS Office Ribbon work-alikes. Alternatively they may go for browser-based applications in which case they could be using OnlyOffice."
What about Collabora Office? Office suites that run LibreOffice Kit have native apps for more platforms than all other big companies.
What about Collabora Online? It has significantly more functionality than other big companies, which is not hard.
What about an office suite's country of origin/ownership, could that be part of the equation? Collabora Online and Office are developed in Cambridge UK. OnlyOffice is developed by Ascensio System SIA, a subsidiary of "New Communication Technologies", a company from Russia, but headquartered in Riga, Latvia.
fyi: OpenOffice hasn't received a significant update in 9 years, it appears to be kept alive as a decoy to distract people from LibreOffice which is where development has continued.
According to Wikipedia which uses statcounter.com:
"As of April 2023, Android, an operating system using the Linux kernel, is the world's most-used operating system when judged by web use. It has 42% of the global market, followed by Windows with 28%, iOS with 17%, macOS with 7%, ChromeOS 1.3%, then (desktop) Linux at 1.2% also using the Linux kernel. These numbers do not include embedded devices or game consoles."
That's from April 2023, Aug 2023: Android's marketshare is 43%, and Windows is 27%. Linux-wise, Linux's marketshare is 45%+, and Windows is 27%, so the Linux marketshare is approaching double that of Windows.
Mid-2023 IBM pull Red Hats support from LibreOffice. I suspect it is IBM that keep Apache OpenOffice alive due to it having their preferred type of license. What a pain this is, it is a decoy, a product without major updates since 2014. Perhaps they will put effort into Apache OpenOffice if they can make it online nicely, but it is so far behind, I suspect not.
"... slurp, slurp and slurp..." I agree, but to be fair, just like Windows, Apple etc. Google do put their significant improvements back, they have to.
My experience: I have managed computer systems for over 40 years, Chromebooks have been my go-to device for 10 years now, I have used many dozens in the workplace too, they are not throwaway, they have negligible administrative maintenance. I still love them.
If it is running the Linux kernel it is Linux, simple as that really and that's how the stats should be shown, it can be broken down further from there if wanted, e.g. smartphones, Chromebooks, tablets, Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, etc.
So many people nowadays do all of their home computing from a smartphone, they are no longer wanting to pay for a laptop or desktop as well. So the way we think about categorising devices is less relevant.
But then, who put these stats out there? Do they receive any pressure to downplay the fact that Linux is the most popular of all?
"licensing practices" more like "Mafia style vendor lock-in licensing practices".
However, to be fair, lock-in strategies are used by all other big companies and in most other industries too, such as to kill off smaller competition in their start-up region somewhere by dropping prices in their region only. This kind of stuff goes on a lot, I wish the legal system would deal with it, but there are so many pros and cons, so give up.
They remind me of Nokia with more models than may be necessary. I find the user interface messy, my messaging app changed a couple of times between Samsung and Google, then I used to get frequent Microsoft updates etc in my face I don't want to know about Microsoft. My partner gave me another make, better in these regards. But ...Samsunmg's phones are super-slim, I like that.
I remember the time the EU punished Microsoft's IE abuse by making them show a Web Browser choice screen on Windows 7 for the next 5 years. Microsoft started doing this but then a few months later Microsoft release SP1, from then the Windows 7 with SP1 no longer showed the Web Browser choice screen. To this, the EU said "meh". Some punishment.
"web-based office suites are at least as good as LibreOffice", Collabora Online which uses LibreOffice technology is as good as LibreOffice in many regards.
MS 365 web based Office lacks heaps of features in comparison, see: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Feature_Comparison:_LibreOffice_-_Microsoft_Office
The USA is a scary place to roam freely, i.e. you need to worry about finding yourself in the "wrong" neighbourhood. Crime rates are terrible.
1 in 200 people are incarcerated: "As of January 2023, the incarceration rate of the United States is the sixth highest in the world, at 505 per 100,000 people" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_incarceration_rate
Decades ago there used to be a saying/feeling "You can't get sacked for buying IBM", even where there were better alternatives.
Outlook is a security risk, being a victim of targeting because it is so popular. Webmail is probably the way to go, but is the sole use of Microsoft webmail good enough? Is webmail generally more secure? This bug sounds like a nightmare that could have been exploited for years? Could be a lot of malware/compromises now!
...Outlook is *very* high maintenance compared to Thunderbird in the enterprise, based on enterprise experience with both. But I don't think Thunderbird is better in any other way other than being less popular and therefore less vulnerable.
Anyway, don't really care, just anticipating an internet worm that ends lots of businesses, going to be interesting. I wonder if Putin is capable of triggering some worm if he is cornered too much.
…. disabling all of the accounts, trying to work out how to unravel something when the inevitable occurs sometime in the future. No one will know anything about who did what. But, I guess this is what happens when you shake it up, after all Twitter is losing money, so it ain’t working now.
Can’t believe tens of billions was paid for it!
Why, I suspect that now they will be using adobe as the browsers PDF viewer that they will extend more and more things to only use bits of Adobes PDF that are not in the ISO standards thereby making websites less reliable on the Chrome PDF viewer. Mafia style. They do this type of thing continually across their range of products. I believe Apple (there sister company by way if cross licensing) also uses Adobe PDF viewer, so their monopolistic plan is coming together.
Chromebook’s crazy growth in markeshare came at the cost of Windows losing market share, whilst Apples market share continued to grow. PCs/Microsoft have taken a hammering in marketshare. Apples marketshare is still getting bigger at the cost of all others. The Arm-Apple silicon M1 thing is a rockstar.
But also a lot of people just do things on their phones now, or tablet. Mobile devices have had a bigger marketshare than PCs for years. I think the proportion is growing. PC/Windows is tanking, intel/AMD progress has been dull for many years now.
