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RedOffice 4.0 Beta Updates OpenOffice UI 224

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-is-it-better dept.
Johannes Eva writes "As IBM Lotus Symphony shows its first public version 1.0, the Chinese OpenOffice.org derivative RedOffice offers the first beta of its new version 4.0. The open source RedOffice gets a new UI inspired from Microsoft Office 2007, with a vertical 'ribbon.' Is this the future of OpenOffice.org?"
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RedOffice 4.0 Beta Updates OpenOffice UI

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  • Microsoft (Score:5, Funny)

    by dintech (998802) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:01AM (#23625789)
    Oh dear. More evidence for the Microsoft "fact"-sheet that open source is indeed communism.
    • Re:Microsoft (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bloodninja (1291306) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:34AM (#23626103)

      Oh dear. More evidence for the Microsoft "fact"-sheet that open source is indeed communism.
      Be that so. Although some Russian leaders have ruined the idea of communism for many people, much of what we love about FOSS software could be seen as communist (or, at the very least, Marxist) ideas. That said, I love the MSO 2007 interface. Although I've used several different office products over the course of the years, I do not consider myself proficient in any of them. Nor do I want to invest the time to get proficient. In the rare times that I've used MSO 2007 at the university (at home I run Kubuntu), I've found that I can do my work quicker in MSO than in OpenOffice, which I am more familiar with. I would love to see the ribbon as an alternative UI in OOo. I don't see any reason that the program cannot have two UI's, other than lack of programmer time developing it.
      • Re:Microsoft (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:42AM (#23626175)
        Here, let me correct that for you:

        "Although some Russian, Chinese, Cambodian, Cuban, Yugoslavian, Romanian, and Polish leaders have demonstrated the ultimate outcome of communism for many people..."
        • Re:Microsoft (Score:5, Informative)

          by jaxtherat (1165473) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:58AM (#23626361) Homepage
          Whoever modded that 'Flamebait' should have moded that 'Insightful'.

          Speaking as someone who used to live behind the Iron Curtain, and DAILY thanks his parents for emigrating to Australia.
        • Re:Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Tranzistors (1180307) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:07AM (#23626459)
          Well, communism works great, if there is abundance. And in case of software, there is abundance.

          Capitalism works on axiom "there is infinite human needs and wants, in a world of finite resources", and it can't normally work in world where production (copying) and distribution is very cheep, so it must make resources scares artificially (DRM and such).

          Anyway, what these communist countries did wrong was what Software vendors and MAFIAA did - applied good paradigm in wrong situation.
          • Re:Microsoft (Score:4, Interesting)

            by bloodninja (1291306) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:56AM (#23627005)

            Well, communism works great, if there is abundance. And in case of software, there is abundance.
            Thank you, that describes exactly the situation in as few words as I've yet seen.
          • Re:Microsoft (Score:5, Interesting)

            by steelfood (895457) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:58AM (#23627035)
            What's particularly interesting is that China will be a huge proponent of OSS, as the government is very suspicious of closed-source software, especially ones developed in the US (*cough* Microsoft *cough*).

            The people might not respect copyrights (the culture certainly doesn't have any interest in the concept of "intellectual property"), but the government will have to at least pay lip service to it, and that usually means playing by the GPL.

            It's ironic, but it also makes sense that "open" governments have to hide their dirty laundry, while governments that have no need to maintain the pretense of being democratic and free can actually openly air their dirty laundry.

            At the end of the day, the goal of governments, and the people working for them, is controlling the governed, and it's not only unrealistic, but naieve to think otherwise. The US government is just as guilty of this as Iran or North Korea, as we've been witness to over the past few decades since the witch hunt of the 50's, the difference being that the US government's limits are more in line with our expectations, and the Iranian government's limits are not. That and what we define to be within the boundaries of "good" appear to be more productive than what North Korea defines to be "good."

            Anyway, I digress.

            As soon as they get their act together, we should be seeing more OSS initiatives from China. After all, they wouldn't want the NSA hiding keyloggers in the export versions of Windows or Acrobat or PowerDVD or WOW or stuff like that. China will want control of the software that gets installed in their government computers, and oddly enough, the only way to do that without reinventing the wheel is to release control of the software.

