Re: What is GNOME office?

On Wed, Nov 15, 2000 at 08:23:54AM -0800, Bart Decrem wrote:
> We need to face the fact that we don't have a competitive productivity suite,
> that it's a *major* hurdle in our move to make GNOME *the* free desktop of
That depends on what we are comparing :
Competitive with MS Office   : No
Competitive with Open Office : In spots
Competitive with KOffice     : Easily

> choice, and agree to focus our energies on deliver ONE kick-butt suite that
> includes a wordprocessor, spreadsheet, presentation package, charting tool,
> painting program, personal organizer suite, maybe web-browser.  And I know this

> is a controversial item, but I do think that the wordprocessor,
> spreadsheet and presentation packages should be primarily built on
> the OpenOffice code base.
I disagree strongly.

It is rather early to tell.  As the Gnumeric maintainer I
have looked at starCalc with a greedy gleam in my eyes.  The results
have been both more and less than I had hoped.  There are a plethora
of features implemented that we lack in Gnumeric.  On the other hand
many of them are not implemented as well as I'd have hoped.  The
architecture definitely shows its age in spots.

However, the main impediment I see is that while OpenOffice may
eventually use Bonobo, it appears unlikely to use GTk or glib
directly any time soon.  OpenOffive has a massive investment in a
suite of libraries at least as complex as the current GNOME
development platform.  Right down to their own string and
translation routines.  Changing that will be a massive undertaking.

My preference is to raid starCalc for individual features at the low
level, and to work towards adopting their interfaces (UNO/Bonobo,
structured files) at the high level.

I would strongly caution against making a quick decision regarding
what to bless as 'the' suite.  As a long time spreadsheet user I
recognise that MS Excel(tm) is in a league of its own.  If we want
to replace it we will need to embrace and extend it.  OpenOffice is
further along the path than Gnumeric, but it is by no means a direct
competitor to MS Office.  I'm hoping that Gnumeric's more nimble
code base and a bit of cannibalism can catapult us closer to the
market leader.


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