Podcast Season 2 Episode 19


Title: Welcome to the Jungle

In this episode: Ubuntu 10.10 has been released, and Microsoft attacks OpenOffice.org with a video. Discover our all-new challenge for the next episode, and we judge the level of anticipation for Panasonic's Jungle.

What's in the show:

  • News:
  • You Dare Us:
      Discover our new challenge for the next episode, with thanks to the listener who suggested it.
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Mike:
      • xjobs is a great way of executing commands in parallel across all the cores of your CPU(s).
    • Paul:
    • Graham:
      • The Ctrlr Midi Editor is great for creating sounds and editors for old and arcane synthesizers.
    • Andrew:
      • He used to be able to read Gaelic, apparently.
  • In the Hot Seat:
    • It's Paul Hudson's turn to dice with the device of destiny.
  • Open Ballot: are you excited by Panasonic's Jungle?

  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save up to 40%
  • Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Paul Hudson, Graham Morrison and Mike Saunders.

    Subscribe to the TuxRadar Podcast. Choose between Ogg Vorbis and MP3.

    Music by Brad Sucks.

    You should follow us on Identi.ca or Twitter

    Your comments


    First post! Sorry, habit from the Linux Outlaws forums. Now, to actually listen to the podcast.


    We should make a video on the disadvantages of using Microsoft office and send it as a video reply. Then, show haw much money could be saved, have interviews with the developers etc. Revenge is a dish best served cold!

    Oooo dear

    Just had a look at the Microsoft video - not sure what to think about it. But two things struck me straight away - the only reason that there are 'interoperational' and 'compatibility' issues, is because of the closed-source nature of .docx files, and Microsoft's reluctance to make the Office suite compatible with .odt. They are right that formatting is not always perfectly preserved - but I'm not sure this applies when you are just using .odt. The other statement is that users are more familiar with the Office interface - this wasn't true in the 2003 to 2007 switch of course.

    I think Office compatibility is the biggest hindrance to Linux uptake currently.

    Graham - the CRTLR editor sounds great. I've always wanted to get into synthesizers, ever since spending hours as a teenager programming Octamed. Sadly, my current job doesn't allow me much spare time...

    Re: Ubuntu 10.10 - I have to say I really like the new font. It gives a fresh, modern look to the whole distro. As it is open-source, does this mean new versions will be released on a 6 monthly cycle a la Ubuntu?

    Mageia(Greek word)

    Just to tell you that you are pronouncing this word like a Portuguese word "Magia" meaning magic :D

    Ubuntu 10.10

    I think the new release of Ubuntu 10.10 is the most polished ever. It looks nice and nothing is completely overhauled but there are some cool incremental improvements. The installer keeps improving and (apart from completely wiping my /home partition -- that'll teach me to use the beta of and LXF coverdisc ;-) it has worked flawlessly.

    Great podcast !!!

    Open Office

    To spend this much money deriding Open Office Microsoft must be worried! I for one have never regretted dumping MS Office and never have problems sending files to those who continue use it.


    Switching from Office '07 and later to OpenOffice...Not fun.
    Switching from Office '03 or earlier to OpenOffice...Great!

    What M$ did:
    -Create compatibility headaches with the X extension in '07
    -Create a need for ribbon interface in OpenOffice, due to '07
    -Ruin MS Office 2010 compatibility with WINE

    My friends say: "Eeew, you use OpenOffice? Office 2007 is so much better!"
    The only major differences are frames, reflections, rotation abilities and a shinier interface. Why won't they just add these to OpenOffice?

    P.S. Please delete my previous comment.

    i cant agree

    i use Office 2007 almost daily. I absolutely hate the ribbon interface, and if it wasnt for my need to use .docx files I would drop it in a heartbeat.

    That video was full of crap

    Loved the 'cast, especially the negative parts ;-)

    I hate the way that Microsoft has presented their own product in that video. It sucks that they have disabled comments to prevent the truth from coming out. Everything that they said about Open Office regarding incompatibility and increased support costs can be said about their own product.

    What is this buzzword "interoperability"? My work computer has Office 2003 on it and I cannot properly view most documents created with Office 2007. Spreadsheets? Many won't open because they are "too complex" for my poor version of Office. They compatibility viewer just can't handle the conversion.

    Why is the increased support cost of "upgrading" your Office version not factored out and presented to the public? Is it because Microsoft wouldn't have anything to demean OoO about?

    Openoffice has worked perfectly for me!!

    Im sorry but Openoffice has always worked perfectly for me. I did all my college assignments using Word inside college and Openoffice at home. The formatting was always the same and never messed up!!

    Openoffice seems to work just fine too with .docx files for me. Loads of people seem to bash Openoffice without giving it long term testing.

    I have been using it for years and never had problems... except maybe that the startup time is still a bit slow. :D


    First of:
    When I saw the anti OOo clip, I just thought it was cool, Chose in a way that validates OOo as a competitor.

    If you want to own ROOM, don't make people aware of Persia

    Make an Animation whit OpenSource (Stick Death is fine)

    I want to see it

    The wheel of destiny! I don't believe it exists and demand to see a so called photo of this so called object in the so called podcast notes.

    I'm proud to voice my wheeltheist opinions and will not be held responsible for the death of a wheel of fortune somewhere when I say I don't believe in it.

    Look both ways

    'Look both ways before you cross'

    When the road is busy it always pays to look both ways. Interoperability in M$ context means other problems have issues recreating their closed format. On the other hand it IS a closed format which is the only reason there are issues.

    No mention of vendor lock-in, another buzzword at the moment. No mention of their failure to Interoperate with open formats.

    The good thing is, as others have said, the office software 'Road' is looking busy enough to M$ for them to create a video debunking open source alternatives, albeit pointing out as the main arguement that they are different - which is the whole point really.

    Finally Mike did it


    This morning I started to listed the last episode of my second favourite Linux podcast, the Ubuntu UK podcast. And someone said that one of the things that have been changed in Ubuntu 10.10 is the name of the trash bin, recycle can, etc. to rubbish bin. And they explicitly said that it was one of the complains of Tuxradar.

    So, well done Mike!


    I like the Ubuntu font!

    Just thought I should say that :)

    I know this is LXF and yes I

    I know this is LXF and yes I should be using Linux and Ogg to listen, but for some god forsaken f** up on my IT depts part I can only have MP3 right now. Where is the MP3 version of this episode??

    ovi store

    Ovi means "a door" in Finnish.

    Funny - I always think of

    Funny - I always think of 'Ovi' as like an egg.

    Confession : I bought the blue copy of linux format because I liked the colour better, not because I use fedora...

    Also - re: shotwell versus f-spot. When I first tried linux a couple years ago I gave f-spot a go with my 7000+ image collection - it was phenomenably slow and seemed to completely hang when importing. I am just having a go with shotwell now, and have to say it's doing a fine job so far... I all honesty I don't need the advanced tools of f-spot - all I want a photo manager to do is simply allow me easy, visual access to my photos, with the occasional (non-destructive) rotate. If I need to do anything more I'll use Gimp.

    Maverick & OO

    I'm afraid I've dumped Maverick on my EEEPC 701 after a week, the new interface is the equivalent of the ribbon toolbar - I can't find what I normally use and it's slowed things down too much so I've scrubbed it after upgrading (my USB install was a fail) So fresh install with easy peasy but the wireless is still dodgy.

    As for Open Office, I've been using it for 5 years or more and it's great. yes, there are incompatibility issues with highly formatted docs but I've also been known to use OO when MS paragraph numbering has sent me crazy. One feature I do really miss is the ability to search & replace non-printing characters such as tabs and paragraph breaks. It may be there somewhere but I can't find it.

    Mar sin leat

    OOo incompatibilities

    Now please bear with me, because I might be making some guesses here. Firstly, although I know that MS changed it's doc format to a more mysterious format "docx", and technically it's essentially just a zipped 'doc' format, or so I believe, it has some interoperability issues with OOo that may or may not be related to it's closed nature.

    Secondly, you may be forgetting that there are issues to do with transferring even plain text files between all OS's - unix/linux vs OSX vs Ms have issues to do with the CR vs LF vs CR/LF problem (if you are already saying it doesn't matter, or that it shouldn't, I agree, but I think it still /may/ be a source of the problem.

    If you're building "DOC" style basic text formatted documents, or perhaps even spreadsheets (not sure) it may help if you make use of the older "RTF" style, because this will STILL MAINTAIN basic text formatting. If you think of "WordPAD" rather than WORD, this is the sort of thing that may make sharing across Win/linux systems if you want no complaints from MS office users. Similarly, you can at least ASK them to save their document in RTF format before sending it to you.

    That way, at least you reduce the potential incompatibilities. As Mike says, if they are trying to use Office as a desktop publishing applicaztion, they have NO RIGHT to enforce or demand interoperability, because MS office IS NOT a desktop publishing application.

