About an article on Linux Format magazine...

Talk about miscellaneous stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else. Off-topic discussions encouraged.

Moderator: SoftMaker Team

Post Reply
astroboy
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:50 am

About an article on Linux Format magazine...

Post by astroboy » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:05 am

On the 2013 February issue of british Linux Format magazine, appeared an Office suites roundup. Because I disagreed with the verdict, I sent an email, which got published on the 2013 April issue. It reads:

"Confusing criteria
I fail to understand the criteria of your final verdict on the roundup Office Suites. Softmaker Office is last, with two starts. However, it did well in most of the categories. Also, is there a reason why IBM Lotus Symphony was not included?
"

It, however, is a very short version of my original email. The full version I sent was:

I fail to understand the criteria of your final verdict on the roundup Office Suites, LXF February 2013.
Softmaker Office 2012 is placed in 5th and last, with a mere 2 stars. However, it did well in most of the categories:
3 + 5 + 4 + 5 +3 + 0 + 5 equals 25 stars, an average of it would be 3.5 stars.
The final verdict states that Softmaker Office “offers little but support for documents in propietary Microsoft formats”. It contradicts what you wrote about this product in the categories:
“The app works as advertised, provides advanced features”.
“Spreadsheet boast of more than 330 built-in functions (…) it has a special filter tool to help you manage large data sets”.
“Softmaker Presentations and Google Slides are equally capable (as LibreOffice) with a wide variety of AutoShapes, They also have comprehensive drawing functions, and let you draw all sort of objects”.

LibreOffice is given 5 stars in the final verdict, although it didn't have perfect scores in the categories evaluation:
5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 4 + 0 + 5 equals 29 of 35 stars, its average would then be 4.1.
And Calligra has less stars than Softmaker Office, but it is artificially placed in the second place in the final verdict!
3 + 5 + 3 +3 +5 + 0 + 3 equals 22, 3.1 stars in average.

Also, is there a reason why IBM Lotus Symphony was not included, and not even mentioned, in this Office suites roundup? Symphony is a free software that could have easily match LibreOffice on each category, and beats all in the usability category, due its elegant user interface. But, instead, you preferred to mention dead products (such as Siag Office) or unrelated products (such as gedit and Kate, which aren´t word processors, no matter which plugins you add).


The answer published in the magazine to me and another fellow who had the same opinion, was this:

If you take all the categories as equally important then, yes, the arithmetic looks a bit funny. But if LibreOffice doesn't attempt to provide collaboration features, why should we mark it down in the final reckoning for not including them? That's like criticising an apple for not being orangey enough. If the scores were subject to some sort of weighting, then it might make sense -which could be why, for example, Softmaker scores poorly overall, but highly in individual areas- but without an explanation from the writer about which areas are most important, we're just guessing. So thanks for your feedback chaps: from now on we're going to ask contributors to explain whether their final score is weighted in any way, so we can all (us included!) understand where they're coming from in their assessment.

martin-k
SoftMaker Team
SoftMaker Team
Posts: 2985
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2003 4:57 pm
Location: Nürnberg, Germany
Contact:

Re: About an article on Linux Format magazine...

Post by martin-k » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:09 am

Thank you for your support. We have long given up trying to understand the reasoning of reviewers how they reach their final verdict. But this seems to be a very special case: getting good results in the intermediates and trailing in the verdict. Oh well... :roll:
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

Jossi
SoftMaker Volunteers
SoftMaker Volunteers
Posts: 950
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 10:47 pm
Location: Luebeck, Germany

Re: About an article on Linux Format magazine...

Post by Jossi » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:41 am

Not to mark down a program for lacking features, giving the reason "They didn't attempt to do this" is indeed ... funny. :-o
It's hard not to see some bias here.
At least they admit that they don't understand their own review. Isn't this what an editor is supposed to do?

JSR
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:46 am

Re: About an article on Linux Format magazine...

Post by JSR » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:42 am

astroboy wrote:But if LibreOffice doesn't attempt to provide collaboration features, why should we mark it down in the final reckoning for not including them?
What a bizarre criteria. Using that criteria, I'm surprised they don't give the highest rating for an Office Suite to the card game "Solitaire". I mean, it doesn't provide Word Processing or Spreadsheet features, so why mark it down for not including them? :lol:

Jossi
SoftMaker Volunteers
SoftMaker Volunteers
Posts: 950
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 10:47 pm
Location: Luebeck, Germany

Re: About an article on Linux Format magazine...

Post by Jossi » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:51 pm

Quite correct. After all, criticising Solitaire for not providing text editing features would be like criticising an apple for not being orangey enough, wouldn't it?

Post Reply

Return to “Water Cooler”