I used ESX then ESXi Essentials for many years for lots of server VMs, rock solid, easy and intuitive to use. Since then, I have managed many Hyper-V setups, the VMWare product is excellent in comparison, no wonder it survived Microsoft's give away pricing*.
I only used the Essentials version of ESXi as the pricing was too high for better. I would love to have had the budget, would have saved me many hours!
* It isn't only Microsoft's product dumping pricing, I remember a few years ago Microsoft released a Windows update that broke the network stack in the Windows VMs on VMWare, so I didn't roll out to all servers, the coming weekend there were numerous data centre outages around the world, ...only effecting Windows on VMWare. I can't believe that this got through Microsoft's testing without Microsoft being aware it would break their Windows on VMWare, so a Mafia style of behaviour.
> developers seem to be more concerned with icons, themes and mundane bugs while longstanding problems remain unfixed.
There are loads of LibreOffice developers, many volunteers too, most have nothing to do with icons and themes. However, the new icons do look great.
> It's a huge and vastly complex multiplatform codebase, which has changed hands multiple times, and was most recently somewhat screwed over by Oracle:
Yes LibreOffice was formed because of Oracle's behaviour. Over the last 10 years LibreOffice has undergone a planned and structured refactoring. For more information, see the "LibreOffice Technology whitepaper". It is now a single software platform for productivity on desktop, mobile and the cloud, with a comprehensive API that allows fast rendering of documents for any application.
> I have just watched 4 talks in a row by very smart, highly skilled, and rather frustrated developers talking about the weeks and months of effort that went into tracking one specific tiny bug per talk.
The suite is extremely reliable, some outstanding bugs are tricky to fix, these can be very rewarding when fixing them by very smart engineers, they want to talk about it, this is great, this wouldn't be allowed with other office suites because they are not open.
> They are slowly and painfully fixing what they can in a vast and complex codebase, written in a very dated style of C, which wasn't written by Collabora, or the Document Foundation, or Oracle, or Sun, but by a German development company nearly 40 years ago which no longer exists.
Not quite, see above for "LibreOffice Technology whitepaper".
> But worse still they are trying to make it compatible with a closed-source proprietary suite whose code they can't see, which is just as old, and which is by a secretive company that is hostile to FOSS and which obfuscates file formats and changes them every few years.
Why worse?.... LibreOffice Engineers participate/ed deeply in various document standards processes, they get it, interoperability with proprietary Microsoft Office format is extremely good, hard to do, but nearly always a great layout when compared side-by-side with other Office Suites that try.
> It's _amazing_ that it works and works so well. This office suite is comparable in size and complexity to the entirety of Windows around the turn of the century.
Not really, LibreOffice Technology is a modern cross-platform office suite with a single code-base that runs on Android, iOS, ChromeOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, others, and Online and headless too. No other office suite match this.
> They are slowly chasing bugs, trying to speed it up, trying to enhanced and turbocharge a geriatric elephant of a program....
Not really, see "LibreOffice Technology Whitepaper"
> And they give the result away for free.
Yes they do. LibreOffice Technology is available for free and without limitations on Android, iOS, ChromeOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, others, and also Online. Some of the TDF, LibreOffice partners sell support services, this helps pay for LibreOffice development.
> I think it's *amazing* for the cost and the scale of the project.
I agree, it's success creates so much FUD whenever a new release comes out every 6 months, with people trying to push other office suites.
Microsoft don't call their default docx Office file format "transitional OOXML", they just call it xml, same as they called it with Office 2003.
Microsoft have lots of deviations in their XML docx file formats, not a standard.
"As someone fairly familiar with the OOXML specification I can say that, while the spec is a mess, Microsoft has continued to support it and also deal with bugs in Office relating to it. "
OOXML Strict or Transitional, I guess you think you're talking about OOXML Transitional, as none of Microsoft's Office products default to use OOXML Strict format, despite Microsoft saying it would when they release Office 2010, as was predicted at the time, they lied.
Yes I agree, OOXML transitional is a mess, and that Microsoft are still dealing with it (changing how they work with it), ....gosh this makes things tricky if you're trying to be compatible with numerous docx file formats! Actually docx can'even be called OOXML anymore.
Knowing the above 2 facts in the 2 paragraphs above, then if you look https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/compat/office-file-format-reference you will see that docx that Office creates as its default file format is NOT OOXML, they don't even call it OOXML, ....but you do.
I believe you should feel that you have been conned by Microsoft into thinking that docx is a standard file format!
Something that seems to get missed in reviews of LibreOffice is that office suites using LibreOffice Technology support a huge variety of platforms, still free, and they share the same codebase too for excellent document fidelity. Some supported platforms are as follows:
Apps for Android (smartphones and tablets)
Apps for Apple iOS and iPadOS (smartphones and tablets)
Apps for ChromeOS (optimised for Chromebooks and Chromeboxes)
Apps for Windows
Apps for Linux
Apps for macOS
build your own for BSD and others
Online versions accessible via web on all of the above, and on others that use a modern web browser, but also with more functionality than Microsoft's web based office suite which is quite a striking comparison too.
"Yep, no cloud access from one of several faults means a nice single point of failure"
One of many examples where cloud isn't a risk: I installed a cloud based critical medicine distribution system in many hospitals 10 years ago, these had offline functionality at the device level, so even without any network/WiFi they would still work. As it happens the devices were hassle-free Chromebooks, they could have been Windows or iPads or Android tablets. I suspect that you would have used Windows devices.
I just saw your comment from several months ago, I believe Collabora Online would do a better job. It is open source and runs "Libreoffice Technology", Collabora are a major contributor to LibreOffice, I believe their revenue comes from people who want to support them and pay for support services. They have Collabora Online Development Edition that can be used for free, and is available loads of ways.