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Comment Re:Tables? (Score 2) 103

You CAN do that in Google Sheets, which has some quite advanced features (though it also is somewhat more clunky to do some fairly routine things).

I'm not sure what Excel has though vs what Calc has. In calc you can use VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP (and there are a couple other flavors too) and you can use those with rectangular data ranges. The result is PRETTY flexible in many respects, BUT you definitely lack things like subqueries, or even the ability to do searches on more than one column value or complex sorting. Generally you just have to create some additional columns that contain the data you need in the right format, but it can be a pain.

I'd definitely vote for more powerful capabilities in this area though. A lot of stuff is POSSIBLE, but even a lot of relatively easy stuff to describe is HARD to implement.

Comment Re:I don't get this (Score 1) 103

That's quite possible. I haven't had to do that. Like I said elsewhere on this topic, I have LOTS of fun problems with LO Writer, but at a BASIC level of doing simple small stuff that is probably 99% of what people do, its reasonably good. I just wish it would go beyond that because the alternatives are pretty expensive.

Comment Re:Yes and No (Score 1) 103


Yes, it works if the document is simple. If its not very simply laid out, forget it, LO makes an utter hash of larger documents that have frames or tables in them. It gets close, but close is not good enough when it leaves off whole chunks of text, overflows text outside of tables, cuts things off, etc. Again, its a matter of degree. If you print out your 3 page resume with a page header, a couple headings, a bullet list, and one or two customized styles, its fine. Tell it to reflow text around a frame with a mixture of text and an embedded table, and you're out of luck.

Comment Re:Yes and No (Score 1) 103

Yeah, well, Ironically this is another sweet thing, the document recovery features of LO no longer work properly. It just spits out a whole lot of angry messages when it tries to recover claiming that there is some sort of 'lack of permission', but I'm a 30 year Unix/Linux veteran, there's no FSCKing lack of permission, corrupt files, nothing. Its just somehow squirreled some crap away in someplace that is telling it to try to reload files that don't exist, or something. Frankly I'm rapidly losing interest in even bothering to figure it out. I'm beginning to think this software has jumped the shark! Calligra Office keeps trying to be the default handler for MS and OO formats, maybe I'll just give it a try. Starting to think it has to get better.

Comment Re:Yes and No (Score 1) 103

See, I don't have a problem with the MS Word compatibility. I agree, its quite solid (there may be glitches of course, Word and Writer both have masses of features and probably some don't translate perfectly). Its LO itself, internally, that has the issues. I have one larger project in particular where its gotten to a point that in essence the document is moribund. I can edit it, but no amount of editing will any longer result in a net decrease in the amount of formatting issues. I've resigned myself to just finishing a basic rough approximation of what I want in LO and then literally rekeying the entire text into Scribus and laying it out in a sane fashion from scratch (which will include doing all the tables over in some other program where they can actually be imported, etc). I suppose I could consider using one of the LaTeX based tools as well, since I might actually be able to get a modest amount of the material in there automatically, but my initial trials of doing that weren't very encouraging.

Writer is a decent program, if you want to write a 3 page letter, or a 10 page paper, or maybe even 100 pages that are VERY simply formatted without any real page layout beyond what happens by default. Once you go beyond that at all, its not so good. Again, I don't know with MS Word if things are any better, I just don't own it, I don't even own an MS OS to run it on.

Comment Re:Yes and No (Score 1) 103

What, you want to watch over my shoulder and I can show you how it garbles up styles? I mean this isn't some kind of random FUD, this is I CAN FUCKING SHOW YOU LETTER BY FRIGGING LETTER. Now, MOST people probably don't try to actually layout pages, they just type and whatever it looks like they're happy with, and if they can drop in a page number, a bullet list, and a few headings here and there they don't probably even notice when they're fucked up.