            Of course, proprietary software is still useful for making surveillance tools, but that's something we get to choose to install on our systems--for now at least.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by bloodninja (1291306)

              (the culture certainly doesn't have any interest in the concept of "intellectual property")
              What culture does?
              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by Fred_A (10934)

                What culture does?
                There's a faint possibility that the people recently revealed in the Amazon basin actually do, but since nobody from the outside is allowed near them we can't be sure. However, one sign is that none of them appears to be running Linux.

            • What's particularly interesting is that China will be a huge proponent of OSS, as the government is very suspicious of closed-source software

              That, or they will just leach and give nothing back. Why would they bother?

              It's ironic, but it also makes sense that "open" governments have to hide their dirty laundry, while governments that have no need to maintain the pretense of being democratic and free can actually openly air their dirty laundry.

              Government has to keep good appearances, otherwise it will be re

              • by zappepcs (820751)

                That, or they will just leach and give nothing back. Why would they bother?

                Have you seen written Chinese?
                Perhaps you've seen some of the foreign language attempts at putting warning labels in English on their products? Google for it, it's fun.

                Language and dialects will ensure that they will contribute at least as far as making software compatible with their own language. Google translate does not make good foreign language error messages, and totally mangles the man pages. So, efforts like RedFlag Linux http://www.redflag-linux.com/chanpin/eindex.php [redflag-linux.com] just read their web site Engl

          • Capitalism (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Z34107 (925136) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:07AM (#23627927)

            Just to nitpick, capitalism works just in a lack of scarcity. DRM and DMCA is a government and legislation thing - capitalism is an economic system.

            Traditional Adam-Smith-Invisible-Hand-esque capitalist economics say MP3s should be free.

          • "Capitalism works on axiom 'there is infinite human needs and wants, in a world of finite resources' and it can't normally work in world where production (copying) and distribution is very cheep, so it must make resources scares artificially (DRM and such)."

            Actually, Capitalism can work in the situation you describe, it's just that we've never tried it. What people refer to as "capitalism" in today's world isn't really Capitalism.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Enderandrew (866215)
          For what it is worth, Yugoslavia under Marshall Tito worked out fairly well. He took several ethnic groups that wanted to kill each other, and kept the peace by trying to enforce a semblance of equality between the groups. After his death, it all went to shit, there was some genocide, and Yugoslavia no longer exists. But the communist rule of Tito in Yugoslavia wasn't a bad thing.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by bloodninja (1291306)

            For what it is worth, Yugoslavia under Marshall Tito worked out fairly well.
            As do numerous small communes throughout the world, most notably the Israeli kibbutzim.
            • Re:Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

              by R2.0 (532027) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:56AM (#23627767)
              "For what it is worth, Yugoslavia under Marshall Tito worked out fairly well."

              For a while - until he died and the lid blew off.

              One of the reasons that Yugoslavia "worked" is that Tito ruthlessly suppressed sectarianism and ethnicities. While it appeared to be a good thing, especially to the eyes of Western liberals who regard religion as evil, it had the effect of building a pressure cooker which blew apart in the 90's, causing violence far in excess of whatever Tito did. Iraq is the same way - Saddam suppressed the Kurds and Shia, and "kept the peace". But in doing so, he set the seeds for the situation we see now, with the US popping the cork prematurely.

              You can't take large populations of ethnically and religiously diverse populations, put them in close contact, and tell them "Get along - or else". It just doesn't work over the long term.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by LizardKing (5245)

            For what it is worth, Yugoslavia under Marshall Tito worked out fairly well.

            Hmm, and that would have nothing to do with the lack of free elections, state controlled media and secret police would it? It also was decidedly not a Communist state, more of a totalitarian one with a Socialist tinged economy, as it had a limited free-market economy. As for "going to shit" after Tito died, it was already headed that way with the Croatians openly protesting against the Federal Republic since 1971 (read up on the

        • Re:Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rbanffy (584143) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:23AM (#23628099) Homepage Journal
          While there is a great deal of overlap between communism and police states with aggressive dictatorships, they are not synonyms.

          Often, the flag of communism is used as a bait to induce an unsatisfied population to help a group to rise to power and as an excuse to create mechanisms for repression of the previous government and, ultimately, to betray those ideals and the people who supported them as soon as their help is no longer necessary or their cooperation can be obtained by other means.

          It's indeed a tragedy. But let's not confuse things. Neither non-communist countries are automatically paradises of civil rights nor communist countries are inevitably police-states. Things are a lot more complex than that.
      • Re:Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:49AM (#23626241) Journal
        Be that so. Although some Russian leaders have ruined the idea of communism for many people,

        Who supplied you with all your news about what was going on in those Communist states? Was it Stalin, or was it your own national news?

