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OpenOffice 641d Released, Next Stop: 1.0 168

Damek writes "In the spirit of the proliferating news about Office alternatives and 1.0 versions this week, OpenOffice.org has released a new version of OpenOffice, 641d, the last planned release before 1.0. They're calling for help in pinning down and eradicating final bugs before they hit the big milestone: "...we would like you to download it, test it, and finally vote on the feature set.""
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OpenOffice 641d Released, Next Stop: 1.0

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  • Its takes almost as long to start up OpenOffice as it does to start Linux.
    • Not under Windows it doesn't. OO seems a lot faster under Windows.
      • I believe that's because it uses the old MS trick of pre-loading a lot of its stuff. unless you've turned that off...in which case i couldn't tell you why its faster.
  • I love OS_X i have recently switched to OS_X from many years with windows. If i were a more advanced developer i would help but i wouldnt want to use my code.

    Anyone know what the status of the OS_X port is ? I know star division was supporting Mac OS.
    • Anyone know what the status of the OS_X port is?

      IIRC, lousy. OpenOffice seems to be quite a bitch when it comes to portability. It doesn't even build on FreeBSD yet.

    • Re:how about OS-X ? (Score:3, Informative)

      by nebbian ( 564148 )
      From http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/ [openoffice.org]:
      How long will it be until the port is finished?
      Progress on the Mac OS X port has been slow. At this time it's not feasible to estimate the amount of time it will take to complete the port.
      They're still looking for developers, so if you've got some time to spare then help out! [openoffice.org]
      • by mAIsE ( 548 )
        seems like apple could throw some of its AppleWorks developers at this and get it done in 6 months or so.

        This would be a universal value to all of its customers, That being said i understand now that SUN is charging for the next version StarOffice why a buisness wouldnt jump headlong into helping another buisness out.
  • but (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bouis ( 198138 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @07:33AM (#3253106)
    Whatever happened to porting OpenOffice to GTK? Was this ever seriously considered or did I just imagine it?
    • Re:but (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mister Proper ( 567223 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @08:03AM (#3253167)
      Whatever happened to porting OpenOffice to GTK? Was this ever seriously considered or did I just imagine it?
      I've wondered about that myself too. The nice thing is that Michael Meeks [gnome.org] talked about doing that at FOSDEM [fosdem.org], also he has mentioned the same thing on one of the GNOME mailing lists (can't be bothered to look this up).

      Miguel de Icaza [ximian.com] too has said that time is better spent on improving OpenOffice rather than working on say Gnumeric (which he wrote part of too).

      So, nothing concrete but who knows, maybe Michael wil work on integrating OpenOffice with GNOME some day. Another possibility is that Sun will do the integration after they switch to GNOME (perhaps they could pay Ximian to do this for them?).

      Just dreaming out loud here.

      • Miguel de Icaza [ximian.com] too has said that time is better spent on improving OpenOffice rather than working on say Gnumeric (which he wrote part of too).

        I could live with that - I use both. But - I apprecitae Gnumeric's lightweight start-up time. OpenOffice is still in the tens of seconds for me, while Gnumeric starts up in a few seconds.

        Maybe if they broke out the separate applications...?

        • What do you mean by this "Maybe if they broke out the separate applications...?"?
      • Re:but (Score:2, Insightful)

        Miguel de Icaza [ximian.com] too has said that time is better spent on improving OpenOffice rather than working on say Gnumeric (which he wrote part of too).

        Lots of people seem to think that redundant programming such as this is bad. The truth is that competition is good as long as the products are compatible. So as long a Gnumeric and OpenOffice can open a common file format the fact that we have development time *wasted* on two products doesn't matter both communities compete against each other. This leads to better products because each group tries to do something new to make it better. The problem is when the groups start to hate each other and don't work together when it makes sense to work together.

        Gnome and KDE are a great example of this as they are both use the same *basic* idea but have different implementations. Gnome adds something then KDE adds it and the other way vice versa. Most users don't care as long as they interact in the common areas. That is as long as you can copy and paste from X windows to Gnome to KDE to Java most people don't care what you implement it in.

        Alcohol and Calculus don't mix. Never drink and derive!
        • Re:but (Score:2, Interesting)

          by georgeb ( 472989 )
          Ehem! :) Gnome - KDE. Mozilla - Konqueror. All sorts of OSS projects collide and compete. And it's all for the best. Because, evermore than in real economics, OSS WANTS competition.

          Did you see how Mozilla got so much better? I've been so busy admiring mozilla's progress that one day it hit me in the face just how wonderful and fast Konqueror is. I did not switch to Konqueror, but I do use it once in a while and I certainly would not mind browsing the web with Konqueror.

          The same with KDE. Once upon a time I was stupid enough to consider both KDE and Gnome a total waste (that was back in the GNOME 1.0 ages). Then I've upgraded my computer and fell in love with Gnome. Every time I saw KDE's face I would turn my face in desgust -- I was a GNOME guy! Only recenty have I been able to lift my head and see the Reality: Gnome and KDE are both mature and wonderful projects that have benefitted immensely from one-another. Just like mozilla and konqueror. And I hear that those guys working on gtkhtml are doing some wonderful progress. Am I wrong? There's always room for a third HTML renderer. ;) So we'd have (Barque/Encompass vs Mozilla/Galeon vs Konqueror) VS ( the rest of the world ) ;))

          That's competition!
      • Re:but (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Tet ( 2721 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMastradyne.co.uk> on Saturday March 30, 2002 @02:56PM (#3255184) Homepage Journal
        Miguel de Icaza too has said that time is better spent on improving OpenOffice rather than working on say Gnumeric

        Which is yet another indication that Miguel has lost the plot. Gnumeric is a stunning app that could seriously rival Excel. OpenOffice isn't close to rivalling either Word or Excel any time soon. But Miguel has long ago forgotten the Unix concept of small specialized tools, and is heading towards MS bloat at an alarming pace. OpenOffice is significantly better than it used to be (and light years ahead of StarOffice 5), but it's starting out on the wrong foot, by trying to be an "office suite", rather than a set of apps that work well together with a consistent look and feel. The sad thing is that I remember Miguel from when he was working on the SPARC and MIPS ports of Linux. How the mighty have fallen...

    • As far as I know, there are plans to implement KDE (QT) and Gnome (GTK) integration will be part of the upcoming 1.0 release. How far this wil go, I don't know :(
    • I don't think they were going to port it to GTK, but enable to use them as Bonobo Components (so you can embed them in other Gnome documents). I believe this is actually working to some degree.
  • Hooray for the team! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xophos ( 517934 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @07:34AM (#3253108)
    I recently had to convert 100 pages of M$-Word to Latex. There was loads of mathematics in it, and Open Office helped me a great deal in seeing what the original looked like, since i don't have any M$ on my machine.
  • I liked it alot, but I had some trouble running it at first. I fiddled with everything to get it to work, finaly I just gave up and started to read slashdot, after a few mins I went down to the taskbar to check the status on a POV render and low and behold there was a button on the taskbar for open office so I checked it out and the damn thing started up. I havn't had a problem sense.
  • heated competition (Score:4, Interesting)

    by morgajel ( 568462 ) <slashreaderNO@SPAMmorgajel.com> on Saturday March 30, 2002 @07:47AM (#3253138) Homepage
    with the recent stories about the implications of star office being charged for [slashdot.org], it's good to see that openoffice is setpping up to the plate.
    if I were the developers working on openoffice, I'd be thankin my lucky stars(no pun inteded) that sun decided to charge for it. with the growing wave of 'open and free is better' I think they can capitalize on it.
    As a former BeOS user, I also noticed gobe productive [slashdot.org] made the news. sweet.
    Now comes the important part. in a month, I'm switching over to a completely linux system, and I'm gonna need a replacement for Office. so who's it gonna be?:)
    • by sydb ( 176695 ) <michael@SLACKWAREwd21.co.uk minus distro> on Saturday March 30, 2002 @08:15AM (#3253214)
      Now comes the important part. in a month, I'm switching over to a completely linux system, and I'm gonna need a replacement for Office. so who's it gonna be?:)

      OpenOffice looks good, but when I tried it several times during 2001 it was slow and crashed all the flaming time. I'm sure it's improving but I got bored waiting. Therefore:

      To replace Word: KWord looks cool, but I couldn't get equations to work properly. LyX [lyx.org] is really nice if you take the time to understand the concepts behind LaTeX and WYMIWYG. LyX especially rocks for editing equations, but it'll do everything else you could want too, and the output is beautiful. Abiword isn't there yet (tables etc.) but might be one day.

