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Review of KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8 – On Windows

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the didn't-see-that-coming-did-you dept.

KDE 162

4WebChimps writes "As featured previously on Slashdot, the KOffice project is working towards a cross-platform, open source office suite for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. The most recent release, KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8, achieved that goal by being the first release for all three operating systems simultaneously. Want to try KOffice on Windows? TechWorld has a review (with screenshots) of KOffice on Windows, including the installation process which is as simple as clicking a few buttons (the online installer does the rest). Hopefully it won't be long before KOffice sits alongside OpenOffice.org as a usable cross-platform open source productivity suite."

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kwrite? (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056633)

This is nice, but what I want to see is kwrite ported natively to windows.

Re:kwrite? (3, Informative)

entrigant (233266) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056731)

already done

OOOoooo! With screenshots !! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056801)

God I Love a Parade !! With SCREENSHOTS !!

Re:kwrite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24059247)

Informative?

Informative is providing a link to the download for the application.

Then the impeding horror when you realise that for a text editor, you would have to download the entirety of KDE4 for Windows as well. Win!

Admittedly, there are a billion text editors for Windows, and they're all missing something. I'm sticking with context for now.

Re:kwrite? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056765)

What do you mean native? MSOffice uses it's own toolkit, not the standard windows toolkit. KOffice is using QT, so that's non-standard too.

Look, think about it as a positive. Lots of people are testing the same UI on different platforms so any bugs found on Linux will be fixed in Windows too. Also users can move between operating systems without having a radically different interface.

Strategically KOffice matters to the Office File Format debate... OpenDocument (ODF) vs Microsofts OOXML.

Healthy competition in standards is needed like it is in the browser market. KOffice uses ODF (of course it couldn't use OOXML without reverse-engineering) and by being the second most popular implementation it helps keep OpenOffice.org honest (not that there's any sign that they're not honest). When MSOffice support ODF then KOffice will be more important still -- it will help evaluate ODF compliance and interoperability. [softwarefreedom.org]

Microsoft Office earns them 10 billion and a part of that is coming out of your country's economy -- competition in the form of KOffice is very good indeed. It's particularly good that they're embracing Windows -- it worked for Firefox.

Re:kwrite? (3, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056823)

It's particularly good that they're embracing Windows -- it worked for Firefox.

Yep, pretty soon I'll be installing Firefox to replace my Windows installation.

Re:kwrite? (4, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058175)

Why? Emacs uses less RAM. PLUS it has a web browser built in

Re:kwrite? (4, Informative)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057987)

What does he mean? He means he would like to see Kwrite [kde-apps.org] ported natively to Windows.

The word processing component of Koffice, to which I assume you think he is referring, is called "KWord".

kwrite via MS Windows version of KDE! (4, Informative)

pbhj (607776) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058329)

In which case you should be looking at the KDE install for windows, sorry it's via an easy-as-falling-over installer too.

http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/KDE_on_Windows/Installation [kde.org]

Kwrite IIRC is part of the default installation - it's on my Vista install (I'm not rebooting to check).

More info at http://windows.kde.org/ [kde.org] too.

HTH

Re:kwrite? (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058343)

Re:kwrite? (3, Interesting)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24059335)

Thanks, actually I already tried this, and it's not that good, unfortunately. It lags rather a lot on my machine, and the text rendering is quite poor too.

Not that it isn't a nice start, but that's why I specified 'native'. I want Kwrite working on windows without needing anything but windows QT.

euch (5, Interesting)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056659)

Anyone else really hate online installers? I hate downloading a 20meg program, getting ready to install and use only to find out that you've then got to wait for the real 200meg program to download.

Some people like to start a download then go off and have lunch whilst something downloads, not to come back and find out it wants you to download some more stuff.

Re:euch (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056703)

One more here.

I can't think of a benefit that couldn't be replicated through another method with both less hassle for the user AND less work for the developers.

Re:euch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056819)

Yes, as you can see from the screenshot [idg.com.au] it's downloading way too much. I understand that KDE needs that but at least provide a single file download... or something that says "I can't do feature X until you download this, download now? [YES] [no]".

It's great that they've made it to Windows, but it needs some polish. And how about a new theme too eh? Windows doesn't look like Windows 3.11 anymore, but this default theme still does. That's an easy fix that should be included in the next version.

