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Novell GUI KDE GNOME Built with KDE and GNOME Support 299

ks writes "Novell hacker Jan Holesovsky has released a build of OOo 1.1.3 that integrates with either KDE or GNOME depending on the environment it's running in. The build features KDE/GNOME look and feel, KDE/GNOME file dialogs and the Crystal icons. If you're running NLD, you have this already." Update: 11/27 18:13 GMT by T : Also on the front, the OO.o front page links to this interview with Debian ARM developer Peter Naulls, who has ported the suite to ARM processors. Hint: they're everywhere.
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  • First Reply| (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IcarusMoth ( 631872 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @01:48PM (#10931677)
    I think this is a great idea, one of hte reasons I had trouble with OOo in KDE3.X was its lack of smoothness. now if only someone will do the same for Abiword
  • by Megaweapon ( 25185 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @01:49PM (#10931685) Homepage
    This should help with either GNOME or KDE adoption in office environments since the user interface looks more streamlined.
    • I am actually going to be doing a presentation on how you can use linux as a workstation/desktop in a work environment. I am choosing OOffice as the office suite. I am glad to see it integrates with both environments.

      How does it support things like ppt, doc and xls files? I really wanna impress who I am showing this to.
      • How does it support things like ppt, doc and xls files?

        Rather well. I've read success stories of OO.o flawlessly opening corrupted .doc files that crash Microsoft Word.

        • It does indeed open corrupted .doc files that crash Word... I did it once at work, to the amazement of everyone present (myself included). However, it did lose a bit of the formatting. Nothing that 5 minutes of dragging pictures around couldn't fix, though.
          • by MsGeek ( 162936 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:29PM (#10931946) Homepage Journal
            It also removes macros. Sometimes it is a pain, because those macros are needed in an MS Office document, particularly in Excel. But if those macros are either corrupt or infected with a Macro Virus, losing the macros is actually A Good Thing. (tm)

            Last year, the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival sent the band Saccharine Trust an elaborate Excel spreadsheet which provided an overview of the schedule for the entire weekend's performances at Camber Sands in the UK.

            Joe Baiza had Office 98 for Mac running on his iMac. No joy opening the spreadsheet. He then sent the spreadsheet to Chris Stein, the band's bassist, (No, not the Blondie guitarist! Same name, different guy...) who tried to open it in Office XP. Again, no joy.

            I get the spreadsheet sent to me. I open it in OO.o. Success! I saved the document first as an OO.o native format file, then resaved the native OO.o file as an .XLS. I sent it back to Joe and Chris, and voila! They could open it too!

            I'll have you know that NOTHING got screwed up in the formatting. Maybe a few weird calculations used by the ATP folks got messed up, but the guys in ST didn't need them. All they needed was the time that ST needed to go on, and also the times for some of the other bands on the schedule the guys wanted to see. OO.o rules.
      • It sounds like you need to do some research.

        You've already picked OO.o, and you don't even know how it performs. What happens when they go with your ideas and switch from MS to Linux and you don't know how to support what you've suggested? They won't be impressed.

        Not to be a troll, but stuff like this will only hurt adoptin of Linux. You tell them Linux is the best thing since sliced bread, they have you show them, they switch, stuff breaks, and you can't fix it. In the PHB's mind, you and Linux s
        • You are right. And I do. And I am getting started on it.

          I've used it in the past, and found file support spotty. It is powerful in its own right.

          But thanks for the 'wake up'. Nice to know the community cares enough to ensure the very best. And I mean that.
          • Thanks. Like I said, I wasn't trying to troll.

            It just sounded like you were the most Linux-savvy person at work, and if they decide to make the switch you'd better be ready. Switching to Linux is beneficial, but never easy. Everyone in the office will be asking you questions ALL day. If you don't know your distro of choice inside out as well as gnome or kde and all the dependency issues, advocating Linux isn't the best idea.
      • How does it support things like ppt, doc and xls files?

        everything is great except for video in presentation. It works somehow [], but does not even correctly open .ppt [] with video inside, though.

        • That's nothing. I've had huge hassles trying to get video clips in .ppt to work between different windows machines all running the same version of Powerpoint. In this respect, Powerpoint doesn't have any advantage over OO.
          • I'm afraid this is unfortunately untrue. I make presentations of my scientific research every few months, and I have to show videos to people (reinforced concrete breaking under load). I do all my research with linux, though for presenting results I either have to:

            -use evil powerpoint inside stolen vmware (afraid to admit, but I have legal win2000)
            -make presentation inside OOo, and switch between desktops to run a video with mplayer, which waits aside

            I use both of those methods interchangeably, favoring

      • Also mention MS activation and how you can't just copy office to your home PC anymore, even though you arent using both. Sure to those of us who know licensing this is an accepted practice, but to Joe User this could very well be seen as a pain or MS being too aggressive.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Well, first of all, forget your macros; if your organization already has Word or Excel "applications" written in VBA, it will need to rewrite them to work with OO or develop them into real, cross-platform applications (web-based comes to mind). Don't underestimate the impact of this issue! Incredible things can be done with Word and Excel using the scripting built into it, especially when you get into integrating it with external systems (like printing invoices with information retrieved from a billing syst
      • It has a non-animated version of clippy, thus you will automatically impress the people you are showing this to. :^)

        Actually, support is very solid. There are slight quirkisms (slightly different line-wrappings if fonts arent found, some UI choices are slightly different), but some important elements to your pitch must be:

        1- if you need windows and office we can still install it

        2- default config should be windows + openoffice

        3- some groups can use linux + openoffice + evolution ...if your orga
      • I've completely switched to OOo at home and haven't had any real problems, and use it a lot at work in conjunction with OOo.

        My most complex Excel sheet converted easily and I only had to change of couple of functions where the OOo arguments were slightly different than Excel's. Also the file size in that particular Excel document was over 2MB but the OOo native file size was 94k (they use an XML format and then zip compress it - that's why some people claim OOo to be "slower").

        I didn't even think abo
  • Mirrordot Link (Score:2, Informative)

    by b0lt ( 729408 )
    here []
  • NLD (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 27, 2004 @01:59PM (#10931748)
    I just started playing with the Novell Linux Desktop and it looks really nice. After having Novell removed for Windows AD at work, it was nice to see the big N on a screen again. ;)

    It's basically Suse with some tweaks, but it's got a very professional look and feel about it with everything nicely integrated.
  • n-tierety (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @01:59PM (#10931753) Homepage Journal
    This is a great move, generating momentum towards a real superior Linux desktop architecture. Any well designed app should be split into Data, Business and Presentation layers, independent/interdependent of one another across a clear, well defined API. This new build can be optimized by another programmer to actually separate the Business (OO.o) and Presentation (KDE/GNOME) layers, because the source is open. Refactor OO.o as an object that can run separate from its UI, and all its features are available to *any* calling program, reusable without having to write spellcheckers again, or text edit panels, or .DOC readers. In fact, the next great move will be to refactor the OO.o data layer, so it can run not only on any FS, like ext3, ReiserFS, SMB, NFS, but interchangeably across networks as straight sockets, or SQL DB tables, or RDF streams, or any data source that's adapted to the data API. Let's get it on!
    • One word: OpenDoc.

      Been there, done that. Got burned.
      • Re:n-tierety (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Doc Ruby ( 173196 )
        You don't like applications to have 3-tier architecture with IPC APIs? You must have been burned pretty bad - maybe you even worked at Taligent while I was over at Apple. After we switched the APW to C++, we all thought we'd never rewrite "EditableTextPane" again. But we were naive enough about sharing source with strangers that we didn't realize that once the source is open to the public, we need it to come with human-readable docs to reuse it. That's why the API is so important. As are practical conventio
  • Does anyone know (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Does anyone know if this is going to be integrated back into the OOo trunk?
  • mirror (Score:3, Informative)

    by gr8fulnded ( 254977 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:02PM (#10931770)
  • by Dreadlord ( 671979 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:03PM (#10931776) Journal
    Something similar for Mozilla and Linux:
    The Mozilla integration project for Linux desktops []
  • Running NLD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by owlstead ( 636356 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:03PM (#10931778)
    What if I'm running it _in_ NLD? 'Cause I'm there already.

    This is a good thing. One of the reasons that Java never took off from the desktop was that it didn't integrate with the native GUI. Nice to see OpenOffice not making the same mistake.

    Too many linux applications still have horrible, unusable file selectors. It will never take off as long as such monstrosities are present everywhere.

