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NewsForge Reviews Excel Clone for Linux

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the breaking-the-XLS-tyranny dept.

Linux Business 312

martin-k writes "NewsForge has a glowing review about PlanMaker for Linux, a new spreadsheet for Linux that is much more compatible with Microsoft Excel than the competition and speedier, too. PlanMaker has Excel-compatible charting and AutoShapes and reads and writes any Excel file you throw at it. Here is a chart comparing Excel,, and PlanMaker." Yes, Virginia, NewsForge is also part of OSDN, like Slashdot.

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Interesting.... (2, Informative)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537178)

I think I'll look at it. Sometimes chockes on certain Excel spreadsheets that I try to open in it. I'm curious to see if this will do any better.

Re:Interesting.... (2, Insightful)

bugmenot (788326) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537253)

This is nice, but the last thing that the open source community needs is more choices. This software will only weaken the openoffice user base and make Microsoft stronger. They should join forces with the OO developers and build ONE great product.

Re:Interesting.... (5, Informative)

Tarantolato (760537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537278)

This has nothing to do with the open source community. It's a proprietary app that happens to run on Linux. Also, OpenOffice spreadsheet already weakened userbase of Gnumeric, which was and is a better and more compatible app. I don't see you whining about that.

Re:Interesting.... (2)

DrNibbler (547534) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537407)

This is nice, but the last thing that the open source community needs is more choices.
I disagree. The opensource community is about choice. Could you picture a world with 1 linux distribution or 1 browser? Part of the power in opensource that freedom of choice. The question is not "where do you want to go today?" it is "how do I get job done today". Also, I find the whole opensource vs. MS thing a waste of energy. At the end of the day open source has no competition because it's a debate of ideology, not marketing or products. If people understand how MS does business and why OSS exists and they are ethical *poof* they'll join us. It's not about the market place it's about how people think. Oh, one other thing.. this product doesn't appear to be open (Unless I mised something).

Re:Interesting.... (4, Interesting)

eyeye (653962) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537409)

What linux actually needs is a spreadsheet app that can run VBA.

From working in a large company I can say that most people only ever used a small number of features - excel becomes a requirement because "programmers" write utilities in VBA!

Surely being VBA compatible wouldnt be that hard, it is a joke of a language.

Re:Interesting.... (4, Insightful) (783783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537468)

Never tell me that the last thing I need is more choices. I use linux specifically because it give me MORE CHOICES.

ARRRGGG. This is the attitude that has caused there to be a dominant platform.
I don't want Linux to be dominant, I don't want Macs to be dominant and I don't want Windows to be dominant. When there is a variety of system, they need to embrace open standards (open source or not), and compete. This can provide better software for all.

Now mod me down because my rant is off topic.

Re:Interesting.... (0, Redundant)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537355)

Yeah, but it's not like PlanMaker beats it overall. It's only an Excel-spreadsheet clone... it doesn't do pure word processing

Re:Interesting.... (1)

mj2k (726937) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537360)

This is definitetly a positive step - openoffice sometimes inexplicably crashes on some spreadsheets, and at least last time I used OO, some of the excel charts were just treated as images and were not editable. The one thing though I wish someone would fix is the need for a really good equation editor in the word processor - I'm a grad student in engr and the only reason I haven't migrated completely to linux is because I have to use word, in conjunction with mathtype to write up reports,etc. I know OO has included some sort of support for equations, but it's still a long way from attaining the robustness I need.

Re:Interesting.... (1)

peope (584706) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537443)

Lyx [] and texmacs [] is what my university used when creating written material for their math-courses.

Re:Interesting.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537474)

Do they not know about vim [] ?

M$M$M$M$M$ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537179)


Let me be the first (5, Informative)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537184)

Let me be the first to say what everyone else is gearing up to say.

gnumeric exists. Acknowledge both its existence and superiority in the world of spreadsheets.

Re:Let me be the first (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537192)

why not try gimp [] instead?

MOD PARENT DOWN! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537227)

Disturbing amputee porn link!

Re:Let me be the first (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537229)

why not try gimp instead? Cause thats not a spreadsheet editor, asshat.

Compatibility is king (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537206)

gnumeric is great, but the rest of the world uses Excel:(

Re:Compatibility is king (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537287)

but the rest of the world uses Excel:(

Maybe they should learn to import from gnumeric then?

Re:Let me be the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537377)

nice one, gnoom-fanboi.

Re:Let me be the first (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537475)

gnumeric exists. Acknowledge both its existence and superiority in the world of spreadsheets.
Superiority? Almost everyone else uses Excel... and the ability to read other people's spreadsheets is a very important characteristic in most environments where spreadsheets are used.

That's why Planmaker (and OpenOffice to some extent) should scare Microsoft. People may think MS Office stinks, but the pain of having to convert all your existing files, and finding a way to exchange files with your MS Office using business partners will probably deter most users from switching. But if the file compatibility is good enough, there's hardly any reason left not to switch!

Incidentally, that is why I would not at all be surprised if Microsoft has indeed 'sponsored' the proposal brought forward by Ireland for the EU laws on patents, in which it would also be possible to patent file formats.

Re:Let me be the first (1)

Ever Dubious (686307) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537482)

The problem gnumeric and the Open Office suite have is that they simply don't play with 100% compatibility with the Microsoft products. I gave up having to re-format spreadsheets so that they look right when business associates open them on their Windows machines. In the end, and as much as I hate giving money to Microsoft, I went with OS X and the Microsoft products.

Pretty Cool (1, Interesting)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537186)

This is a great step forwards. Way to go guys! I can't wait to download it and give it a go. The more compatability, the better...

Re:Pretty Cool (-1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537207)

Nice troll, its not free-as-in-beer. It may not even be free-as-in-speech. For once, I think the Community (whatever the fsck that means) should step up and PAY the lousy 35 USD for a product that works.

Re:Pretty Cool (1)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537245)

Did I ever imply it was free? No! You pay for spreadsheets on windows. Just because you need to pay for this doesn't mean it doesn't give you better compatibility. I wasn't trolling.

Re:Pretty Cool (0, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537262)

I can't wait to download it and give it a go.

Choose your words more carefully.

Re:Pretty Cool (0, Troll)

loginx (586174) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537383)

its not free-as-in-beer. It may not even be free-as-in-speech.