Re:euch (2, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056987)

doesn't look like Windows 3.11 anymore,

While style is not unimportant, I'm quite a bit more interested in reasonable features, stability, and keyboard navigation.
Here's a shout out to all ma homiez that really don't require a skinnable, theme-able printing dialog!

Re:euch (2, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24059293)

Here's a shout out to all ma homiez that really don't require a skinnable, theme-able printing dialog!

But this is KDE, the print dialog will be skinnable AND themable, The only part of my setup another KDE user would recognise would be my panels.

Re:euch (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#24059475)

I have tons of respect for KDE: those hackers could code me into the dirt.
All of the tweakability is kinda lost on me, though.

Re:euch (1)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057391)

It's great that they've made it to Windows, but it needs some polish. And how about a new theme too eh? Windows doesn't look like Windows 3.11 anymore, but this default theme still does. That's an easy fix that should be included in the next version.

since it's so easy why don't you do that? unfortunately there a lot of dependencies in kdelibs like dbus, soprano, strigi etc.. most of these are mandatory but there are also other optional requirement that are checked at compile time, so we can't build 10 kinds of kdelibs(or package xxx) just to disable something it's like linux distro you can't choose to install qt4 with ssl support or without it but you'll get what's available

Re: "I can't do ___ until you get ____" (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058973)

And as you wished, it does that too.

I am getting hard "missing file" errors. I know it's only Alpha, but at least it should be able to open the very initial part of the app.

The first example is "phonon.dll"... but there are more. Randomly looking on the web returned a blog entry by a guy who hated the phonon concept.

Re:euch (5, Informative)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056829)

The benefit is that the installer will take care of dependencies, so that the user doesn't have to install a >100 MB package for each program she wants, or to install a huge package of apps if she only wants a few.

I can't think of a reason why this shouldn't be obvious.

Re:euch (4, Insightful)

19061969 (939279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057431)

Maybe a lot of users don't know what a software dependency is?

It's a valid point - very few people in the real world care or understand about what a shared library is even if you tell them carefully. Let's face it - being into computers is not a majority thing. Most people don't give a stuff. They really just want things to work easily for them.

Re:euch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24057569)

And very few of those people are reading Slashdot or installing beta versions of obscure office suite. What's your point?

Re:euch (1)

Lafeek (1213360) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057711)

How hard is it to explain?

Let's try : "This software needs that part of software to work, and this other software needs that same part of software to work. By using this installer, you only need to download and install that part only once."

Re:euch (4, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057913)

That's a perfectly valid point, but those people shouldn't pollute Slashdot with their silly complaints. Back in the days, people who self-identified as "nerds" would have endless and pointless discussions of making Linux-powered robots that could brew coffee, or configuring Emacs to do it or whatever (single-threaded coffee, urgh), but these days there's a loud majority of Slashbots who seem to think that market share is the only valid goal and hence the only valid technical goal is that idiots should be able to use it: the idiot as the epitome and endpoint of human technical endeavours.

These people claim the superiority of "it just works" over "how does it work?", and regularly chip in with smug Apple sales pitches, technically and socially impossible suggestions such as that Gnome and KDE should merge, and that software with special dependencies should work just as software without those. The only positive way to deal with these idiots is with sarcasm. I'm sure that if we cared about their views, then we should listen to them, but we shouldn't.

Re:euch (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057679)

The problem is not that there is an installer that takes care of the depenencies. It is that *every* *damn* *program* needs its /own/ installer.

What we need is something akin to a torrent program, where the dependencies and actual program are transmitted to one program whose extension is registered with a universal handler. This is no different than apt or those other page management solutions.

The distinction is that grandparent post is complaining about an exe, and I agree that he shouldn't have an exe - they come with security issues. Keeping things to a single universal installer you can trust the universal installer, it provides a consistent interface and can be registered with the system as a "safe" program. Then you're left to download only a data file which will be in a standard format. With that standard format people have a common base from which to innovate.

Plans for KOffice on CD? (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057049)

I can't think of a benefit that couldn't be replicated through another method with both less hassle for the user AND less work for the developers.