    If they find it easier, perhaps sharing a common format such as PDF? Might be pushing the envelope here? As I said, I'm sort of guessing about this.

    The point about the LF/CRLF issue may be relevant, it may be less so, deending on exactly HOW you are sharing your files. Internet, should be OK. But floppy/USB drive, that MAY be an issue. Even today. I think. I'm not absolutely certain.

    Yes, I KNOW the sabed document formats are not exactly text files, but it still occurs to me that there may be an issue because it makes sense of the issue that OS X Office users have similar problems.

    I believe the RTF, so called "Rich Text" format MAY be flexible enough to cover most plain text with formatting, boxes, etc. Check it out for yourself, and experiment.

    At some point, they are going to HAVE TO share their documents with you, so they MUST enable that level of flexibilty, so they can't take an attitude of "You HAVE TO use MS Office". That's completely rubbish.

    OOo is certainly equivalent in capability for documents shared between OOo users, so it CAN'T be their fault now, can it?! :)

    I support the Open Document format, and use text exclusively for emails, and so far haven't really found any need for fancy formatting myself. But YMMV... and one size doesn't fit all. At the end of the day, if they send you a document that doesn't show up correctly on your machine/system/application you will simply have to request they send it again. Electronic documents don't cost anything to duplicate, except perhaps a few electron-volts?

    I don't know and am prepared to acknowledge ignorance here, but it seems like something that is so simple that it just MIGHT BE something people OVERLOOK?

    Anyway, just try asking for one of the "simpler" formatting type document format types, in particular if you're working on prototypes, if you get me?
    Hope I'm not being abtuse here.
    Oh, one other alternative would be to suggest they or you go with a proper open source desktop publishing system, like Lyx, perhaps? At least something using LaTeX? Or is that being ridiculous?

    Anyway, if I've helped, good, and if I've been missing a point, hope you at least got a laugh out of it. If you find it funny, reply and let me know. I need some material for my stand-up routine. I'm writing it in NotePad++ (Hee Hee!!)



    The reality is that most businesses are still just using '.doc'. OOo handles that fine and so does the existing MS Office. So if someone sends you a '.docx' at work it's not rare for small-to-medium sized businesses to just say 'We don't support docx, please sent it in standard doc format' (the vast majority of systems I know have not had a costly upgrade to Office 2007 or 2010).

    'RTF' is pretty outdated and not used by an awful lot of people or businesses. The document formats of currency at the moment are '.doc' and '.pdf'. It's a sad truth that despite the merits of ODF Microsoft will probably win out in the end due to market share. But in the 5-10 years it takes for that to happen the FOSS world will more than catch up (or will have spent that time garnering support for ODF).

    The cost of moving between formats is basically the wages spent on man hours converting between them/asking for another copy to be send and the amount of training you have to pay for in business whenever you swap packages. Hence the reason the world is not just using OpenOffice.org. ;)

    Microsoft MUST be worried

    It seams odd to me that Microsoft would spend any time or money making such a video. There must be something about OpenOffice that scares them. Otherwise, they would ignore it just like they do their installed user base. One interesting note here: I work in IT for a large global company where we use MS Office 2003. It's the one software package that IT does not support.

    I use OpenOffice at home and with very few exceptions I can transfer my work documents between my office and home PC's without any problems.

    OO vs. MSO video.

    Just how hard is it to find unsatisfied users of a software suite? Not very. If you spent the money researching, you would find all kinds of dissatisfied MS Office users as well.
    We still use Office 2003 apps at my workplace and have funnily enough had similar problems when receiving files (needing to be edited and not just read) from clients using later versions of MS Office. Our IT department's response was to offer pirated versions of Office apps for installation. And then what happened? People had no idea how use the new versions of the SW (Office 2007) just like the video's idiots who couldn't just magically switch between MS Office and OpenOffice.

    Of course, if they switched to OpenOffice at my workplace they wouldn't need to retrain me because I use it at home.

    Oh and if you are unfortunate enough to have that teacher from the video that gives you lower grades for not being a MS nazi, remember, you can save a copy of your work as a PDF file. I hope she's not retarded enough to know how to install a compatible postscript reader.

    Did you know...?

    This article might have been posted since a while ago, but check out the video by Microsoft again and look at the Likes and Dislikes bar :)

    Comment viewing options

    Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

    Username:   Password: