The value of Libreoffice is that it can open documents produced by Microsoft office software on non-Microsoft systems, and save them in a proper format, ie. one that does not cause compatibility problems. This is fucking useful. Apart from that, it is a bloated overcomplicated piece of shit that fails utterly at really fucking basic stuff that ought to be no kind of problem at all.

Recently a mate sent me a document created using Microsoft software in .wps format, so I needed to use Libreoffice to read it. My intention was to convert it to a PDF, which Libreoffice can do. Unfortunately for some reason instead of sending it as the original single document he split it up into 8 separate files, even though I had asked him not to. So I needed to join the files back into a single document before converting to PDF, because the alternative of converting them to PDFs separately and then joining the PDFs would leave massive gaps every time one of the files finished half way down a page.

Only it turned out that this is not possible because LIBREOFFICE IS A PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT.

The obvious way to join two documents is to open both of them, Select All and Copy in the second one, then go to the bottom of the first one and Paste. But this does not work because Select All does not fucking Select All. It only selects the text, and misses out the images. So the pasted part of the joined document is missing all the diagrams that are supposed to accompany the text. Which is fucking useless.

Nor is it possible to Select All the text and then shift-click on the images to select them as well. Doing that just un-selects the fucking text.

There is an Insert Document function in the Insert menu, so I tried to use this. It does not fucking work. I go to the end of the first document and try to Insert Document the second one. What happens is it inserts the text at the place I told it to, but inserts the images at the beginning of the first document instead of leaving them where they are in the second one. So this is fucking useless too.

There is supposed to be some "master document" feature that allows you to create one big document made up of several sub-documents. This is also a fucking load of shit. I created a master document and then tried to add the split-up bits as sub-documents within it. It did not fucking work. All the text was there and in the right order, but all the fucking images were missing, and all the formatting was fucked up. So this option is also fucking useless.

I tried saving the part documents as HTML so that I could join them together using a plain text editor. This does not fucking work either. The act of saving them as HTML fucks the formatting to the wide and when the saved documents are re-opened the result is an unreadable mess. There is no point trying to join them in a text editor because they are already totally fucked and unusable. Once again, the bastard thing is fucking useless.

At this point I had steam coming out of my ears and was swearing loudly enough to frighten the cat. I decided that the only result of carrying on would be to make me even more pissed off until I started smashing the room up and I still wouldn't have a properly merged document. So I sent an email to my mate asking him to send the document again but without splitting it up first.

LIBREOFFICE IS A FUCKING PIECE OF FESTERING SHITE. Why the pissing fuck is it so utterly incapable of doing this really fucking simple thing? What sort of fucking moron wrote this crap? (Apparently, the sort of fucking moron who would consider writing a massive software suite entirely in fucking Java, so if they think it's a good idea to produce something which is fundamentally fucked by reason of being in one of the most horribly shit languages going, maybe it's not too surprising that what they produce is badly designed dysfunctional shit.)

Indeed its Javanese shiteitude is sufficiently pronounced that it recently caused my dad to spend a load of money on a new computer which he didn't need. He was trying to do something in Libreoffice which he hadn't done before and the computer was misbehaving, in some peculiar way which I didn't manage to picture properly from his description; he thought it was a motherboard fault, and from what I could picture of it I thought so too, and he ended up buying a new one.

Next time I went round he had both the old and the new computer set up, and we tried comparing them doing the same thing side by side. I still didn't really get it. My dad had forgotten how to do the thing that had showed up the problem originally, and I never knew to begin with, so what basically happened was me pissing around until I worked out how to do it and concluding that it was shit. It was needlessly piss awkward, and the creaking squelchy mouse button didn't help, but I couldn't discern any actual faultiness in its behaviour, it was just shit. On the new machine it was shit as well; not quite so shit, but not differently shit enough to really draw any conclusions from the comparison.

Later he emailed me the same test document that we had been messing with and I had a go on it with my own setup. It was still piss awkward and shit, but the difference was greater: it was only about half as bad. In this case the comparison was distinct enough to be useful. And it turns out that what is going on is that a 3.6GHz 64-bit machine with 8 cores and 32GB of RAM cannot respond to the mouse clicks quickly enough to operate smoothly. For fuck's sake. A 2.2GHz 64-bit 2-core 3GB box really struggles, and the same but 32-bit is even worse.

I mean just what the absolute jammed frozen fuck is this shit? We are talking about trying to do something for which there was software that was straightforward and worked properly on the original Mac with the built-in monitor, with its 8MHz 68000 on a 16-bit data bus and one meg of RAM and that crappy-arsed sort-of-semi-cooperative-multitasking OS. Now we have computers millions of times more powerful and they can't fucking handle it because the software is billions of times more shit.

That original Mac was an arse biscuit of a computer but paradoxically that also gave it an advantage: any software for it had to be written properly, because that fucking OS was so hideously crap. There was no tolerance or uncertainty about it at all. Software running on it had two choices: either to work absolutely perfectly, or to lock up so hard the machine had to be switched off and on again and then sit there for several minutes grinding through its boot sequence. This made coding for it a complete and utter fucking nightmare because even the most trivial error would take a minimum of a quarter of an hour to fix, most of the time being spent swearing at the computer while waiting for it to get its shit together, but at the same time it made it very hard for the most minor of infelicities to escape detection and remedy - the consequence would bite, and catastrophically; there was no chance of it being overlooked because of its results being usually too trivial to notice, or lurking undetected until a specific pathological data pattern kicked it off - so what little software there was for it all worked and worked well. Today's robust OSes and vast excesses of processing power have the opposite effect: they encourage people to write software which gets shitter and shitter until it has grown so vast that it exhausts even the enormous resources it has available and the shitness becomes a lot more obvious. Although still not enough that they actually do anything about it. They just reckon that computers will be powerful enough to cope in a few months' time and the poor cunts who have to use the shit can solve the problem by spending more money. Fucking wankers.

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