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Contrary to common belief, scientists do not communicate via secret encrypted communication channels, but usually by the exchange of Powerpoint presentations via ordinary e-mail. :sh My Fedora 17 at work surprised me a few weeks ago by opening one of these (pptx) files not by LibreOffice Impress, but by okular. Apparently, the default file associations had been altered. I usually despise operating systems which take the initiative without having the proper authority, but this time, I actually have to be grateful: the file was displayed just as intended, in marked contrast to the faulty display by LibreOffice which I've tried immediately afterwards for comparison.

The actual backend for the handling of these files is the Calligra suite, the successor of Koffice. This office suite has evolved quite a bit since the times of KDE 3, and I would prefer it over LibreOffice anytime (if I'd use any office software at all). It's starting up fast, has a modern UI, and way better font rendering.

All right then. Let's say you get a docx from a collaborator, and decide to open and edit it using calligra-word. Everything's fine until you want to save: there's only odt (open document text) as an option. Well, that's an open standard, what can be wrong with it? Let's save it as that.

Now open it in LibreOffice and save it from there as docx. I guarantee that you'll find the result interesting.

These office suites are just so entirely pathetic. :(

If you hope now to save space by installing the slim Calligra instead of the LibreOffice suite, this monolithic chunk of a software, I have to disappoint you: including all dependencies, the size of these suites does not differ much.

libreoffice:            844.14 MiB
calligra:           858.21 MiB

If you use KDE, of course, it's only a fraction of that space. In this case, I'd certainly recommend to install Calligra if only for the display of Powerpoint presentations.

On the Mini, I really need that space for TeX:

texlive-most:           980.29 MiB

On the other hand: the new SSD for the Mini has arrived yesterday. I'll report about its installation and all consequences in one of the next posts. ;)

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