I think the first step before it could possibly become free as in speech would be for it to be free as in beer.

It would be a little silly to sell a product when you distribute the source for it on your website.

Pfft (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537195)

50 bux for a spreadsheet app? I'll stick with the free Gnumeric [] instead.

Any bets.. (3, Interesting)

bugmenot (788326) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537199)

on how long it will take until MS changes Excel to make it incompatible with this application?
My guess is that they will release a new security patch for Excel within a month.

Re:Any bets.. (1)

dncsky1530 (711564) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537258)

I think the better question might be, "when is MS office going to be able to save files in other formats?" there will come a time when MS will have to adapt to the other programs and formats. Microsoft is supposed to be about ease of use, and compatability, which is why so many people use their products.

Re:Any bets.. (0)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537349)

"on how long it will take until MS changes Excel to make it incompatible with this application?"

You mean like they did when OO came out? Or how about how they changed Word and Powerpoint's format?

They left out Gnumeric (5, Informative)

Travis Fisher (141842) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537201)

One of the best spreadsheets for linux, gnumeric [] has support for 100% of Excel's functions as well as most of its other features. Its one of the highest quality and most stable pieces of software I've ever seen for linux. Its amazing they overlooked this as competition.

gnumeric it is too good (1)

Sweetshark (696449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537232)

Its amazing they overlooked this as competition.
Maybe it is too good?

Re:gnumeric it is too good (1)

kasperd (592156) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537484)

Maybe it is too good?

That may very well be the case. After all the comparision is done by people trying to sell a product. Their product have to be better (in at least one way) than every product they compare themselves to. If they couldn't find any advantage of their own product over gnumeric, it makes sense to exclude gnumeric from the comparision.

Re:They left out Gnumeric (4, Insightful)

Tarantolato (760537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537246)

The extent to which OpenOffice is hyped has sadly cut into a lot of Gnumeric's mindshare, despite it being the better product by far. I know some people like to hate Miguel de Icaza for trying to port .NET, but he did a fuck of a good job on the foundation of Gnumeric and the present team has kept on making it better. Don't fall for "bundling": use the better program.

Re:They left out Gnumeric (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537304)

As the vast bulk of the excel spreadsheets I deal with are embedded in word documents, the "bundling" in Open Office is far more important to me than anything else, and Open Office's excel compatibility is already "good enough" for most people.

This is what people need to realise: The single MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do is agree on a standard Linux component embedding (OLE/COM) technology, and then maybe one day people _will_ have the choice of using gnumeric instead of OOo Calc to read excel data embedded in word documents being edited in OOo Writer. But

Microsoft just dictates their OLE in their normal stalinist style, but we can't. So we need to have a lively technical debate, and then broad agreement on a baseline set. I recommend specifying protocol, not binary API, in the normal X fashion, but make it good!

What is, exactly, the problem? (2, Insightful)

DFAoBolinho (736714) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537366)

In speaking of not talking about GNUmeric because people may not like Miguel de Icaza for the Mono project:

I don't really understand what is the real problem about it. Yes, .NET is a "creation" of Microsoft and we all know that Microsoft is the big bad wolf that wants to eat all our grandmothers - but still it may have good ideas and just because they are the bad guys, we should not forget the good things they may come up with and adapt those ideas (with even more good ideas from the free software comunity). .NET is proprietary software from Microsoft, but Mono is FREE SOFTWARE built with ECMA and ISO ideas. And I actually see Mono as the true .NET in realtion to it's "filosofy" as Microsoft likes to say. True multiplatform you get with Mono, not with .NET.

Re:They left out Gnumeric (1)

XeRXeS-TCN (788834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537284)

Well they have a comparison page with screenshots of Excel, OOo and their product, choosing every example to ensure that OOo messes it up, and makes their product look better... wouldn't look so good if the free GNUMeric could do everything that their closed-source equivalent could do, would it? ;) Yes it would be a fair test, but if you're going all out to slam other products and make yours look like it's the best, clearly a biased test is in order. Although if they wanted it done properly, they could have asked the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution to set up the tests for them ;)

Re:They left out Gnumeric (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537303)

yeah, good idea. in fact, i just did it. gnumeric chokes on pretty much everything that OOo does (it didn't barf on the password protected file, and it did open the multi-dimensioned array file. other than that, it failed every other time).

Re:They left out Gnumeric (5, Interesting)

tashanna (409911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537326)

As much as I applaud Gnumeric for their great implementation, it's still a Linux/Unix only implementation. PlanMaker and OO are both cross-platform for those who can't ditch Windows. If a user can't leave Windows behind, that places Gnumeric out of the running.

Re:They left out Gnumeric (3, Interesting)

XeRXeS-TCN (788834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537436)

This is true, but if you're limited to Windows, there's a case to just use MS Office. If you're looking for cheap (free) implementations, OpenOffice is certainly the way to go, and PlanMaker is certainly something to consider, but if you're going to go with a closed-source application on a Windows platform *anyway*, it makes sense (as much as it's uncharacteristic to admit it) to consider MS Office as a full office package. After all, if you're on Windows, you won't necessarily have too much issue with the concept of proprietary software, especially as a business, so why fight with emulation and whether your alternatives can handle all the Excel stuff properly? Why not use MS Office, where you don't have compatibility issues? You've got the choice to use something else, which is good, but on the Windows platform, you also have the choice of considering MS Office.

The benefits of open source (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537213)

Luckily as we all know, all open source products are completely stable, and user friendly. How on earth would we get by with out the obvious superiority of open source? Closed source/for profit software is never better to use, or easier to use than open source.

For scientific calculations, clones are useless (4, Interesting)

stroustrup (712004) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537217)

The greatest limitation of excel for scientific calculations is that number of rows is limited to 64k.

I was hoping the open source or free versions would overcome this limitation but none of them do so as this makes them incompatible with excel.
can't someone figure out a smart solution for this without asking the user to modify the source themselves??

Re:For scientific calculations, clones are useless (4, Informative)

Sweetshark (696449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537276)

can't someone figure out a smart solution for this without asking the user to modify the source themselves?
If you need more than 64k of data use a app made for scientific work, like R [] , mupad [] or Mathematica [] .

