On Tuesday 22 March 2011 11:58:22 Rich Shepard wrote:
> On Tue, 22 Mar 2011, Rob Oakes wrote:
> > When I talk to people about LyX, they seem to think of it as a
> > specialized academic writing tool. Basically, a program which helps
> > professors and students write a thesis or articles. (To be even more
> > narrow, it seems like many think it is for math and physics people to
> > write a thesis or article.) Which is to say, a specialized program with
> > an incredibly small user base and use.
> > 
> > While that stereotype may be somewhat true (I don't think anyone would
> > argue that many of the developers and users are within academics),
>    Feh! I do most of my writing with LyX: proposals, reports, letters,
> newsletter, white papers, etc. I use OO Writer under duress; it's too
> Microsoftish for me.

Oh don't I wish it were too Microsoftish! If it were just like Word/Powerpoint 
I'd use it all the time -- Powerpoint is decent and Word is actually a good 
program. But Noooooooo, OO imports word docs and changes all styles to 
fingerpainting. An OO made Powerpoint has stuff walking off the screen viewed 
in Powerpoint. I try never to use OO on anything more than three pages long, 
because I end up putting my fist through the wall. OO is utter junk.

The only time I use OO is the anding of the following:

1) The other guy simply MUST work in MS Office
2) The document is relatively simple
3) Exact appearance isn't important

An example is when my editor made queries to my book, and I responded to the 
queries, and the editor responded to my responses, ... I just kept making 
styles to accommodate ever increasing levels of response, and somehow the 
styles survived the round trip from MSWord to OO and back.

The next major revision of my courseware will be All-Beamer-All-The-Time (no 
LyX, just Beamer LaTeX). It's 1000 times easier to maintain and personalize 
than OOImpress viewed on MS Powerpoint.

Nowadays, all my letters are LyX letter template. Yeah, it's a PITA, and I 
think it's a silly use of LyX, but it's a whole lot better than OOWriter.

When writing a paper 5 pages or less, I use Abiword to get it done in a few 
minutes. Beyond 5 pages, I use LyX. LyX can be a PITA, but at least you know 
it will work.

And of course, when writing anything over 50 pages I use LyX. This is LyX's 
intended usage, and who in their right mind would use anything else for 50+ 
page docs?

OO has the worlds ugliest native file format. Several XML files zipped up. 
These files resemble a severely denormalized database -- everything depends on 
everything else, and any given change can affect four or five different XML 
sections and maybe multiple files. As a practical matter, I find it impossible 
to work with OO native format. Contrast this with LyX, which so far is fairly 
easy to write and parse from a Perl or Lua program.

Friends don't let friends use OO.


Steve Litt
Recession Relief Package
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stevelitt

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