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Review of KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8 – On Windows 162

Posted by timothy
from the didn't-see-that-coming-did-you dept.
4WebChimps writes "As featured previously on Slashdot, the KOffice project is working towards a cross-platform, open source office suite for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. The most recent release, KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8, achieved that goal by being the first release for all three operating systems simultaneously. Want to try KOffice on Windows? TechWorld has a review (with screenshots) of KOffice on Windows, including the installation process which is as simple as clicking a few buttons (the online installer does the rest). Hopefully it won't be long before KOffice sits alongside OpenOffice.org as a usable cross-platform open source productivity suite."
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Review of KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8 – On Windows

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  • This is nice, but what I want to see is kwrite ported natively to windows.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by entrigant (233266)

      already done

    • Re:kwrite? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:54AM (#24056765)
      What do you mean native? MSOffice uses it's own toolkit, not the standard windows toolkit. KOffice is using QT, so that's non-standard too.

      Look, think about it as a positive. Lots of people are testing the same UI on different platforms so any bugs found on Linux will be fixed in Windows too. Also users can move between operating systems without having a radically different interface.

      Strategically KOffice matters to the Office File Format debate... OpenDocument (ODF) vs Microsofts OOXML.

      Healthy competition in standards is needed like it is in the browser market. KOffice uses ODF (of course it couldn't use OOXML without reverse-engineering) and by being the second most popular implementation it helps keep OpenOffice.org honest (not that there's any sign that they're not honest). When MSOffice support ODF then KOffice will be more important still -- it will help evaluate ODF compliance and interoperability. [softwarefreedom.org]

      Microsoft Office earns them 10 billion and a part of that is coming out of your country's economy -- competition in the form of KOffice is very good indeed. It's particularly good that they're embracing Windows -- it worked for Firefox.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mrbluze (1034940)

        It's particularly good that they're embracing Windows -- it worked for Firefox.

        Yep, pretty soon I'll be installing Firefox to replace my Windows installation.

      • Re:kwrite? (Score:5, Informative)

        by SpooForBrains (771537) on Friday July 04, 2008 @09:20AM (#24057987)

        What does he mean? He means he would like to see Kwrite [kde-apps.org] ported natively to Windows.

        The word processing component of Koffice, to which I assume you think he is referring, is called "KWord".

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tweenk (1274968)

        I'll allow myself to go on a slightly off-topic rant here.

        This "cross-platform UI" thing in OO.o is ridiculous. It looks like shit, at least the GTK interface. Even the scrollbars aren't correct if you look closely, and refreshing issues make the equation editor nearly unusable. This is because their GUI abstraction layer is FUBAR.

        There are only 3 corect ways here:
        1. Same look on all platforms by using a toolkit that draws its own widgets
        2. Use a windowing toolkit like GTK or WxWidgets, and let the toolkit

        • There are only 3 corect ways here: 1. Same look on all platforms by using a toolkit that draws its own widgets 2. Use a windowing toolkit like GTK or WxWidgets, and let the toolkit devs sort out the look on ach platform 3. Write a native interface for each platform

          Actually, OO.o uses number 1. The main problem of course that OO.o is too old: many parts were coded by many people in different times on different platforms. That's why it looks and behaves like total junky - independent of platform you are running it on.

          But my first though was that you #1 is impossible. Because you chain yourself to update your application - eternally - to catch up with all the little UI improvement introduced with every minor OS update. It's just not practical. Or better say, it does

          • by Tweenk (1274968)

            You don't understand my point #1. #1 means a GUI that looks completely out of whack of how the rest of the OS looks, but is the same on most platforms. Like a Swing application mith Metal style. What you refer to is a combination of 1, 2 and 3. They attempt to emulate the look of the platform, and they supply a different emulation for each platform they support, but they don't touch the platform's native widget interface. This way is doomed to eternal brokenness, and at this point I agree with you.

            Additiona

      • Re:kwrite? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by thermian (1267986) on Friday July 04, 2008 @11:52AM (#24059335)

        Thanks, actually I already tried this, and it's not that good, unfortunately. It lags rather a lot on my machine, and the text rendering is quite poor too.

