Including FreeOffice is a bad idea (Was: Manjaro Roadmap)

For me, it's a bit of a disconnect because I've been using Linux for so long (since 1998) that I have no need to care one whit about MS Office compatibility. At work, we pretty much use Google Docs for everything. Personally, my files were converted to Star Office, then Open Office, and now LibreOffice a long time ago.

Maybe a lot of us came to Manjaro from this perspective: we finally found a Linux distro that successfully combined the concepts of rolling and stable. We're the old timers; the people who've been here from the beginning.

But there are only so many of us to go around.

At some point, Manjaro needs to grow, to attract new users: refugees getting booted from Windows 7 and who don't want to install Windows 10, or maybe people who just want to switch to get better performance out of their machines. To attract these users, you have to respond to their needs. Unfortunately, MS Office compatibility seems to be one of those needs the Manjaro team has identified that they're trying to respond to, first with the MS Office online thing (which I uninstall), and now with FreeOffice.

I don't see a problem with this. If it makes it easier for Grandma to use the OS, isn't that better than having her continue on Windows? Migration is hard. You don't just do it in one step. It can take years to do fully and successfully. So maybe it's better to look at the FreeOffice thing as an aid to migration. It's a tool you can use or not use. Because most people aren't starting from scratch with their computers, they have to migrate.

For people starting from scratch with a new machine, yeah, this doesn't seem like a great decision. I like the suggestion of a dialog during the install where you pick your office suite. That might be a way to serve everybody, not just new users migrating from Windows. But ultimately, those of us who migrated long ago know how to fix our systems, so even if they don't add that, it shouldn't be a huge hurdle to get over.

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It sums it up. There you go.

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OK, looks like this thread has moved towards a consensus that "Including FreeOffice is a bad choice" and isn't about a "roadmap" any more.

I don't think there's much more to add to that?

PM if you have anything of substance to add.

I'll edit the thread title to allow @mbod to re-use it if they so wish.

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But what happens to Libre Office if you shipping FreeOffice by default now.

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It isn't installed by default. Still available in repos of course.

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Well, LibreOffice can be still installed from our repositories. We only have chosen FreeOffice for our Flagship Editions of Manjaro. Community Editions can chose whatever Office suit they want to use, as they are community based. If you already have installed Manjaro, you will keep the Office suit you had chosen. If you don't like FreeOffice you can switch it with ease.

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I'm glad you partnered with Softmaker. I don't have any complain about it, there are people who won't agree with this, but I trust all the decisions you have taken to make Manjaro a great place to live.
Personally I don't use Libreoffice because of MS compatibility, because I'm working on some projects or editing documents that my teammates or university provide me and unfortunately libreoffice can't handle them, I always end up with OnlyOffice or a compatible suite.
I think is more user friendly have an office suite that will handle most of the files out-of-the-box flawlessly.
I also agree with the inclusion fpakman, it provides consistency through the flaghsip editions and of course, an easy way to handle both formats. Sorry for the off-topic.
Greetings and congrats.

We are too. Actually they approached us. It was an easy decision to partner up with them.

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This appears to be proprietary closed-source software.

I don't think this is a good look for Manjaro.

Including a wrapper for MS Office Online alongside LibreOffice/Calligra is one thing, but replacing FOSS with closed-source software is... not great.

Also, unless there has actually been some discussion with other team members, please use "I" instead of "we" when referring to decisions you've made. :wink:

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Hi,

You have possiblity to add onlyoffice on community is more better than free office is limited need to paid for more option just for edit odt is not free :frowning:
And OnlyOffice is open source.

Best Regards

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We don't have any contracts with OnlyOffice, so it might be harder to get it integrated. With FreeOffice we have successfully established a relationship and work directly with the developers. Also Softmaker is nearer to our office, as it is in the same country state.

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Thanks for this information but would be good to add possibility to install without aur.
Just that is good have pkg build if you need.

Best Regards

In case anyone was wondering what functionality is (or is not) in FreeOffice.

https://www.softmaker.com/en/comparison-freeoffice-softmaker-office

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i like how everything is available in the free version... :wink: i understood the decision for snapd, but i can not understand this decision.

this. and it is not just the replacement of FOSS with closed-source. it is replaced with something that has close to zero of the features the paid version has - because of partnering up. sounds more like a financial decision to me. i'd understand that, but then it should be communicated.

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PS I too am concerned about the growing inclusion of proprietary software ie snap and that office stuff....
I can understand Phil needing to earn a living but nobody needs to get as rich as Mark Shuttleworth :money_mouth_face:

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Really, what the hell is actually happening? Why is more and more proprietary software being shipped by default? This is now starting to raise some serious concerns

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FreeOffice instead of LibreOffice? You've lost an user. Good night and good luck.

PS: you can only open opendocuments and old office files format and not save them in free version? Only read and save in openofficeXML format? Really?

If I want to read and write only in openOfficeXML formats, there is a software called... MicrosoftOffice!

Thanks @korealinux for the link!

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Yeah, can’t you tell he’s trying single handedly to ruin the distro.

Just spin your own Manjaro, i do. It’s super easy to do. Then you don’t have to be on the ■■■■■■ end of the stick.

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