I have a 200-something page project that uses a master document, etc. Its not THAT complicated, the styles are actually just the basic ones with 3 levels of heading. It does have a fair amount of tables, and tables that need to be placed in frames (because bare tables just sit splat in the middle of the page, you can't do much with them). Once you get into this stuff, its VERY VERY flaky. Its POSSIBLE to build a document like this in LO, but at this point its up to a level where up to 30-50% of the effort is actually just beating the thing back into submission when suddenly whole pages of content just stops showing up in the UI!

I REGULARLY have to go in and delete and simply retype entire paragraphs because mysteriously LO decides that even though they're marked as say 'text body' that it has merged them in some logical fashion with one of the surrounding headings and suddenly the whole paragraph shows up in the TOC. That kind of crap happens just on a constant basis. Sometimes you can just cut and paste and rearrange and fiddle and faddle for 10 minutes and it fixes itself, many times you cannot, and have to simply reenter content.

I could go on and on and on. There's lots and lots of little glitches with tables and frames where they'll just suddenly bork themselves even when you haven't touched them at all, or all of a sudden LO will turn ALL the text in every table in your document bold, and you can't undo it. Again, just constant stuff. No one bug is overwhelming by itself and eventually you start to learn to navigate around most of them, but I can literally show 'em all off, so saying its bullshit will get you nowhere, you're simply WRONG and don't know what your talking about!

Comment I don't get this (Score 2) 103

I've had zero problems with MSOffice compatibility. Admittedly, there may just not be a huge amount that I am asking of the program, but I generate simple documents and send them out as .docx all the time, and I don't get any complaints. Nor do I see that they're misformatted. Likewise I load MSOffice files, both Word and Excel, on a pretty regular basis. I've had zero word problems recently, and the only problems I had with Excel files were some very oddball macros that just didn't make it over correctly.

I'm not an LO fanboy by any means, I think its got some pretty annoying issues, and it certainly hasn't kept up with all the newest features of Word, but OTOH I don't need any of those features! Its a solid program for doing fairly basic stuff like letters, resumes, cards, and similar stuff. You can do a 100 page document if you don't care about any elaborate features either, though I am happy to admit it isn't the best tool for that.

Comment Yes and No (Score 2) 103

I still find LO Writer to be utterly bug-ridden. It screws up styles and page formatting with dismal regularity, sometimes in unrecoverable ways. Its OK if you're writing small documents, letters, etc. If you want to write anything large or with anything more than the most basic sort of formats, you're better off looking at a DTP program, Writer is NOT your tool.

Calc is OK, but its VERY easy to crash. The data range functionality is buggy as all heck. Often its literally just impossible to declare some range or other, the program will simply crash with 100% regularity. OTOH it works pretty well in every other respect that I've needed.

I can't really say much about the other components. The illustrating package seems to do basic stuff OK, but I've rarely done anything challenging with it. Again, if you really want to do anything elaborate you're going to want to use something like Inkscape or one of the Adobe products.

Its a free program, I'm certainly not complaining. If you are willing to suffer some inconveniences you can do a lot with it, but IMHO I'd MUCH MUCH rather see the LO team focus on killing bugs in basic low level functionality than adding fancy new features that I'm unlikely to use if just basic 3 level hierarchical sections, paragraphs, tables, and simple text frames are so buggy.

Comment Re:This is largely a myth (Score 1) 268

Yeah, I can respect Ron Paul. I think there are some fatal flaws with the whole Libertarian concept of government, but honestly I find it frustrating when many people assume that being somewhat 'to the left' means a lack of respect for basic rights. I think Bernie is actually pretty good there. Opinions can differ on what exactly is most important in that realm. Its just unfortunate that the Ron Pauls and Bernie Sanders of the world seem to be painted as opponents and not allies. That may change.