        Not that it isn't a nice start, but that's why I specified 'native'. I want Kwrite working on windows without needing anything but windows QT.

        • by Slashcrap (869349)

          Not that it isn't a nice start, but that's why I specified 'native'. I want Kwrite working on windows without needing anything but windows QT.

          You paid for your OS, so if you want this so bad you can pay for someone to do the huge amount of work involved, you freeloading cunt.

        • "I want Kwrite working on windows without needing anything but windows QT."

          That you won't get.

          Kwrite is NOT a Qt app. It is a KDE app, so you can't get kwrite without KDE (foundation).

  • euch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:35AM (#24056659)
    Anyone else really hate online installers? I hate downloading a 20meg program, getting ready to install and use only to find out that you've then got to wait for the real 200meg program to download.

    Some people like to start a download then go off and have lunch whilst something downloads, not to come back and find out it wants you to download some more stuff.

    • One more here.

      I can't think of a benefit that couldn't be replicated through another method with both less hassle for the user AND less work for the developers.

      • Re:euch (Score:5, Informative)

        by MrHanky (141717) on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:07AM (#24056829) Homepage Journal

        The benefit is that the installer will take care of dependencies, so that the user doesn't have to install a >100 MB package for each program she wants, or to install a huge package of apps if she only wants a few.

        I can't think of a reason why this shouldn't be obvious.

        • Re:euch (Score:5, Insightful)

          by 19061969 (939279) on Friday July 04, 2008 @08:04AM (#24057431)

          Maybe a lot of users don't know what a software dependency is?

          It's a valid point - very few people in the real world care or understand about what a shared library is even if you tell them carefully. Let's face it - being into computers is not a majority thing. Most people don't give a stuff. They really just want things to work easily for them.

          • Re:euch (Score:5, Insightful)

            by MrHanky (141717) on Friday July 04, 2008 @09:13AM (#24057913) Homepage Journal

            That's a perfectly valid point, but those people shouldn't pollute Slashdot with their silly complaints. Back in the days, people who self-identified as "nerds" would have endless and pointless discussions of making Linux-powered robots that could brew coffee, or configuring Emacs to do it or whatever (single-threaded coffee, urgh), but these days there's a loud majority of Slashbots who seem to think that market share is the only valid goal and hence the only valid technical goal is that idiots should be able to use it: the idiot as the epitome and endpoint of human technical endeavours.

            These people claim the superiority of "it just works" over "how does it work?", and regularly chip in with smug Apple sales pitches, technically and socially impossible suggestions such as that Gnome and KDE should merge, and that software with special dependencies should work just as software without those. The only positive way to deal with these idiots is with sarcasm. I'm sure that if we cared about their views, then we should listen to them, but we shouldn't.

        • by scorp1us (235526)

          The problem is not that there is an installer that takes care of the depenencies. It is that *every* *damn* *program* needs its /own/ installer.

          What we need is something akin to a torrent program, where the dependencies and actual program are transmitted to one program whose extension is registered with a universal handler. This is no different than apt or those other page management solutions.

          The distinction is that grandparent post is complaining about an exe, and I agree that he shouldn't have an exe - t

      • by tepples (727027) <tepples.gmail@com> on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:51AM (#24057049) Homepage Journal

        I can't think of a benefit that couldn't be replicated through another method with both less hassle for the user AND less work for the developers.

        Slashdot recently ran a story about a study of dial-up Internet users [slashdot.org], which showed that 49 percent of dial-up Internet users in the United States couldn't afford broadband. The OpenOffice.org project works around this by listing vendors that will distribute copies on CDs for a fee [openoffice.org]. Once KOffice for Windows is out of alpha and beta, who will be the first to do the same for KOffice?

    • Re:euch (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hedwards (940851) on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:03AM (#24056809)

      An online installer shouldn't be 20mb, it should be less than 2mb and pull in just the components necessary to install the rest of the program. The exact size is going to vary from application to application.