Re:For scientific calculations, clones are useless (1)

stroustrup (712004) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537298)

R is a programming lanugage / statistical package. Its usability is way low compared to spreadsheets. It's only advantage is it's free.
The other two you mentioned are the similar and moreover, are not free.

Re:For scientific calculations, clones are useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537414)

We work with very large data sets at where I work - the solution we use is a database with all of our calculation functions in C.

numeric package for science, DB for accouting (2, Informative)

Sweetshark (696449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537453)

Its usability is way low compared to spreadsheets.
Thats just wrong - it depends on the task. Spreadsheets are the right tools for a budget calulation resulting in a nice formatted table for the boss. If you have more then 64K lines of data, you should use something like R, mupad, mathematica or octave - simply because they are more useable for this task - 64k lines of data do not need a pretty layout - they will (almost) never get printed - they need a tool to be transparently processed. Spreadsheets dont do this well (for example, you will hardly ever notice it if a cell was left out in a "Edit->Fill->Down" maneuver or if the formula in a cell was accedently modified while moving over the sheet). A high-level numerical computation language is far superior here. And BTW, if someone claims to be unable to use these high-level tools, I would hardly trust his/her "research".
64k lines is enough for everybody - because speadsheets with more than 5-10k lines are not savely manageable. Use a numeric package for these, if you do science or a database if you do accouting.
Always use the right tools for the job.

Re:For scientific calculations, clones are useless (2, Insightful)

DougJohnson (595893) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537299)

I know whenever I have to do calculations on that scale I do them by hand! After all, I wouldn't want to have to look through 64k rows to find a transcription error! But seriously, Wow. I think the market for number of people needing > 64K rows must be pretty slim. Particularly those not using a scientific program like Mathematica, Maple or R-something.

The Row Limit is Definitely Frustrating (1)

azzurro (739885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537408)

I definitely agree here. I can't tell you how many times I've had to resort to an unneeded amount of hoop-jumping to do some work with a large spreadsheet. I work at a cellular company (RF engineering) and I frequently need to work with extremely large amounts of data (for example, data collected in the field can have millions upon millions of rows). There are work-arounds, but they typically result in me having to whip up a program in C that I will use only once. In a spreadsheet program, the same thing would take me much less time because I am doing something that really should be done with a spreadsheet application.

I've always wondered why this limit exists. If anyone can enlighten me about the technical reasons, that would be much appreciated.

Re:The Row Limit is Definitely Frustrating (3, Informative)

martin-k (99343) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537454)

I've always wondered why this limit exists. If anyone can enlighten me about the technical reasons, that would be much appreciated.

Performance. We will increase PlanMaker's row limit (basically, the sky is the limit) once we have tweaked certain routines, like sorting and transposing.

More sense (5, Insightful)

barcodez (580516) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537223)

Wouldn't it make more sense to work with OO.o not against them?

Re:More sense (5, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537273)

In this case the question is simply wrong. SoftMaker is around longer than most software companies. I remember the first SoftMaker adverts in a PC magazine in 1987, where they announced their TextMaker for 149,- DM (Deutschmark), which was a 5th of the usual price for a text processing software at the time. Germany had always several small office productivity companies, and one of them brought us on the road to OpenOffice (StarDivision, now bought by SUN), and SoftMaker is also still alive and kicking, working from the beginning with a "sell cheap, sell enough" model for their software.

They survived all the storms of time by getting large contracts with public administrations like towns and counties. And there they probably got most of their bugreports from, because a town administration can be sure to get lots of quite strange documents, in content and in form.

Re:More sense (1)

orzetto (545509) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537282)

This is for-pay, just below 50 euros. I guess you cannot take OOo sources and license it proprietary...

Re:More sense (1)

Sweetshark (696449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537302)

I guess you cannot take OOo sources and license it proprietary...
... unless you are SUN ...

Re:More sense (2, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537451)

You can charge money. You just have to provide the sourcecode. See the GNU FAQ [] . You can't change the license because you got other people's work with this license and THEY have to agree to the change.

Re:More sense (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537325)

OO.o has become it's own joke. A useless juggernaught of slow, crufty, buggy code. Nobody willing or able to port it to OSX. Plus it ties up the other developers who then say "I can't beat the mindshare of OO.o, guess I'll develop yet another gui for LAME and CDRIP"

OO.o has become Microsoft Office for Linux. In all the ways that Office for Windows has kept development from Linux.

Re:More sense (1)

bubkus_jones (561139) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537367)

Maybe they don't feel that OO.o is being developed in the "right" way, and they feel that they can do better? Or maybe they didn't want to do all that development to just give it away?

I can now go Linux at work. (1)

JohnFromCanada (789692) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537225)

I still am going to have to test it out to make sure that I am not going to have compatibility issues but this would let me go 100% Linux at work as Excel is the last application that I was having compatibility issues with. OpenOffice, although great, still tends to have problems with a lot of the chart features in Excel. This means that the only time I will see Windows will be to play some old games, to do some Windows programming or on the screens of my co-workers and friends.

It's not free. (0, Redundant)

motyl (4452) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537231)


Re:It's not free. (4, Funny)

Conor Turton (639827) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537323)

The best stuff usually isn't.

Remember This Marketing Strategy (2, Interesting)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537242)

Write up a story that makes your software shine brighter than the sun, submit it to Slashdot, and reap the benefits!

Hey, the guy who wrote this software clone did it. What do you bet that if it clones something that Microsoft's done and runs on Linux, it'll always make the main page? I bet they have scripts that look for them and automatically slap them up!

Shit, what Microsoft product hasn't been cloned for Linux yet? I want to make some fast cash! Let me know so I can get coding...

Re:Remember This Marketing Strategy (0, Flamebait)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537259)

Don't believe me, here's the link [] !

Re:Remember This Marketing Strategy (2, Funny)

vijaya_chandra (618284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537281)

Shit, what Microsoft product hasn't been cloned for Linux yet? I want to make some fast cash! Let me know so I can get coding...

Please get this [] cloned for linux and I would send you ten penguins for dinner ( sorry no 'wine' in stock )

Non-Free (5, Insightful)

4im (181450) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537249)

Whatever it's qualities may be, this PlanMaker thingie is non-free (as in speech and as in beer). This makes it very much uninteresting for quite some people. If there's a decent alternative that's free (hint: there are, several), then that's the way to go IMHO.