Slashdot recently ran a story about a study of dial-up Internet users [slashdot.org] , which showed that 49 percent of dial-up Internet users in the United States couldn't afford broadband. The OpenOffice.org project works around this by listing vendors that will distribute copies on CDs for a fee [openoffice.org] . Once KOffice for Windows is out of alpha and beta, who will be the first to do the same for KOffice?

Re:Plans for KOffice on CD? (2, Informative)

Clueless Nick (883532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057245)

I don't know about your home country, but I get my CDs downloaded and shipped by Zyxware

http://www.zyxware.com/requestcd [zyxware.com]

Re:euch (4, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056809)

An online installer shouldn't be 20mb, it should be less than 2mb and pull in just the components necessary to install the rest of the program. The exact size is going to vary from application to application.

The point of online installers is that they are in theory at least going to be downloading just what you're installing. If a program doesn't offer any options in terms of what to install, it shouldn't offer an online installer as there isn't really any benefit to doing so.

Re:euch (1)

funfail (970288) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056837)

If a program doesn't offer any options in terms of what to install, it shouldn't offer an online installer as there isn't really any benefit to doing so.

Well, it guarantees that you are installing the latest version but I don't think that it's a real benefit either.

Re:euch (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056911)

Latest version, fine... but whats the 20MB's then? Is the EULA, and ReadMe all in some PDF or something, with some giant flash-based introduction nonsense while it installs... with music?

Like hedwards said, it shouldn't be 20MB, and it shouldn't even be 2MB, a generic Online-Install for a single OS can be as small as 150KB or so and still cover most of the major languages/etc.

Re:euch (5, Insightful)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056933)

it seems to be a kind of mini package manager that runs on windows, that allows you to install kde apps the same way you do on linux. so this installer thing doesnt just install koffice - it stays on your system and allows you to install and uninstall any other kde apps that become available for windows in the future.

i think i heard that kde have a long term plan of being able to run a full KDE desktop session on top of windows - presumably this package manager is the foundation of that ultimate goal.

Re:euch (3, Informative)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057093)

Indeed, I was hoping they would be a little more quick with it, but I think you are right in saying "long term plan" was about right, although I imagine that if its anything like Slashdot (et al) that trying to find people to blaspheme and create Windows stuff is a problem.

Although, im not sure where the 20MB's came from now anyways (I responded before even looking).. but after looking [kde.org] the installer is only 1.6MB ... which isnt too bad, seeing how many languages it supports, and the fact it may even come with 2 different compilers aswell...

Re:euch (1)

ageforce_ (719072) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056981)

AFAIK KDE-lib depends on many libraries. It would be a waste of bandwidth to bundle these libraries to every KDE-program. If you install Amarok and Koffice you should not need to download these libraries twice.

Re:euch (1)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057011)

At least atm the windows version is still kinda linuxy. If you look at the first screenshot in the article, it's the list of dependencies the installer's going to download. If you really want to, you can download all of them manually, put them in the packages directory and it will use them during installation. But that's a pretty crazy way of doing this.

It should be quite easy to create an image containing KOffice and all dependencies (perhaps with a seperate image for kdelibs+Qt) that you can download and that then acts as a repository for the packages themselves.

But imho KDE4Win won't be ready for primetime before KDE4.2 and an online installer with separate packages is superior for frequent developer/beta-tester releases.

Me too, (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057493)

Anyone else really hate online installers?

Yes! Why do developers assume that every computer has a fast, always-on connection to the internet? Some computers, for reasons of security, practicality, expense or other reasons, are not connected (or only sometimes connected, or slowly connected). If I can't download a full package that can be installed on another computer from a USB flash drive, then that's a program I won't be installing.

And while we're on the topic of annoying installers, I also hate the ones that assume everyone already has Visual Basic, Visual C++, etc. run-time DLLs. If it didn't come with Windows, don't assume I have it. At least tell me when I'm downloading your program that I need them and where I can find them.

Re:euch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24058685)

There are KDE distros smaller than or slightly bigger than 200MB.

Supporting Windows is a nightmare - no package management, terrible directory structure, no real shared libraries (in standard locations, that is). Developers have to bundle everything but the kitchen sink with their apps.

Why ... (4, Interesting)

RalphLeon (856789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056697)

Why had this taken so long? KOffice is built with Qt, a robust cross-platform gui toolkit, http://trolltech.com/products/qt/ [trolltech.com] .