        It's not communism-the-economic-model that's the problem, it's totalitarianism-the-political-model. You can't dissociate the two in your mind because your own nation has been brainwashing you to think of them as inseparable, most likely since the time you were born.

        Both democratic capitalist states and totalitarian communist states have carrots and sticks.

        In the democratic state, you are dominated through economics, but liberated from autocratic government, in totalitarian communist states, you are dominated by government, but liberated from dynastic capitalist empires.

        Capitalism is the same as Totalitarianism, Communism is the same as Democracy, ain't nobody free on this hunk of dirt, and very few who even know well enough how to even ask for freedom in the first place.
        • by Nerdposeur (910128) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:12AM (#23626509) Journal

          It's not communism-the-economic-model that's the problem...

          So removing people's monetary incentives to work harder or learn difficult skills is not a problem? You must have a lot of faith in people's unselfishness.

          Your naive outlook makes you a perfect target for domination. ;)

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by xappax (876447)
            So removing people's natural desire to work together or share knowledge about difficult skills is not a problem? You must have a lot of faith in people's selfishness.

            Your sociopathic outlook makes you a perfect businessperson, but questionable human being. ;)
            • So removing people's natural desire to work together or share knowledge about difficult skills is not a problem? You must have a lot of faith in people's selfishness.

              Touche. But I read the parent poster's comment to mean "Communism is not inherently worse than capitalism." I disagree. While there are clearly people who will create FOSS merely for their own satisfaction, there are plenty of unpleasant/difficult jobs out there, and you either have to force people to do them, or entice them. The most straigh

              • by shywolf9982 (887636) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:15AM (#23627235)
                Okay, we're going a bit offroad here. Medics were paid more (in a way or another) even in the communist states.
                The fundamental difference between capitalism and communism was that capitalism was an ecosystem with different needs and actors, each pulling for its own side, and this combined "pulling" made the system reach a stability (it's a natural stable system).
                Communism, on the other hand, called for totally arbitrary pre-planning of economy (you couldn't really go and tell people "do what the fuck you want"), which were the infamous Quinquennial plans of the Soviets.
                The communist approach did had one highlight: the quick electirifcation and modernization of Russia. However, on the other hand, any single mistake from the "big bosses" in the Kremlin had catastrophic consequences.
                With a capitalist system, we can afford having completely dumb leaders :D.
                • Communism, on the other hand, called for totally arbitrary pre-planning of economy (you couldn't really go and tell people "do what the fuck you want"), which were the infamous Quinquennial plans of the Soviets.

                  That is a falsehood. The arbitrary nature of planning comes from a lack of democratic process in determining leadership, not from the nature of the economic system. If a responsive democratic process were in place, this would not happen.
                  • The problem with "planning" an economy for some ridiculously long period of time (say anything over 30 days) is not a lack of democracy. They didn't get a failure of planning because people couldn't "vote" on what the plan should be.

                    The problem with centralized planning is much more basic than that: with current science/technology it is impossible to predict future conditions with the degree of accuracy necessary for such planning to work. A "planned" economy cannot react to crises or the unforeseen with th
            • by Nerdposeur (910128) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:14AM (#23627231) Journal

              P.S. - I *do* have a lot of faith in people's selfishness. And I like it when I can plainly see that their selfish motives will compel them to do something that benefits me.

              When someone says "I want to give you free money for no apparent reason," I see no reason for them to be so selfless and I am suspicious. When someone says "I want to do the dirty work of fixing your car in exchange for big bucks," I understand their motives and think it's safe to trust them.

              I know some wonderfully unselfish people, but when dealing with strangers, I do not assume that they're wonderfully unselfish. Do you?

        • It's not communism-the-economic-model that's the problem, it's totalitarianism-the-political-model. You can't dissociate the two in your mind because your own nation has been brainwashing you to think of them as inseparable, most likely since the time you were born.

          I can't dissociate the two in my mind because practical experience has amply demonstrated that the economic model of communism needs a totalitarian state to work. Can you cite one single example of a country that adopted a communist economy under

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jonny_eh (765306)
        Communism/totalitarianism == top down control of people and the economy

        Capitalism/Democracy == Emergent economy, and bottom up determinacy of government.

