Re: New Platform - GNOME-productivity.

This is great, and there should be more of this kind of thing.

I'd prefer, however, that you didn't try to define it partly as an
opposition to OpenOffice. That isn't necessary, and we are usually more
inclusive. It's better to define a release set in terms of it's positive
aims and common values. I think we have lots of that.

On Sat, 2005-05-21 at 13:30 +1000, msevior physics unimelb edu au wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
>              In addition to our GNOME-platform, GNOME-desktop and
> GNOME-bindings collections released every 6 months, I propose
> we include
> a GNOME-productivity software collection as well.
> I personally guarentee that GNOME-productivity would at least include
> AbiWord and that there will be stable and improved versions of AbiWord
> every 6 months for the forseeabe future.
> At the current rate of progress we are well on track to offer AbiWord-2.4
> for GNOME-2.12.
> I believe that developers of other productivity projects will also pledge
> to provide stable releases in synch with the GNOME 6-month release cycle.
> What do we as GNOME developers and proponents get from this platform?
> 1. First and foremost a new cutting edge for everyone to hack on. As has
> been pointed out recently, we all enjoy creating things with our minds
> through software. The GNOME-platform, GNOME-desktop and GNOME-bindings
> projects are mostly moving into maintainence mode. GNOME-productivity
> provides a vast range of opportunities for hackers to try new stuff and go
> one better than proprietry software.
> 2. By having our own productivity platform under our control we can shape
> a new desktop experience far beyond what Apple or Mircosoft can do at a
> far lower price point. We already index MS Word documents via Beagle and
> wv (the MS Word import library used by AbiWord) and we have a proof of
> principle we can do the same for PowerPoint through GOffice. Both Apple
> and MS require at least an $500 per desktop for productively software,
> which in the case of MS on Apple, can never be as fully integrated as what
> we can do. By developing GNOME-platform we can significantly improve ease
> of use to our users at a fantastic price point. (Well zero capital outlay,
> of course there will be on-going maintenence costs which the GNOME
> sponsers may want to bid for.)
> 3. It's clear that OO.o has been a failure at attracting grass roots
> hackers. It is also obvious that OO.o very much has it's own agenda which
> is not neccessarily that of GNOME's.
> 4. The GNOME-productivity code is far more accessible than that locked in
> OO.o. Both Novell and RedHat have fulltime OO.o hackers but neither chose
> to use OO.o software for their MS compatibility needs (Beagle or Evince.)
> Another point of comparison is my own project, AbiWord. The AbiWord
> code-base used for it's Unix FE is approximately 200-300 KLOC. This is an
> order of magnitude smaller than OO.o-Writer yet we do not have an order of
> magnitude fewer features. Our project can be built from scratch in 5
> minutes on a modern computer. The barrier for contribution is similarly an
> order of magnitude smaller.
> Why propose this now? Well frankly until now I did not think that AbiWord
> had the maturity to anchor the job of document production that is the
> essential task of a modern information worker. However this is no longer
> the case. AbiWord-2.4 will have the ability to render and print arbitrary
> content within it's documents as well as providing most of the features
> required by such workers in their daily use of word processors.
> In addition the GOffice project is really picking up steam and contains
> lots of useful code which will be of interest to many other projects.
> Gnumeric keeps on getting better and better and other projects may also
> wish to join.
> As I mentioned in an earlier email we have a proposal, GOCollab, to
> develop a real-time collaboration tool which, together with our existing
> collaborative programs, will leap-frog the currently accepted norm within
> the work-place and amongst students. I have already received some great
> feedback and suggestions for improvement for GOCollab already. I will
> shortly update the document describing the design to incorporate these
> ideas.
> I purposely do not propose to call this platform "GNOME-Office" because I
> do not think we should be locked into thinking the old standards defined
> by the marketing men at MS should dictate the useful applications that
> users want or need.
> Yours sincerely,
> Martin Sevior
> _______________________________________________
> gnome-hackers mailing list
> gnome-hackers gnome org
Murray Cumming
murrayc murrayc com

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