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Author Topic: Biased  (Read 5002 times)
wasker
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« on: June 16, 2007, 07:08:55 PM »

Good research, but biased results.

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Major Word Processor: StarOffice/OpenOffice, because of its universal file format in ODF, it's roadmap, and the fact that it is Open source.

Sorry, but when I think of productivity software (word processing app is from this category) things I care first are features and productive UI as a way to get these features used. OOo is a good product, but it's definitely not better than MS Office from this point of view.

Source code availability is not a virtue for products like that: I'm not going to spend any time with compiling or modifying Writer for my needs.

ODF is an open format -- so what? I created document, printed it or converted to HTML/PDF -- I don't care about file format. But if you care, MS has opened formats.

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In the end, despite its "open" moniker, the Microsoft MS-OOXML format remains strictly proprietary, as Microsoft refuses to disclose the difference between its published file specification and its actual one to other vendors and developers.

This is biased conclusion again. "Proprietary" doesn't mean "they have some other format for themselves". C'mon -- they're pushing their format to standards bodies! They need it to be open standard, because this is the key to govt institutions which are under open source influence now. Don't be open source zealot here!

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Below is what a 6039-page spec looks like, and ask yourself if anyone other than Microsoft will ever be able to fully and correctly implement the specification.

Again, opiniated conclusion! First you complain they're not opening file formats, now you complain they have a huge doc for file formats.
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Darwin
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2007, 08:38:09 PM »

Remember, throughout the review Zaine stated that he wasn't going to post a "winner" in each category. He's simply given us an idea of what he prefers and is using, so you shouldn't take them as "results". Don't confuse Zaine's choices for some sort of award or objective ranking of the different apps reviewed.
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"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
Josh
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2007, 07:14:36 AM »

I happen to agree here. I've read zaine's reviews and posts on other websites and I see this same bias applied there as was in this review.

Open source should only be a consideration in choosing a product when the person/company has intent to modify it. Open source does not suddenly make a product that much better simply because of this fact.

Most of what I read that is negative against Microsoft and the major COMMERCIAL products in this review is opinion and not something that I, as a consumer, would base my purchase/use of a software program on. I am not going to choose a program just because it supports ODF, I am going to purchase and use a program because it supports the formats I require or my job requires. I am sorry but there aren't many major organizations which utilize ODF.

When I read the reviews of certain products in this Round up, I find more and more bias towards an open source solution rather than the commercial solutions. I also see the huge negative bias towards Microsoft and its products simply because, as said in the roundup, "They are microsoft".

When choosing a solution, I look for one that best suits my needs, not one that supports some format which is trying to make a standard. When the day comes that ODF actually makes a dent in the market-share of being a de-facto standard, I will re-evaluate my product choice and use it, but until then, while its nice to see a product support ODF, its not going to be, as I am sure others can agree, a major deciding factor or one that says "Oh, it supports ODF, forget these other products".

Usability is far more important to me, as is feature content.

Microsoft's format is not proprietary, and I would like to see documentation to prove otherwise since the claim has been made. The MS-OOXML format has such a large documentation set because every time they release something, some company sues them for lack of documentation. They are being proactive in this effort and trying to support OOXML as a legit format and one that anyone can adapt.

I like the reviews on DC, but I really hope that personal bias can be left to the side when they are written. I saw this same bias applied to the email review because the reviewer was a BAT user themselves.
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Grorgy
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2007, 07:41:15 AM »

Isn't personal bias part and parcel of any review? Film reviews, book reviews, all are subjective and very much depend on the reviewers interests, life style and other prejudices and preferences that have developed over the years, but it does not detract from the review, in my opinion it adds the background to the review.  If the reviewer expressed no opinion and no preferences software reviews would end up a list of features (positive and negative), somewhat dull in my opinion.  Zaine's preferences seemed apparent without having read much of anything else he has reviewed so then its up to the reader to agree or disagree with the suggestions given in light of their own needs and preferences, but it certainly gave a good starting point for someone looking for a word processor or two.
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wasker
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2007, 09:58:38 AM »

Then what's the point of showcasing new/enhanced features if everything boils down to open sourceness or document format? Just several words -- "OOo rule, because it's open source" -- end of review.
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Josh
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2007, 10:48:00 AM »

Exactly, open source is not a factor unless you are a large corporation and plan to modify its source code. People rave and rant about OSS because MOST of it is free. But tell me, how many of these people actually USE the source code? How many actually take advantage of what OSS really offers?

A review, to me, should be about features, not about whether or not its open source, uses a proprietary format, or is made by INSERT MAJOR COMPANY HERE. If you cant rate a piece of software fairly because its from microsoft or another major corporation, then dont review the piece of software.
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Darwin
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2007, 11:03:01 AM »

Excellent, George! I had been trying to think how to make exactly the point that you've made - personal bias is always part of any review - impossible for any review to be entirely objective - and I think Zaine is very up front about stating his biases. One does not have to agree with him, and clearly not everyone does, but that doesn't invalidate the review. Josh and wasker's criticisms here are valid, but if Zaine had written with a different bias a different set of people would have been criticizing him for those biases as well. Unavoidable.
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2007, 11:50:36 AM »

I would love to see zaine post about his feelings about microsoft.. He has definitely been pursuing an interest in open source stuff lately, but he has also in the past been a defender of Microsoft if my memory serves me, and a fan of some MS tools I think (OneNote?), so he is not one of those pure Microsoft Haters..

off topic:
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