      To replace Excel: Gnumeric.

      To replace Outlook: I actually use IMP [horde.org], a webmail application. I retrieve pop3 email with fetchmail, make it available via IMAP (one of Debian's IMAP packages) and access it with IMP, on apache-ssl for security, from home and anywhere else with an internet connection. Best thing about IMP is it's the fastest email client I've used! I have folders with hundreds, some with thousands, of emails and the likes of Balsa or Evolution can take forever to access them (if they don't crash). IMP takes seconds, and it never crashes! (I use Galeon for my web browsing/ IMP access). The HORDE [horde.org] project of which IMP is a part is actually an entire groupware suite, but I've only used IMP.

      PowerPoint: MagicPoint [mew.org] looks pretty good but I've never used it.

      Access: Postgresql or mysql should more than meet your needs. There are nice GUI tools available for both.

      Best of luck.
      • LyX looks good but for some reaons I'm still editing .tex files in vi for the effect I'm looking for. Improvement since 1986=0%.

        Gnumeric vs excel? I've got a fast CPU and lots of memory. I've got a 60 month spread sheet with 100 rows. Why aren't calculations instant? Running the same sheet in the dos version of visi-calc and any change is instant. why should a a computer that is 10000x faster than an XT be 10x slower?
      • by nuggz ( 69912 )
        Sorry, gnumeric isn't there yet for replacing Excel
        neither is kspread, but they are getting pretty good for simple usage.

        I expect that it is only a matter of a few months before it is usable for me
      • >I tried it several times during 2001 it was slow and crashed all the flaming time.
        still stuck in 2001 my friend. its 2002!

        i'd say OO has become quite the zippy beast. 6 seconds for "./soffice" on my K7/1Ghz/256MB... not exactly THE beast... but one of them :) (hey... i remember the 2001 days too.. but from 641c to d it has been quite an impressive improvement)
      • Access: Postgresql or mysql should more than meet your needs. There are nice GUI tools available for both.
        There's nothing like Access as far as I can tell -- I'm under the impression StarOffice is now being packaged with such a program, but certainly no free/oss software.

        MySQL and Postgres only implement a small part of Access, and the graphical frontends I've seen are very thin. The closest things I can think of might be some web-based frontends -- which have a lot of benefits, but also feature lousy data and have no WYSIWYG layout editor, among other limitations.

      • Access: Postgresql or mysql should more than meet your needs. There are nice GUI tools available for both.


        I've read this comments [zork.net] that suggests the GNUe designer is a possible replacement for access.
    • Have switched completely to Open Office at home. Near complete switch at work as well, (Have to deal with some huge excel sheets that don't print correctly in OO). OO now has all the features needed by most people. Overall it has excellent support for MS Office files - to include big, ugly powerpoint shows favored by bosses. Stability problems seem to be gone. Linux installations seem to be a bit flakier than the 'doze versions. Both work well once installed. Yes, it does take longer to load than MS Office, (time cut in half if you run the startup button). On the other side it costs about USD500 less and comes with the satisfaction that MS just sold one less licence.
  • Well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by guinnessnwhiskey ( 322657 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @08:03AM (#3253168)
    While i like the features of Openoffice, i hate the way the whole thing works. The desktop of Staroffice 5.2 has been removed, but OO is still one big process and the different applications are just modules. If only one of these modules hangs and you have to kill it, all your OO aplications get killed. Another result is, for me starting up the Writer takes as long as starting up the whole 5.2 Desktop.
    I hope that this changes in one of the future versions, but i have the feeling that it won't.
    • If you're willing to wait for future versions, I get the feeling KOffice will be one serious office suite in the next few years, and optimized for KDE, which (as of version three) is already immensely fast. OO is my suite of choice right now, but I'm looking forward to the day when I have an office suite built for my OS and GUI of choice.
    • well what i love is that when it does crash, it saves your files to a recovery state that can be gotten whence you reopen openoffice, very well done there, if only more programs were like that (well i do realise its not a universally applicable concept)
  • by msergeant ( 126834 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @08:04AM (#3253171) Homepage
    Unless they are planning a linux only type release then openoffice is nowhere near version 1, I'm all for software for linux but really it isn't hard to make the code portable enough that it will compile on FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, OsX etc. Right now it compiles nicely in NetBSD ports n thats it, the others are all broken. If I was enough of a C hacker I would try and do my bit but my gripe is the portability issue should have been thought of from the start, if it had been then we could be close to a true open source office solution that everyone (nearly) can use.
    • Well, there's still that other platform [openoffice.org] that most open source projects tend to neglect.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Hi,

