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From: Tom ZeCat (
Subject: to Mark (and other techies) re
Date: March 12, 2005 at 9:17 pm PST

Mark, I know you're a big Linux user. Do you also use Sun Microsystem's I've been trying it out and am favorably impressed thus far. I've been a Lotus Smartsuite user for some time now and am annoyed by IBM's choice to not develop it any further. I sure as #$%^ don't want to pay Microsoft's ridiculous fee to use MS Office.

It looks like OpenOffice's macro language is based on BASIC, which is good for me since I've written a lot of software in Visual BASIC. What's unclear to me at this point is when in OOo you should reach for OOo's VBA-like macro language and when you delve into the C-based source code. I do like that you can pop open OOo's hood and make modifications directly in the source code where in MS Office you're limited only to VBA and in Lotus Smartsuite you're limited to LotusScript, a language there's very little written about.

Alas, neither OOo nor MS Office have certain features unique to Smartsuite.

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