StarOffice as idea source


I just downloaded StarOffice 4.0 (about a 7 hour process on my 14.4). It's
a reasonable application, for novice users it might be the best thing
going on Linux now, though it has many problems.

It implements its own environment, complete with window manager, file
manager, and applications.  Functionally, this is pretty much what Gnome
should be, IMO. We might think of StarOffice as a competing environment. 

Which means we should steal their ideas shamelessly, and avoid their
mistakes.:) The first obvious improvement Gnome will have is that
StarOffice is one big executable, including all the apps, file manager,
and window manager. Which is slow and removes the benefits of protected
memory. Clearly we don't want to copy the bloat aspect - with CORBA and
the power of free software we should be able to get integration without
having to replace all existing facilities.

If you want a demo of my simplified file system suggestion, they've
already done it. Here's how it works:

They have an Office40/explorer directory; in the file manager this shows
up as the root directory. Beneath it are .url files, which are text files
much like .desktop files (uncannily similar, actually). There is also a
funny binary file which links out to the real filesystem.

So the visible hierarchy is:
 /Address Book
 /Recycle Bin
 /Work Folder
   ...  [entire real filesystem]

The implementation is:

$ls -R ~/.Office40/explorer 
Trash          adressen.sdb   gallery.sga    workplace.sdx
Work folder    bookmarks      samples.url


/home/hp/.Office40/explorer/Work folder:

internet      soffice.url   stardivi.url  support.url

acronyms.url  howtodo.url   smiley.url
cliparts.url  htmlmanl.url  textures.url

I think we want to avoid their rather unsubtle ripping off of Windows -
"Explorer", "Recycle Bin" :)

Anyway, add this to the list of platforms to scrounge for ideas on. 

Havoc Pennington

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