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Fundamental weakness of Open Souce software

By peter ·
Just an example of how Open Source may not be the answer we all thought it would be:

I may be naive but I thought that OpenOffice plugged seamlessly into all supported operating systems. Now I find that each distro massages it's own version of the source files before adding them to the repositories. So now we get different versions with the same release numbers - some work well and some do not.

e.g:
Fedora 11 continues to be rock solid and I have not found any problem porting oo files (documents, spreadsheets and databases) between different windows and fedora machines.
Changing from SimplyMepis 7 to 8 has been great BUT now I have problems with oo - 2 examples - I cannot open an odb file from any other machine and Calc's function to repeat rows/columns during printout just does not work.

These problems are discussed extensively in different internet forums but no solution (apart from 'move to another distro') seems to be forthcoming.

With such glaring problems haw can we continue to claim that peer pressure is as efficient as commercial pressure at keeping software bug free?

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That's interesting as I don't have that problem when opening

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Fundamental weakness of O ...

OO files in either my Kubuntu 8.04, my laptop's XP Pro, my sons SimplyMepis 8.00 - all of which use 00. I can only think you may have a mild corruption of one of the OO files on one of the systems. Either that or there may be a slight difference in handling some formulas between a couple of versions of OO - I don't use the databases much, so not sure.

If you think this is a weakness in OSS, your must think it's a major tragedy in closed source software like MS where they triple the number of things that vary, and they do it just for fun instead of practical reasons.

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Clarification...

by peter In reply to That's interesting as I d ...

I recommend open source software to my clients. Recently I have found, and investigated, problems that occur in one distribution and not in others for applications at the same release version. The two examples I quote are just that - examples. Both examples are extensively reported on different user forums and I am not here seeking solutions to those problems, per se - I am sounding out opinion on whether the existence of applications under the same release number with different problems actually makes the open source model weaker than the proprieatary model.

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Ah, it's no weaker, just the same as the same problem

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Clarification...

occurring when you have the same app with the same release number having trouble working on Win Vista but not Win XP - and similar. Such issues occur because the people doing one distro have chosen a slightly different way of handling something.

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We ???

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Fundamental weakness of O ...

I've never believed in panacea, your belief in it does indicate naivety.

Peer pressure is not the underlying mechanism in open source development, contribution is. You've started by raising the issue, though not in a particularly useful way. It would be better to file bug reports at OO and SimplyMepis, and provide enough information to give them a clue where to look. Who knows your particular situation could be the key clue to who did what wrong where.

If you want open source to work, you've got to join in.

Bug free closed source software, are you kiddin' me?

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I am not talking about bug free closed source ...

by peter In reply to We ???

I'm talking about a situation where software at the same release level has different problems on different Linux distributions.

I'm not looking for a solution to these particular problems, I'm sounding out opinion on whether users will think that software that works on one open source distribution and not on another makes open source 'worse' than closed source.

I still use open office in preference to other office products and I still use simplyMepis as my Linux desktop of choice. If I need (for example) to print out a datapilot sheet with repeating rows between pages I simply fire up Fedora 11 to do so. I don't think different problems on different distributions is a big problem but my question remains - does anybody else?

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About your question.

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to I am not talking about bu ...

It originally was With such glaring problems haw can we continue to claim that peer pressure is as efficient as commercial pressure at keeping software bug free?

Not different problems on different distributions is a big problem but my question remains - does anybody else?

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Well you struck entirely the wrong note

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to I am not talking about bu ...

with your subject line. Version / OS compatibility and interoperability are a problem for ever, a development model won't change that. The only problem I can see is you somehow thought they would, to be honest I haven't a clue where you got the idea that they would from, and throwing out the baby with the bathwater and going back to closed source is a proven failure.

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"massage the sources"

by Jaqui In reply to Fundamental weakness of O ...

go figure, distro centric customizations breaking compatibility.

who would have thunk it?

oh, I know, ME.
I have said before that the distro customizations are bad for open source.

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