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OpenOffice 1.1 RC 1 Released 554

Heartz writes "OpenOffice has released OpenOffice 1.1 RC 1. Get details here. Neat features include built in PDF and Flash export, better MS Office document filters and more!"
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OpenOffice 1.1 RC 1 Released

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  • xooo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrWhizBang ( 5333 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:09AM (#6441307) Homepage Journal
    wooHOO!!! now we just need Ximian to make it purty!
    • Re:xooo (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
      Since Ximian have released the code to the modifications that they made to OOo, there's no reason why their icons couldn't be integrated back into the main codebase.
  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:11AM (#6441319) Journal
    Simplicity, like AbiWord.
    Less bloat, like Gnumeric (which yet scores over Excel)
    Performance - It's a lot slower than MS Office, specially on Linux.

    • by georgep77 ( 97111 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:19AM (#6441363) Homepage Journal
      "It's a lot slower than MS Office, specially on Linux".
      You've run MS-Office on Linux? It was faster? Have you tried it with one of the newer 2.5.x kernels, you may notice a speed increase.

      • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:26AM (#6441413) Journal
        You've run MS-Office on Linux? It was faster?

        About 80% of my clients use Windows to run Office, mail and a bit of browsing. The speeds I measured were on the same system:

        MS Office (Word) on MS Windoze : 100
        Open Office on Windoze : 134
        Open Office on Linux : 176
        AbiWord on Linux : 27

        MS Office (Excel) on MS Windoze: 100
        Open Office on Windoze : 110
        Open Office on Linux : 140
        Gnumeric on Linux : 33

        Both AbiWord and Gnumeric support the Windoze MS Office formats quite well. In short, I can't think of any reason to run OpenOffice on Linux systems - except for hyper-sensitive users.

        • Might help your case to put units in your measurements. I'm not sure what you're measuring there.
        • These speeds are meaningless unless you give us some context. I assume you're giving relative speeds at performing some task since both the MS Office speeds are 100.

          But what's the task? Considering that AbiWord (good though it is) has only a subset of the features of Word and Open Office, you must just be comparing features that they share, which is never going to give the whole picture.

          If you really have performed some benchmarks you should publish them properly but I suspect that your numbers are meanin

          • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:50AM (#6441549) Journal
            These speeds are meaningless unless you give us some context. I assume you're giving relative speeds at performing some task since both the MS Office speeds are 100.

            All speeds are in seconds - MS Office speeds are pegged at 100 for scaling. For Word, I measured 'file- open speed' for 10-page files (there's little point in measuring 'editing' speeds). For Excel I opened 6 page spreadsheets with a bit of formulae. Again 'updating' and 'editing' speeds were not measured.
            • by Keith Russell ( 4440 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @09:55AM (#6442136) Journal

              Ah, scaling. I do believe that was Chapter 2 of How To Lie With Statistics. [] (And thank you, Dr. Schlossnagel, for making that book required reading in your Statistics class.) How about some raw numbers? For all we know, the unscaled difference between MSO and OOo is as marginal as a Q3A benchmark between a GF FX 5900 Ultra and a Radeon 9800 Pro.

              And were both MSO and OOo "quick loaders" used on Windows? (And do please note the spelling. You do want to be cited as a credible source, don't you?)

        • by skryche ( 26871 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @10:07AM (#6442259) Homepage
          Open Office on Windoze : 134
          Open Office on Linux : 176

          For this to be really fair, you should be comparing Windoze to Linsux.

    • How is it slower than MS Office on Linux?
    • by Kefaa ( 76147 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:32AM (#6441448)
      I have to disagree, at least a little. ;)

      AbiWord - It has the simplicity of Works. While that his not a bad thing, it is not the same as comparing to office.

      Bloat - Integrated packages will always suffer from this more than stand alone products (Wordpad versus Office). And Gnumeric is limited in it does not support all the similar functions of Excel.

      Performance - This is an old complaint that beyond opening I don't see. The MS Word application opens about twice as fast (I just tested it on Windows at 4 seconds versus 9 seconds), but once it is open the speed is not any different. As for the open, MS has the advantage of being able to give priority to their own applications at the base code level or taking advantage of "undocumented features."
    • by wolruf ( 30926 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:37AM (#6441479)
      See tml []:
      "For example, the latest patch that I worked on myself (as opposed to working on merging other people's stuff) was to get X11 and Mozilla to load faster by improving the read-ahead heuristics for page faulting in the executable images"
      I hope this could also improve OO startup perf.
    • Then look into TextMaker for Linux, [] for Windows [], and for Pocket PCs []. Much faster than OpenOffice (it's even fast enough on a lowly MIPS-based Pocket PC...) and many more features than Abiword.
    • by mj01nir ( 153067 ) * on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @09:34AM (#6441908)
      Reveal Codes! Please give me WordPerfect style reveal codes. I haven't used WP in 6 years and I still miss reveal codes.

