Re: What is GNOME office?

On Thu, 16 Nov 2000, Kevin D. Knerr, Sr. wrote:

> And that is the real trick--to deliver a technically excellent product
> that end-user *can* and will *want* to use . . .
> 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.

The approach we've tried to take in Abiword is to make each feature we
implement as least as good as good as MS Word. If we're unsure how to
present a UI feature to the user and there is no clear better way to do
it we copy MS Word.

Where we think we have a better way of presenting a feature to the user
we'll do it.

My favourite example of this in our Word Count feature which you can park
to the side of your document and watch your word count advance to the 1000
words you need for your term paper.

For our "Insert Symbol" feature the user can of course park the dialog to
one side of the document, type and select symbols as they wish. In
addition the user can select a symbol with a double click or a single
click and cntl-key.

In the 0.7.12 release we'll debut our Lists feature which copies some
features of MS Word but also extends it it ways we hope the user will
appreciate. It is also an up-updating modeless dialog that shows the
current list state as you type as well as giving the user a preview of
their currently selected list state. We're also extremely flexible in
our range of list delimiters.  MS Word certainly does not allow this.

We have lots of ideas on how features from MS Word can be improved and
we're having a lot of fun implementing them. The ace up our sleeve are
Modeless dialogs. These can be used in many ways to make the end-user
experience more enjoyable.

We're way behind MS Word in many, many features but that's OK. We know how
to implement them and we'll get around to them. Each one we do we will try
to go one better than them.

We have a huge advantage of working from a modern well designed framework
and lots of free software projects to steal code and ideas from.

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

Well we in Abiword certainly want to do better. We will try whenever we
can to do so.


Martin Sevior

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