Being a enterprise developer using Qt, the worse that I've had to deal with is some linking issues with dynamic libraries and GUI adjustments when porting to windows from linux...

Perhaps the "KDE" portion of the code is harder to port than the "Qt" portion?

Re:Why ... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056727)

Because the older versions of Qt that the old KDE was built on was only free/Free on Linux. Windows Qt used to be only available with a expensive commercial license, and nobody from KDE felt like paying for the privilege of supplying free software to Windows users.

Re:Why ... (5, Informative)

entrigant (233266) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056733)

QT was not GPL on windows until version 4

Re:Why ... (4, Informative)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057241)

This is where Java shines. In C++, you can use platform-independent frameworks, but still you need for each and every platform to setup (possibly virtual) machine with compilation build-chain, installation process, and you better test if final result really works or some library is missing. Assuming you don't use 64-bit version of each platform, which doubles maintenance/QA effort. After all this you just *hope* you don't recieve that "Your app regularly crash on my FreeBSD x.y.z !" e-mail. For big projects like KDE/KOffice obviously this is problem, hence delay of KOffice Windows version, for small development team it is *huge* problem. This is why I really love Java, I almost forgot all STL incompatibility issues and C++ compiler nuances. Its not that Java program cannot behave different on various platforms, its that I encountered it once for last 3 years, and its fixed already in Java 6.

Re:Why ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24057575)

Java: Write once, debug everywhere.

Re:Why ... (-1, Troll)

siride (974284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058073)

You've got to be kidding me. Supporting Java, even something as simple as applets, across multiple platforms is a nightmare. The number of GUI bugs and inconsistencies is astounding, both in AWT and Swing. Supporting Mac is especially fun, since it has its own Java implementation, with its own set of bugs and oddities. And then there's the fact that different versions of Java, even different sub-versions, have their sets of problems, so workarounds need to be able to work with different sets of bugs. It's really a nightmare. I'm not saying C++ is better, b/c it's not, but Java does NOT shine in any way, shape or form.

Re:Why ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24058365)

What if I don't want to run your bytecode on Sun's Java implementation? Java wasn't called write once test everywhere for nothing.... (yes it's much better now but so is C++)

Re:Why ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24058967)

This is where Java shines.

Hahaha. Java doesn't shine anywhere. You can't polish a turd.

Re:Why ... (4, Interesting)

jstaniek (967692) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057381)

The port was available in 2004 already, but just not maintained. The KDE 4 port is available on Windows since I compiled the stuff in September 2007.

People are just not aware of that.

The problem is the deployment of alpha software, we have no volunteers to even make good screenshots (the article shows GIMP on one of them!). Don't expect developers to work more than 24h a day :)

Again, there is single codebase in most KDE apps (minus examples like Konsole), no "hard porting" is needed except work on dependencies that are non-Qt, e.g. less portable filter dependencies for Krita.

Re:Why ... (2, Interesting)

Simon (815) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057909)

Why had this taken so long?

eeerrr... because they have been busy porting it from Qt3 to Qt4.

--
Simon

All hail the 3-digit UID. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24059071)

better listen to this guy.

Review? Really? (5, Informative)

knutert (1142047) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056715)

Calling it a review is stretching it...in short, he installed it and noticed that it ran slow, which is probably because it is alpha software.

Re:Review? Really? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058729)

TFS wasn't much shorter than TFA. Impressive.

Excellent news (2, Interesting)

squoozer (730327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056729)

While this is certainly great news for KDE realistically we are going to be able to count the number of Windows users on one hand. There will be plenty of people (me included) that will down load it to see how good it is but then never use it again because it's incompatable with other office software*. While I know it can read ODF and .doc etc it doesn't do it well enough that it's a drop in replacement for MS Office or even Open Office.

Personally I really hope that they port Kontact soon. It's streets ahead of Thunderbird and a half way decent competitor to Outlook.

* any broken formatting when opening a non-native file format means it's incompatible as far as I'm concerned.

Re:Excellent news (5, Informative)

tomtomtom777 (1148633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056767)

My personal favorite is Krita, which IMHO is surpasses GIMP in many ways. Full CMYK support, much more friendly user interface and better intergration with the Office suite.

