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Comment: Re:It's the cloud (Score 1) 146

by ray-auch (#49422491) Attached to: The New Struggles Facing Open Source

Calc still has hard row/column limits similar to ten year old excel.

Writer still has no outline view (or draft view) similar to Word 2000 or earlier - bug report / feature requests outstanding since 2002 I think, and at least second most highly voted feature across all that time.

Those decade lags _do_ imply real problems - in each case the underlying architecture cannot cope with the wanted features.

Comment: Re:What makes you think FLOSS fails less? (Score 1) 133

What makes people _think_ fewer FLOSS projects fail is that people only look at the successful ones because they are the most visible. Commercial failures are very visible because of the amount of money lost, people do post mortems, studies to "make sure we don't make the same costly mistakes again". With FLOSS no one cares about the failures, they just move on to something else.

IT is not alone in this problem, take construction / civil engineering, we judge by the failures: "this bridge has cracks, there are bits falling off this skyscraper, these houses are subsiding". We want impossible success rates: "why with all our building standards and fancy technology do we still get these problems". Then we look at, say, medieval cathedrals and say "see, those medieval stone masons had none of our fancy technology, they didn't have computers to calculate stress and strain, and yet they built all these beautiful cathedrals that have stood for centuries".

Why can't we be as successful as medieval stone masons / FLOSS projects ? Answer: you can. Just be sure to clear up the piles of fallen stone and above all do not document or dwell on your failures, move on and they will be forgotten.

Comment: Re:Winning comments (Score 0) 43

You're missing the point - you can get a prosthetic limb on the NHS but it won't be delivered by f***ing Iron Man will it? And when it breaks, will Iron Man fly in through you roof to fix it, and then depart through your wall, leaving holes you'll treasure forever ? - no, thought not. This isn't boring old extract money from your taxes to pay for health care stuff, this is _Hollywood_, it's the all American exciting and fun way to extract money from your wallet for the same shit you watched last year in order to pay for one kid to get a new arm.

Only one kid gets an arm, of course, because provided you make sure he looks good on camera, you can just reuse the shots again and again. Sucks if you aren't the one, but hey that's Hollywood, ya shouldn't have been ugly or a loser...

Comment: Re:Gaming on Linux will matter... (Score 1) 199

by ray-auch (#49145919) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

I've never come across anything I can do in excel with VBA that I can't do with OOBasic. In fact, the opposite is true.
What you actually mean is "I can't be bothered switching from VBA to OOBasic - Learning is hard."

Here's one thing - open your old Excel marco spreadsheets and have them work just the same as in Excel.

Can't do that ? Well then you've got to convert them, take cost of converting them vs. cost of Office licence - are you still saving anything ?

Or you parallel run, do new stuff in OO and use Excel for old ones, probably for several years (7 or more at a guess if it's financial stuff) until the old stuff is no longer needed. Now you're not switching from VBA to OOBasic, you're having to learn both and be productive in both at the same time, which is a lot harder, and you won't save anything in Office costs for years.

Comment: Re:Gaming on Linux will matter... (Score 1) 199

by ray-auch (#49145887) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

Nope, it's not.

Come back when it has things like Outline View, first requested oooh about 13yrs ago ( ), been highest voted or second highest bug/request ever since, but not fixed in 13yrs (apparently it required some reworking of the architecture, and apparently this was done back in 2010...). Having a equivalent of Normal View is also highly voted - I don't use that as much but I can see that if you work on certain types of document layouts it would be essential.

Track changes also lags MS Office significantly.

Excel removed ridiculously low row/column limits almost a decade ago, LO will still only do 1024 columns AFAIK - again, apparently fixing this is too hard. I might only need that for a handful of spreadsheets, but if I have to buy Office anyway for those cases, why would I also use LO and have to master two different tools when I can use Office for everything.

Trouble with OO/LO is similar to electric cars, 80/20 or 90/10 is not a success (against an incumbent tech), it's a problem - if OO/LO can do 90% of my documents or even 95%, I still need Office for the other ones. Similarly if range & charging have improved so that the electric car can do 90% of my journeys or even 95%, that's great - but I still need a fossil fuel car for the others. If I have to have two cars, or two Office suites, instead of one then the new one needs to offer something really compelling that the incumbent doesn't have - and OO/LO doesn't, for me, yet.