How long can this last? (3, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537250)

If it's as good at working with Microsoft's patented file format, and is so close of a clone of Excel; how long until Microsoft eliminates them through legal means?

Re:How long can this last? (2, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537330)

Not until software patents are valid in Germany. There is still a certain way to go. Of course Microsoft could stop the distribution in the U.S. by legal means, but SoftMakers market right now is Germany, and they are slowly expanding to the E.U.

Re:How long can this last? (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537342)

> how long until Microsoft eliminates them through legal means?
It depends. Maybe they paid MS for a .so port of some .dll. Who knows?

Obvious question (2, Interesting)

mrjb (547783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537255)

We all assume that once it being a Linux product, it's open source, but I see nothing in the article mentioning that it is. So.

Is it open source?

Second, they claim better Excel compatibility than OOo, how did they manage this.

Maybe they licensed some code?

I like having good compatibility, from a technical point of view, we are only going to benefit from better compatibility if there is documentation on how it was achieved. Could anyone mail OOo a link to those specs?

Why not buy Win4Lin/Wine and run Excel? (4, Insightful)

t482 (193197) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537269)

The product is $50 USD and is closed source commercial-ware. Why not just buy win4lin ($99) and run an old version of Excel 97?

Alternatively you get codeweavers wine for $40 and run your old MS Office tools and at the same time support wine development.

More important is to have OpenOffice have all the Excel charting functionality. Currently OOo Charting tools are a bit more crude.

Compatibility for WordArt is not at the top of my requirements list for compatibility.

Re:Why not buy Win4Lin/Wine and run Excel? (2, Funny)

Tarantolato (760537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537338)

Compatibility for WordArt is not at the top of my requirements list for compatibility. Oh Jesus! People here bitch about Flash, but they obviously haven't been in an office where WordArt is in heavy use. It's a fucking monstrosity that offends god and man, I tell you.

It's definitely on my list of things I don't want to see compatibility for.

Cool (0, Flamebait)

thing2b (683741) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537272)

Anything that is against M$ is good

gnumeric is also very good (3, Funny)

frontloader (96227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537277)

i havent bothered to look at planmaker, but i use gnumeric [over] for spreadsheet work.. and it rocks the house.

besides.. :
tengu:/home/mschupp# apt-get install planmaker
Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... Done
E: Couldn't find package planmaker

Re:gnumeric is also very good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537388)

Take your stupid Debina and stick it up your ass. You can't even install a decent mplayer package.

Macros rear their ugly head again. (4, Insightful)

Gilesx (525831) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537283)

Okay, so I always seem to be posting this in reply to any Excel clone news whatsoever, but I still feel it's a totally valid point, and whilst this is the case I shall continue to post it.

What about the Macros? Surely this is one of the most important parts of Excel, and could even be one of the things that makes it such an indespensable tool for many companies. It gives it the freedom to move outside of the solely number crunching arena, and into a million and one other places.

It's all very well having a new Excel clone for linux that can retain my conditional formatting better than ever, but 99% of the sheets I use here involve macros to open many .csv files, process the data in a particular way and then dump it all into pivot tables that are linked to other Excel spreadsheets. These are business critical, and until these work 100%, with no additional effort (some of the people that have to use these sheets are barely computer literate at all), there is no way on God's earth that I can persuade the IT department to switch over to an alternative.

I guess at the end of the day, lockdown isn't lockdown after all when there isn't a viable alternative.

Re:Macros rear their ugly head again. (1)

StuartFreeman (624419) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537455)

Sounds like the problem is that you are using spreadsheets where you should be using a database.

So you are using Excel as a database? (3, Informative)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537489)

``99% of the sheets I use here involve macros to open many .csv files, process the data in a particular way and then dump it all into pivot tables that are linked to other Excel spreadsheets.''

That sounds like a database to me. Using Excel as a database is one of the most harmful things there are. It's slow, eats a lot of memory, and I have seen entire databases go to hell because of slight bugs in the macros or the interpreter.

Statistics too... (1)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537494)

Excel has some very nice built in statistical functionality that I use often. So these packages have that capability too?

No. I don't have the time nor the expertise to write my own.

Intergration is important (3, Insightful)

eamacnaghten (695001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537288)

As end office users become more and more savy - which in my experience they are - the importance of OLE type functionality is becoming more and more essential. The ability to embed spreadsheets in word processor files, presentations etc etc is becoming vital, as is the ability for third party apps to insert data into it. I cannot see any mention of this on their site.

Also - the ability for it to follow the theme of the user's desktop is not yet considered important it is getting there.

I do not know the product, but I do not see the advantages it gives me ofer the free ones significant, and many of the free ones have advantages over it.

As far as interplay is concerned, can it talk the OpenOffice formats? These are becoming more and more deployed.

I'm sorry SoftMaker - you may have a good product, but it has no relevance to me - and I do not seeing it have in the future either.

Re:shhh (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537316)

dont tell the linux users.. they think all integration is a security flaw

Themes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537434)

Some of the things you said are good points, but following the theme of a user's desktop is important?

If someone wants their computer to look "neato cool" then they should buy a game console and play with it all day. If they want to do real work, then themes and animation are not important at all. In fact, they often slow users down. I'd rather have a program which is well designed and works like it is supposed to. The "theme" should be minimal, so crap doesn't get in the way of doing actual work.

I don't know, I guess some people like to play with the different types of email "stationary" and call it working. (I actually saw a woman doing this on the job one day.)

Shameless. (5, Interesting)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537289)

This is utterly shameless. You can save things in compatibilty mode in excel, so that they can be read by previous versions of the software, most users know this already. How the hell is it OOO's fault if the file is password protected? The chart is from the company that makes the software, not a unbiased third party, I could craft a document that would work better in one program or the other, I have not seem OOO stoop to that level. And another thing, Planmaker costs money $50 USD or Euro. This is an advertisement masked as an article.

Re:Shameless. (1)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537344)

Pardon the run-ons, I meant for some of those commas to be periods.