        Commercial software develop sounds more like communism, and OOS sounds more like capitalism. It's all about perspective.
        • Capitalism/Democracy == Emergent economy, and bottom up determinacy of government.

          Oh yeah, it sure is great how we in the USA have such excellent representation in government. By golly, our system 'just works!'
          /sarcasm
        • Re:Microsoft (Score:4, Insightful)

          by xappax (876447) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:38AM (#23626797)
          This is a common misconception. Communism does not imply authoritarian control of the economy.

          Large-scale implementations of communism have tended to use authoritarian control to force a communist economic model. This was, in my opinion, an astonishingly bad idea.

          Communism simply means that the economy is managed by the community. If the community government is totalitarian, communism will be enforced through totalitarianism. If the community government is a decentralized direct democracy, then the economy will be managed through direct democratic involvement by all the people.

          This is in contrast to capitalism, in which the economy is ostensibly managed by nobody, and in practice managed by those who control the lions share of money or resources. This commonly leads to a small number of successful capitalists gaining effective centralized control of the economy.

          Since a capitalist economy cannot be managed by the community, there is no recourse should the economy become dominated by a small number of centralized companies or people. Despite the democratic, emergent properties of the community government, the economy can still easily slip into a model that is centralized in all but name.
          • The GP makes the fundamental mistake of assuming that capitalism is somehow freeing, and intimates that all participants are on an equal footing:

            Capitalism/Democracy == Emergent economy, and bottom up determinacy of government.

            This is patently false, as anyone paying attention to the development of the US economy and US politics should be aware.

            Meanwhile, the parent has correctly recognized that capitalism works on the principle of capital concentration, meaning that very few participants actually ha

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by halivar (535827)
        Some of us like FOSS because of its capitalist and free market ideas.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CAIMLAS (41445)
        Here's the thing about software Marxism. Unlike real-world Marxism, nothing is prohibitive: you're still able - anyone is still able - to leverage the "communal" product for personal gain, with enough ingenuity and effort.

        Such principles work in software, because there is (theoretically) infinite supply, whereas every single item in the real world requires production costs by nature. The infinite capacity for being copied, duplicated, and modified (cheaply!) negates the negatives of the philosophy much more
      • It could also be seen as christian ("Many hands make light work") or many other organizations of people of good will.

        What breaks "communism" is evil human nature. What makes communism work is good human nature.

        And the exact same thing can be said for capitalism and democracy. We are witnessing the destruction of both because the loss of reasonableness and good will by corporations and people of power.
    • I thought open source was terrorism [theregister.co.uk]! I guess we have to wait for the al-Qaeda version of OpenOffice. Soon the world's mujahideen will have the full open suite of office productivity tools they need to destroy the Zionist-Crusader alliance.
    • Actually that was the first thing I thought. The idea of Red "commie" Office just seems so Fox News friendly.

      With talk of Wikipedia as Maoist and Linus's "communist roots", I'm not looking forward to the cultural backlash on all things "Open".
    • by thegnu (557446)
      I think that open source is functional anarchy, actually.

      OSS is NOT communism:
      1. Nobody HAS to contribute according to their means.
      2. Nobody HAS to receive according to their need.
      3. Everybody does what they want.
      4. ???
      5. Profit!
      • by dintech (998802)
        This is my understanding too and I like it that way. Microsoft hates it because there are too many steps before step 5 and they don't understand step 4. :)
  • by poetmatt (793785) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:05AM (#23625831) Journal
    Here's the short answer: no.

    Here's the long answer: every derivative of OO can make its own UI if they choose to, such as in this case from windows. This doesn't mean all OO will do so. Therefore, no.
  • by ionix5891 (1228718)
    imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?
  • by Aehgts (972561) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:20AM (#23625963) Homepage Journal
    An article written in English showing a Chinese program being installed on a French OS.
    I'm sure the new UI is fantastic, based on the eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs
    with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was.

    Makes me want to install RedOffice and blog about it.
    And then three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people installing RedOffice and blogging about it.
    They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,
    I said fifty people a day installing RedOffice and blogging about it.
    And friends they may thinks it's a movement.


    (Apologies to Arlo)
    • by tecker (793737)
      And on Spanish Ubuntu!
    • by bloodninja (1291306) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:38AM (#23626143)

      An article written in English showing a Chinese program being installed on a French OS.
      No. It's an article written in English showing a Chinese program being installed on a French virtual machine running in a Spanish OS.

