[ubuntu-uk] Who writes this stuff [long post]

Matthew Macdonald-Wallace matthew at truthisfreedom.org.uk
Wed May 23 12:11:12 BST 2007

Quoting Andrew Price <andy at andrewprice.me.uk>:

> Peter Scargill wrote:
>> I look forward to hearing from your colleague - I hope however that his
>> communication is more reasoned and less insulting.
> Charlie,
> I'm not aware of what was in your e-mail to Mr. Scargill (although I'd
> like to see it) but it seems you touched a nerve.
> Please could we make sure we represent the Ubuntu and Linux communities
> in a diplomatic and friendly way. We're not going to boost the
> popularity of either by being insulting or otherwise unpleasant,
> especially to those who hold some influence over others.
> We need to take a more educational and informative stance towards people
> who don't "get it". The more welcoming we are as a community, the more
> people will be interested in becoming part of it.

I've just sent the following:

Dear Mr Scargill,

I read your article on "Linux - v - Windows" with great interest.

I have been using Linux on my home desktop for the last seven years.   
Before that, I used Dos, Windows (all versions up to XP) and I also  
dabbled with Mac OS pre OSX.

I am in a fairly unusual position with regard to choice of operating  
system as I run my own servers at home, however I work on a daily  
basis supporting Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Office along side  
many other applications.

The main point in your article that really challenged me was your  
comment that "you simply cannot even BEGIN to compare the  
functionality of Open Office with Office 2007".  I believe that this  
is not the case, the change in interface in Office 2007 is enough, in  
my considered and experienced opinion, to put most people off using  
it.  People have used Office in its various incarnations for several  
years now, Open Office has a similar interface to Office 2003 and all  
previous versions and is therefore more "user friendly" as it does not  
require a shift in work-flow practices or knowledge within the  

I am also interested to know which functionality Open Office is  
missing.  I have recently suggested to a number of charity  
organisations and small businesses that they switch to Open Office and  
the ones that have done so have not found any issues with reading,  
writing or formatting any of the documents that they had previously  
saved in Microsoft Office.

The only issue I have encountered is with custom animations in  
PowerPoint presentations.  As I am fairly confident that at least 90%  
of PowerPoint users do not use this custom animations, I am at a loss  
to find this lack of functionality.

There are a number of businesses that have adopted Open Source  
technologies in all market sectors at both the server and desktop  
level, so I fail to see how your article can imply that Linux is not  
ready for the desktop.

With regard to support, one of the amazing things about Open Source  
software is that not only is the software free, so is the support.   
Frequently I find that if I post a request for support onto the user  
forums on the website for the software that I am experiencing an issue  
with, not only do I get a reply from the community, but quite often I  
get a reply from the developers themselves.

I would be very interested in your comments on the above and I look  
forward to hearing from you.


Let's see what he says...


Matthew Macdonald-Wallace
Group Co-Ordinator
Thanet Linux User Group
matthew at truthisfreedom.org.uk
GPG KEY: http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0xFEA1BC16

More information about the ubuntu-uk mailing list