      The point of online installers is that they are in theory at least going to be downloading just what you're installing. If a program doesn't offer any options in terms of what to install, it shouldn't offer an online installer as there isn't really any benefit to doing so.

      • by funfail (970288)

        If a program doesn't offer any options in terms of what to install, it shouldn't offer an online installer as there isn't really any benefit to doing so.

        Well, it guarantees that you are installing the latest version but I don't think that it's a real benefit either.

        • Latest version, fine... but whats the 20MB's then? Is the EULA, and ReadMe all in some PDF or something, with some giant flash-based introduction nonsense while it installs... with music?

          Like hedwards said, it shouldn't be 20MB, and it shouldn't even be 2MB, a generic Online-Install for a single OS can be as small as 150KB or so and still cover most of the major languages/etc.

          • Re:euch (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Ginger Unicorn (952287) on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:27AM (#24056933)
            it seems to be a kind of mini package manager that runs on windows, that allows you to install kde apps the same way you do on linux. so this installer thing doesnt just install koffice - it stays on your system and allows you to install and uninstall any other kde apps that become available for windows in the future.

            i think i heard that kde have a long term plan of being able to run a full KDE desktop session on top of windows - presumably this package manager is the foundation of that ultimate goal.

            • Re:euch (Score:4, Informative)

              by Vectronic (1221470) on Friday July 04, 2008 @07:00AM (#24057093)

              Indeed, I was hoping they would be a little more quick with it, but I think you are right in saying "long term plan" was about right, although I imagine that if its anything like Slashdot (et al) that trying to find people to blaspheme and create Windows stuff is a problem.

              Although, im not sure where the 20MB's came from now anyways (I responded before even looking).. but after looking [kde.org] the installer is only 1.6MB ... which isnt too bad, seeing how many languages it supports, and the fact it may even come with 2 different compilers aswell...

    • by ageforce_ (719072)
      AFAIK KDE-lib depends on many libraries. It would be a waste of bandwidth to bundle these libraries to every KDE-program. If you install Amarok and Koffice you should not need to download these libraries twice.
    • At least atm the windows version is still kinda linuxy. If you look at the first screenshot in the article, it's the list of dependencies the installer's going to download. If you really want to, you can download all of them manually, put them in the packages directory and it will use them during installation. But that's a pretty crazy way of doing this.

      It should be quite easy to create an image containing KOffice and all dependencies (perhaps with a seperate image for kdelibs+Qt) that you can download and

    • Anyone else really hate online installers?

      Yes! Why do developers assume that every computer has a fast, always-on connection to the internet? Some computers, for reasons of security, practicality, expense or other reasons, are not connected (or only sometimes connected, or slowly connected). If I can't download a full package that can be installed on another computer from a USB flash drive, then that's a program I won't be installing.

      And while we're on the topic of annoying installers, I also hate the
    • by swillden (191260)

      I hate downloading a 20meg program, getting ready to install and use only to find out that you've then got to wait for the real 200meg program to download.

      That does indeed suck, but it's offtopic, since the KDE Win installer is 1.5 MB [winkde.org]. That's not so big these days.

  • Why ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RalphLeon (856789) on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:41AM (#24056697) Homepage

    Why had this taken so long? KOffice is built with Qt, a robust cross-platform gui toolkit, http://trolltech.com/products/qt/ [trolltech.com].

    Being a enterprise developer using Qt, the worse that I've had to deal with is some linking issues with dynamic libraries and GUI adjustments when porting to windows from linux...

    Perhaps the "KDE" portion of the code is harder to port than the "Qt" portion?

    • Re:Why ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:47AM (#24056727)

      Because the older versions of Qt that the old KDE was built on was only free/Free on Linux. Windows Qt used to be only available with a expensive commercial license, and nobody from KDE felt like paying for the privilege of supplying free software to Windows users.