Comment: Re:Bad usability, man (Score 1) 516

by ray-auch (#49138277) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

Not just the icons either - the buttons are uniformly a disaster. Title bar buttons, explorer controls etc. have all been reduced to ultra thin (single pixel?) pictograms that are flat and borderless. If your eyesight is poor the lines are so thin they start to disappear.

Borderless seems to be the modern style but it too has usability issues - the only way to see the active target area of a button (or even if it is a button) is to hover over it. For the life of me I can't figure out how this is supposed to work for touch - seems the idea is to highlight what you just hit. Take a look at the new calculator, the buttons are just flat text with quite a large (in proportion) button area round the text but no way to see where the actual buttons are.

There are other areas of the UI where buttons and not-buttons look exactly the same, or in-active buttons look the same as active ones, or, in fact I'm not sure what they are, inactive buttons or information or something else. Worst trait of web design brought to the desktop - "hey we can make buttons out of anything", "including things that don't look like buttons, brilliant", "how do users know what buttons look like to click them", "they don't, that's what's brilliant". NO it ****ing isn't.

Comment: Re:The best trick (Score 4, Insightful) 260

by ray-auch (#49104637) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Parental Content Control For Free OSs?

Yeah that worked right up to the time everything went mobile. Still just about works for high end gaming but that's it.

Nothing is plugged in now, kids or devices, unless it's charging. All is wireless and portable and trivial to hide what you are doing even for feet away. Todays kids come home with tablets provided by the school which need to connect to the net to do their homework. Yes, really, they do.

People need to understand that todays kids have grown up with this stuff, they are intuitively familiar with it in the way we never will be - I was writing games in assembly language at age 12, but when I need to know how to do something on a phone I ask my kids, its quicker than Google. We will never out control or outsmart our kids on tech, best we can do is pass on our experience so they are prepared, and they'll still catch us out.

Comment: Re:Ultrabook isn't a "class" (Score 2) 70

by ray-auch (#49104567) Attached to: Intel Core M Enables Lower Cost Ultrabooks; Asus UX305 Tested

It is a bit surprising. I have an ASUS TransformerPad TF700, which is pretty close to the ultrabook market segment and came with a 1080p screen. I've had it for a few years and the newer model comes with an even better screen.

And yet as soon as you get into their full-OS transformers the screen res becomes lousy - the TF100TA comes really really close to being all I need on the road (as long as I move dev to cloud based vms - but lugging around a laptop that can run vms is getting old and tiring), but biggest let down is the 1366x768 display. Since I would also like it slightly bigger, I was really looking forward to TF200TA with 11in screen - but they made it 1366x768 again. Really don't see why they think that they have to have high res for Android and lowest possible res for a tablet that can run full Windows / Office.

Comment: Re: Does It Matter? (Score 1) 288

by ray-auch (#48945735) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

Hyper-V is free on Windows since 8, and is a full hypervisor - should be a lot faster than virtualbox (definitely faster than VMWare Workstation - .binned several licences for that when Win 8 came out).

You just have to decide to leave you start menu behind, or use 10 preview and see how badly they are screwing up bringing it back.

Comment: Re:Full Screen Start Menu! (Score 1) 214

by ray-auch (#48923255) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

It's not the start screen though - it's a crippled version of it, with all-apps in a long list instead of over the whole screen. So rather than have everything shown by scrolling over two screenfuls, I have to scroll down over 5 screenfuls and then expand the ones that are hidden in folders. Some applications are randomly in a folder of one item, which has to be expanded before you can click on it. To cap it all they've crippled the search so that you have to click a search bar (it loses focus for no reason), it only shows one result when searching incrementally for applications, and that looks exactly the same as no results - no change if it is clickable (try search for "reg" and "regedit" - exactly the same look but one is a non clickable non result and one gives a clickable result).

It's almost as though they want to make it as difficult as possible to find what's installed on your machine - possibly because so much is metro crap.

"I have just one word for you, my boy...plastics." - from "The Graduate"