I’m definitely reaching my limit with OpenOffice. I’m not just going to bless OpenOffice as perfection just because it’s Free, it’ll have to improve for that.
So let’s begin with one of the most hyped and, apparently, still incomplete feature: interoperability thanks to the OASIS OpenDocument Format. With OpenOffice 2, there should have been total interoperability between Free Software aiming at managing documents, presentations, spreadsheets and so on so forth. Unfortunately, just after the release of the first two suites using that format, I came across a difference in implementation that caused the two of them to export the same content (lists) in different way, both available in the specification for the format, and yet not equally implemented. So long for the interoperability. At the time, I even considered Microsoft’s much more complex solution more feasible — two years after my first rant, the bug was still open; it was only fixed an year later with OpenOffice 3.1.
Interestingly enough, yesterday Morten Welinder, of Gnumeric fame, posted an unrelated rant that finds its root in the same problem: