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Rekall, Aethera, Kapital... Oh My 144

TheKompany has released a few programs that will surely interest KDE users and Linux users in general. Click below to read about their new software releases. (If you don't know what -- or who -- TheKompany is, you can read Linux.com's interview with TheKompany president Shawn Gordon.)

The first application is ReKall. Rekall is TheKompany's answer to MS Access. Lots of people have asked for this kind of application for Linux, and TheKompany in response has issued this Preview Release version. The Upcoming KOffice will include a version of Rekall. Instead of using Visual Basic like Access does, Rekall uses Python, as well as plug-ins for MySQL, Postgre-SQL, and Informix (other plug-ins for the various databases will follow.) Note: Since Rekall is using KDE-DB (also a contribution to KDE by TheKompany) and KDE-DB will be available only with the upcoming KDE 2.2; you'll need to do some simple compilation and installation. All the instructions are available at their web pages.

The next product is Aethera -- a nice PIM manager to manage all your email as well as contact information. You might say it's competing with Evolution, but both of the projects takes different direction of implementation. Aethera is also expandable with Plug-ins. (Debian packages are also available).

While ReKall and Aethera are Open Source, the last one is a commercial product called Kapital, which is an Quicken/MS Money workalike. The product costs money (you can find those prices at the above link) and it has one of the nicest and easiest GUI's I've been played with. You can download the beta to test it and find for yourself. (Debian packages are available for Kapital as well.)

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ReKall, Aethera, Kapital... oh my

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Because if they picked a KDE-based suite the GNOME-ists would cry unholy murder and if they picked a GNOME-based suite the KDEanista's would renew their jihad against all things GNOME.
  • Good luck waiting for Eazel to make money...

    Just email them and ask them for their media kit, and you might want to read it (it's 1 PDF page)..

    And what are their business plan? to put AD's on Nautilus. What about 3rd party applications support? (so you can download other stuff then they have) - Maybe in 2002...

    You call this a good business plan? I call it the way to chapter 11
  • Wrong

    TheKompany is making their products and if they want - they release software to be included with KDE, but that DOESN'T mean that KDE is depending on TheKompany - they are totally independent of each other.

    KDE is being developed by mostly volunteers (and some developers who are paid by the various distributions - Caldera, Mandrake, SuSE) - so if TheKompany tommorow goes south it will be a sad day, but KDE development will be continued...

    On the GNOME side, Eazel and Ximian are doing lots of work - if Eazel and Ximian will go south, GNOME will continue to be developed, but with much slower pace until they'll get new volunteers to help.
  • by oGMo ( 379 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @10:37AM (#298049)

    Why is it people continue to follow the Microsoft-think of "One World, One Operating System, One Product"? You do not need a single ubiquitous application or suite to solve interoperability problems! What you should promote instead is a single standard for documents themselves. Wait... isn't XML supposed to do this? (Or is that just a hollow promise? I'm not really an XML fan, an I'm not an application fan either, but this is ridiculous.)

    Isn't it every other day with "New macro virus!" or "New Outlook security hole!" that we criticize the ubiquity of single applications? "Interoperability" means multiple products working together. Not the MS definition, "one product working with itself on every computer". That is not interoperability.

    In fact, not having a standard application encourages interoperability. What would have happened if we'd settled on a single application for mail exchange? File transfer? HTML? (Oh, whoops, we tried that, and now have a horribly fragmented mess that's still being cleaned up.)

    One ubiquitous office suite is not the answer.

  • There's something that itches me on theKompany.

    GNOME has a lot of companies working to improve it. Ximian and Eazel take the front lead, but don't forget RedHat (via RHAD Labs) and Gnumatic and Henzai and others.

    KDE has only theKompany. This is bad for KDE - if tomorrow theKompany goes berzerk, KDE is in very trouble. This is way bad.

    (said by someone who doesn't run any KDE)
  • TheKompany has _no_ power over KDE, it just makes software available to it. It's more the other way round, if KDE doesn't accept pieces of TheKompany, TheKompany has to change their businessplans..e.g Kivio will be free (beer and gpl) in Koffice, but they want to sell commercial Stencils for it..
  • Of course they do -- that's their business. But locking people into a proprietary document format is making the same mistake that was made in the Windows world.

    If the format is open, and accessible to many different apps, then there is a real reason for a vendor to make their application perform better. If the format field is levelled, and one vendor has a word processor app that is faster, more stable, and more portable than their competition - they will get more users.

    The problems then come when, in order to have product distinction, companies "extend" the standard - thus making files made by their app incompatible with other apps. This is the situation we have to avoid. It also means that once a particular app is exceedingly fast, stable, and portable, there won't be much call for other apps to do the same job -- so the developers of the "winning" app will be stuck...either move on and make new software, or start "extending".

    The business world wants the latter, as it means locking people into a certain program/format, thus ensuring revenue from "upgrades". The former is generally better for users and the "community" as a whole, as it means more quality software.

    This is one of those hurdles the linux/open source/free software/whatever community has to clear before free, open standards for this sort of thing will be possible.

  • by Genom ( 3868 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @12:03PM (#298053)
    So what really needs to happen is the KDE and GNOME people need to get together and decide on UI interoperability standards -- then any apps wishing to become a "de facto standard" would adhere to those, and run perfectly well in a GNOME or KDE environment, or a mix of the two, or neither.

    To some extent, this has already occurred - AFAIK, it's possible to drag&drop between the two, and KDE is able to make use of GTK themes (haven't played with it myself though)

    Admittedly, the differences in toolkits (qt vs gtk) aren't trivial - and the backend communications are even less so - but it doesn't seem out of the question that an interop standard could be agreed upon - then it's just a matter of porting the current apps to the new standards.

    I am, of course, prone to being wrong.
  • Excellent idea.

    The real win would be a standard and documented file format. Then people could run *any* program on Linux to edit their file. Obviously some will work better than others and there would be preferences. It would also help if the programs would preserve sections of the file that they don't understand and write them unchanged to the output.

    The only way I see a standard file format coming out is if a free program is included with distributions that reads and writes it. A free Windows program that does the same will probably be necessary as well.

  • I would certainly expect the format to be XML.

    We still need some documentation that says what \lt;SHRB, size="40 gleems"> does, though.

  • Slackware-current will work in that setup.
  • please read some noam chomsky.

    especially about what the US did to latin america. it's not a good record.

  • You could pay $30 for a "preview release", or $40 for a final version. Or you could just run Quicken instead.

    Or you could use the just-as-polished, already available, open source product [gnucash.org].

    I am a huge supporter of Gnucash, and use it to keep the books for the Victoria Linux Users Group, but it is neither highly polished nor finished.

    The killer features that I saw in the screenshot of Kapital were a functioning print chequing module and an address book which implies A/R and A/P.

    I hope this gives the gnucash folks some impetus to catch up to a Linux based competitor

  • when is their next product, "Avada Kedavra", going to be available?
    As soon as the rest of their dev team gets out of Azkaban.
  • Let me get this straight:

    You think it's a good thing for a Free Software company to sell things to generate money for development of Free Software, but only if the things they're selling violate the Free Software ethic?

    The net effect of them selling t-shirts and stuffed animals instead of Closed software would be more Free software, *AND* better community relations. The net effect of them putting all their monetary eggs into the Closed basket is an eventual slide into releasing more and more closed software.

  • What I want is a Personal PIM Manager that Manages my Personal Information!
  • I'm glad someone explained that. In my view the system worked in Word 6.0/95, and I created some very long documents that were nearly entirely in outline format using the Bullet/Numbering feature.

    Word 97 was broken, and then it got worse for Word 2000 (supposedly necessary so that you could round-trip from HTML.) If I try to open those old Word 6 docs from Word 2000, they show up with no bullets/numbering at all!
  • Have you ever used LyX? It's a word processor built on an entirely different premise than Word.

    If a Word document relies heavily upon certain macro features, and other formatting features, with liberal use of OLE, how are you going to convert that into LyX or TeX format unless LyX supports equivalent features?

    You can strip it all out and keep only what LyX supports. But then it just doesn't look like it's supposed to, and people complain that the converter sucks.

    That is simply what I meant when I posted. As for knowing what I am talking about, I might mention that I worked on the WordPerfect team. One of our challenges was that WordPerfect did not support or implement the same features as Word, so those elements of the Word file had to be transformed or eliminated. The converse is also true.

  • In my post, I was referring to the .doc file format, which is what everyone wants to be able to pass around. I agree that there are other formats which are supposedly "implementation independent," but that isn't what my post was about. Also, most people don't choose to save their Word documents in anything but Word format.

    My intent was to show that if you want to support a certain feature called for in a file, then your program has to have that feature. It doesn't matter how proper your file format is; if the format calls for a table, then your program better have that feature available or it won't render as the author intended. There are basic assumptions about the capabilities of the program regardless of the file format. For example, I wouldn't attempt to load my resume into a MIDI sequencer.

    You said "describe the document rather than the program that made it." And I agree, which is exactly the premise on which TeX is based. The problem is how you describe the document. If you describe it in some proprietary terms, it is useless. Besides, TeX describes a document semantically, and other formats describe a document visually. Those are two completely different and incompatible paradigms. Who cares if you are storing the files in XML or SGML or TeX.

    XML and SGML are all very good, and I agree that they should be used. But we were originally talking about Word documents, which isn't the same thing at all. If someone describes a document in terms of Word, then you have to interpret the the document in terms of Word. Your result is a program functionally equivalent to Word. If you want to translate it into XML, then fine. It still needs to retain the information that made it work.

    I still hold by my original proposition. If your main goal is to support the Word file format with your word processing program, then the most important thing you can do is make sure you program all of the features that the .doc files need. So if you are working on a word processor that seeks to change the face word processing by focusing on semantics rather than mechanics, you'd better be ok with the fact that no converter on the planet is going to make a Word document render properly in your program.

    I worked on the Corel team during the development of WordPerfect Suite 8. Mostly I worked on the Dec Alpha port.
  • by Kismet ( 13199 ) <pmccombs&acm,org> on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @11:18AM (#298065) Homepage
    The MS file format is specific to features in Word. If the Linux word processor doesn't support those features, then it is pointless to try and be compatible.

    Essentially, if you want to be compatible, then you have to treat the document the same way that Word does. Which, one way or another, means putting Word on Linux (by reverse engineering, porting, or parallel development of equivalent code).

    To develop a word processor that reads Word documents, your main goal has to be compatibility, not functionality or innovation. You can't say "I think it would be great if my word processor had feature A and changed the concept of feature B". Then when you try to push Word documents into it, you find out that your paradigm doesn't fit Microsofts', and you have to change it all.

    Currently, import filters have to eliminate or ignore the parts of the format it doesn't support, and transform the other peices to fit the paradigm. Hence the poor filters.

    So when people say, "Linux needs better import filters for Word documents," what they are really saying (but don't know it) is, "Linux needs Word."

  • by Kismet ( 13199 ) <pmccombs&acm,org> on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @11:06AM (#298066) Homepage
    The real issue is: why don't they stick to standard file types? Well, maybe there isn't a standard for presentations, spreadsheets, etc.

    You can't use a Microsoft standard without your program having Microsoft's features in it. The two are inseparably tied together.

    The de facto standard doesn't solve the problem, it just limits the options. A true standard will give a base upon which may be built custom extensions. That way an application may explore the possibilities, yet return to the basics when interoperability is called for.
  • I have to agree - GnuCash is already great and is getting still better at a rapid pace. Right now many of the big improvements are in the unstable development version, but if you can get all of the dependencies worked out it's really sweet to use.

    ObDisclaimer: Gnucash unstable is not for use with your real financial data, although since they've gone to a text-based file format with frequent automatic backups, in practice I do use unstable for my books with very few problems. But don't do it 'cause I said so.

  • It is difficult to keep up with. Some of my problems I traced down to:

    • I had to get the guile lib from ftp.gnucash.org rather than the one from my distribution (some difference of being compiled with pthreads vs. without)
    • I had to install a bunch of -devel stuff (helix Gnome is your friend here)
    • I had to get a new version of slib, which is a Scheme library
    • I had to jump through even more hoops to install Guppi which is used for charts in GnuCash, including generating the elusive libpython1.5.so, which Guppi uses but even the Python team doesn't support! Although I think now you can build GnuCash without Guppi charts so this might not be such a big deal.

    And I still don't have online help, because I haven't quite figured out how to get the sgml tools setup right. So you're right, it is a big pain to get configured but it's a great app once you've got it working. Hopefully the requirements for building and using it will settle a little with the next big stable release. The gnucash-users and gnucash-devel mailing lists are also a great source of configuration advice since pretty much everyone on the list went through the same problems.

  • Now if I could just get KDE to run on CygWin, I could switch to using all the same programs on both platforms!


    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • There aren't any hate groups called "The GGG". Compare "The KKK".

    Yes, but there *are* the:

    Goth (the historical people who attacked and burned the Roman Empire, not the clubkids)

    And all sorts of lovely words like:

    Geisha (depending on your outlook)
    Gladiator (read history)
    Germ warfare

    ...and many more. Yes, *all* letters have associations with negative words. It's almost like words were made up of the same 26 letters rearranged over and over again. Get over it.


  • Does KOffice save to Word files? Can it open Word files? I haven't gotten a chance to play with it and would like to use it for my normal .doc files.

    KWord opens MS Word 97 and 2000 (unsure about 95) files quite nicely. It has alpha RTF support (which can be saved as .doc files and opened transparantly by all versions of MS Word... that's how even MS Word itself handles backward compatability).

    Basically, the hard part is done, and now the easy part needs to be cleaned up. Kinda ironic isn't it?

    On the other side of the "Big Two Apps", KSpread reads Excel 97 and 2000 files just fine, but only saves to CSV right now.


  • The present version of KWord(Part of Koffice) does read MsWord File sort of. As in not very well.

    Whups... I replied to this same message saying that it works well. Which it does - *if* you're talking about the current, i.e., CVS version.

    The KWord packaged in the last official release of KOffice is much much more shaky in its MS Word import abilities. I should have clarified.


  • There's a long tradition in the US for the Ku Klux Klan to use "K" spelling as a code-word for something they endorse. (Posters for "Kalvin Kooledge" used to be fairly common, for example. Check eBay for more.). However, since the KDE folks are european, I wouldn't expect them to know this.

    This is nearly off-topic, but interesting in the same way:

    KDE has a project going to produce a print publication (alongside a web site, of course) that highlights and discusses KDE applications and features articles of interest to KDE users.

    The title of the project is KDE-Zine (can anyone in Europe guess where this is going?).

    We Americans (particularly us Southern Boys) reflexively connect Kapitalized words that subsitute "s/C/K" with the embarrassing and horrific KKK, but the Europeans in the KDE project don't really realize this, but it goes both ways...

    Recently on the KDE-Zine list, some of the Americans had started abbreviating KDE-Zine as "the kz". They would discuss what should go into the kz, what progress was made on the kz, etc. It lasted for a short time until some of the Germans on the list became rather emotional, to the bewilderment of the Americans.

    It turns out that "kz" is the designation for the Nazi Concentration Camps in German. It's a *very* touchy and emotion filled subject.

    It's interesting how Open Source ties cultures together, and how we are all revealed to have our own little hangups and embarassing cultural legacies.

    And then there's the recent nixing of the proposed name for the new standard text editor for KDE - the original author wanted to name it Kant, until it was pointed out that many english speakers (particularly some British ones) had some issues with how that was pronounced. :)


  • by aardvaark ( 19793 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @10:45AM (#298074) Homepage
    No office suite is very good yet. As soon as one pokes its head out from the others with the stablity and features necessary, then it will probably be adopted as more or less "standard" (although it could be that we get more than one, which is probably fine). RedHat should not adopt any office suite as standard, because that would interfere with the evolution and natural selection of the best office suite. Just wait a little bit, and things will sort themselves out. Same is true for the web browser (konqueror really is pretty good, and Mozilla/gecko is getting better all the time). I've seen the cries of "X-windows doesn't do 3-D", and "we don't support USB", and "the kernel doesn't scale well", etc., etc..... the point is we always seem to get there. The same is true of office suites. We have several serious contenders now. Just let them evolve. In a year, we'll have a serious contender to MS Office.
  • by Stentapp ( 19941 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @11:05PM (#298075) Journal
    The difference between TheKompany and Ximian/Eazel is that theKompany doesn't have any affect on the KDE core team and the KDE core development.

    theKompany is just a software company. Don't use their software if you don't want to (and I think many KDE users don't use their software).

    But nowadays, if you are a GNOME user, practically, you cannot just ignore the work of Ximian and Eazel (in the way you can ignore theKompany). They have taken over the GNOME development with venture capital. VC, which source now seems to drain.

    That's the difference.
  • Some complete monkeys thought that in London, it would be pronounced cunt.

    As a Londoner, I can assure the aforementioned monkeys that no London accent would cause this...

    It used to be thought *good* to mess with peoples sensibilities - see fsck - but now its gone so far in the other direction that we've started to make up imaginary cultural issues to avoid.

  • perhaps if the multitude of suites ( choice is a Good Thing(tm) could consolidate around a given set of standards for file formats / protocols then the problem of too much choice wont be a problem. this can be seen to be happening slowly, but im not how sure it is. therein lies the key.


  • by abelsson ( 21706 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @12:09PM (#298078) Homepage
    In other words, TheKompany sells shareware/crippleware/demoware.

    Eh? their products are either fully commercial, closed source, etc or totally open (gpled, bsded, or what license they use). For the most cases their commercial and open software is separate and have little to do with each other. Some of it is open-source but addons cost money - somewhat more questionable but still ok with me- usually the added features are stuff not that many need.

    I just dont see their free projects as their evil plan to lure customers into feeling all warm and fuzzy then totally ripping them off. In my opinion the free stuff is their main thing, and the proprietary stuff is just to keep the food on the table. How else could they spend most of the day writing free stuff?

    Now, that's a totally legitimate business plan, of course, but TheKompany isn't a free software company any more than Microsoft is. They're just selling proprietary software for an otherwise Free platform.

    But please remember that they've released a lot more Free code than proprietary. Comparing them to microsoft is insulting. It's true though that they're not a *pure* free software company. They mix from both worlds. The "feel" i get is that they are a bunch of guys that wants to write free code, but still eat so they do the best they can.

    So don't claim that they "Get it." And why are you knocking Ximian? It's fine to praise TheKompany in this forum, but will you (and TheKompany's prez!) quit it with the "t-shirt and monkey" crap?

    I have nothing against Ximian and eazel and i truly hope they make it - but i just cant see how where they'll get the revenue. Hopefully it's just me being stupid.


  • by abelsson ( 21706 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @10:34AM (#298079) Homepage
    Instead of depending on selling products that are far from their core product (think stuffed animals and t-shirts) theKompany doeswhat a software company should and make money from software - while at the same time releasing huge amounts of totally Free (RMS sense) code.

    I have absolutly no problems buying products from theKompany - because I know I sponsor their free work by doing so (that their products are excellent may have something to do with it too :)

    All people need food on the table, and selling some proprietary applications to be able to develop free stuff seems like a reasonable tradeoff. I'm afraid some linux companies will just disappear once they've burned through the VC money simply because they have no plans on how to make money. :(

    Sorry FSF(Free Software Fanatics? :) but i feel that in some cases proprietary software might be a Good Thing. This could be one of them. The net effect of theKompany releasing some closed source products will be *more* Free software, not less.

    Also: If you think their products could be useful: *please* buy them! It'll keep the free stuff coming.

    Kudos to all @ theKompany.

    -henrik (no, i dont work there :)

  • No, you don't need to switch to KDE. You can use both GNOME and KDE apps with any window manager.


  • by frantzdb ( 22281 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @10:42PM (#298081) Homepage
    Instead of depending on selling products that are far from their core product (think stuffed animals and t-shirts)

    This is just silly. Selling things like this has one purpose: it gets the company name out. This is obviously not their long the long-term plan for making money.

    It looks from this situation like, just as in the beginning, many people in the KDE community simply do not understand why software must be free. Perhaps it's just a basic philosophical difference, but if you think the Kompany selling closed software is OK, have a read of Why Software Should Be Free [gnu.org]. I have no problem paying for what I get, but I believe in the right to modify and redistribute the programs that I use.

    As for Eazel and Ximian not having a plan for making money, you havn't done your research. They do. I am looking foreward to the servaces they will be providing.


  • If you want to be well liked, be CANADIAN. Im an American, and have experienced much anti-American sentiment that extended beyond "obligatory but well-meant jokes" in various European countires. In my last trip I put a Canadian flag patch on my backpack and was treated VERY nicely my entire trip. Luckily I lived in Canada for a year so I wasn't completely clueless when asked where I lived and such.
    Gotta love the Canadians...

  • What is up with all the 'kays'... Jeez, be more Kreative.... Jim
  • I hate to sound like a whiner. But damn, I can't get the stupid thing to work. I've tried source for two or three of the 1.4 releases, two of the 1.5 releases. I tried a couple of times with rpm's. It is the most difficult program to install I've ever seen. I've installed lots of other kludgy things, but this one defeated me.

    I'd love to install it, but it seems like it's got so many 1337 libraries it needs I can't get the damn thing to install. I finally got all the libraries installed it wanted (including libgal), and the damn configure script refused to see the libgal library, I ran ldconfig, I checked my ld.conf, I tried adding it my shell environment paths, it no worky - AGGGHHHH!!!!!

    Moneydance worked though, sigh.

    Suse 7.1 if anyone cares...
  • It does, I installed that and all it's dependencies, and it promptly crashed on start-up. I think I might put a different (more gnome biased) distro on one of my other boxen and see if I can get it to work...
  • For home users stamping out a document or two I don't think it matters much, so let them install whatever they like.

    For a small or medium size company thinking of going over to Linux I really think Star Office on a nice box is good enough. I've had great success with both MS Word documents and powerpoint presentations. It's a matter of trying how it works with a bunch of typical documents. Of course, you need to keep a windows installation around just in case, but it shouldn't be a showstopper for a many people wanting to switch to linux. YMMV.
  • You need to check out SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Langugae).. it's the w3c's powerpoint killing standard (and, combined with motion SVG it'll kill flash too). Version 2 even has support for transitions so you can be just as cheezy as you were with powerpoint.
  • And then there's the recent nixing of the proposed name for the new standard text editor for KDE - the original author wanted to name it Kant, until it was pointed out that many english speakers (particularly some British ones) had some issues with how that was pronounced. :)

    Presumably it would be pronounced the same way as in Immanuel Kant. I've never heard anyone object to the name or consider it unsuitable for polite conversation. Okay, Kantian philosophy isn't mainstream daily conversational material in Britain but it comes up from time to time. I think the people objecting to it must have some weird hang ups.

    Come to think of it, "cant" and "can't" are both prefectly acceptable words throughout the UK, at least in my experience, and I can't see why the "K" would make a difference.
  • Proprietary data files (and interfaces to those files) are the limiting factor between different 'suites' of applications, and not the suites themselves. Microsoft, for example, has deliberately hoarded the specifications of their file formats ... which results in a lack of easy operability outside of their binaries. The result of this is the requirement for Microsoft's proprietary embeddable COMponents or binary viewers, as viewing /editing /access of those files requires a proprietary binary to be used.

    Imagine an open format for the hoarded MS office suite formats (or any suite) ... where there could be any number of viewers/interfaces/tools - which solve for different uses of the files (like a command line viewer, text mode viewer, browser viewer, summary viewer, etc., etc.). Things like embedded COM (for the purpose of displaying a proprietary document) become less important as the source for many viewers would be available. The choice to COMponentize would be a separate issue, and a system would not *have* to rely on COMponents or even a COMponent system for that purpose. COMponent systems can be a good thing, but access to data should *never* be limited to one platform/vendor/library/etc. That is just evil.

    The best case, in my opinion, are strong standards in the data formats and simple, open data access libraries and/or COMponents. Viewing, editing, reporting, or otherwise can have as many implementations, platforms, paradigms as a user base will support. Limiting the high level functionality to one group, vendor or open 'suite' is not far from proprietary ... and does not serve the users well.

    In the end, leaders in an open system are naturally selected - and can change over time, whether sources are open or not. In a closed standards system (a la microslop or otherwise) leaders are selected naturally initially (and even then sometimes selected by oem agreements and similar) ... but from that point the competition is obstructed. The obstruction of competition not only results in fewer user choices, but also the lasting future of the data encloesd in the propietary formats ... and use of that data in as many ways as could be useful.

    Propietary standards are evil. Closed data interface libraries, or user access to that data (via 'suites') is evil as well. The data needs to be free, access to the data needs to be free, extending the possible uses of the data needs to be free as well. There may be room for propietary extensions of use, but not in exclusion ... and not in a way that comprimises the freedoms of the user. The key is to provide the users with the greatest freedoms possible.

  • by nosinut ( 32413 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @11:33AM (#298090) Journal
    Regarding Kapital:

    You could pay $30 for a "preview release", or $40 for a final version. Or you could just run Quicken instead.

    Or you could use the just-as-polished, already available, open source product [gnucash.org].

    I bet you'd like some screenshots [gnucash.org]

    An aside:
    People always whine about KDE vs Gnome and relative freedom, GPL, FSF, blahblahblah. But it is interesting to note that Ximian and Eazel release ALL their products under Free licenses. TheKompany says "We will be offering Kapital under a closed-source license. However, we are considering a limited open-source license, under whose terms purchasers of the software also receive source code. We are exploring other options for making the software as open as possible."

    Actions speak louder than words.

  • The thing that I don't like about kivio is that the stencil set format is proprietary. At least that is what I gather from their website and in other reviews. I know they have to make money, but I need to be able to make my own stencils. I can't hardly stand the idea of being locked into product that depends on something proprietary in order to have functionality. As far as I'm concerned this is a non-FREE product. It's not so much the money ($5.00 per stencil set), it's the freedom that I hate to give up.
  • although the idea of RedHat, et al. fixing on a de facto standard is viable and a Good idea, still i have nits to pick. besides, would KDE's (and, therefore, Mandrake's) apparent adoption of these packages not imply said standard?

    s20451 : so you can edit/display/transmit your files to virtually any Windows user.
    emphasis mine.

    the fact that virtually any Windows user can use the stuff i used Windows to produce != interoperability.

    also, the 'virtually any' piece of your argument appears to me to have a couple of holes, itself. i have, in the past, had major, major hassles trying to coax M$APP9x to deal with the output of M$APP2000.

    interoperability, this does not make.

    interoperability is more (to my thinking) a cross-platform issue. ex: MySQL will work on just about any platform out there, AFAIK... never messed with the M$ versions thereof, but you get the idea...
  • Good points, just one thing to note:

    On the GNOME side, Eazel and Ximian are doing lots of work - if Eazel and Ximian will go south, GNOME will continue to be developed, but with much slower pace until they'll get new volunteers to help.

    Keep in mind that Miguel was running Gnome development long before he created Ximian/Helix. If Ximian was to go under today, I doubt that he (or many of the other fine folk there) would stop working on Gnome.

    All of the working going into open source desktops these days really makes me proud to be a part of this community. I have a preference for Gnome, but I'd buy any KDE developer a beer if I ran into them at a conference!

  • Amen.

    Welcome to the REAL real world, outside your corporate cocoon with IT death nazis dictating whether you can fart with or without noise while reading your email.

    I can't tell you the number of times I've been asked by people in the REAL real world "Hey, so-and-so sent me a file in IMASTUPIDFUCK format and I can't read it! What can I do?" And the answer is ALWAYS the same; "Use RTF." 99% of word documents that real people actually make use nothing that RTF doesn't do. It's a plain text format, so it will never go obsolete. Virtually everyone can read the format. Image files cause the doc to bloat, but that's it. And you can zip the files to fix that (please don't say "stuffit").

    In the REAL real world, saying "What, you don't use Microsoft Word?" is not really an option. The only thing that is surprising is how few people know the simple solution that nearly always works. After 10 years of this shit, you'd think they'd catch on. This is not brain surgery, it's more on the order of "Take the express bus, stupid."

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • theKompany is just a software company. Don't use their software if you don't want to (and I think many KDE users don't use their software).

    (sarcasm) But if I do, how can I justify my continued wailing & gnashing of teeth about what "free" means / open vs. closed source / FSF vs. everyone ? (/sarcasm)

    Thanks for interjecting a bit of common sense :)

    Get yer KDE-logo goodies at http://www.cafepress.com/kde [cafepress.com]. All profits donated to kde.org.

  • "Come to think of it, "cant" and "can't" are both prefectly acceptable words throughout the UK, at least in my experience, and I can't see why the "K" would make a difference."

    Perhaps because people didn't want the name of the text editor being a homonym for "Can't"?
  • You talk about substance.

    I say, show me the substance Ximian and Eazel have produced so far (you know stuff other than beta's and stuff like that)

    Johan V.
  • Well it doesn't matter wether you are Canadian of an American when you visit Europe. What matter is if you behave like a clueless shitass American or not.

    Maybe that Canadian flag reminded you to stay polite, instead of echoing a aura of superiority.

    I'm from the Netherlands, and somehow Germans are not the most favourite foreigners. But when a German car pull over to ask for directions, they usually ask if any of us speak English/German. Americans usualy just ask for directions, and if they are not understood immediatly they just drive off and call you a moron. Attitude, politeness and Adaptability can get you a long way, even when you're from the states.

    Johan V.
  • Linux settle on the Word 95 or 97 .doc format as a standard.

    Surely this has been examined enough to provide a reference implementation. And several open source tools and filters already exist. Not to mention that the rest of the (Windows and Mac) world will be already be compatible.

    What would be the disadvantages or drawbacks to something like this happening (apart from natural MS negative sentiments) ??
  • Actually there is a good bit of totally free, fully functional software, just look at the web site.
  • Actually the format isn't proprietary, it is just copywritten to mean that you cannot freely distribute them. We've had several people submit stencils that they built by just examing the default that was included.
  • Aethera as a fully functional mail client with address book, sticky notes, calendar and newsgroups will always be free. We are making money by selling plug ins (again) that provide extended functionality and features. This isn't to enhance the basic feature set, those will be full featured, it is to add new options to the framework. There is also the groupware server aspect that we will make money on and vertical market applications that can make use of the groupware aspect. So people can choose to use as much or as little as possible.

    While we are a bit behind schedule, you should start to see the first commercial plug ins in May.
  • We have extensive support for multiple currencies. As a matter of fact when you set up an account, you get a combo box of pretty much every currency on the planet. There is a bit of fine tuning left to do like having the right symbol and word for the currency appear in the check writer, and we are still working on the currency calculator for support of the Euro specifically, but those will be coming shortly. Since our main Kapital developers are in Europe, this topic is dear to their hearts.
  • That was the beauty of the name. Python is named after Monty Python, and is also a snake, and BlackAdder was also a british comedy series, and a snake. It started as an internal joke, but we ended up liking it.
  • Why multiple package formats when it could just use something like Setup [lokigames.com] to accomplish the same goals for everyone, while not being attached to a particular distro-specific format?
  • Q: GNOME: "nome" or "guh-nome"?

    A: In English, the word "gnome" is pronounced with a silent "g". However, GNOME itself is generally pronounced as "guh-nome", just as GNU is pronounced "guh-noo" when referring to the GNU Project.