Re:Excellent news (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056923)

My personal favorite is Krita, which IMHO is surpasses GIMP in many ways. Full CMYK support, much more friendly user interface and better intergration with the Office suite.

Some mod made this down as Offtopic. I mean "-1, boring" maybe but offtopic? Not in the slightest.

Re:Excellent news (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056951)

I can only add my voice of support.
I hate these hey-find-me-on-your-desktop GIMP windows, and Krita is already as powerful as GIMP (we can only look for some scripting engine).

Re:Excellent news (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24057111)

There will be plenty of people (me included) that will down load it to see how good it is but then never use it again because it's incompatable with other office software*.

* any broken formatting when opening a non-native file format means it's incompatible as far as I'm concerned.

KOffice uses ODF as its native format, and MSOffice can't currently handle that.

Since ODF is the native format for a large number of Office suites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument_software

While MS Office' own format is native for only 1 Offic suite, then clearly MS Office is the suite you should drop by your own criteria.

Then Word is incompatible (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057801)

* any broken formatting when opening a non-native file format means it's incompatible as far as I'm concerned.

Then you might as well go download Microsoft's ODF plug-in for Microsoft Office Word [geek.com] , find one little error, and then call Word "incompatible" with ODF. If you want to preserve formatting, use a desktop publishing program that's designed to preserve formatting, and then export to PDF.

Re:Then Word is incompatible (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058279)

If word can't correctly read and format 99.99% of ODF documents perfectly it's not fully compatible with ODF. At 99.99% you are talking about 1 in 10000 documents having a formatting error (it's actually probably better than that because the problems are most likely to appear in rarely used formatting types but the idea is good). That isn't a fantastic level of realiability IMHO. In a company where 100 people are using Office that would mean one user would see a fault every 100 documents. I could easily imagine people use 100 documents a month. In reality I bet the "perfect conversion" rate is much lower, something like 80% with another 19.5% being pretty well converted - well enough that the developers feel they can get away without calling it a failure. Maybe some people are willing to live with that level of reliability but I'm not. Don't get me wrong I use Open Office for all my personal documents but everything for my company is MS Office and never the twain shall meet.

Re:Excellent news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24057865)

"There will be plenty of people (me included) that will down load it to see how good it is but then never use it again because it's incompatable with other office software*."

I'm more concerned that I'll download it then decide that it looks like a turd on a pig wearing lipstick. I'm sorry, but opensource software just looks so fucking awful. I'll stick to MS Office thanks.

Unique (3, Interesting)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056769)

KOffice is different from OO and MSOffice in that it has a clean codebase and is written for a toolkit which actually also is used for something else. Even microsoft doesn't eat its own dogfood and steers clear of dot net for MSOffice. In this way KOffice must be faster growing and could have a nice future.

Yeah, that's the first thing I ask myself... (1)

Illbay (700081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24059353)

...when I try new software. "Does it have a clean codebase?"

Of course the fact that I'm not a coder, and have no way of knowing the answer to this is irrelevant. I'm sure I can find the answer to my question SOMEWHERE, proffered by someone who DOES claim to know.

The divide between "makers" and "users" of software has NEVER been so evident.

Tag? (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056775)

Hello, it's running on windows. How about a tag to reflect that? Darn, I hate being a n00b.

Re:Tag? (0, Offtopic)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056813)

But can it run Linux?

One slight problem... (4, Insightful)

madenglishbloke (829598) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056797)

On thing that concerns me - Linux-style package management is something that anyone who has been using Linux for any length of time will know and understand - but for a general 'Doze user to suddenly be told "you want to install packages A, B, +C, which require packages X, Y, +Z", this is going to set off all sorts of alarms. A lot of Windows users are (finally) getting used to the idea that some software will try and install all manner of nasties, they are going to see this list of additional software that needs installing, and freak out, meaning theyre not going to install it. Pity, as this looks as if it could potentially be a viable alternative to MS Orifice or OpenOffice.

Re:One slight problem... (3, Insightful)

Prep_Styles (564065) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056825)

I think your concern is justified, but can they not release a single installer with all necessary files as needed? Windows users would have to wait for someone to release a stable build but I don't see the problem with that. The rest of use can just run it on Linux.