Re:Shameless. (1)

Conor Turton (639827) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537346)

This is utterly shameless. You can save things in compatibilty mode in excel, so that they can be read by previous versions of the software

And of course an employee working in a predominantly MS Office environment is automatically going to save them in compatibility mode isnt s/he? YEAH RIGHT. Perhaps if you took that Linux/OSS blindfold off you might see how things work in the real corporate MS dominated world and then you'd realise just how much of a battle you had on your hands.

Re:Shameless. (1)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537389)

First of all, I have no blinders on of any shade, I have a Powerbook, a Linux PC and an XP PC. They all have their purposes. XP for games, Linux to mess with, and OS X to run every day. I administer a windows network, and yes, most of my users know to save things in compatibility mode, and we don't rush to the latest just because it is the latest. Office 2000 works fine for 99.9% of people.

Re:Shameless. (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537420)

If it is an advertisement masked as an article, then every review of hardware is an advertisement masked as an article.

Or is it possible that some people use Linux because they like Unix? I was using BSDi and Coherent before that. I've bought hundreds of dollars worth of commercial Linux software over the years, and been very happy with it.

Many of the things that people have bitched about being "not available for Linux" have just not been available _free_ for Linux. Over time, there have been FOSS projects to replace those to the point that the only commercial software I run nowadays are developer and database tools.


Re:Shameless. (1)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537458)

I see your point regarding advertising and reviews. One of the links led to a chart that was totally biased toward that company's own product, not very impartial, IMHO. I don't mind paying for Linux software either, Crossover plugin comes to mind, as does Winex. I agree that there is plenty of software available to replace common Windows apps, you just have to pay for them sometimes. Most Linux users recognize the difference between free as in beer, and free as in speech.

Re:Shameless. (1)

Conor Turton (639827) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537464)

Many of the things that people have bitched about being "not available for Linux" have just not been available _free_ for Linux.

THats exactly the point. There's been decent 3D and multiple monitor support for Linux for ages but it costs money. There's a perfect MS software compatibility solution (Codeweaver CRossover) but it costs money.

Why oh why do alot of people bitching about MS compatibility/missing Windows applications equivalents in Linux continue to do so when there are viable solutions to those problems? Is it because they actually involve paying out some money?

There's too many people in here making Linux look like the poor mans OS by their ranting against any software that has a price tag attached.

Virgina!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537296)

Who the hell is this lady?!?!

I thought billg's wife's name was melinda

Non-Free, Why not just use Excel? (5, Insightful)

dilute (74234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537314)

If you don't have to be absolutely compatible, there are plenty of free (really free) spreadsheets. Gnumeric, being considerably more lightweight that Openoffice, does the trick for me most of the time.

When nothing other than Excel will do, why not just run Citrix (or some virtual box if you don't have access to a Citrix server) and run real Excel?

If you seriously need Excel, I doubt this will be a satisfactory long-term solution, for any number of reasons. Plus, it ain't free.

In sum, who needs another me-too piece of proprietary software?

Comprehensive compatibility list? (2, Informative)

chrysrobyn (106763) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537324)

Does anyone maintain a list of features OO doesn't support?

I know that the only incompatibility I found was when I had a formula that referred to a calculated value in another tab, and then yet another cell that referred to the first formula, I got an error when I opened the file in Excel. When I opened it in Excel, went to the formula and hit enter, it recalculated and got a non-error.

To example, sheet 1 A1 = 1, sheet 1 A2 = A1 * 2, sheet 2 A1 = sheet 1 A2 * 4, sheet 2 A2 = sheet 2 A1 * 5. In this example, sheet 2 A2 is an error in all versions of Excel I could find, and was good as of all versions of OO I could find last December.

I always got the OO errors about how data may be lost by saving in the non-native file format, but aside from the above case, I never lost any content.

Revealed: The Truth about Geeks and Sex (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537331)

Roger Andrews, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is 49 years old and has never had a sexual relationship with anyone except himself. In fact, he's had intercourse just once -- in July 2003 with a surrogate partner he engaged to help him, in his words, "get over his terrible handicap and join the world."

To look at Roger you'd never imagine his secret, or the deep shame he has suffered because of it. He's an attractive man: light complexion, thinning blond hair, strong chin. He's a successful computer engineer. He has friendly dealings with co-workers and clients. He's smart, articulate and insightful, especially about the issue that makes him "a freak." He's a jazz drummer, and he showed enough acting talent in college to consider a theater career. He's well traveled, and has scuba-dived all over the Caribbean. But he's always been shy and never learned how to have an intimate relationship. "I never grew up in that way," he says.

Roger is not alone. There are no studies on the prevalence of virginity over 30, but many of the nation's sex therapists report a small, steady stream of older-virgin clients. During 23 years in practice, California psychologist David Johnston says he's counseled 50 middle-aged virgins, collaborating with various surrogate partners. "One was 72. A few have been women. But the vast majority have been men in their 30s or 40s."

Dr. Louanne Weston has practiced 20 years, also in California, and has teamed up with surrogates to treat approximately 40 older virgins, all men. "There are more older virgins out there than people imagine. Many are tech guys. They're often charming, but they tend to be nerdy, so women don't go after them. They don't feel socially adept enough to handle the challenges of the dating scene."

Los Angeles surrogate partner Dr. Vena Blanchard, president of the International Professional Surrogates Association (IPSA), says older virgins account for 50 percent of her practice, or a half dozen men a year. Like other legitimate (that is, non-prostitute) surrogates, Blanchard works only with men referred by psychotherapists. "Some live in Southern California. They see me and their therapist weekly. Others live elsewhere and come to Southern California for two weeks of intensive therapy, seeing me every morning and the therapist every afternoon. Most are Americans, but I've had clients from Canada, the U.K., India, China and Australia. It's a real commitment for them: air fare, a hotel room and food for two weeks, a rental car, my fee, and the therapist's fee. Intensive therapy can run $10,000. But they do it because they're tired of feeling stuck in their lives. They're determined not to be alone for the rest of their lives."

It's not clear if older virgins are disproportionately men, but it's the men who seek therapy. "It's possible that there are as many older virgin women," Weston explains. "But men generally have more insistent libidos. It's the men who eventually decide to do something about it."