      OOo now runs on Solaris Sparc, Linux x86, Linux PPC, Solaris x86, Win32 (XP, NT, 2000, 98).

      Ports are nearing completion on NetBSD (x86, ppc).

      FreeBSD is in progress and so is MacOSX.

      So from a portability standpoint, I'd say this tree is quite portable.

      The big issue on BSD is the lack of standard kernel threads, JDK's etc.

      Kevin
      • A truly portable program should already be building under FreeBSD. I can grab 99% of Open Source projects out there and build by hand on my FreeBSD box with little problem.

        The big issue on BSD is the lack of standard kernel threads...

        That very well may be the problem. You see, FreeBSD already has POSIX standard pthreads. Even more compliant with the standard than Linux. If OO isn't building because of the threads on FreeBSD, then OO needs to start using the standard. If they can't be bothered with POSIX, then the least they could do is use a good cross platform thread library like Boost or ACE/CCPP.
    • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @01:09PM (#3254461) Homepage

      Unless they are planning a linux only type release then openoffice is nowhere near version 1, I'm all for software for linux but really it isn't hard to make the code portable enough that it will compile on FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, OsX etc. Right now it compiles nicely in NetBSD ports n thats it, the others are all broken. If I was enough of a C hacker I would try and do my bit but my gripe is the portability issue should have been thought of from the start, if it had been then we could be close to a true open source office solution that everyone (nearly) can use.

      Slow down there hoss.

      OpenOffice is quite portable. It's being developed on Linux and Win32 x86, Solaris (both architectures, Linux PPC, NetBSD, and FreeBSD.

      Not all of the ports are keeping up with the main tree, it's true. Since it's a volunteer effort you know what to do about that... the tree itself is probably as portable as anything out there.

    • Well, the beginnings of OpenOffice were not very opensource, you know... This is the second time that a closed source project is brought to the OpenSource world and I think that those guys did a pretty good job with OpenOffice. I know a few ugly bugs in StarOffice 6.0beta that have been dealt with in 641D.
  • Feature set? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RedWizzard ( 192002 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @08:08AM (#3253181)
    "...we would like you to download it, test it, and finally vote on the feature set.""
    A bit late to be voting on the feature set, don't you think?
  • OpenOffice at work (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vandan ( 151516 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @08:12AM (#3253208) Homepage
    We were using the StarOffice 6-beta release, but when I heard of the 31-3-02 timebomb in it, we moved to OpenOffice 641C. Of course now there is a patch to extend StarOffice, but we won't be needing it.
    The 641 build is quite stable and complete. Oh - except for that Australian dictionary. Maybe I should go make one...
    I'm looking forward to the proposed changes to the toolbars (look under the 'Todo' section on their site). Looks very nice. Maybe it will come with a performance improvement too. Hint, hint!!!
    • Of course now there is a patch to extend StarOffice, but we won't be needing it.

      The evils of commercial software. I use Linux at the office and my 400-MHz desktop machine just keeps getting faster and faster.
    • when you do, inform us, i really need an australia dictionary, its very annoying to manual add so many words, if not an australian dictionary, at least a uk english one!
      • A UK dictionary is already done. Check the OO site for details. It's a pitty they don't include it in the main download, as most people (myself included until recently) don't realise it's out there...
  • For a package thats 60+ megs to install, shouldnt it at least install without me having to configure it?

    " ./setup
    glibc version: 2.2.4
    /tmp/sv001.tmp/setup.bin: error while loading shared libraries: libstdc++-libc6.1-2.so.3: cannot open shared ojbect file: No such file or directory
    "
    • As one might infer from the original post, Open Office is a beta product.