      Fuck.
    • You forgot something...

      That Windows is running on a virtual machine (Virtual BoX) over a Linux OS configured on spanish... so...

      English article about a Chinese RedOffice installed on a french Windows XP running on a VM on a spanish Linux...

      Now THAT'S difficult...
    • Aehgts, they have a special bench for people like you... :-)

      To avoid being totally off-topic, let me say that copying Office 2007 is not the swiftest move in the universe. I don't hate Microsoft the way MOST people around here do, but for the life of me I can't explain why they changed the UI so much for Office 2007. Stuff I've known how to do since the 1980s in Word and Excel are suddenly difficult to do. I assume the functions are still there, I just can't bloody find them.

      And now there is a version o

      • "Who's the bigger fool? The Fool or the fool that follows the fool.

        Reading that I can't decide whether I feel better about having abandoned word processors when Word killed WordPerfect years ago, or smug that I've been happily using LaTeX ever since.

        I'd settle for smug, but then I'd be the fool if I didn't recognise that it's what happens in the corporate world (at least in the area of office software) that sets the rules and standards the rest of us are obliged to follow.
        • Well, you seem to think that LaTeX is a word processor... so one has to take everything you say on the subject with a block of salt.
          • by amorsen (7485)
            Perhaps you should learn to read:

            [..]abandoned word processors[..], or smug that I've been happily using LaTeX ever since.
            The grand parent gave up on word processors and switched to LaTeX. If he thought that LaTeX was a word processor, he wouldn't be able to use LaTeX and at the same time not use a word processor.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TuringTest (533084)

        I can't explain why they changed the UI so much for Office 2007.Stuff I've known how to do since the 1980s in Word and Excel are suddenly difficult to do. I assume the functions are still there, I just can't bloody find them.

        The interface has been changed so that the people who couldn't find all the options that where hidden in a 2nd-level tab under the 3rd-level menus, now can bloody find them more easily. For the first time and against all MS tradition, they have boldly broken backwards compatibility in i

  • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:21AM (#23625981) Journal

    Really, I seem to remember some of these GUI changes from the KOffice GUI design contest a year or two ago. So who exactly are they copying?

  • Seeing the screenshots, I realize that displaying the tools vertically on each side of the screen is the only good way to smartly use your screen space, as long as your document is in "portrait" mode and that most of the screen these days are more large than high...
  • by tecker (793737) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:32AM (#23626079) Homepage
    The server is bleeding bad. Less then 20 Posts and its already down. Be Kind and use the cache [nyud.net]
  • I prefer the nice hiding menus in earlier versions of office, after you've been using them for a while you only see the functions you use not a whole mess of stuff you don't want taking up loads of real estate.
    • Taking up screen space is my biggest complaint about the UI for MSOffice 2007. I prefer the layout and such, but the inability to customize icon sizes and empty space and such is annoying. A lot like the Sidebar in Vista, from the little I've used it it seems to be fixed to a certain spot on the screen with fixed widget sizes.

      I do prefer ribbonish UIs over menu bars though. I'd like to see more apps get on the bandwagon so some refinement can happen. Something as simple as making all of the panels quick to
    • by MightyYar (622222)

      I prefer the nice hiding menus
      Diffrn't strokes... that's the first thing I turn off. :)
      • ah, you're one of those people who enjoy going through the list of 500 applications they've installed trying to find the correct one.
        • by MightyYar (622222)
          Oh hell no! I hit Command-Shift and start typing the name of the application, if it's not already sitting on my Dock.
  • by bazorg (911295) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:36AM (#23626119) Homepage
    I for one welcome... using less toolbars at the top and bottom edges of the screen. I've been trying to find an add-on for Firefox to allow just that, as there is plenty of empty space on the sides of my "wide screen" when I'm not watching films.

    Arranging all toolbars as "vertical ribbons" with the current OOo is possible and I kind of like it.

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:43AM (#23626203)
    So many people have thanked me for installing OpenOffice.org to replace the totally unusable MS Office 2007, that I really hope this remains a Chinese feature.