    • Re:Why ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by entrigant (233266) on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:48AM (#24056733)

      QT was not GPL on windows until version 4

    • Re:Why ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by should_be_linear (779431) on Friday July 04, 2008 @07:32AM (#24057241)
      This is where Java shines. In C++, you can use platform-independent frameworks, but still you need for each and every platform to setup (possibly virtual) machine with compilation build-chain, installation process, and you better test if final result really works or some library is missing. Assuming you don't use 64-bit version of each platform, which doubles maintenance/QA effort. After all this you just *hope* you don't recieve that "Your app regularly crash on my FreeBSD x.y.z !" e-mail. For big projects like KDE/KOffice obviously this is problem, hence delay of KOffice Windows version, for small development team it is *huge* problem. This is why I really love Java, I almost forgot all STL incompatibility issues and C++ compiler nuances. Its not that Java program cannot behave different on various platforms, its that I encountered it once for last 3 years, and its fixed already in Java 6.
    • Re:Why ... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jstaniek (967692) on Friday July 04, 2008 @07:53AM (#24057381)
      The port was available in 2004 already, but just not maintained. The KDE 4 port is available on Windows since I compiled the stuff in September 2007.

      People are just not aware of that.

      The problem is the deployment of alpha software, we have no volunteers to even make good screenshots (the article shows GIMP on one of them!). Don't expect developers to work more than 24h a day :)

      Again, there is single codebase in most KDE apps (minus examples like Konsole), no "hard porting" is needed except work on dependencies that are non-Qt, e.g. less portable filter dependencies for Krita.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Simon (815)

      Why had this taken so long?

      eeerrr... because they have been busy porting it from Qt3 to Qt4.

      --
      Simon

  • Review? Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by knutert (1142047) on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:45AM (#24056715)
    Calling it a review is stretching it...in short, he installed it and noticed that it ran slow, which is probably because it is alpha software.
    • Calling it a review is stretching it...in short, he installed it and noticed that it ran slow, which is probably because it is alpha software.

      Actually, alpha software is frequently buggy and prone to crashing, but not necessarily slow. Sometimes its faster than the final, actually (and sometimes not).

      Which makes me concerned about what performance this is going to have. If it isn't much faster than OpenOffice, there is really not much chance for it to see wide adoption.

  • Excellent news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by squoozer (730327) on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:47AM (#24056729)

    While this is certainly great news for KDE realistically we are going to be able to count the number of Windows users on one hand. There will be plenty of people (me included) that will down load it to see how good it is but then never use it again because it's incompatable with other office software*. While I know it can read ODF and .doc etc it doesn't do it well enough that it's a drop in replacement for MS Office or even Open Office.

    Personally I really hope that they port Kontact soon. It's streets ahead of Thunderbird and a half way decent competitor to Outlook.

    * any broken formatting when opening a non-native file format means it's incompatible as far as I'm concerned.

    • Re:Excellent news (Score:5, Informative)

      by tomtomtom777 (1148633) on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:54AM (#24056767) Homepage

      My personal favorite is Krita, which IMHO is surpasses GIMP in many ways. Full CMYK support, much more friendly user interface and better intergration with the Office suite.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I can only add my voice of support.
        I hate these hey-find-me-on-your-desktop GIMP windows, and Krita is already as powerful as GIMP (we can only look for some scripting engine).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There will be plenty of people (me included) that will down load it to see how good it is but then never use it again because it's incompatable with other office software*.

      * any broken formatting when opening a non-native file format means it's incompatible as far as I'm concerned.

      KOffice uses ODF as its native format, and MSOffice can't currently handle that.

      Since ODF is the native format for a large number of Office suites:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument_software

      While MS Office' own format is na

  • Unique (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spectrokid (660550) on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:54AM (#24056769) Homepage
    KOffice is different from OO and MSOffice in that it has a clean codebase and is written for a toolkit which actually also is used for something else. Even microsoft doesn't eat its own dogfood and steers clear of dot net for MSOffice. In this way KOffice must be faster growing and could have a nice future.
    • ...when I try new software. "Does it have a clean codebase?"