      That said, I've been using 1.1b1 and 1.1b2 for some time now and have been quite pleased with the progress. With OOo 1.1, I finally moved my wife's computer from Win2K to Linux. No regrets.
    • by Karn ( 172441 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:10PM (#6443489)
      This reminds me of the people who used to bash Mozilla in its early days. Interesting how you don't see too much of that around here anymore. The last valid complaint about Mozilla is "I don't need an IRC/Mail/HTML Editor in my Browser!", and the Mozilla project is fixing that as we speak.

      OpenOffice IS relatively new, even though its code is based on StarOffice. Give it some time and I'm sure they'll work out the speed issues. As for simplicity, well, if Abiword already fills the niche for a simple word processor, why do you want another? Why have yet another simple word processor when the world lacks one that is compatible with Microsoft Word, which has become the defacto standard?
  • Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Carrion Creeper ( 673888 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:12AM (#6441321)
    Does it do wordperfect files yet?
    That is what stops my household from using 1.0.x Instead we're still using Corel 7
    • Re:Great! (Score:4, Informative)

      by dominator ( 61418 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @09:34AM (#6441909) Homepage
      Please see [] - a couple of AbiWord hackers wrote libwpd, and then wrote an OOWriter plugin for it. Complete with screenshots and downloadable binary plugins.

  • by zornorph ( 63846 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:12AM (#6441322) Homepage
    Neat features include built in PDF and Flash export, better MS Office document filters and more

    So now it filters out MS Office documents better?
    *drum hit*
    Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week ;)
  • Anyone have a .torrent for this puppy yet?
  • by GammaTau ( 636807 ) <> on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:13AM (#6441331) Homepage Journal

    Neat features include built in PDF and Flash export, better MS Office document filters and more!

    So, how well do the MS Office document filters work with procmail and spamassassin?

  • Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by broothal ( 186066 ) <> on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:14AM (#6441333) Homepage Journal
    Openoffice has really matured lately. With at least two free (not as in beer) Exchange server substitutes, I reckon OpenOffice is ready for... the office.

    What I would like to read is a review of OpenOffice from some non-techie end user from a company that has switched to OO. Did the migration work seemlessly? Did the $ saved in software license measure up to the manhours the IT department had to use for support? Basically, a cost-benefit analysis, because a positive analysis like that is what it takes for the suits to recognize OO.
    • Re:Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

      by yelvington ( 8169 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:23AM (#6441390) Homepage
      We're not exactly "non-techie," but we have been happy with OpenOffice in a Web design/development workgroup as a crossplatform substitute for MS tools. Our designers and developers aren't heavy users of word processing and spreadsheet documents, but they do have to correspond with the outside world, and OpenOffice has allowed us to save quite a bit on licensing fees.

      IT support manhours: Zero.

    • Re:Nice (Score:3, Informative)

      by wolruf ( 30926 )
      there's one here: [] in french.
      Others (still in french): []
    • Great idea!

      I've just started doing a monthly column for LinuxUser & Developer magazine in the UK. I think this would make a fantastic case study.

      I'll speak to some clients who've done this and see if we can put one together...


      btw - the short answer is yes, migration works and £s saved in licenses DO measure up.
    • Re:Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jellybob ( 597204 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:55AM (#6441585) Journal
      Well, here goes your review (not an extensive one, but it'll do)...

      We're using it to train people in basic computer usage and word processing, and to display a powerpoint XP presentation for the course, because we don't have the funds to buy new Office licenses for the latest batch of laptops we got for off-site courses.

      MS Office "likeness" can be easily implemented by customising the toolbars (~1 hour to get it right), and is close enough that we've had few complaints from the people who (having looked terrified at the prospect of using a computer) started on OOo, and then moved to using Office XP at our main centre (where we already have licenses).

      Speed wise, it's a little sluggish starting up on the salvaged P233/64mb laptops we use, but once it's started (15-30 seconds), there's no noticeable speed difference.