    'nuff said. next time research before you post a dumbass comment!


  • I have to agree, it was kind of cool at first but now it's getting extremely old.
  • Finally! It's good to see that a korporation (couldn't resist the pun, sorry) is finally getting the message. Linux needs good, stable business applications.

    I mean, let's look at the OSen and find out what they're good at:

    • MacOS: Incredible graphics processing, mainly due to hardware
    • BeOS: Great graphics, again, and a tight package
    • *BSD/*nix: Incredible network applications
    • Windows: Games, games, games.
    But what does Linux have to offer? Not a whole lot. Sure, they have ports of networking applications, and a few games that have been (poorly) ported by Loki. But come on... Linux will never be able to compete for a share of the game market. It's just too tough to upgrade a video card when it takes you 3 hours to track down the latest 0.01 BETA source code for the driver.

    New business applications can help migrate Linux over to the business desktop; let's hope it stays there.

    That's just the way it is

  • Yes, it's good to see companies undertaking real, useful projects - and actually throwing money and resources at it.

    Yet I can't help thinking about how all of this will only be helpful for KDE users.

    Of course, GNOME users (or even people who don't use desktop environments at all - personally I use X and the BlackBox [alug.org] window manager, period) can actually use KDE software - if you've got a few tens of megabytes of RAM to waste. I'm afraid I don't.

    I know, competition is good, but... Damn the desktop war. Really.

    Thomas Miconi
  • How are the Loki games poorly ported? I have a half dozen on my computer right now and only one has any problem whatsoever ( Heavy Gear 2 seg faults when switching from 3d to 2d context on some nVidia cards) In fact the quality of some of their ports is amazing. I bought Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year, which Loki has as a beta release ( plain Unreal Tourny is supposed to be release quality) and it works at least as well as it does on my friends windows machine.
    As for video cards, I have a Geforce2 GTS, and to get it to work perfectly all I had to do was download two rpms from nVidia's page and install them and Boom! I went from 3fps to 190fps with ssystem -bench. It is only tough to get drivers for video cards because not all the video card manufacturers find it worth their time to make a driver for Linux. If there were a demand, and not people saying "gaming will never work, why bother?" then perhaps they would work on getting Linux drivers out with the windows drivers, not just whenever or not at all.
    That being said; sound is a big Linux problem. Even the pay OSS sound card drivers can't support all the features on new nice surround sound cards, e.g. sound blaster live platinum 5.1
    I use Linux every day for all my computing needs, and I try to keep a "not yet" not a "never" point of view. We need to cross a threshold of use before Linux can be viewed as a serious enough contender in any field to warrant writing drivers in the eyes of the hardware companies.
  • The Word bulleted/numbered list format is horribly broken. It wasn't quite right in Word 95, and then MS stripped it out and replaced it with something totally different in Word 97... which was even more broken.

    Some of the problems can be fixed with better software -- such as the way Word decides what paragraphs are part of what lists -- but some of the problems are deeper.

    Word stores some of the settings for list paragraphs in the paragraph, and some of them in the list format object that the list is attached to, but some of the formatting appears both places, and Word uses some algorithm to decide which is correct -- which is one of the reasons lists sometimes get messed up in complex Word documents.

  • Ummm, let's see... Eazel has released Nautilus 1.0, and while still beta-quality is at least a 1.0 release. Red Carpet and Evolution may still have 1.0 releases, but seem to work fairly good (although I'll admit I haven't spent much time with either of the two). At least you can download them and play around with them, and that sounds like progress to me.
  • The people of Jugoslavia thank you America!
  • I wonder what Karl Marx would think about this. Das Kapital, Marx's magnum opus talks about the inner workings of the capital system. Very interesting stuff. I don't know if they had any intention for the names being similar. Obviously, Kapital is the german version of capital. Nevertheless, has anyone ever come across any recent communist literature that would correlate with the whole gnu/linux movement? Is Linus the "New Soviet Man" ? Shit, i could probably write my final paper on something like that for my Marx class.
    But look at the saying that goes something like give what you can, take what you need and the open source movement seems to follow that. I know this is horribly off topic, but when i saw "Kapital", i had to comment, because I am reading it at the moment :)
  • FWIW, I have installed Mandrake 7.2 and 8.0b3 on my laptop with the Rage Mobility chipset - with no video problems. Mandrake 7.2 has a few other problems with my machine (sound, usb wheel mouse), and Mandrake 8.0b3 is, of course, beta... RedSavina Acer TM602TER
  • And like "NIC Card" = "Network Interface Card Card"
  • by kcarnold ( 99900 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @10:48AM (#298117)

    About 3D -- if you use Debian's supplied XFree86 4.x deb's, you get the precompiled drivers for the video card. And I have no idea where you're getting the idea that the drivers are 0.01 -- DRI is maturing rapidly and is already very useful on out-of-the-box configurations. Yeah it will only get better, and I think they're still calling the results "beta", but it's very-usable beta. If you have a card that is not supported in a distributed X, like the ATI Radeon (which I have), getting the drivers is still quite easy -- go here [debian.org]. That's the Debian side of things (and will probably apply to Progeny etc. as well); talk to others about the Mandrake or whatever. The only driver really lacking in automated install at the moment is the nVidia Linux driver, but I'll bet somebody has packaged that up by now also, and it's not hard at all to install even without a package. I think that takes care of almost all mainstream video cards (see the DRI site [sourceforge.net] for what cards they support (a lot)).

    And what's this crap about the games being poorly ported! Loki has done an amazing job moving these highly complex games from one display platform to another and packaging the results. I have recently installed Descent 3 for Linux, and the only trouble I had was that I didn't want to install it as root (but most people would install anything as root) and had to change the permissions on the install directory, but that was simple.

    As for business apps, having useful apps on Linux would be nice, but VMWare running Windows 2000 gets me all I could possibly want in that area without leaving the comfort of my KDE desktop.

    Let's hear it for the good work already done in bringing Linux to the mainstream, and I'm not even getting into KDE vs. GNOME or any of that (they're both nice, usable environments; I happen to like KDE more).

  • I'm obviously not the only one excited... :-)

  • ...my last reason to reboot into Windows on my home box. FINALLY freedom from Microsoft Money! Hopefully, if decently imports Microsoft's crappy .QIF implementation, or better yet, maybe someone reverse-engineered the .MNY format. Regardless, this is all I need. Oh, happy happy day!