    This is one of the reasons why Windows is used by so many people. They do provide a more or less monotone interface. Even if the interface is horrible (like personalized menu's) it's horrible all over the place.
    • Re:Running NLD (Score:3, Informative)

      by ScrewMaster ( 602015 )
      So what what you're saying is: rather than be nice sometimes and nasty at others, it's better to be consistently nasty. And that's true, from the perspective of a user who just wants to be able to figure something out once, get used to it, and not have to keep re-figuring it out every time he loads a different application. Microsoft has their Common Controls libraries for things like file and print selectors: they aren't an optimal solution in my opinion but they work, people are familiar with them, and I
  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:06PM (#10931799)
    Microsoft has essentially turned into a replacement parts business for Windows and Office - adoption of new PCs at home and at work has normalized, new business is flat. Many of their new ventures are flat, ROI negative, or true money losers.

    Having a drop-in replacement for Office is critical to attacking their core replacement parts business.

    Kudos by the way to AbiWord and Gnumeric, two excellent programs that are native GNOME apps today.

    • Hmm. As long as oowriter and abiword can interchange files, and oocalc and gnumeric can interchange files, then freedom from (MS) vendor lock-in is a real possibility.

      Do abiword and gnumeric read/write .sxw and .sxc files? The formats are open so there's no reason why not.

      I think all three, OOo, abiword and gnumeric are important, but it would be better still if they all share an open document format.

      Just some random thoughts.
  • Aqua on Mac OS X (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HeelToe ( 615905 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:08PM (#10931807) Homepage
    Oh please, let's do this for Mac OS X!
  • Only KDE icons (Score:3, Informative)

    by Xpilot ( 117961 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:09PM (#10931813) Homepage
    In the link provided, only KDE icons are provided, though GTK+ is used when run in GNOME, and you need the NLD version for the full GNOME look. So the best bet for GNOME-only using folk like me is still the build tool itself [].

  • by Pivot ( 4465 )
    Does this mean I can now get openoffice with JFC/swing widgets instead, to get an all java desktop??
  • by rxmd ( 205533 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:12PM (#10931831) Homepage
    If OpenOffice can be built with KDE support, does it use Qt for the frontend under KDE?

    Why not use Qt/Aqua on MacOS X instead of the incredibly clumsy X11 interface, then?

  • by twener ( 603089 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:13PM (#10931843)
  • by oexeo ( 816786 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:21PM (#10931891)
    I just began developing an GUI-based application for KDE/Gnome, my major obstacle being the window "managers". It goes something like this:

    Developer: OK, put this window here.
    KDE/Kwin: Actually it's better over here.
    Developer: No! I'll need that space later for another window.
    Gnome/MetaCity: I know, I know! How about here?
    Developer: Christ! No not there either.
    Developer: OK, how about you both put it here? that makes sense.
    KDE/Kwin: That's great, but I'll just shift up a bit, and flip your directions horizontally.
    Gnome/MetaCity: Ignore KDE, it's perfect! But I think it would be even more perfect over here.
    Developer: Jesus Christ!

    It's usually possible to get what you want, but often involves hacks, redundant code, and forking.

    I realise this is intentional and in the interests of usability and consistency, but more often than not the it's counter productive to the cause, since frequently a human knows better than a computer when it comes to usability.
    • Re:Window Managers (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SillyNickName4me ( 760022 ) <> on Saturday November 27, 2004 @03:03PM (#10932177) Homepage
      if you want control over window placement like that, you either define a workspace for your windows to recide in, or you just rethink your idea.

      1. Your application has no fucking clue abotu how the user wants their windows displayed
      2. Your application has as little clue about what the rest of the display is used for.

      The window manager however has a bit of a clue about both, so it IS the proper place for deciding on window placement. All your application should ever try to do is give a suggestion.

      Sorry to say, but if you do not udnerstand this then imo you have not understood what a windowsing system is for.

      In short, when you develop for a shared gui environment (ie, the gui is also used for other things then your application) you do NOT have control over window placement, deal with it or write your own dedicated gui, it is the nature of the beast.
    • sawfish is great. Or at least much better than any other window manager (that's why I use it).

      ... and I love when it occasionally opens a new dialog box in another workspace...

    • Yes, it's by design. It sounds like you're trying to simulate a tiled MDI layout in the absence of MDI (which is also by design). A better solution may be a large window with splitters and/or dock widgets rather than attempting to fight the WM, which is resisting your abuse of it.
  • The OSX ports of OOo have always had difficulties due to the limited number of developers available. Since KDE and GNOME already run under OSX - parts of the former natively without X11 - could this be a porting short-cut to a fully functional OSX build?
  • I have installed Suse 9.2, and the OOo 1.1.3 looks pretty standard on it. I assume the next Suse is going to come with this? Is there an easy way to install this new OOo in Suse 9.2 without breaking everything? This is something Linux needs, badly. OOo is a great system but obviously it's not well integrated with the rest of KDE. If they can really get it integrated with KDE it will be a major step forward for the Linux Desktop.
  • woohoo! OpenOffice DS!
  • Although I applaud the move, this will be somewhat outdone in a few months when openoffice 2.0 is released. 2.0 will support better native integration anyway, including look-and-feel.

