Friday, October 29, 2010

So much rage....


With the vote coming shortly and the world economy falling apart and religious crazies are trying to take over the government and the general violence and famine and death and destruction the world over, I am going to take a moment and put out something of some importance that has been bugging me for a few days now.

If you are trying to do anything and I really do mean ANYTHING at a professional level with Open Source Software you learn that it's all SHIT.

I'm not talking your regular shit either I'm talking USELESSLY USELESS SHIT!

Let me lay out some of the background here;

I am most commonly known as a computer technician, however, before that I was a graphics designer.

Hence I often use those talents to apply them to interests and such where they are useful, one such interest is geocaching. I make my own little logs for the caches I hide and to replace others that I come across that are damaged or full.

As per habit, I used to use professional level programs, such as Adobe InDesign or QuarkExpress to make them and as a result, they are really, really nice.

Just the other day, I decided to be altruistic and offer my log designs to the official site in order for other people to use them also.

A few problems of course, one, most people don't have such professional programs and two, some of them want to be able to change the log in some manner so they are supposed to be submitted to in an editable format such as .doc, .rtf or .txt

I figure I'd support open source software for a change and offer them up in the Open Document Format along with a few others AND while I was as it, recreate some of the simpler ones in, this is something that would take 15 minutes TOPS in InDesign or MS Word (gag!).

So, even though I figured that I almost NEVER use "middle of the road" text editors like MS Word or, I DO know their capabilities very, VERY well ("MS Office Certified" does actually mean something) and they would be perfectly sufficient for this task, after all I've even used Word to make some of the most basic logs before so would be no problem right? RIGHT?!?

Oh, how incredibly wrong I was.

Even after chalking up the learning curve, which was actually pretty flat, I was absolutly frustrated and horrified by the general... general... general... MISBEHAVIOR of the program.

The basic functions worked fine, but when I was getting into the more advanced layouts and using tables to create the lines was when everything fell apart.


I have been wrestling with this program for HOURS ON END at this point. Every time I want to restructure the size of the resulting logs is a nightmare of utter destruction on the entire document as elements scatter across 40 pages for no obvious reason and like HELL if I can fix that, bug in the drawing make something look totally different on paper than it does on screen and don't EVEN get me going about the almost terrifyingly inconsistent pasting of text styles... I could paste something 3 times and get 3 totally dissimilar results.

The list goes on and on and on...

This is completely and UTTERLY unacceptable.

I know fully well I could go to MS Office, InDesign, Quark Express, Apples iWork, and even TEXTEDIT on my mac and not have these troubles, so what the hell gives?!

I have dumped many, MANY more hours into fighting with OpenOffice to make it do what I want and I'm STILL NOT DONE!!!

Yet, for the heck of it (and to prevent myself from throwing my computer across the room in frustration) even went into the aforementioned programs and DID ALL OF MY WORK on the log sheets in a total of 20 minutes... for ALL FIVE OF THE PROGRAMS!

This is why I have become disgruntled with OSS lately. I've been using it more and more and have been considering Ubuntu as a replacement from even Mac OS X in the possibly near future.

I just can't yet. OSS is disgustingly unrefined and rough edged to the point where is is actually UNUSABLE in a professional sense.

It's not a learning curve issue, it's not "what I'm familiar with", it's not me not wanting to learn a new "way to work".

It's too buggy and flawed to work RIGHT.

This isn't to say that open source is useless to everyone, heck no! If all you want is the basics, which is all most people DO, then it's great... Just don't expect to do anything too serious with it because it's not there yet.

Is there a real point to this? Not really, I'm just blowing off some steam because something I want to rely on has made so little progress at being something I CAN rely on.

I'm going back to work now.