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Comment MS-Word compatibility? (Score 1) 165

Can anyone with experience with both OpenOffice and KOffice comment on MS-Word compatibility? I've been having headaches with this lately - I have a large document starting from a large MS-Word template, where I've been working on "my parts" in OpenOffice (under Linux) with the thought of doing a cut-and-paste back into the master document. I need to do the cut-and-paste using Word in Windows to make sure there aren't any problems, so saved my work in .DOC format in OpenOffice and went to find a Windows machine (actually, it wasn't that simple - normally I'd do this with my VMWare Windows install, but the master document is apparently so complex that it wouldn't actually open under VMWare - maybe a memory issue?). On the windows machine, my oo-saved .doc file wouldn't open - apparently oo saved a bad .doc file... So now I run back to my office, save in .odt format, run back to the windows machine and install openoffice (browse the web for a while waiting .... la, la, la....), transfer the file. Now I can have my part open in open office, the master document open in word, and can cut and paste between the two.

Did it work? Yes. Was it a pain? Definitely yes. So my question is: would this have been any easier using KOffice?

Comment Re:Offer the Ebook for free. (Score 1) 987

Don't know if you're still following this discussion Peter, but even in the past "making money" should not have been a primary incentive for writing a textbook.

I remember at DCC about 15 years ago Alistair Moffat did a little session on "why you should write a textbook" or something like that - I remember asking him "isn't it obvious?" but apparently it isn't obvious to a lot of people.

Frankly, the reasons for writing a textbook should be (either in the past or now) primarily to get your name out there as someone who understands the field at a level beyond what people who can't write a comprehensive book can do. There are big career benefits to this, and frankly much more valuable than any royalties you'd receive. In compression in particular, think about how valuable it makes you as an expert witness to be able to be "the person who wrote this widely read book on data compression". Hell, I've only written chapters in edited volumes on compression, and I've made some good consulting money off that.

I would hope that anyone who has seriously contemplated writing textbooks would realize and understand this - the side benefits of publishing a textbook are far greater than anything you get off of the obvious (and usually small) income stream. Rules are probably different for intro-level books (CS1/CS2 level - Nell Dale probably makes a decent amount of royalty income), but that's a very competitive market, and not one a data compression book is going to play in.

Comment Re:Learn Shell Scripting! (Score 1) 361

Wow - where to start....

First off, you say "don't fall into the trap of using Java as your core language ... only know how to program in a language that almost nobody in the industry actually uses"

That's just completely wrong. Java is THE most used language in industry. Here's a completely unscientific method of finding out, but I did a search on monster.com for "x developer", where "x" was java, c++, c#, c, and objective-c. Here's the results:

Java: 4035 jobs
C++: 2022 jobs
C#: 2966 jobs
C: 1457 jobs
Objective-C: 31 jobs

Given that C# is pretty indistinguishable from Java as far as programming language (not libraries) goes, by learning Java you get not just the first most popular language (Java), but the second as well (C#).

Then: "you might consider teaching them Objective-C" - so yea, you get less than 1% of the job market of java.

That said, I think "job market" is a poor argument to make here. No one (I hope) is going to go out and get a software development job out of high school. For developers, you want them to start thinking like a programmer (Java is great for that, by the way) so they can get into more advanced courses in college easier.

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