Re: What is GNOME office?

On Thu, Nov 16, 2000 at 06:53:48PM -0500, Kevin D. Knerr, Sr. wrote:
> I'm probably in a minority here (and if marketing "statistics" can be
> trusted, I definitely am), but I *hate* IE and MS-Office.
> Which begs the age-old question: do we mimic the UI of MS apps because
> that's what most end-users are accustomed to, or do we try to go at
> least one step better, but risk "confusing" these folks.

> Personally, I'd like to see us take the approach of "weaning"--helping
> the end-users move from pablum to steak. But that will require a
> delicate balancing act of robust features, technical excellence, ease of
> use, and ease of transition.

> Any agreement here? Or am I just living in the past?

I can comment fairly definitively on spreadsheets.  IMO you are
throwing out the baby with the bath water.  Having spent several
years playing proctologist to MS Excel (tm) it is clear that it has
problems.  There are definitely things that could be improved upon.
However, while working on Gnumeric I have seen the vast amount of
thought and consideration that went into even the basic feature set.
We have an enormous amount of work to do before we are anywhere
near as polished and usable (for expert and novice).  This holds
true for OpenOffice too.

The goals of Gnumeric are very clear, embrace and extend.  We try to
avoid implementing anything that seems like broken, and if there is
time, we add a few improvements.  However, the reality is that we're
still very far behind in terms of usability, and attempts to
redesign the concept of a spreadsheet or even major features should
take place in GnomeOffice 2.0 when we have the luxury of a more
polished code base, and one hell of a lot more experience with how
things are used.

We're catching up quickly.  Our code base is much more malleable and
up to date than their byzantine internals (have a look at the Excel C
api one day).  Add in the natural benefits of open source and it seems
possible that we will overtake them eventually.  However, until then
I'd be careful attempting to wean anyone from pablum onto a napkin
drawing of a steak.

Have a good day,

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