Re: What is GNOME office?

Lauris Kaplinski <lauris helixcode com> writes:
> > I don't agree - I think Microsoft and Apple technologies are extremely
> > high quality in general, in many, many ways ahead of us. Beating them
> > will involve making our technology at least as good as theirs, if not
> > compellingly better. So I think 2) is an essential step in 1). You
> > can't win on marketing alone. People are using free software because
> > it meets their needs.
> Hmmm...
> I personally would consider those to be a huge pile of mud, containing
> some diamonds. But I have not seen the actual code...
> Anyways, think about:
> Windows/DOS vs. MacOS
> Windows/DOS/MacOS vs. Amiga
> Windows/DOS/MacOS vs. Unix
> ...

The operating systems are bad, yes. But Internet Explorer and MS
Office are excellent. As is the component/control technology and the
.NET cross-language runtime. These are the things we should be
trying to equal or exceed.
Users don't like the way Windows crashes a lot and has countless
driver problems. But users _love_ IE and Office. They are simply very
good programs. And they are well-architected with components and
high-level languages.

> So I have strong feeling that better techincal solution does not win
> in short-term. Just do not mix end-user experience (which is great for
> WinMac) with techincal features (which are endless source of joy (or
> frustration) to people writing code).

GNOME is about delivering technology to end users - this is part of
the original vision. When Miguel started GNOME, Berlin and GNUStep did
exist and people said they should be used, since they were technically
better. But guess what - those desktops still aren't usable and still
don't exist from the end-user perspective. GNOME does.
> > For me in the technical evaluation we need to be thinking of how we'll
> > have a competitive office suite 2, 3 years down the road; that's the
> > kind of timeframe that I'd see as realistic. Remember that Netscape
> > ended up wasting a year trying to develop a bad codebase, then dumped
> > it and ended up taking 2 more years to write Mozilla, for a total of 3
> > years on a web browser. I see no reason to expect the office suite
> > process to be shorter.
> This sounds more political than techincal need to me...
> Political: We need good office suite to get more end-users and grow
>   our project presence
> Techincal: I know The Right Way (TM) how a word processor should
>   handle things both internally and externally, so I go with implementing
>   it, regardless how much time it will take.

I don't see how the Right Way can be right if it doesn't involve doing
something useful for users, which means users need to be using the

Engineering is about delivering the most useful stuff to the people
who will use it. A Lamborghini is more technically excellent than my
Toyota. But my Toyota is more reliable, gets better mileage, and was a
whole lot cheaper. So I prefer the Toyota. It is in a real sense a
technically better car than the Lamborghini, because a Lamborghini is
not useful to me.

I think we should leave the luxury niche market to Apple.

> Surely the foundation has to keep reasonable balance between political
> and techincal issues. But I also have strong feeling, that many gnome
> hackers are not well prepared to preserve clear mind in dealing with
> active corporate lobby - otherwise I cannot understand, why the OO
> and other similar issues are up at all.

It has nothing to do with corporate lobby. What to do with OO and
GNOME Office is hardly a clear-cut issue, all corporate concerns
aside. The issue on the table here is how to take the hackers and
hacker teams we have available, and the various pieces of code we have
available, and end up with the best possible free alternative to
proprietary systems. I don't agree that there's an obvious Right Way
to do that. Which is why I would take a "wait-and-see" approach for a
few months.

In the meantime, I think you should post the technical approach you
would take and the reasons for it, because this technical approach is
what we need to figure out.

You are arguing that because people don't agree with your technical
approach they must be corporate-influenced, and you haven't even
presented and justified your technical approach. So I don't see why
you expect people to agree with it.


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