Subject: Re: Software quality: free vs. proprietary
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 19:40:09 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "kms" == Karsten M Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com> writes:

"Stephen J. Turnbull" wrote:
    >> Compare Mathematica or Maple with gnuplot

    kms> I believe Octave is the Mathematica or MATLAB replacement.

My point was that function for function, Mathematica graphics are much 
better than gnuplot's, at least in my limited usage.  Gnuplot can be
buggy (at least it crashes several times a session for me), the
various backends are not coordinated so you have to work hard to get
the screen to look like the printed output, etc.

I don't use Octave.

    >> Compare Microsoft Word with wp2latex 
    >> Compare WordPerfect with word2x

    kms> How about AbiWord, Klyx, or similar, as replacements for Word
    kms> or WP?

Again, I don't use them.  And I'm not interested in replacing all the
functionality of Word and WP.  I use Word and WordPerfect for one
thing: translating from application/proprietary format to text/plain.
My point was simply to show that the best of breed (as far as I have
been able to find) in free software sucks compared to the equivalent
functionality provided by Word or WordPerfect importing the other's
file formats.  If AbiWord or Klyx do a better job of translating file
formats than w*2*x, I'd love to hear about it ;-)

I don't expect these comparisons to change for WordPerfect vs. word2x; 
WordPerfect will always be better.  I do expect gnuplot to achieve
Mathematica-like graphics in the not too distant future.

-- 
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