    P.S.-->Hrm. Guess I'll have to switch to KDE...is it worth it? I happen to like Window Maker....

  • > Also: If you think their products could be
    > useful: *please* buy them! It'll keep the free
    > stuff coming.

    In other words, TheKompany sells shareware/crippleware/demoware. Now, that's a totally legitimate business plan, of course, but TheKompany isn't a free software company any more than Microsoft is. They're just selling proprietary software for an otherwise Free platform.

    So don't claim that they "Get it." And why are you knocking Ximian? It's fine to praise TheKompany in this forum, but will you (and TheKompany's prez!) quit it with the "t-shirt and monkey" crap?

  • by Wizard of OS ( 111213 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @10:13AM (#298121)
    Kivio [thekompany.com] is maybe not a recent addition, but Yet Another Tool From TheKompany That Looks Like Something We Know From Windows (YATFTKTLLSWKFW)

  • I don't believe that this is correct. The source for Kivio is in the KDE Koffice CVS and it includes the source for flowcharting stencils. You could easily add your own stencils if you wanted to. You may not have the source to their proprietary stencils, but you can't have everything. Also, Shawn Gordon is very helpfull and I'm sure he would help make sure that you were satisfied if you purchased the stencils from them.

    Matt Newell
  • you of all of the Donkey Kong games? You know, klumps, the Kremlins, and King K. Rool... On the other hand, the g* naming scheme doesn't remind me of anything. I don't know, I spent all of high school playing those wonderful Rare games and now I'm permanently biased away from KDE.
  • The problem with Linux suites is that there's no lack of them [...] users just install whatever suite they think is neat, which is an obstacle to interoperability.

    The obstacle to interoperability is NOT the amount of Office suits (including all the betas...) Linux has, but the lack of one good standard file format. And it's not really a lack of a file format either, it's the lack of co-operation between the programmers / companies. If we'd agree (fat change) on one format, it wouldn't matter what software you were using.

    Unfortunately, I'm just dreaming.

    Conversely, the (perhaps only?) good thing about MS Office is that any computer with Windows is likely to also have Office

    I work for a huge global company which doesn't use Office, at all (ok, so we happen to use something inferior which I hate and won't name *cough*Lotus*cough). My girfriend uses Windows every day for all her work - yet she refuses to install ANY browser plugins (no, she doesn't even have Flash). And she only uses Office97 (even thou she's a professional secretary). The fact is, you can't rely on people having "the standard applications" even if they're using Windows.

    The most compelling example of this that I can think of is PowerPoint [...] I can borrow someone else's [laptop], as long as they have Office

    I used to do support for a small company. They used PPT quite a lot for presentations, and I didn't object. I thought too that it was the best program for the job. Until I started hearing problems - the client had a different version of PPT, or the version was the same but it refused to load the show.... The fact is, the only computer that can show your PPT presentation right is your own. That's exactly why you see people carrying their own laptops to presentations.

    Anyway, we just need to agree on file formats and Linux office world will be heaven. We already have proven standars for these so why not use them? Like Postscript for documents, HTML for presentations (works like a wonder after fighting with PPT's) etc. I can't be that hard.

    Uh.... must.... resist... writing... more... and... get.... back.... coding....

  • I think they now ship koffice and several of the gnome apps (gnumeric and such). They also ship klyx and abiword for word processing

  • I agree with this -- nothing wrong with choosing to sell some stuff and give other stuff away. I just have a feeling that few people will actually buy the proprietary stuff, especially given that they can get (apparently) equivalent Free software elsewhere.

    How many software houses out there are offering for-fee customization of the code? It seems to me the people who wrote the stuff would be particularly good at tuning it to your needs, whether by installation or reprogramming. The reprogrammed versions would also be released for Free, but not necessarily integrated into the main code tree (since they're customizations, ie. not everyone needs those features) except by popular demand.

    This seems to me to be a good combination. I think RMS or ESR or somebody discussed this in one of their utopian-future-of-software treatises, didn't they?

    -Erf C.

  • Uhhh doesn't linux fit in that third category there? Ya know the one that says *nix.
  • Total ReKall has already been filmed, you should be hearing from their lawyers soon if they use the same ones as MasterCard.

    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • I switched from gnome to KDE soon after 2.0 came out. I've loved the switch (no hard feelings toward the Gnomish among you, its a good desktop too) but the one thing I miss is the intergration of the address book, the mail client, and the palm pilot. In KDE you have kpilot, which just basically works as a backup for your palm. I hope this Aethera program can intergrate better with my palm pilot than the current batch of kde programs can.
  • No, I think you misunderstood. I missed the palm functionality that was in Gnome. As in KDE doesnt have it. In fact Gnome had good integration even before I used evolution.
  • The OpenOffice project has a new point-release with XML support as the standard file format. Since much of the code is based on StarOffice, the import/export capabilities are quite good. OpenOffice isn't ready for prime time, though it compiles and (usually) runs on systems that MS Office can't.

    Take a look for yourself, check out the mailing lists, read the docs;

    http://www.openoffice.org [openoffice.org]

  • So in order to fight the Windows/Mac monopoly of Office, you want to create a similar monopoly for Linux? What's the point of that? The vendor of that product would be permanently playing catchup with Microsoft, and the product itself would be a highly visible poster child for Linux's application lag.

    The answer is not to eliminate all Linux suites but one. What we really need is a simple convention for all these different products to share their documents, spreadsheets, etc. If such a standard existed and were supported by a lot of Linux vendors, that would do a lot to defragment the Linux marketplace.

    Best of all, if such a standard were at all successful, it would inevitably spread to other platforms, including Windows. Eventually somebody would write adapters for Office. The ability to move data between Windows/Office and its Linux competitors would do a lot to hasten acceptance of Linux.


  • I think this is a huge step forward for the linux/*bsd/unix community. The existance of another office suite makes *nix operating environments not only usable as a desktop, but realistic as a desktop. StarOffice is a great set of programs, but it was basically alone.

    What excites me the most, however, is that it's available in Debian packages. Hopefully, this will start a precedent for software developers who want their product widely used: Make it available in at least three forms: rpm/tar.gz/deb, although a FreeBSD port would also be nice. I personally think that if more companies were willing to package their software in these easy to code, easy to use packages, more people would be willing to use them, thus advancing not only the company, but the linux community in general.

  • It's a troll. Why do all the GNU programs have to begin with a G? Gnome, Gnutella, Gunzip...
  • Does KOffice save to Word files? Can it open Word files? I haven't gotten a chance to play with it and would like to use it for my normal .doc files.