      Beta products have been known to have bugs now and again.

      The best thing to do when you note a bug is to check and see if it's already been reported. If it hasn't, then you should go ahead and report it.

      Complaining does little to make the product better. Reporting (and helping to fix) bugs does much.
  • Seems openoffice.org is slashdotted, anyone has a mirror of
    the release (Linux binaries, Solver tree and sources)?


    I'm trying to download it and provide a mirror, but it's impossible yet.

  • by sebol ( 112743 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @08:51AM (#3253327) Homepage
    6 38c
    6 41b
    6 41c
    6 41d

    Why the version number contained with bra size?

    after this is 1.0,
    what's next?
    1.0PU
    1.1
    1.1PU
    1.2
    1.2PU

    (PU = Push up)

  • One thing I have wondered using OpenOffice (and als o Mozilla) is: How do they manage to make them so slow?! I am a software developer myself and even though I might never have made something as complex as OpenOffice or Mozilla, I can't see how they even manage to make the menues take ages to drop down.

    My theory (call me paranoid) is that there are time loops in there to make the free version worse than the proprietary version .(StarOffice/Netscape is faster.. at least a little, or am I wrong there?).
    • yep, you're paranoid!

      the source code for both these products you mention are OPEN SOURCE. if you can show some of these time loops in the free version, we'd love to see it. i'm sure the developers of the software would love to see it as well.
    • wrt mozilla (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by gimpboy ( 34912 )
      i havent had the chance to use open office, but i found star office to be very slow. mozilla on the other hand is fairly fast. it was slow at first but i believe it has improved alot in the last 6months or so. if you want something a little more light weight, try galeon [sourceforge.net]. it's based on mozilla without all the frills.
    • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @10:20AM (#3253647)
      One thing I have wondered using OpenOffice (and als o Mozilla) is: How do they manage to make them so slow?!

      Simple - it's largely because they're cross platform. This means that they cannot take for granted ANY system services at all. With Mozilla for instance they reimplemented COM (into XPCOM) because only Windows has such a component model. They created XUL (as far as I'm concerned the coolness value makes that worth the effort alone) because at the time there were no robust enough XP GUI toolkits under the right type of license. Qt would have been ideal, but I think there were problems with the legalese.

      So they used their kick-ass rendering engine to do the GUIs. But this makes it larger, as all the widget logic has to be contained within the software. I'm amazed Moz is as small as it is.

      OpenOffice is the same - they created their own component model, not sure about the widget set, but because they could assume nothing they had to make a lot of stuff pure Windows/Linux/Mac developers can take for granted.

      • >>One thing I have wondered using OpenOffice (and als o Mozilla) is:
        >>How do they manage to make them so slow?!

        >Simple - it's largely because they're cross platform.

        You hit it right on the money. It's extremely difficult to write complicated programs so that they're efficient on multiple platforms. Differences in the windowing system are only part of it - another big part is how the different OS's deal with multiple threads, file I/O, etc. - what's very fast and efficient on one platform might be quite slow on another.

        If anyone's thinking of starting development on a cross-platform program now, you should seriously look at wxWindows [wxwindows.org] - it abstracts the GUI, file I/O, networking, and many other things and runs on Windows, Unix/GTK, and all MacOS's...and unlike Mozilla and Qt, it uses native widgets on all platforms! Unfortunately wxWindows wasn't mature and stable enough a few years ago when Mozilla was getting started, or even longer ago when StarOffice was getting started, so they had to invent the wheel themselves.

    • My theory (call me paranoid) is that there are time loops in there to make the free version worse than the proprietary version

      That is simply not possible, since the free version is, well, free. Since the entire source code is available, any deliberate slowdowns would be discovered in no time. The source of Mozilla, for example, can be found right here [mozilla.org]. Feel free to go through it if you like.