Re:One slight problem... (3, Insightful)

madenglishbloke (829598) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056901)

A single installer would be great - but going off the 6th screen-shot, adding additional features later would invoke the download of extra packages that you didnt explicitly ask for. With my Linux user hat on, I'm thinking "Ok, go ahead" - but with my 'Doze admin hat on, my first instinct is "ok, so whats going on here then?"

I'll second that! (4, Interesting)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056957)

I agree. The way that Windows package management, if you will, is geared towards single file binary installers. Or, a network admin install, as MSI supports both. Really, I haven't seen much legit use of DLLs as they were intended (shared libraries) when it comes to applications. After "DLL Hell" everyone just started statically linking in the libraries, and can you blame them? I mean, MSI does have some really cool features, but dependency tracking for DLLs is not one of them.

I routinely have statically linked executables that will just refuse to uninstall and I can't get rid of the entry. Then I'm stuck ripping out shards of the program from every folder structure and the registry... for the next two years. At that point, they're still resident when I blow away my OS partition and steamroller a new Windows install.

People are used to Windows install routines by now; you get the programName-setup.exe or .msi, double click on it, and watch the bar go across the screen. And, for the most part, Windows does this well, barring the usual head-desk moments that we all love (aha! let's use spaces in the %programfiles% directory name and then half support them and leave everyone guessing where they should put quotes!) and I don't think that we should try force Linux style library schemes on to a system that doesn't want or need it. Doubly so for users that won't understand it!

Full disclosure: I run Slackware and Windows at home (and BSD and Mac) and prefer to compile from source, at work we use RHEL and Windows and if not for the ease of having repositories, I'd take MSI-2/3 over RPM-2/3 any day of the week.

Re:I'll second that! (1)

lpontiac (173839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056995)

I mean, MSI does have some really cool features, but dependency tracking for DLLs is not one of them.

Take a look at C:\Windows\WinSxS on an XP SP2 or later system. MSI won't magically download stuff on demand, and I don't think it does "this version _or better_ handling", but it will save you from having ten different copies of the VC++8.0 runtime on your machine, and I think will allow commonly redistributed libraries to have a common copy receive a security update via Windows Update.

Re:I'll second that! (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057447)

So, I'm not sure I'm getting what the problem is exactly. What's stopping the creation of programName-Setup.exe that will install the package-install (if not already installed) and will launch package-install to actually install programName (along with dependencies)?

As far as users are concerned, it'll just mean two progress bars. One will be for download progress of all packages. The other will be for the install progress of all packages. This isn't at all different from any other network based installer. The only real problem possibly is orphaned packages, but even that is probably fixable by auto removing orphaned packages.

Except for the fact that, AFAIK, the above hasn't been done, what's particularly undoable about it?

Re:One slight problem... (2, Insightful)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056983)

Regardless of the platform, I'm pretty sure you can include and link to your own libraries if you think the targeted platform may not have them.

What's really needed is for the LSB to finish ironing out a point of standardization for Linux packages so that all package managers can easily install software packages so that you'll have smaller downloads and better installation management when installing out-of-the-repo software. For Windows users though, it's highly unlikely that they will have any of the required libraries installed, so the Windows installer should be bigger and come with all the libraries.

Re:One slight problem... (2, Insightful)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057057)

this is going to set off all sorts of alarms. A lot of Windows users are (finally) getting used to the idea that some software will try and install all manner of nasties, they are going to see this list of additional software that needs installing, and freak out, meaning theyre not going to install it. Pity, as this looks as if it could potentially be a viable alternative to MS Orifice or OpenOffice.

Windows users install runtimes all the time, .net runtime, java runtime, visual basic runtime, new msvc runtimes etc. No, I don#t agree with your hypothesis.

Re:One slight problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24057389)

.Net and Java are whole things though -- there's not this overly granular option.

FLOSS flood (5, Interesting)

zarlino (985890) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056883)

in a year or two, as this ports mature, Windows and OSX are going to be flooded with KDE free software: Amarok music player, Gwenview image viewer, Digikam photo manager, Kopete instant messenger, and many many more. I think this is exciting news but probably a bit scary for commercial ISVs...