      Of course the fact that I'm not a coder, and have no way of knowing the answer to this is irrelevant. I'm sure I can find the answer to my question SOMEWHERE, proffered by someone who DOES claim to know.

      The divide between "makers" and "users" of software has NEVER been so evident.

      • by Macka (9388)

        His point about a clean code base is that it lowers the bar for new developers to join the project. By comparison, OOo internals are supposed to be a nightmare maze of twisty little passages and difficult to learn.

        This was the reason why Apple originally chose KDE's KHTML source code over Mozilla's Gecko. Clean, lean, code that was easy to understand, debug and extend. The fruits of that we see today in Safari and Webkit. [webkit.org]

  • Hello, it's running on windows. How about a tag to reflect that? Darn, I hate being a n00b.
  • by madenglishbloke (829598) on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:02AM (#24056797)
    On thing that concerns me - Linux-style package management is something that anyone who has been using Linux for any length of time will know and understand - but for a general 'Doze user to suddenly be told "you want to install packages A, B, +C, which require packages X, Y, +Z", this is going to set off all sorts of alarms. A lot of Windows users are (finally) getting used to the idea that some software will try and install all manner of nasties, they are going to see this list of additional software that needs installing, and freak out, meaning theyre not going to install it. Pity, as this looks as if it could potentially be a viable alternative to MS Orifice or OpenOffice.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Prep_Styles (564065)
      I think your concern is justified, but can they not release a single installer with all necessary files as needed? Windows users would have to wait for someone to release a stable build but I don't see the problem with that. The rest of use can just run it on Linux.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        A single installer would be great - but going off the 6th screen-shot, adding additional features later would invoke the download of extra packages that you didnt explicitly ask for. With my Linux user hat on, I'm thinking "Ok, go ahead" - but with my 'Doze admin hat on, my first instinct is "ok, so whats going on here then?"
    • I'll second that! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gazzonyx (982402) on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:32AM (#24056957)
      I agree. The way that Windows package management, if you will, is geared towards single file binary installers. Or, a network admin install, as MSI supports both. Really, I haven't seen much legit use of DLLs as they were intended (shared libraries) when it comes to applications. After "DLL Hell" everyone just started statically linking in the libraries, and can you blame them? I mean, MSI does have some really cool features, but dependency tracking for DLLs is not one of them.

      I routinely have statically linked executables that will just refuse to uninstall and I can't get rid of the entry. Then I'm stuck ripping out shards of the program from every folder structure and the registry... for the next two years. At that point, they're still resident when I blow away my OS partition and steamroller a new Windows install.

      People are used to Windows install routines by now; you get the programName-setup.exe or .msi, double click on it, and watch the bar go across the screen. And, for the most part, Windows does this well, barring the usual head-desk moments that we all love (aha! let's use spaces in the %programfiles% directory name and then half support them and leave everyone guessing where they should put quotes!) and I don't think that we should try force Linux style library schemes on to a system that doesn't want or need it. Doubly so for users that won't understand it!

      Full disclosure: I run Slackware and Windows at home (and BSD and Mac) and prefer to compile from source, at work we use RHEL and Windows and if not for the ease of having repositories, I'd take MSI-2/3 over RPM-2/3 any day of the week.
      • by lpontiac (173839)

        I mean, MSI does have some really cool features, but dependency tracking for DLLs is not one of them.

        Take a look at C:\Windows\WinSxS on an XP SP2 or later system. MSI won't magically download stuff on demand, and I don't think it does "this version _or better_ handling", but it will save you from having ten different copies of the VC++8.0 runtime on your machine, and I think will allow commonly redistributed libraries to have a common copy receive a security update via Windows Update.

      • by jesterzog (189797)

        Really, I haven't seen much legit use of DLLs as they were intended (shared libraries) when it comes to applications. After "DLL Hell" everyone just started statically linking in the libraries, and can you blame them? I mean, MSI does have some really cool features, but dependency tracking for DLLs is not one of them.