    Also, anyone have a distro of Linux that installs KDE2 and its associated applications correctly on a laptop with the ATI Rage Mobility chipset? The best I could get is KDE 1 compatibility with RedHat 7.0.

  • I think The Kompany has given considerably more to the Open Source community than it has taken. Check out the list of Free, free, GPL'ed software they have developed:

    KDE Studio

    Now compare that to their commercial products:
    KDE Studio Gold

    Three of those are merely souped up versions of Free products where you pay for extra features, packaging and support. Only Kapital doesn't (yet) have a Free version. And for those of us who care about keeping track of our finances, it's worth the $30.

    Seems to me the community is winning here.
  • For a long while, StarOffice shipped with the retail versions of several distributions. I was introduced to StarOffice this way -- StarOffice 3.1 came with a retail Linux distribution I bought several years ago.

    Problem is, people didn't like it.

    Point: let the market decide. "De facto" standards usually emerge in the open marketplace, not when dictated by corporations. There just aren't any office suites, e-mail/PIM applications, etc. in the Linux world that are good enough yet to really get people going.

    But it will happen. And when it does, Red Hat won't be causing it, but they will be making sure they include it because it's what the users want and it will sell units!

  • XML is only an opportunity for a solution.

    Someone needs to define a standard schema for wordprocessing docs (Should be XHTML + CSS1/2/3, actually), spreadsheets, and presentation software. Then everyone needs to implement it.

    Frankly, with 39 office app alternatives on the market for Unix, having an "open" format (XML or no) just doesn't cut it.
  • by Petrophile ( 253809 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @10:52AM (#298170) Homepage
    I'm not usually a troll-biter, but there is a valid point there. There's a long tradition in the US for the Ku Klux Klan to use "K" spelling as a code-word for something they endorse. (Posters for "Kalvin Kooledge" used to be fairly common, for example. Check eBay for more.).

    However, since the KDE folks are european, I wouldn't expect them to know this.

    I don't think it's that important, but there should be some sensitivty there. Just as with folks who insist on using the word "cracker", which is a very common racial slur in parts of the US.
  • And anyway, even Ximian isn't built on a totaly free model. Like Ezel and their services offering, they're going to start charging for use of the RedCarpet updater once it goes stable.

    This simply isn't true. The Red Carpet service itself will always be free, as will updates to your distribution and Ximian GNOME. The revenue in Red Carpet will be in offering for pay subscriptions to channels or for sale downloads.

    You are right about one thing, however. Ximian isn't built on a totally free model. We're a for-profit company, so we need to generate revenue from somewhere. All of our software is free, however.

  • Actually, while theKompany.com has contributed significant applications to the KDE family, it is a relatively new company that was only incorporated last year, and in fact does not back the majority of KDE development.
    KDE's development is driven by the developers themselves and is primarily independant of theKompany.com.

    I'm part of the KDE community; I do some development work for KDE (specifically, I've contributed to the KWebStat application), and am involved in the KDE Zine [kde.org] project, so I have reason believe that my views on this should be more or less accurate.

  • My problem with closed source, proprietary software like TheKompany is not philosophical, it's economic: I don't see how they can stay in business long. Apparently, you yourself have your doubts that TheKompany has a good value proposition, otherwise you wouldn't beg people to buy their stuff. So, what's wrong with TheKompany's business model? Two major things.

    First, there are free alternatives out for all their products already; it's only a question of time until the free stuff gets good enough to kill off their market. Only Microsoft has been able to insulate themselves a little bit from free software, through an intricate web of proprietary standards, and even Microsoft has to be scared. The fact is that free software kills off proprietary software because it's the economically rational choice for customers.

    Second, their software model is antiquated. Big do-everything C++ applications, the kind that made Bill Gates rich and famous, are not the way to go anymore. They were needed in the 1980's and 1990's because all you could do is distribute software on floppy and CD-ROM, and you better made sure that what you distributed addressed everybody's needs. With the Internet, you can now deliver small, targeted, light-weigh applications.

    There is money to be made in software, but in the long run, not in proprietary, closed-source packages. It's nice if you want to support TheKompany. But don't kid yourself: from an economic and free market perspective, enterprises like TheKompany are irrational and an anachronism. Your $30 is more rationally put into a large pot that enhances GNUcash than TheKompany.

  • Conversely, the (perhaps only?) good thing about MS Office is that any computer with Windows is likely to also have Office, so you can edit/display/transmit your files to virtually any Windows user.

    Did the Tooth Fairy magically drop Office onto your computer? She didn't on mine. Getting Office would have been several hundred dollars more. I consider it rather rude when people send me content in a format that would force me to buy a product that I don't want to buy. But perhaps you are the kind of person that gives somebody a birthday present of a vacation somewhere and expects them to buy the flight to go with it?

    The most compelling example of this that I can think of is PowerPoint; if I need show someone my presentation at short notice and don't have my laptop handy, I can borrow someone else's, as long as they have Office.

    I don't have a problem with that: I save my presentations in PDF or HTML format, and I can display them on just about every computer, not just those running overpriced Microsoft software.

    Why doesn't a major Linux distribution provider (like RedHat) specifically embrace an application suite, and ship it with their bundle?

    Probably because there is no need for it. It's only Windows users that think it's OK to send around documents in proprietary formats. On Linux, people use a wide variety of open, well-documented, non-proprietary formats that are understood by many different kinds of software.

    A few Windows vendors like Corel have tried to bring bad Windows habits to the Linux platform, but they seem to have failed, fortunately.

  • by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @10:14AM (#298184) Journal

    The problem with Linux suites is that there's no lack of them in the marketplace, and none of them is in any danger of becoming a standard; users just install whatever suite they think is neat, which is an obstacle to interoperability.

    Conversely, the (perhaps only?) good thing about MS Office is that any computer with Windows is likely to also have Office, so you can edit/display/transmit your files to virtually any Windows user. The most compelling example of this that I can think of is PowerPoint; if I need show someone my presentation at short notice and don't have my laptop handy, I can borrow someone else's, as long as they have Office. I had high hopes that Corel's suite for Linux would address this when it came out, but that seems to have died the death.

    Why doesn't a major Linux distribution provider (like RedHat) specifically embrace an application suite, and ship it with their bundle? By creating such a de facto standard, much would be accomplished for interoperability and document sharing.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.