Re:FLOSS flood (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057297)

Firefox was the single greatest tool for me to use to help people realize there's options other than Windows and OSX. On Linux or BSD: "Oh wow, it's exactly the same!" I've even run across a fair few people who are familiar with VLC or pidgin or maybe some other solid F/OSS program to show them that trying something that isn't made by MS or Apple doesn't mean it's going to be completely different or foreign or difficult. If KDE stuff spreads onto Windows and OSX as you're predicting, as unintuitive as it sounds, it'll be a boon for Linux and BSD and Solaris and all the other goodies :D

1997 called... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056965)

... and they want their UI back.

Re:1997 called... (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057033)

Windows is skinnable (thanks to a few hints from Opensource) Guess which theme was used for the screenshots

MacOSX and Linux called and want their UI back from Vista ....

Re:1997 called... (5, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057123)

MacOSX and Linux called and want their UI back from Vista ....

Oh yeah??
Xerox called, they want their Windowed GUI paradigm back from OSX, X-Window, MS Windows, et all.

Re:1997 called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24058031)

Greetings!

I'd just like to remind you that your loan of my computing machinery has expired and I will need to have it returned to my estate immediately.

Yours Sincerely,

Re:1997 called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24058119)

My dearest friend, Konrad Zuse [wikipedia.org] ,

It appears your last punch card failed to load. If you had actually taken the time to read my papers, this wouldn't have ever happened.

Kindest Regards,
Charles Babbage [wikipedia.org]

Re:1997 called... (3, Informative)

zander (2684) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057211)

The screenshots have just been made with a bad theme, in vista it looks native.

Re:1997 called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24057701)

KUNT!

Re:1997 called... (0)

knutkracker (1089397) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058197)

KUNT!

Is that an acronym I'm not familiar with or are you German?

Microsoft 2017 called.... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058805)

...you have not paid your monthly MS subscription - here's a blank hard disk back.

Good Free Software WordPro Recommendation? (3, Interesting)

wrook (134116) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057021)

I've been a TeX user most of my working life. But since becoming a teacher, I've realized that I need a word processor for making pretty handouts. Each one of my handouts is layed out differently, so doing that in TeX was taking too much time.

But, OOWriter is driving me batty. Really, I just need to make numbered paragraphs with numbered points underneath. I need to be able to paste pretty clipart and wrap paragraphs around or through them. I need to be able to write Japanese text. And I need to be able to output PDF (optionally doc file format too).

It shouldn't be too bad. But OOWriter is insane. It keeps renumbering my paragraphs, seemingly randomly (and often between loads and saves). It changes my fonts on me (again often between loads and saves). I've tried to turn off every fricken' "auto" feature I can, but it still insists on guessing what I want (badly). I really do hate it.

So my question is, is there a very simple word processor that I can use to do simple construction and layout that does *nothing* automatically and works *every single time* without fucking up my formatting?

Re:Good Free Software WordPro Recommendation? (4, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057099)

I'm a teacher and I use TeX almost always to write handouts. Occasionally I get compliments on the nice and professional look :) Anyway, my usual choice for a "word processor" is Abiword, along with Gnumeric for spreadsheets. They may be a little on the light/simple side of things, but at least they don't try overthink you.

Re:Good Free Software WordPro Recommendation? (3, Informative)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057119)

I looked at http://www.lyx.org/ [lyx.org] a few years ago, and it was alright. It wasn't what I wanted though, not needing or knowing LaTeX.

However, you already use TeX, so it might just what you want.

Or alternatively, have a look at AbiWord from http://www.abisource.com/ [abisource.com] it is simple, and shouldn't screw things up if you use the native file format (an XML based thingy).

I use AbiWord all the time for quick loading WP without too many fancy things. One caveat, it sometimes crashes for no explicable reason, and then causes you to have to re-write everything that you hadn't saved.

Re:Good Free Software WordPro Recommendation? (5, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057169)

Uncheck "Gremlins" on the advanced options tab.

Re:Good Free Software WordPro Recommendation? (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057259)

Uncheck "Gremlins" on the advanced options tab.

And "Shatner".

Re:Good Free Software WordPro Recommendation? (1)

Aviation Pete (252403) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057783)

Use LyX (http://www.lyx.org/). It's a frontend for TeX and supports embedded graphics, lists and automatic numbering including table of contents. If you stick with the same template, output should be very consistent.

Runs on all major platforms, too.