      A more likely reason is that the free version has some debug routines turned on by default which are switched off in the proprietary version.
  • I'm interested in Open Office, but the first thing I always look for in a web site about a GUI-based software products is a set of screen shots, and they don't have any. I want to see what the product looks like. It would be really cool if OpenOffice would make some screen shots of their prodict available.
  • by mmusn ( 567069 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @09:09AM (#3253376)
    It doesn't matter how well it works. The main thing that matters to most people in an MS Office replacement is how well it reads and writes MS Office files. And that's, unfortunately, a moving target.
    • by tzanger ( 1575 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @09:35AM (#3253469) Homepage

      The main thing that matters to most people in an MS Office replacement is how well it reads and writes MS Office files. And that's, unfortunately, a moving target.

      Agreed on both points. My experience with 641C (win and linux) is that it reads and writes Office97/2000 files with ease. Really large excel files it barfs on, but your normal .doc with graphics, "normal size" xls files, etc. all work great. I was really surpised at how well it writes the files, too.

      • ...restrained from exploiting their monopoly...the PC vendors can install openoffice, java, Perl, Mozilla on EVERY PC that they ship....that might give us a base to start with. Perhaps the XML file formats will become the basic document exchange standard...

    • Yep, and it does a good, solid job of reading and writing Office formats. It's a moving target, but it just takes some effort to keep it updated.

      For this reason, just this week I convinced 4 co-workers to switch to OpenOffice. "Read and write Office files without supporting Microsoft!" That easy.
    • The main thing that matters to most people in an MS Office replacement is how well it reads and writes MS Office files.

      However, if an organization wants to switch to OpenOffice, they only need compatibility with the latest version of MS Office they had been using. From that point forward, the only problem is communicating with others who use MS Office. But if enough organizations begin to make the switch at the same time, Microsoft will get a taste of their own medicine--yes, they'll have to make Office be able to read/write OpenOffice formats. Granted, it's pretty lame when people send around simple text and data encapsulated in complex formats when ASCII would suffice, but I don't see this changing in the near future. At least the trend is towards XML-based formats.
      • However, if an organization wants to switch to OpenOffice, they only need compatibility with the latest version of MS Office they had been using. From that point forward, the only problem is communicating with others who use MS Office.

        The major issue here is likely to be handing office files sent to them. But they could still have troble with some of these if they stuck with MS Office.
    • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @04:34PM (#3255891)
      I was disappointed in how StarOffice 6.0beta handled bullets when exported to MS Word format. And while I can appreciate that issue may not be trivial, still... the end result was unacceptable.


      So I turned to Open Office 641c. And to my suprise, bullets exported in an acceptable format. Not perfect. I would still like to see improvement in that area. But its close enough for me to continue using OO rather happily.

  • The article says 641D is the production (or near production) version. But if you go to the mirror sites, there's already a 642 version out there.

    (Incidentally, neither of the US mirrors are working, but the one from Denmark seemed to work just fine. The links are further down on the page.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Hi,

      To clear that up OO642 is the first wave for new development and has lots of new code that breaks and things.

      If you want what will be OOo 1.0 eventually, simply grab 641d and ignore 642.

      Hope this helps,

      Kevin
    • I am running 642, the developer version. I am yet to encounter any buggies.
      http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/source/642/rele ase_notes.html -- Release notes. I guess it's the stable version that's important.
  • by travail_jgd ( 80602 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @09:45AM (#3253501)
    I tried the previous release (641C) and it had a lot of issues. Writer would hang whenever I tried to change fonts or import a document from MS Word. KWord and Abiword didn't import my documents correctly, so I was stuck with either Star Office 5.2 or MS Word.

    I grabbed 641D a couple of days ago, and I have to say that I'm impressed! Other than a few fonts that I haven't migrated to Linux, it's done a great job with complex tables and formatting.

    The only thing that would stop me from using it as my regular word processor is that I can't figure out how to make it use imperial units (inches) instead of metric.

    • D'oh! So that's where it is!
    • The only thing that would stop me from using it as my regular word processor is that I can't figure out how to make it use imperial units (inches) instead of metric.


      Thank God - maybe we can get rid of 1 oz and 2.5 inches soon then.

    • Metric vs Imperial is a hard problem, or so it appears to be. Switching between them is always bolted on to a software product as the very last thing, and hard coded defaults have a tendency to rear their ugly heads at the worst moment (especially if you prefer to use the en_US locale for menus and dialogs, but require metric sizes).

      I have long believed that every developer should spend time fielding support calls, just to make 'm feel the pain they inflict on their customers.