Johnston says that in the last few years, he's seen an uptick in the number of middle-aged virgins seeking therapy. The reason, he says, is the World Wide Web. "Before the Internet, older virgins were isolated. Now they can go to sex information sites and hear about surrogates. They search 'surrogate partners,' find IPSA, and through the organization, find a surrogate and psychotherapist."

That's how Roger found Blanchard. Still painfully shy, he consented to be interviewed only under a pseudonym. But he says he feels "a mission" to publicize the plight of older virgins to encourage them to get the kind of help he received.

Except for his college years, Roger Andrews has lived in Fort Lauderdale his entire life. He recalls his childhood as a happy time, with a warm, nurturing mother compensating for a cold, distant father. As a boy, Roger was no loner. He had male friends. But around girls, he was always shy. "My first relationship with a girl, in junior high, went very wrong. We liked each other and went out a few times. But I felt totally inept. I didn't know what to say or do. So I stopped seeing her, cut her off. I couldn't tell her why. She was hurt, and cried. I felt awful."

Roger's experience describes many people's adolescent relationship fumblings. But instead of soldiering on and learning interpersonal skills by trial and error, he became socially paralyzed. "I shut myself off. I can't really explain why, except to say I was very shy. I was keenly interested in women, but I felt intimidated by them. I had no idea how to get beyond casual friendships to anything romantic. And I haven't improved much to this day. The teen years -- that's when you should begin to experience intimacy, not just sex, but the ability to feel close to potential lovers. That part of me got stuck at 12 years old -- and here I am, 49, still trying to figure out how to grow up."

"Every older virgin has a unique story," Johnston explains. "They run the gamut from terrible shyness to emotionally barren families to sexual abuse. But all older virgins feel terrible shame. They feel embarrassed and humiliated by their lack of relationship experience." Age 30 seems to be a line of demarcation. "By 30," Blanchard explains, "older virgins feel so socially awkward and out of sync with the world around them that they choose to hide."

Roger hid. Throughout his teens, on Saturday nights, he stayed home. His parents noticed. To encourage him socially, his father pushed him to play a musical instrument. He picked drums and gravitated to jazz. "I was into Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, Chick Corea. I was in a decent garage band. We played weddings, and I played in theatrical orchestras for musicals."

Roger's work in musicals led to an interest in acting. In college at a university in the South, he became involved in theater and won Best Actor his junior and senior years. "It was surprisingly easy," Roger says. "You have a script. You have lines and you say them. You don't know if you'll get the laughs you want, but you know you'll get the girl because it's in the script. My shyness was never a problem onstage, just in real life, where there is no script."

Friends invited him to parties, but he never attended. After a while, they stopped asking. "I became skilled at pushing people away. I don't think anyone ever tried to fix me up. I wouldn't let them. I think they thought I was gay." But he knew he wasn't. At one point, he tried a dating service, but that went nowhere. "I just didn't have the social skills for dating, and the older I got, the more different I felt from everyone else, the more handicapped."

Living in near isolation, Roger found solace in computers. It was the mid-1970s. He became a hobbyist like the young techies who invented PCs. After college, his computer skills and family connections landed him a job with a data-management company. "The work wasn't difficult. The hard part was dealing with customers. But I needed the paycheck. I used the phone a lot. It was easier than face-to-face contact. When I had to meet people, I forced myself." Co-workers and clients invited him out for lunch or drinks, but Roger declined. "I couldn't shift from technical topics to social conversation, so I never socialized. I couldn't. After work, I just went home and spent my free time by myself, except for the one night a week I had dinner with my parents."

In his solitude, Roger developed what he calls his evening ritual. He drank a beer while smoking cigarettes and cooking himself a nice dinner. Then he downed more beers and smoked more while watching the TV news, followed by cooking shows or tech programs on cable. He ended his evenings polishing off what became a daily six-pack while smoking, watching movie videos, or reading bestsellers: Grisham, Clancy, King. "My ritual isn't just about killing time and getting drunk. It's really a substitute for human relationships. It's comforting. I don't really feel lonely. I could easily go on like this for the rest of my life -- until I got cirrhosis or lung cancer. Except that I yearn to have a meaningful relationship with a woman."

Roger found many women attractive. With some, he was able to overcome his shyness and initiate casual conversations, but nothing more. The only woman he saw over time was the girlfriend of a close friend. "But she was unattainable; therefore she was safe." He also kept a diary. "It was filled with agony and despair over my social ineptitude."

Roger never went to prostitutes. "It crossed my mind, of course. A few times I even went through the phone book looking for escort services. But I knew my problem wasn't just a lack of sex. Hell, I could masturbate and often did. The problem was -- and is -- my inability to develop an intimate human relationship. You don't get that from a prostitute, so I wasn't interested."

As the years passed, he became obsessed with the intimacy and sex he was missing. By age 31, Roger realized that he would never find intimacy on his own, that he needed professional help. "I pulled out the phone book, looked up psychiatrists, and called one at random." He's been in therapy for most of the past 18 years.

Roger's psychiatrist prescribed anti-anxiety medication (Xanax) and an antidepressant (Anafranil). But he wanted more than drugs, so he contacted a clinical psychologist, who urged him into group therapy to deal with his shyness. "I hated the group. I didn't want to talk. I was too shy and clammed up." The group quickly learned that his issue was profound shyness, especially around dating, and reassured him that it was challenging for everyone. "They seemed to think that their reassurances would allow me to step out and date. No way. I just couldn't." At one point, a man in the group confessed sexual frustration and said he might go to California and have sex with a surrogate. (Most surrogates work in California because it's unambiguously legal there.) Roger had never heard of surrogates. Soon after, he left the group and opted for individual psychotherapy. He's been with his current therapist, a woman, for six years. He likes her and feels she's helping him. But he still wasn't dating. He was still a virgin.

Last year, Roger recalled the man in his therapy group who had mentioned surrogates. On a whim, he did an Internet search. "I got tons of porno, and then I noticed IPSA." He e-mailed the organization and heard back from Blanchard, now in her mid-40s, who's been a surrogate for more than 20 years. She provided a phone number and invited Roger to call. He learned that she was not a prostitute, but more of an intimacy coach and therapist; that surrogates don't always have intercourse with clients; that they introduce a client to loving touch and relationship skills. Blanchard said she would send him an application and asked for a $200 good-faith deposit, which would be applied to her fee. "The deposit discourages frivolous inquiries," she explains. Roger agreed.

