Re: What is GNOME office?

Miguel wrote:
One thing needs to be said about Abi: Abi is as GNOME compliant as
StarWord can be in the short term: they do not use GNOME libraries
internally, they do not depend on it.

Abi is a cross platform project that has little to do with GNOME,
except that they do have a "port" to GNOME.
Grrr... Ok, let's go over this once and for all. I am *really* tired of this mentality. Please take notes.

As far as gnome-libraries useage:

Abi uses: gtk, glib, gdk, libxml2, gnome-libs, libole2, gal, gnome-print
Gnumeric uses: gtk, glib, libxml, gnome-libs, libole2, gal, gnome-print, gnome-config, (not used by default and support is a little sketchy: bonobo, gb)

So the difference between gnumeric's usage and Abi's is basically bonobo (which isn't enabled in gnumeric by default and is unsupported and sketchy at best). Our own config engine works fine, so why replace it? We could extend our config class to build on top of gnome-config or gconf if we felt like it. I personally don't see what it gains us and I can be doing better things with my time. That's the beauty of a modular modern C++ design.

I've been looking into supporting gb too (which also isn't compiled into gnumeric by default). Bonobo support in Abi should come with our next release [crosses fingers]. I think that we will actually be able to be embedded in other apps, unlike premier gnome apps like Gnumeric (in fairness, there was a hack I saw posted 2 weeks ago on their list, but it was a *hack*).

This list of Abi's used libraries is larger than say gnotepad, gnomeicu, and 99.9% of the other recognized/blessed gnome apps out there(only known exceptions are Nautilus, Evolution, and Gnumeric). Two of those apps are developed primarily by helix hackers. The third by Helix's "sister company." Is there a mentality that anything not developed by Helix isn't considered a true Gnome app? And you claim we're not using any of the gnome framework? Go figure. Had me fooled. Those lines of code must be linking against some mystery KDE2 C-based library with their GTK+ theme engine enabled...

[Jody, sorry to be comparing to Gnumeric so often. All Helix hackers: I love your software and use it religiously. Everything is great and shows a lot of promise. I wish I had some more free time so I could contribute to them]

You insult me because I'm personally the person who does the "port to gnome" amongst a great many other things. I care very much about it and get really pissed at statements like this. Just because we have code that compiles on platforms without gnome-libs installed doesn't mean we don't care about the gnome "port." Sheesh! For the record, we use glib and libole2 across *all* of our platforms. In fact, we are the reason libole2 runs on non Unixes.

We care very deeply about *all* of our ports. It's our rallying point. *No* word processor and no application of significant size/complexity works on as many platforms as we do, save Mozilla. It just happens that most of our code can live in an XP layer that compiles with other compilers than gcc. I thought that this was the "holy grail" of software development, not its bain.

We have an XP API layer. SO has their VCL. Everyone seems has woodies now that Sun *might* port that to use GTK and Gnome widgets. We have our framework and we're just some piss-poor gnome-wannabie app. Go figure.

On top of that, you have to factor in the fact that Abi is not really
very robust.  Back in the early days of Helix, when we were looking
toward creating an entire office suite, it was obvious that we would
have to start a new word processing effort for GNOME, as Abi did not
fit the requirements to go against an offering like Microsoft Word.

Jody comes out and says that Gnumeric doesn't have all of the features that StarCalc or Excel has. He says that he's looking into improving Gnumeric with ideas/code from SO. You (rightfully) applaud him. We say that we're not as feature-complete as MSWord and are looking into adopting SO code/ideas and we're told that we're not robust and to go screw ourselves because Helix is going to come up with their on WP anyway. WTF??

In many ways, we are inferior to SO and MSWord. This is openly recognized and admitted. There are a lot of reasons for this. We're a lot younger, don't have hundreds of people hacking full-time for money, etc... Give us time. If you're talking about how relatively "buggy" we feel, may I remind you that we're not at 1.0 yet. We plan on doing about 2 solid months of bug-fixing before that release (our whole 0.9.0 cycle). Things will be fixed in short order. There is much room for improvement. You may be surprised with the 0.7.12 release out soon. There are some dialogs that say popup "dialog not coded." This is exactly what it means: the core functionality is mostly there, we just need to put a face on it. It also asks for help with the code, but I've never seen a helix face help out with the exception of Meeks and Lauris. Their help has been appreciated. It seems that it would be a lot easier to help us out with our missing features and bugs instead of coding your own WP. But hey, that's what open source is about. You run Helix, not me.

In a lot of ways, we're there too. We have support for so an overwhelming majority of MSWord's/SO's features. We have better support than they do for a lot of things too and some things they haven't even thought of (round trip docbook and wml. output to palm-doc, for example, besides what Martin and Sam mentioned and some other things). Our MSWord import support is *second only to MSWord.* And that's only because they support tables internally. SO and Corel can't touch us. SO has hired wvWare's initial author to bring their filters up to date. It'll take some time. Romour has it that they wanted to hire me. Meanwhile, I (the current wvWare author) have extended wvWare and made it tons more robust. I cannot crash our importer or get it to behave badly except on Word docs that crash MSWord too. Word export is underway and looking promising.

To conclude, I'm tired of this "Abi isn't a gnome app" mentality. We've really put a lot of effort into Abi. I hate to get slighted like this.


Flame on, brothas
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