Re: What is GNOME office?

Dick Porter <dick+gnome acm org> writes: 
> Surely "what is GNOME Office" should be "all GNOME applications that do
> officey things". If we have more than one candidate for a particular role,
> then include them all. Choice is good (particularly when they all interoperate)!

I think it's a bit more complicated than that; we can't just say "oh,
they are all good, work on any of them" if people ask us what to work
on - both companies such as MandrakeSoft and volunteers will be
unhappy with that answer. And in this case the task is so large the
duplication of effort seems like a bad thing to me. We don't really
need a free competitor; we have MS Office to keep us inspired.

Remember that Microsoft's #1 attack on free software is that we don't
have central vision and don't have well-integrated software. GNOME has
in many ways been an answer to that, bringing enough expertise
together to start to finally create a solid, unified higher-level
system on top of UNIX. Components, GUI toolkit, etc. are part of that,
but the office suite is also part of it; especially since the office
components are frequently used as the core of custom applications and
are thus part of the development environment.

I don't think Mozilla vs. GtkHTML is a good analogy - those are
genuinely functionally different. That's why I've often been opposed
to bloating GtkHTML by supporting stuff like JavaScript; there's no
point having two full-featured browser components, but there is a
point to having both a full-blown browser and a lightweight browser.
In the office suite space, all the components are trying for the same
goals. Though one possible resolution to the current situation is to
come up with reasonable separate niches for the projects.

That said, I don't think we should choose immediately by any means, we
should wait for some kind of de facto semi-obvious plan. I'd like to
see StarOffice 6.0 come out and AbiWord 1.0 come out and so on, while
keeping the lines of communication open and keeping an open mind. We
really need to avoid the Motif/OpenLook mess and present a strong,
unified front against proprietary desktop software.


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