The application asked why Roger wanted to work with a surrogate. He replied: "I feel alone and anxious because I haven't had any intimate, sexual relationships." It asked for his treatment goals. He listed seven: "(1) To learn to touch and be touched to ease my yearning for physical contact. (2) To feel better about myself because I've had sexual experience. (3) To increase my chances of relationships with women. (4) To end my confusion about the appropriate place for sex in relationships. (5) To satisfy my burning curiosity about women's bodies. (6) To better understand my own body and feelings. (7) To find out what the 'joy of sex' is all about."

Blanchard presented Roger with his options for surrogate-partner therapy: He could involve his local therapist and bring a surrogate to his area, or he could travel to California to work with a therapist and surrogate team there. He wanted to stay in Fort Lauderdale so that his therapist could be involved. Blanchard was willing to go east, but before that, she talked with his therapist.

Roger's therapist was very skeptical. "She kept saying, 'This can't be legal. It's prostitution. I could lose my license.'" Roger urged her to read an Internet interview with Blanchard and to call her. The therapist balked. Finally, Roger said, "Your license is safe if I see a prostitute and tell you about it. What's wrong with seeing a surrogate and telling you about it? I want to work with you on this, but if you won't work with me, I'll go to California and see a therapist there." His therapist relented (and has since become a big supporter of surrogate therapy for older virgins).

Frequently, however, it's the psychotherapist who suggests surrogate therapy to older virgins. Weston has arranged for several middle-aged virgin clients to see surrogates. "The surrogates I work with rely on me to screen the guys, to make sure they're safe and not crazy."

Before embarking on surrogate therapy, Roger felt he had to tell his parents. "We're close -- and not close. It's like a business relationship, which might explain why I'm good at business relationships, but no good at intimate ones. I told my parents I was taking a two-week vacation to do something unusual. When I explained, they were surprised, shocked. I'd never told them I was a virgin, and they'd never asked. I left a copy of Vena's Internet interview with my mother. She wrote me a note expressing concern and support. My father had no reaction and has never mentioned it."

Last July Blanchard flew to Florida. Roger took two weeks' vacation, and spent about $8,300 for her transportation, hotel and fee. He felt excited to meet her, but also apprehensive. "Initially, most clients feel anxious," Blanchard explains. "They don't know what to expect. But in deciding to work with a surrogate, they've already confessed their big, dark secret. They don't have to hide anymore, and that's very liberating. They quickly discover that surrogate work is a slow, gentle process of building relationship skills. I don't promise they'll have relationships, just that they'll feel more comfortable with the process of trying."

Over several daily three-hour sessions, Blanchard and Roger talked extensively about his life, past and present, and Blanchard directed him in relaxation and touching exercises. "First, she had me touch an apple, then a comb, then other objects to experience what sensual touch feels like." They talked about what he felt. "Next, she asked me to touch my own arms and face." They talked some more. Then she offered her hands, arms and eventually her face for him to explore, and she touched his arms, feet and face.

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"Gentle, nurturing touch is new for most older virgins," Blanchard explains. "Many don't recall ever being touched that way before by anyone. Imagine what it must feel like never to have known gentle touch, and then to have someone hold your hand, stroke your arm, run their fingers through your hair. It's a profound experience. Often, clients cry."

Meanwhile, every afternoon, Roger met with his psychotherapist, and discussed what had happened that morning. "Vena asked good questions and was a very good listener," he explains, "but it helped to have someone else listening to me and asking questions, too. I needed the extra support and perspective."

Weston says it's important to have a therapist back up the surrogate. "Many older virgins can hardly believe it when they kiss a woman's lips or touch her breasts or vulva. I reassure them, 'Yes, it really did happen. You really did that.'"

Blanchard talked with Roger's psychotherapist daily. She also provided Roger with basic sex education. Many older virgins have never had much, she says. "I often lend them books written for adolescents because developmentally, around sex, that's how old they feel." Blanchard also answers clients' sex questions: Does my penis look weird? What's a tampon? How do you unfasten a bra? What's the real story about the clitoris, G-spot, and women's orgasms?

As their sensual explorations continued, Blanchard told Roger she was open to becoming more intimate, but that she had one firm rule: Before every move they would both ask the other's permission and would absolutely respect each other's answers. He agreed. Roger asked if they might kiss. Blanchard consented, but first instructed him to practice by kissing his own arm, then hers, and finally her lips. "At first, kissing felt very awkward," he explains. "I'd never kissed anyone before." Andrews encountered the problem many young teens have with kissing -- where your nose goes. "Vena showed me how to position my head and lips so our noses didn't get in the way." They practiced kissing quite a bit. "As I relaxed, I began to enjoy it. Kissing is great." But they stuck to lip kissing with closed mouths, no tongue action. "I didn't feel comfortable with open-mouth kissing."

Eventually, Blanchard suggested they discuss the possibility of undressing. "That was nerve-racking," Roger recalls. "I was a blubbering fool for a few minutes." So Blanchard encouraged him to imagine how disrobing would feel. They discussed it. She asked how far he wanted to go with undressing. The first time, Roger chose to stop at their underwear. "I really wanted to see her breasts and genitals, but I didn't want her to see my erection." They stood facing each other, Roger in his bulging shorts, Blanchard in a bra and panties. "She talked me through looking at her body. I looked at her hair, eyes, nose, shoulders, and on down, scanning everything very slowly and methodically, getting accustomed to it." The next day, Roger felt comfortable getting completely undressed and revealing his erection. "It was fine. It just took me a little while to get used to the idea." Next they spent time looking at each other together in the mirror. "Seeing himself in the mirror next to a friendly naked woman helped make it real for him," Blanchard recalls.

Once they both felt comfortable being naked together, Blanchard eased Roger into mutual whole-body massage. Roger caressed her face, arms, belly, legs -- and eventually, with Blanchard's permission, her breasts. "Touching her breasts," he recalls, "was very intense. Vena's breasts are fantastic. I think it's the most wonderful thing in the world to touch a woman there." Eventually their massage exercises included genital caressing with lubricant.

Roger continued to see his psychotherapist daily. "It was very valuable. I can't overemphasize it. She helped me process things and gave me great feedback about what was happening with Vena."