      It just occurred to me that developers should also be encouraged to switch between localization preferences from time to time. Heck, alternating their printers between A4 and Letter sized paper every week would either take a significant bite out of user frustration, or save acres of trees.

      Just a thought.
  • I was a skeptic (Score:3, Informative)

    by tkrotchko ( 124118 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @10:23AM (#3253653) Homepage
    But after using for about 1/2 an hour, I'd say this thing is pretty impressive.

    Just a couple of notes:

    1) I find the interface a little (stress "little")clunky, but I'm a long time Office user. But I'd get used to it in about a week.

    2) The Document default views are awful. I'm going to see if I can mess with this to make it more livable for me.

    3) It opens Office XP Spreadsheets, Documents, and Powerpoints pretty well. I haven't thrown the kitchen sink at it though.

    4) 1/2 hour isn't long enough to judge stability. But I haven't had any crashes or oddities yet.

    This is a good package so far as I've looked. I'm going to try to work in it for the next few days and see if its good enough to recommend to relatives who need MS Office compatibility.

    Hats off to these guys. This is excellent work.
  • Any reason why there isn't a debian package yet? I heard there was some kind of licensing problem (Maybe java?) Any one knows?
    • Re:Debian packages? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Xtifr ( 1323 )
      Latest news on the Debian packaging effort can be found here [linux-debian.de]. There is also a mailing list, debian-openoffice, if you're interested in helping with this project.
  • by AntiNorm ( 155641 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @12:48PM (#3254352)
    WordPerfect import ability would really help.
    • I think this is on top priorities to be implemented. Maybe it will even be available on version 1.0?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yep.

      Unfortunately, the WP file format is so hideously god-awful ugly that it makes Word files look reasonable and straightforward. Like most other formats (RTF, Quark, or XML, for example), the Word format puts the change-this and end-change codes next to or around the words to be changed. You can interpret the document with direct translation of the codes and get pretty close, and errors in one translation have little impact on other translations.

      WP format is the equivalent of having a plain-text document with a macro attached that, upon opening, does the formatting recorded the last time. It's all stuck at the end of the file, and a misinterpretation at any step can screw up the entire rest of the document. You can't just write a "filter", you have to write a whole macro language interpreter...

  • OpenOffice 641C only works for me when I set my windowmanager to use click-to-focus (somthing I dislike).

    If I use enter-exit focus then all the menus and dropdown selectors disappear as I move the mouse from the menu/selector title to the menu itself.

    this seems to happen irrespective of the window manager I use (even happens without a windowmanager).

    Has this changed in 641D?

    Regards,

    Tim
  • .. mozilla.. *cough*
  • First impressions (Score:3, Informative)

    by Platinum Dragon ( 34829 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @04:22PM (#3255802) Journal
    A few days ago, I posted a quick personal review [slashdot.org] of OO 641C. I've been impressed by the software, and my main complaint was the speed of the program as a whole.

    I can gladly say that 641D has introduced significant speed increases under Linux. Startup time fell by half; whereas I used to wait 20 seconds to get a workspace, I now wait 10 seconds or less. The interface in general has sped up. Things feel much snappier, far less laggy. Dialogs open faster, new windows open faster, the whole thing feels like the developers spent much of their time between releases on optimizations and speed increases. I'm already very impressed.

    The one thing I used to dread about starting up OO was the speed. I don't think I'll have any such worries anymore, as it doesn't seem to bog down the system either anymore - or at least, not as much.

    I'm a happy user.
  • For a while I couldn't figure out how to make the paper size for the printer (File, Printer settings) stay at Letter: it would always switch back to A4 after restarting the application.

    After some searching, I found the answer: edit file /.../OpenOffice.org641/share/psprint/psprint. conf and change line 45 (PPD_PageSize) to "PPD_PageSize=Letter". As far as I know, there is no way to do this from within the application itself.

    Also note that this is regarding the Linux version of the 641D release (though it probably works elsewhere).

    I still haven't figured out how to change the default style rules without creating (and always having to instantiate) a custom template. If anyone knows how, would you please share? Searching google, google groups, OO.o's issuezilla, and OO.o's mailing lists didn't turn up any good results for me.

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