Comment Re:This is largely a myth (Score 1) 268

Yeah, well, she's obviously highly intelligent and at least modestly open to actual evidence-based reasoning. One would have to believe she's the infinitely preferable choice between those two. Thus Sanders endorsed her. One has to understand, Bernie is a VERY pragmatic politician. Many people confuse his strong ideological orientation for the type of rigid inflexibility that buffoons like Ted Cruz exhibit, but nothing could be further from the truth. He's determined that he's not going to further his agenda at this time better in some other way, so he's going to push for Clinton's election. He'll still be a Senator, and his seat there is UTTERLY secure. I expect he'll be forging some new political alliances, and he's got a BIG push on now to get real progressives into both state and national elected offices. Its a longer-term strategy, but that's what needs to happen.

Comment Re:This is largely a myth (Score 1) 268

Meh, everyone at the higher levels of government is a 'violentist', they ALL believe that the logic of force is the logic of human relations. Now, maybe Sanders is (to an extent) an exception, but the point is Clinton is hardly any more warlike than any other president the US has had in the 20th Century. So it is hardly a big giant evil label to put on her, unless you're interested in indicting the whole executive branch, all of Congress, etc. I'm just saying, that's a bridge, or 10, too far at this juncture. I'd love to see a Sanders in place who would absolutely go to a last-resort policy on using force, but that does not mean he'd never use it. Truth is US policy is not just invented whole-cloth by each President.

Comment Re:This is largely a myth (Score 1) 268

Well, we can't say for certain where Clinton will go with AGW and such things, but she's shown NO interest. There's zero indication that she will make even the smallest political sacrifices in order to further climate negotiations or put in place laws and regulations badly needed in the US. All indications are that instead she will maintain the existing status-quo, which if it goes on for another 8 years will utterly demolish any hope of bringing climate change under control without severe and likely near-catastrophic consequences (certainly extremely expensive consequences that will set back economic growth in the third world by decades, if not halt it altogether).

Comment Thiel wants a king (Score 2, Insightful) 268

Remember? This is the guy who advocates replacing the Republic with some sort of crazy dictator/king/something. Well, he sees an opportunity for it to happen, because if Trump is elected? There won't be elections anymore. Not in the way we think of them now. They'll be rigged sham affairs more like what goes over in places like Russia. THAT is what he's behind. Not that he probably thinks Trump specifically should be in charge, but once you've ditched the reality of people having a say in the system then guys like him with loads of money figure they'll rearrange things to suite themselves. Its a rather vapid fantasy, but there are fools of all stripes in this world.

Comment This is largely a myth (Score 4, Interesting) 268

As someone who's actually KNOWN Bernie Sanders (to the extent that I've lived in Burlington when he was Mayor, met the guy, argued with him, etc, I don't have any personal relationship with him) for 30 years, and greatly appreciated what he's brought to national politics in the last year or so, I believe this 'Sanders supporters hate Hillary' meme is mostly bunk. There may be a very vocal minority of people who became 'Sanders supporters' suddenly in the last 6-12 months because it was fashionable and they yell and squawk about how much they 'hate Hillary' because that's apparently fashionable too.

See, I would draw a huge distinction. I dislike the ESTABLISHMENT, and all the dirty tricks that the powers which be have used against Sanders IS galling. Clinton is ABSOLUTELY a pillar of that community. OTOH if you look at her in terms of an actually realistic view and not the bizarro-world distorto-vision that FOX News and etc have created around her, she's a relatively center-left candidate with fairly conventional views for a President. Nothing is going to change vastly, but its likely she'll implement some modest policy changes and programs that are part of the agenda for more left-leaning people. In fact she'll probably continue largely in the same vein as Obama, with increases in the minimum wage, labor-friendly policies outside of trade, some expansion of publicly funded healthcare, and otherwise she's probably closer to Nixon than to say Kennedy.

The bad things will be the environment, which Clinton seems to have little interest in at a critical juncture, and the military-intelligence-police-industrial-state that seems to have been building itself under every president of the last 70 years happily regardless of what policies they supposedly espouse. I'm not even convinced a President Sanders or somesuch could change those things.

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