Roger felt uncomfortable with the idea of oral sex, so they didn't explore it. But by the end of his second week with Blanchard, he asked if they might have vaginal intercourse. Some surrogates don't do this, but Blanchard agreed. "The intercourse itself was not that big a deal," Roger explains. "I mean, I was glad to have it. I was glad I wasn't a virgin anymore, that I'd finally 'done it.' But I didn't need it more than once. Our whole process of becoming physically intimate and talking about it was much more important to me. I felt freed from some of my shame about being so naive and confused about sex. I actually enjoyed whole-body massage more than I enjoyed intercourse, especially touching Vena's face and breasts."

But finally having intercourse was important to Roger in another way: "Once I'd done it, I felt I could move on and think about dating and getting into a relationship."

One potential hazard of surrogate work for older virgins is the possibility of falling in love with the surrogate partner. This is not surprising. The surrogate knows their terrible secret and doesn't think the less of them. She is friendly, supportive, and willing to become physically intimate. But Roger did not fall in love with Blanchard. "She's very attractive, but I was clear that ours was a professional relationship. I consider her a friend, and hope she thinks the same of me."

During their last few days together, Blanchard and Roger talked a great deal about his next step -- dating. "It's hard for me to imagine," Roger says. "People say: Just do it, just ask someone out. But I'm still so shy, so inexperienced. The prospect is frightening." Blanchard suggested some books for him to read, among them, "Dating for Dummies." And he's been discussing the challenges of dating with his psychotherapist as well.

Weston says dating issues are a major stumbling block for older virgins who have completed surrogate therapy. "I support them to date," she says. "I help them figure out their best approach. Some want to place personals ads. I help them write their ads and respond to anyone who contacts them. Some want to use professional matchmaking services. I help them with their personal profiles. Some like speed dating, where a roomful of singles spend five minutes with each other and afterward declare who they'd like to see again. If there's a match, the service puts the two people in touch. And when clients begin dating, I help them evaluate the relationship and decide if they should pursue it. It's often slow going, but most of my older-virgin clients have dated and had relationships."

"I can't claim that every guy I've worked with has fallen in love and gotten married," Blanchard says, "but I've received quite a few wedding and birth announcements."

Roger says he's "getting ready to date." He's working to quit smoking, and he's drinking less. "They're bad habits that turn women off." He's decided not to place or answer any personals. "They're too impersonal. I want human contact." He's toying with joining a gym, in part to meet women and in part to break the habit of his isolated evening ritual. He plans to join a scuba club that caters to singles. And he says he's intrigued by speed-dating.

Roger is still processing his work with Blanchard and doesn't know how he'll fare in the dating game. But already, he says, he feels better about himself. "Working with Vena has made a big difference in my life. I'm less ashamed of my sexlessness. I don't feel so stigmatized, or as naive about how intimate relationships work. I've realized that T&A is much less important than sensual touch. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the nonsexual touching we did. I feel more open to other people than I ever have. I feel like a real person now, like I'm becoming a citizen of the world."

Yawn... (1)

minotaurcomputing (775084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537332)

Another Excel clone? Wake me up when someone makes a Lotus Improv clone for *nix.


My father, Linux, and the spreadsheet battle (4, Insightful)

meganthom (259885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537347)

Does anyone know if you can make a bulleted list within PlanMaker without too much trouble? Yes, I know that this feature doesn't make much sense, but it's one of the major factors preventing my father from switching to Linux and from regularly using open-source office software. My dad gave up on Open Office in short order.

It seems that for open-source software, and Linux in particular, to appeal to the business world, the software must make the features business execs regularly use, such as tools for making memos, readily accessible and as similar as possible to the features in MS Office. My father, for example, is eager to try something new, but becomes frustrated when he needs to relearn everything or when he has trouble importing documents and spreadsheets from other programs

Maybe PlanMaker will convince him to give Linux another chance. I hope so.

Re:My father, Linux, and the spreadsheet battle (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537469)

Bulleted lists are done in wordprocessors. I use Excel heavily and have never seen any facilities for bullet lists.

I don't care about Excel, what about OO (3, Interesting)

OYAHHH (322809) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537350)

Can it open OpenOffice spreadsheets? And how fast can it do it?

As a person who writes software which can read/write OO files I see a couple reasons why OO sheets may tend to read/write more slowly.

- The OO files are compressed zip files. Gotta spend a few precious seconds uncompressing them.

- The files contain very verbose XML which has to be parsed. My guess is that Excel sheets in a lot of cases have far fewer bytes to accomplish the same thing.

Re:I don't care about Excel, what about OO (2, Interesting)

martin-k (99343) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537363)

OpenOffice filters are being worked on, they aren't finished yet, though.

You people are getting on my nerves (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537353)

First of to all those screaming gnumeric, rtfa!

Second, I can understand that people want to run a system that is 100% open source. If you want to, do it, but please also stop your whining, that this has not been ported to linux and that has not been ported to linux.

Softmaker is offering a spreadsheat that seems to be more compatible with Excel then other spreadsheats on linux. I can't possibly see how this is bad.

if i have to pay for a home made clone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537396)

i might as well play safe and not worry about incompatibility or interupting our buisness operations and just buy the real thing [] .

Re:if i have to pay for a home made clone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537425)

From the link:
Warning: You are viewing this page with an unsupported Web browser. This Web site works best with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or later or Netscape Navigator 6.0 or later. Click here for more information on supported browsers.
Warn me just because I use Mozilla? Well, fuck M$ and fuck their bullshit browser requirements.

Name does matter (1)

vijaya_chandra (618284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537403)

'Planmaker' sounds like some organising or project management software not like a spreadsheet software

gnumeric sounds relevant though I can't say the same about Excel again

It should have been stated... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537418)

... that this software is not free.

No support for macros (3, Interesting)

wytcld (179112) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537449)

The review says it has no support for macros.

What sort of serious spreadsheet user doesn't employ macros?

And they're selling it for Linux - a platform where most users know how to do a bit of scripting.

If I were in a Linux shop and had to do power-user type spreadsheet stuff, and this were the only Linux option, it would be enough to motivate me to sneak in a copy of Windows so I could get my job done efficiently.
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