Thinking about the future

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colonel_panic
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Thinking about the future

Post by colonel_panic » Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:33 pm

Hello
One of the reasons I switched to Softmaker Office was the shocking experience I had with MS Office 2000. I spent months writing a database that doesn't open in any version of Access after 2003. It was a major headache with our old firm. We used more and more archaic computers, and now have use a VM in a Linux desktop.
I am starting a business of my own within the next couple of months. I love the software, but I'm very keen not to make the same mistake again.
Can you please give me an idea:
  1. Is there going to be continued support for Linux in the next release of Softmaker Office? I note the 32 bit version didn't get the anniversary update. I accept that the computers that need 32 bit are becoming old now.
  2. If not, will it still be possible to activate Textmaker 2018 in the future?
  3. Is there going to be continued support for the .TMDX file format?
  4. Is there an easy way to automatically save files in a format that is supported by other software? I think MS .docx documents are a liability. They aren't even compatible with themselves!
Thanks for your attention.

martin-k
SoftMaker Team
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Re: Thinking about the future

Post by martin-k » Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:46 pm

1. Yes, we intend to keep supporting Windows, Linux, Mac and Android. The 32-bit versions of SoftMaker Office _did_ get the Anniversary Update; you might want to check that again. Note that we plan to stop supporting 32-bit Linux with the next major release. We will continue to support 32 bit for Windows and never offered 32 bit for Mac.

2. Activation of older versions is of course possible.

3. Yes, it is a supercharged DOCX format that allows us to store features that Microsoft Word doesn't support.

4. In each program of SoftMaker Office, you can pick a number of file formats as the default format. Please note that the old binary formats DOC, XLS and PPT can no longer keep all the features that modern versions of SoftMaker Office and Microsoft Office offer. In practical use, choose between either TMDX/PMDX/PRDX or DOCX/XLSX/PPTX. I don't know what problems you are experiencing with DOCX format. Of course, this format keeps evolving, but all file formats do that. There are tons of variations with DOC format. It's only that people no longer use Word 6.0 whereas there are still Word 2007 users.
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

colonel_panic
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:19 pm

Re: Thinking about the future

Post by colonel_panic » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:03 pm

Thanks, Martin. Nice response.
martin-k wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:46 pm
I don't know what problems you are experiencing with DOCX format. Of course, this format keeps evolving, but all file formats do that. There are tons of variations with DOC format. It's only that people no longer use Word 6.0 whereas there are still Word 2007 users.
I would say that for my use case (legal documents), a file format that doesn't change is really important, and not a lot to ask. Fundamentally, I don't want any functionality other than what I could get from a word processor in 1990. Were it not for compliance issues, we probably wouldn't be using new software at all.
I think I will probably be saving my documents as .rtf in future.

martin-k
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Re: Thinking about the future

Post by martin-k » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:08 pm

RTF is the one file format that Microsoft has changed the most (and all the time) over the last 30 years.

I understand your interest to be able to reliably access your documents in the future. But I don't understand why that would be a problem. If you keep using TextMaker or Word, either in the version that you bought or in any future version, you will always be able to open all documents created by previous versions if you use DOCX or TMDX.
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

colonel_panic
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:19 pm

Re: Thinking about the future

Post by colonel_panic » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:02 am

martin-k wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:08 pm
I understand your interest to be able to reliably access your documents in the future. But I don't understand why that would be a problem. If you keep using TextMaker or Word, either in the version that you bought or in any future version, you will always be able to open all documents created by previous versions if you use DOCX or TMDX.
My concern is that the Textmaker file format isn't documented or even openable with any product that isn't made by Softmaker. I hope you are trading for much longer yet, but if you were to retire or go out of business you could cripple my workflow. DOCX is in a similar position. Easy to find software that opens it now, but what about in the future?
martin-k wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:08 pm
RTF is the one file format that Microsoft has changed the most (and all the time) over the last 30 years.
RTF is at least a documented specification. My feeling is if I save my documents as RTF, there will always be something that can open it.

martin-k
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Re: Thinking about the future

Post by martin-k » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:10 am

DOCX is an ISO-standardized format, and tons of applications can open it. TMDX is just a superset of DOCX.

RTF is not standardized by any standardization body and changes all the time.

Even if SoftMaker were to go out of business, you could still run TextMaker and save your files in a different format.
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

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