StarOffice late to the Mac game – the rest are pulling punches

I used StarOffice quite a bit when I worked on the Windows platform. When I moved to Mac, I kept a copy of OpenOffice close at hand, cumbersome as the interface might have been. Then came NeoOffice, which essentially got rid of the menu headaches. So the announcement that StarOffice now has native Mac support is non-news to me.

Ask me what I even use NeoOffice for and I’ll tell you. In fact, don’t ask, because I’m going to tell you anyway. Microsoft Office sticks to its guns with outbound file formats, and I do a lot of database work. Getting a file into MySQL, etc. using MS Office’s version of the .csv file is like swimming the English Channel with a couple of concrete blocks tied to your feet – you can separate fields on export with commas, but you’d better make sure your actual data is free of commas first. Data integrity be damned – if you must separate with pipes, etc. you are shit out of luck because MS Office won’t let you change delimiters (albeit on Windows you can change regional settings for list separators, but that’s both a pain in the behind and of no use to the rest of us).

So that’s what I use NeoOffice for – exporting text files with custom delimiters. 375 megabytes of program on my machine because Microsoft can’t add this one simple feature.

CORRECTION: Office 2008 for Mac also fails (temporarily I hope) in the statistics realm – the powers that be failed to include the Data Analysis Tools so many of us dummies used regularly. I’m presently hobbling with a combination of function tumbling and oatbran, and avoiding mention of correlation coefficients whenever possible.

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