Have you looked at LyX? (1)

ctid (449118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058035)

Last I checked it was at 1.5.5 and it is really easy to use. A lot of time that you otherwise waste with formatting is simply saved by its approach. Given you already have experience of using TeX you might like it.

Re:Good Free Software WordPro Recommendation? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24058141)

Tried LyX then? http://www.lyx.org/ - Latex backed word processor

From the site:

"LyX combines the power and flexibility of TeX/LaTeX with the ease of use of a graphical interface."

Re:Good Free Software WordPro Recommendation? (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058561)

So my question is, is there a very simple word processor that I can use to do simple construction and layout that does *nothing* automatically and works *every single time* without fucking up my formatting?

Try Scribus. [scribus.net] It's a nice little desktop publishing program that does quite a bit, (with more being added each release) although it's nowhere near as powerful as Indesign, Quark, or Framemaker. I personaly use the 1.3.4 development version but the stable version is still useful. Note: Files created in any given version of Scribus are not backwards-compatible with older versions. Aside from that, it's a great program.

You should do your writing/editing in a word processor (which is what a WP is really for, layout capability is just a bonus) and then import the document into Scribus to do your layout.

Re:Good Free Software WordPro Recommendation? (1)

rrkap (634128) | more than 6 years ago | (#24059267)

It isn't free, but the ONLY word processor I've found that is reasonably capable and doesn't fuck up my formatting is WordPerfect. I've used versions 8-11, so I can't speak for the latest version, but for the versions I have used, nothing comes close in ease of formatting. It's a shame that its Word compatibility isn't perfect, otherwise I wouldn't be stuck using Word for every document that I have to exchange.

Re:Good Free Software WordPro Recommendation? (1)

celle (906675) | more than 6 years ago | (#24059511)

If your already using Tex this program does make it easier to load and save various configurations. If you haven't heard of it its called Lyx at website lyx.org. It's aimed at scientific use but works well for general functions too.

Just tried it out (3, Informative)

retro83 (1224258) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057023)

It's a good start! It fires up OK, but cannot open any documents (message says: "Cannot read from start of file"). There are also still a lot of crashes which is to be expected - but unfortunately it leaves a whole load of KDE processes running when it does so. Looks fantastic though, and it starts surprisingly fast. I really hope this becomes stable enough to be a viable alternative to MS/Open Office.

How can you possibly call that a good start? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24057473)

Sometimes I really wonder what Slashdotters are smoking. Anyway, I don't really doubt they'll get it working sooner or later, but still.

Re:How can you possibly call that a good start? (2, Interesting)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#24058007)

it's an alpha of a port to a new platform, i'd be willing to look the other way on just about any issue that doesn't damage the computer it is installed to.

YUO FAIL It. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24057121)

everyday...We area. it is the minutes. A!t home,

Work with Open Office? (0, Redundant)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057539)

It's a shame the KOffice people can't get together with Open Office and blow Microsoft Office out of the water.

Do we really need two or more office alternatives? I know it can often be frustrating working for these projects and forks have occurred numerous times (XFree86/Xorg) when project leaders have been unwilling to change the software.

Re:Work with Open Office? (1)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057873)

Provided they all support open formats in a consistent way (which, last time I checked, sadly wasn't the case: mostly formatting differences), what would it matter if there are multiple suites operating correctly with those formats? I some like the interface of OpenOffice, others Abiword, and some KOffice. As lang as I can move files across them with full compatibility, I'm happy. I agree that the OpenOffice team needs to do something fast. Apart from very minor changes I can't tell 0.9 apart from 3.0. I think they should focus on actually improving and adding/changing the interface (the presentation interface of that Mac-app that Jobs uses is vastly superior to anything else imho, why not have that) and cutting bloat. Perhaps they should take the ribbon too, OpenOffice directly competes with MSOffice after all.

Re:Work with Open Office? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24057989)

Do we really need two or more office alternatives?

Yes, we do. Your question is like saying "Do we need anything else that's not MS Office?"

Having at least two cross-platform office suites gives people choice. You don't have to like ooo's interface/speed/memory usage because now you have Koffice, and if you don't like Koffice, you have ooo, abiword-gnumeric, etc.

I personally, like Koffice a lot more than ooo, maybe the ooo team could work together with Koffice :).

You Fail IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24059401)

The Ch4nnel to sign
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