On 10/7/2021 2:50 PM, Dr Eberhard Lisse wrote:

how could that work in ANY program ("dorward" compatibility)?

But it's Open Source, just pull the latest version once out of beta.

No doubt that is an easy solution with FOSS. But I recall a time when I once upgraded LyX on my Linux box without thinking of my Windows computer, for which upgraded LyX binaries were not yet available. For a few days, I had some compatibility issues between the two LyX versions on my computers.

In a different context, file compatibility was the original issue in this thread. Osman had asked how to convert his LibreOffice letterhead to LyX format. Both you and Steve (wisely I believe) advised him against trying. LibreOffice and LyX are just two very different systems with different workflows and ways of getting tasks done.

But, then Steve went one step further and shared his horror story trying to translate his book from Word to LibreOffice. From his experience, he concluded that LibreOffice doesn't work well with large documents with styles. That piqued my interest as I have never had any problem with LibreOffice's styles regardless of the size of the document.

In fact, several years ago, I wanted my Business Ethics students to read and write a book report on Charles Sheldon's classic novel, In His Steps. Since the book is in the public domain, I thought I would save my students some money and provide them with free copies of the book. I downloaded a plain text version of the book and loaded it into LibreOffice. From there, I formatted the book using my pre-defined paragraph, page, and character styles. It came to 188 pages and LibreOffice handled it with ease. My styles didn't magically change on me. To be fair, as a novel, the formatting was very straightforward with no tables, charts, and only a couple footnotes. The most involved part was the table of contents.

Once I got it completed in LibreOffice, I exported it into various file formats to meet my students' different needs. I exported it as a .DOC, .DOCX, .XHTML, .PDF, .EPUB, and Kindle MOBI. The first five formats I achieved with LibreOffice's export function. To get the MOBI file, I used Calibre. Everything went smooth as silk in all of the formats.

I could be wrong, but I think the difference between my experience and Steve's is that I started with unformatted text whereas I assume he started with a formatted Word document. Over the decades I have learned that formatted documents created with different programs just don't like being altered by another program. For this reason, when I practiced law, I had my office computer installed with Word, WordPerfect, LibreOffice, and Atlantis. If I were collaborating with another colleague, I just used whatever program they used. Regardless of the program I used, nearly every time I tried to edit a non-native document, I ran into problems. It was exacerbated by the fact that usually, my colleagues used direct formatting rather than styles and that always created a hot mess. I learned to not expect a document created in Word with a combination of styles and direct formatting to work smoothly in LibreOffice with its own interpretation of styles (or WordPerfect, or AbiWord, or Atlantis, or LyX or whatever).

All this to say that I find that LyX and LibreOffice are both very good programs and both can create very large documents without collapsing. I have gotten excellent results with both (as long as I remember to properly word my Google search for LaTeX guidance ;)


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