    MS Office 2007 ribbons is the best thing MS could have done to promote OOo adoption. We should all send 'thank you' letters to uncle Steve for that.
    • by RootWind (993172) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:47AM (#23626891)
      To tell you the truth, I think it is dependent on how willing the person is to learn new things. Here's what I found out with a small sample (probably not representative). I was tasked with rolling out Office 2007 as a trial to a group of 185 college students and ~70 faculty. From our informal survey, approval over 2003 after initial 1 hour exposure: Students: 62.1%; Faculty: 42.8%. After 1 month, Students: 82.1%; Faculty: 54.3%. From the students and faculty that said they were not familiar with Office, the majority preferred 2007. And as expected, those who considered themselves experts, mostly preferred 2003.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pdusen (1146399)
      Oh, where to begin. I have not met a person who has used Office 2007 and chose specifically to go back to 2003 (And this is a university setting here, with all sorts of stupidity and entitlement flying around.) The fact is that Office 2007's interface is totally superior to that of earlier office versions, and to OpenOffice.org. The only issue that ANYONE can cite is that it is different. But unlike other application UI changes, if you sit down with the new ribbon for five minutes or less (and I have compl
  • Big Red (Score:2, Funny)

    by Gothmolly (148874)
    Does it automatically inform the authorities when you commit thoughtcrime ?
  • The trouble with Chinese OpenOffice: thirty minutes after I'm done writing a document, I want to write it again.

    • by Sfing_ter (99478)
      You should type it with chopsticks, it takes longer and you feel more satisfied when you're done.
  • From the screenshots, it looks more like they stole the UI from Gimp or Photoshop. I see nothing even remotely similar to Office 2007's ribbon in there.
  • new UI inspired from Microsoft Office 2007 [...] Is this the future of OpenOffice.org?

    When OOo came, I was thrilled to hear there was an alternative to MS-Word. It turned out to be a bloated MS-Word clone, just orders of magnitude slower, and filled with bugs.

    For somoeone who hated Word, it was the same but worse.

    I sure hope the future of OOo is NOT to continue (badly) cloning MS-word. I have not tried Office 2007 yet, but I still hope that some day OOo can offer a real alternative and be different.

    (In the
    • When OOo came, I was thrilled to hear there was an alternative to MS-Word. It turned out to be a bloated MS-Word clone, just orders of magnitude slower, and filled with bugs.

      Indeed. EVERYONE seems to be cloning the worst features of Word, because that's apparently by far the easiest way to create a program that can roundtrip to Word and back without losing formatting. And that's apparently the only critical feature.

      So I've given up. By preference I write documents in HTML+CSS now. I'd use Docbook or somethi
    • When OOo came, I was thrilled to hear there was an alternative to MS-Word. It turned out to be a bloated MS-Word clone, just orders of magnitude slower, and filled with bugs.

      Have you tried AbiWord? Certainly it's a Word clone, but it's small, and fast, and free.

  • Lotus Symphony (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:56AM (#23627001)
    Back when I tried the Alpha version of Lotus Symphony, I really liked the UI and the fact that I could import WordPro documents (as we're standardized on *shudder* Lotus WordPro here at work). What I didn't like was that Symphony would change all OpenOffice.org file associations to itself when it was installed and every time it was run. There was no option to leave the file associations alone. (Much less an opt-in to change them in the first place.)

    Since then, I've kept a wary eye on Symphony. Their latest release notes state: "It is now supported to change the file types to be associated with IBM Lotus Symphony during installation." In addition, the notes talk about a "File Type Associations panel." Hopefully, this means that they realized the error in the Alpha version and have made the file associations opt-in both on install and on program launch.

    (If anyone knows for sure, I'd be happy to hear what the latest version does with file type associations.)
  • Developing software with the "Fluent UI" (ribbon interface in common mouth) is permitted by Microsoft, except when the software directly competes with the Microsoft Office 2007 line of products. This license was most likely written with OOo and the likes in mind. It can be debated whether this interface is similar enough or not though, but there you have it anyway.

    Office UI licensing site [microsoft.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by D Ninja (825055)
      Would this be a patent enforcement? I don't understand how a software license can enforce something like this.

      Can you explain (legalese is not my thing)?
  • In China, (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gzipped_tar (1151931)
    ... only old people use RedOffice. Well seriously, although RedOffice is rarely used even in China (most of us use OO or MS Office), it's worth a try. As far as I know, the RedOffice is part of the Red Flag OS, a Redhat-based Linux desktop OS aimed at the business desktop market. One thing I don't like about the Red Flag, apart from the name, is their tradition of copying MS's UI design. It's desktop environment (GNOME if I remembered correctly) looks notoriously like Windows XP. Several years ago Red Fla

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