        I'd have to give Microsoft some credit for trying at least, I guess. MSI installers do support Merge Modules, which help the OS to track what's been installed and what hasn't, and will un-inst

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Yfrwlf (998822)
      Regardless of the platform, I'm pretty sure you can include and link to your own libraries if you think the targeted platform may not have them.

      What's really needed is for the LSB to finish ironing out a point of standardization for Linux packages so that all package managers can easily install software packages so that you'll have smaller downloads and better installation management when installing out-of-the-repo software. For Windows users though, it's highly unlikely that they will have any of the req
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ash-Fox (726320)

      this is going to set off all sorts of alarms. A lot of Windows users are (finally) getting used to the idea that some software will try and install all manner of nasties, they are going to see this list of additional software that needs installing, and freak out, meaning theyre not going to install it. Pity, as this looks as if it could potentially be a viable alternative to MS Orifice or OpenOffice.

      Windows users install runtimes all the time, .net runtime, java runtime, visual basic runtime, new msvc runti

  • FLOSS flood (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zarlino (985890) on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:16AM (#24056883) Homepage
    in a year or two, as this ports mature, Windows and OSX are going to be flooded with KDE free software: Amarok music player, Gwenview image viewer, Digikam photo manager, Kopete instant messenger, and many many more. I think this is exciting news but probably a bit scary for commercial ISVs...
    • Firefox was the single greatest tool for me to use to help people realize there's options other than Windows and OSX. On Linux or BSD: "Oh wow, it's exactly the same!" I've even run across a fair few people who are familiar with VLC or pidgin or maybe some other solid F/OSS program to show them that trying something that isn't made by MS or Apple doesn't mean it's going to be completely different or foreign or difficult. If KDE stuff spreads onto Windows and OSX as you're predicting, as unintuitive as it

    • Personally, I really like Amarok... Winamp is a close second imho, and iTunes is an abomination by comparison... would love to see it on windows and osx.. :) I know you can force-feed amarok into osx, but it isn't very nice yet.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:33AM (#24056965)

    ... and they want their UI back.

  • by wrook (134116) on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:47AM (#24057021) Homepage

    I've been a TeX user most of my working life. But since becoming a teacher, I've realized that I need a word processor for making pretty handouts. Each one of my handouts is layed out differently, so doing that in TeX was taking too much time.

    But, OOWriter is driving me batty. Really, I just need to make numbered paragraphs with numbered points underneath. I need to be able to paste pretty clipart and wrap paragraphs around or through them. I need to be able to write Japanese text. And I need to be able to output PDF (optionally doc file format too).

    It shouldn't be too bad. But OOWriter is insane. It keeps renumbering my paragraphs, seemingly randomly (and often between loads and saves). It changes my fonts on me (again often between loads and saves). I've tried to turn off every fricken' "auto" feature I can, but it still insists on guessing what I want (badly). I really do hate it.

    So my question is, is there a very simple word processor that I can use to do simple construction and layout that does *nothing* automatically and works *every single time* without fucking up my formatting?

    • by TeknoHog (164938) on Friday July 04, 2008 @07:01AM (#24057099) Homepage Journal
      I'm a teacher and I use TeX almost always to write handouts. Occasionally I get compliments on the nice and professional look :) Anyway, my usual choice for a "word processor" is Abiword, along with Gnumeric for spreadsheets. They may be a little on the light/simple side of things, but at least they don't try overthink you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by apathy maybe (922212)

      I looked at http://www.lyx.org/ [lyx.org] a few years ago, and it was alright. It wasn't what I wanted though, not needing or knowing LaTeX.

      However, you already use TeX, so it might just what you want.

      Or alternatively, have a look at AbiWord from http://www.abisource.com/ [abisource.com] it is simple, and shouldn't screw things up if you use the native file format (an XML based thingy).

      I use AbiWord all the time for quick loading WP without too many fancy things. One caveat, it sometimes crashes for no explicable reason, and then ca

    • by maxume (22995) on Friday July 04, 2008 @07:16AM (#24057169)

      Uncheck "Gremlins" on the advanced options tab.

