A dollar per month contribution, and why LibreOffice needs it

By Eric Bright

We need your help here at The Document Foundation. LibreOffice needs your support. In this article, I am going to ask you for help. I am going to ask you for a commitment to a monthly donation to The Document Foundation.

If I am successful, at the end you will be convinced as to why LibreOffice needs your help, why even a small donation will help, and why a monthly contribution, even if small, makes a huge difference compared to a larger, one-time donation. Here is the story!

Costs! The old, ugly, familiar costs!

If I ask you to donate $1 CAD to The Document Foundation, you might ask yourself, “What? $1? What is that supposed to achieve? Are you kidding me?” read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2020) A dollar per month contribution, and why LibreOffice needs it. BlogSophy. https://sophy.ca/blog/2020/09/a-dollar-per-month-contribution-and-why-libreoffice-needs-it/

I don’t “need” LibreOffice

By Eric Bright

I don’t need LibreOffice. I WANT LibreOffice.

I am not exactly sure if anyone really “needs” LibreOffice as a product. LO is more an idea, an ideal, than it is a product. For one thing we have had exactly zero customer since the time of OpenOffice all the way to today.

No one needs LO. I am almost sure about it. I, as one, already have MS Office 365 down my throat by virtue of teaching at a college here in Toronto, Ontario. I don’t “need” to use LO.

If you don’t have a ton of money to pay for an MS Office license fee, then you have many other options: read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2020) I don’t “need” LibreOffice. BlogSophy. https://sophy.ca/blog/2020/09/i-dont-need-libreoffice/

LibreOffice – Designed by Committee

By Eric Bright

Tree Swing graphic by S Hogh 1993
Designed by Committee

Update 3 2020-10-10: 1- Typo corrected (thank you einpoklum for pointing that out) Update 2 2020-09-07: I stand corrected: 1- “ungraceful,” I am told I was, not “ungrateful” 2- The LO forked happened before AOO. That is true. Duly noted and corrected 3- There were many more reasons that lead to the eventual LO fork. Absolutely true Update 1 2020-09-07: I was informed by people involved with TDF that: 1- LO is based on “an extremely old, complex C++ codebase full of legacy stuff” [I knew that] 2- I was blaming the programmers for the issues the code has [not true. Read the post again] 3- I was being “ungrateful” [not true. Read the post again] 4- The LO does have some serious issues [🤷🏽‍♂️] 5- The contributors have been trying to help and fix them [absolutely true] 6- I am “blaming developers for not doing more” and hence am getting in the way of those who are trying to help [really? 🤨] 7- I “mis-informed” my friend from whom I asked for insights [read the post and see if that is true] 8- I am advocating for more “committee” to fix the problem of something being “designed by a committee.” [conflating concepts, sarcastic, a red-herring/straw-man cocktail, playing with words. Read the ... 🤦🏽‍♂️] What a wild-goose chase! This is exactly how the AOO’s BoD were reacting to all criticisms back in the days. I came to the same conclusion as those critics of AOO once did: There is no point in all these, since history repeats itself. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2020) LibreOffice – Designed by Committee. BlogSophy. https://sophy.ca/blog/2020/09/libreoffice-designed-by-committee/

What should companies and governments migrating to LibreOffice do to succeed, but don’t?

By Eric Bright

Official LibreOffice Colour Logo Contemporary

For the ecosystem of LibreOffice and its related software to show its true potentials, they need to be supported by volunteers, users, companies, and governments that make the choice to move away from lock-in models to an open source model.

Most companies and governments do not support such projects, or any open source project for that matter. In not doing so, they almost guarantee their trip through the road they have chosen will be bumpy.

The strategy to support an open source project such as LibreOffice is a no-brainer, and yet not followed by most who benefit from that project. When you look at the millions that most large companies will save in licensing fees when they migrate to LibreOffice, no other option can meaningfully be justified. Of course, there is a cost to the migration and the maintenance of any software framework. Nevertheless, the cost to do it is dwarfed by the associated cost of acquiring and deploying a proprietary software, assuming the ongoing maintenance cost for any software would eventually average out to a similar number.

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2018) What should companies and governments migrating to LibreOffice do to succeed, but don’t?. BlogSophy. https://sophy.ca/blog/2018/08/what-should-companies-and-governments-migrating-to-libreoffice-do-to-succeed-but-dont/

Scribus is finally usable

By Eric Bright

The DEV version

Scribus icon

UPDATE 2018-07-07: Updated the URL to the portable version.
UPDATE 2018-02-20: Listed the latest test version.

You need to give Scribus 1.5.4-test, i.e. the development version, a try. It is a totally different beast now.

I always used to test the 1.4.x branch now and then, and it was a GUI disaster. Today, I stumbled upon the 1.5.4-test version and got the portable copy of it from here:


Holy smoke! It is usable! It is usable! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Almost all of my complaints about the 1.4.x branch was totally addressed and some. I might actually switch from InDesign to Scribus after all. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2018) Scribus is finally usable. BlogSophy. https://sophy.ca/blog/2018/01/scribus-is-finally-usable/