  • Here's what I want! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:45PM (#10932036) Homepage
    FC2/FC3 RPM packages.

    That's all. On one hand, I like the way RPM works and what it does for the user. On the other hand, I can never seem to get the most up-to-date packages. It's terribly unfortunate and is always a balancing act between installing from tarball and maintaining RPM integrity. I suspect there are ways of handling it better and further that someone might even volunteer these better ways right here in response to this.

    But if someone out there loves to build useful RPMs and has already built RPMS suitable for FC2 and/or FC3, please let me know where they are! I know I can't be the only one wanting them.
  • What about OS X? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ciurana ( 2603 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:45PM (#10932039) Homepage Journal

    Disclaimer: I'm an OOo advocate, as you can see from this Computerworld article ( are/apps/story/0,10801,92195,00.html?SKC=software- 92195 []) that I published last Spring.

    I used OOo since the days of StarOffice. I managed to write two books, many presentations, spreadsheets, and countless business documents in it. OOo is probably one of the best office applications and it's cross-platform.

    I had quasi undying loyalty to OOo until I decided to go to OS X. While the feature set is almost identical to other versions of OOo, the GUI is one of the ugliest. OOo also lacks compatibility with Exchange servers, which I'm forced to use for work (yuck!). For these two reasons, I had to cave in and return to Office:Mac.

    The efforts to tightly couple OOo with KDE or Gnome are important and interesting but far from the marketing win that OOo needs. An OOo version that supports the native OS X look and feel would probably win lots of support from Apple's user base because it would be, in most cases, a drop-in, free replacement for Office:Mac.

    I interact now with quite a few Mac users on regular basis; most, if not all, would love to ditch Office:Mac in favour of OOo if the GUI and other system integration issues were resolved. I believe that an OS X/Aqua version of OOo is more strategically important than one for Gnome or KDE because it would generate instant press outside the early-adopter, Linux world.

    A strategic marketing win could result in additional funding/participation/donations to OOo to carry on with other projects that, although important, lack the visibility that the Mac has or could bring to OOo.


    • The integration work for GNOME and KDE has been largely funded by Novell and Red Hat. There are apparently no such companies funding OS X integration, probably because Apple values its relationship with Microsoft too much.
    • Check out OOo's page on OSX development at

      Quoting the relevent section

      What's holding back the Quartz and Aqua tracks?

      To implement Quartz and Aqua, we will need to change APIs that are owned by different projects here at OOo, and the one we really do need to target is undergoing a major revamp (Toolkit2). These changes will affect all platforms, so we are working with gsl to get the hooks we need to complete a native port.

      Aside from our compilation efforts

  • I used OO in Windows XP (I know... I know, it's not by choice, the XP, that is.) Anyway, I think that anyone who uses OO in Windows recognizes it's mass shortcomings (which makes it difficult for me to recommend to others.) If they made OO integrate properly with Windows Widgets... then I'll be impressed... and excited.
    • While I agree and am looking forward to OOo 2.0 which, apparently, will be more "native-friendly" (is that true? anyone?), you could easily say the same thing about Firefox on OS X, for example. I'm not talking about the toolbar icons but the widgets like textboxes, radio buttons, etc.

      I can't imagine how difficult it must be to build a cross-platform application that a) remains internally consistent with itself and b) remains externally consistent with its environment.

      On the other hand, the default OOo

    • What more do you want this to do?? Java scripting (or your choice of languages) incredible DB support, a great text editor, cool drawing proggie and more, what more do you want?? No really, I would like to know.

  • screenshots (Score:4, Informative)

    by sewagemaster ( 466124 ) <sewagemaster@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday November 27, 2004 @04:08PM (#10932599) Homepage
    here [] and here []
  • Ok, I don't get it. What does this mean? Does it mean that OO no longer sucks in gnome? That would be great. I RTFA but it did not tell me in laymen's terms what will actually be better, just a promise that it would be.

    I use Abiword because I hate it when OO's writer turns my fairly fast computer into a stuttering idoit everytime I use the spellcheck (except for in Mandrake for some reason). Will this make that stop? I hope so, because I am getting tired of the bug in Abiword that keeps things you deleted

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"