    • Last I checked it was at 1.5.5 and it is really easy to use. A lot of time that you otherwise waste with formatting is simply saved by its approach. Given you already have experience of using TeX you might like it.

    • by pwizard2 (920421)

      So my question is, is there a very simple word processor that I can use to do simple construction and layout that does *nothing* automatically and works *every single time* without fucking up my formatting?

      Try Scribus. [scribus.net] It's a nice little desktop publishing program that does quite a bit, (with more being added each release) although it's nowhere near as powerful as Indesign, Quark, or Framemaker. I personaly use the 1.3.4 development version but the stable version is still useful. Note: Files created in a

    • by rrkap (634128)

      It isn't free, but the ONLY word processor I've found that is reasonably capable and doesn't fuck up my formatting is WordPerfect. I've used versions 8-11, so I can't speak for the latest version, but for the versions I have used, nothing comes close in ease of formatting. It's a shame that its Word compatibility isn't perfect, otherwise I wouldn't be stuck using Word for every document that I have to exchange.

      • by Peter H.S. (38077)

        Oh, WordPerfect. The only Windows software I miss on Linux. Was a (paying) user since the 5.1 DOS version until around MS-Windows 2000. "Reveal codes" was a thing of beauty when handling lots of different documents form different pc's and platforms. Kerning etc. gave superior printresults compared to MS-Word. Had to ditch WP and stop recommending it to others since Corel never did update its dictionary since the DOS version in my native language.

        I believe MS now owns a controlling share in the company now o

        • by wrook (134116)

          I believe MS now owns a controlling share in the company now owning WP, IMHO mostly to prevent that WordPerfect gets ported to QT and becomes a multi-platform wordprocessor on both Windows, Linux and OSX.

          No. MS bought 25% non-voting shares a few years ago for $135M dollars. Then they sold the shares to a venture capital company (Vector -- Paul Allen is one of the investors) for $13M (i.e. less than 10% of the original cost). The shares had a veto on acquisitions. Corel was in the process of trying to make several acquisitions when Vector threatened to squelch all the deals unless the board recommended a Vector buyout.

          Vector ended up buying out the company for about $110M IIRC. However the company had a

          • by Peter H.S. (38077)

            No. MS bought 25% non-voting shares a few years ago for $135M dollars. Then they sold the shares to a venture capital company (Vector -- Paul Allen is one of the investors) for $13M (i.e. less than 10% of the original cost). The shares had a veto on acquisitions. Corel was in the process of trying to make several acquisitions when Vector threatened to squelch all the deals unless the board recommended a Vector buyout.
            Vector ended up buying out the company for about $110M IIRC. However the company had about

      • by wrook (134116)

        Ha ha... I used to be a developer on Word Perfect :-). But I'm afraid that it too doesn't work nearly as well as I'd like (maybe I'm sensitive). However, the reveal codes certainly let you fix problems that crop up.

    • by True Grit (739797) *

      Someone above has already mentioned Lyx, but if you (or anyone else reading this) are already using the KDE environment, there is also Kile [sourceforge.net] which is a Latex front-end app similar to Lyx, but for KDE.

    • It shouldn't be too bad. But OOWriter is insane. It keeps renumbering my paragraphs, seemingly randomly (and often between loads and saves). It changes my fonts on me (again often between loads and saves). I've tried to turn off every fricken' "auto" feature I can, but it still insists on guessing what I want (badly). I really do hate it.

      You have just described my experience over the last several years with MS Word 2000/2003 with numbered/bulleted lists. I have to write lots of SOPs which use lists, and

  • Just tried it out (Score:3, Informative)

    by retro83 (1224258) on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:47AM (#24057023)
    It's a good start! It fires up OK, but cannot open any documents (message says: "Cannot read from start of file"). There are also still a lot of crashes which is to be expected - but unfortunately it leaves a whole load of KDE processes running when it does so. Looks fantastic though, and it starts surprisingly fast. I really hope this becomes stable enough to be a viable alternative to MS/Open Office.

"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but the result's the same." - Mike Dennison

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