      As ever there's the odd niggle, clipart works differently to MS Office (it would be nice to have a compatibility mode... I prefer the OOo way of using folders. Clients disagree, and prefer clear categories, and search function), and a few of the keys need re-mapping to work the same as the MS offerings, but overall, it's been a very successful trial, and saved us a couple of thousand in new Office licenses (even at charitable rates).
      • Re:Nice (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lpret ( 570480 )
        Is it possible to write a script to be able to change all those settings? That would be really nice to be able to download and/or use on a whole lab of computers.
  • Talkback (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Amomynos Coward ( 674631 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:18AM (#6441355)
    In RC1 is also a talkback style crash reporter to collect stacktrace and error information. I hope this will help OOo team to get rid of the bugs faster.
  • My experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by anonymous coword ( 615639 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:18AM (#6441357) Homepage Journal
    Ive tried the betas, and yes, they ARE FASTER, but there is still some problems. First it still struggles with the fonts. It dosen't have Font config support [] So about 50% of my fonts don't work (including my MSTTF fonts).

    Secondly its annoying that it naggs you if you save in .doc format and tries to make you use its own proprietary format.

    Finaly That lightbulb has got to go. It's a horrible paperclip clone. Other than that, it's great, and that PDF export is REALLY helpful.
    • Secondly its annoying that it naggs you if you save in .doc format and tries to make you use its own proprietary format.

      It's not proprietary AFAIK.

    • Unfortunatly there are issues with the PDF export. A while ago I was trying one of the developer builds of 1.1 and the PDF support just had problems and the PDFs were messed up. I downloaded a newer build last week and tried it. The results from a plain OO text document (with 2 lines as dividers).

      Adobe PDF writer (4): 9.8k
      Adobe Distiller (4): 9.4k
      Open Office 1.1: 95k

      Obviously it had major issues. I mean the open office document it self is only around 8k (but zipped obviously). Aside from that I've b
    • Re:My experience (Score:5, Informative)

      by Captain Large Face ( 559804 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:56AM (#6441593) Homepage

      own proprietary format

      Surely you mean it's own open format?

  • by deragon ( 112986 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:19AM (#6441361) Homepage Journal
    But bug #1820 [] remains unresolved. In all fairness though, things are a bit moving for this showstopper. Hopefully there will be a solution for it in the near future.

    For the few unaware of this bug, in Calc, if your locale uses "," (comma) as a decimal separator, your numeric pad is worthless because the num pad "." (dot) is interepreted as something else than a decimal separator. You imagine how difficult it is to convert people using Excel when you must explain that they cannot use their num pad anymore. And before you suggest remapping keys, please read the bug report. Many non english locales are affected by this bug.

  • by Ciderx ( 524837 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:20AM (#6441371)
    It seriously needs to be packaged as an MSI installer, preferably with a Transform creator so that the install can be customised as much as possible. To create a custom MS Office install for the entire enterprise takes 15 minutes, OpenOffice can take days to repackage...
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:20AM (#6441373) Homepage
    I hope they've done something about the spell checking bugs. The support for anything other than United Statesian English is pretty bad. I wish I could just select Canadian/British English, as a default, and that it would actually have spell check capabilities for at least one of these languages. Considering the good international support of many other Open Source apps. This one just isn't up to par.
    • The support for anything other than United Statesian English is pretty bad.

      Actually, I've been using the Greek spellchecking and autocomplete features since the betas and they beat MS Office out of the water as far as my native language goes...


  • by amichalo ( 132545 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:22AM (#6441383)
    Does/will OpenOffice have/plan to have a build for Palm OS or other (read MS) variants?

    As more mobile devices appear in business markets (particularly new growth in the medical and industrial markets) I believe it is sound to include a strategy for atleast view if not edit capabilities for these smaller than life devices.

    Get an Apple and enjoy computing again
  • scripting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thoolihan ( 611712 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:23AM (#6441400) Homepage
    I still can't see a lot of big companies switching because of embedded scripts/macros. The embedded vb stuff is pretty handy and makes up a lot of dynamic spreadsheets and stuff.

    I wonder if will work in perl or some other handy dandy scripting tool. For what I do at home, it's good enough now, though.

    • Re:scripting (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jugalator ( 259273 )
      Doesn't it already use a Visual Basic language for macros/scripts? Seemed so when I checked in 1.0
    • Actually most translate just fine ;)
      Besides, since when did an upgrade from, say, Office 95 to Office 97 not kill off a few macros and have to be rewritten!
      A migration is a migration is a migration. All that matters is how you sell it to Management/Bean Counters
    • Re:scripting (Score:3, Interesting)

      by axxackall ( 579006 )
      As I can see in a changelog, Python now is a first class language to create components. I guess, soon in OOo you will have a scripting language, which will work same way in both Windows and Linux. Besides, Python is a real OOP language to be attractive for former Java programmers and it's a real scripting language to be attractive for former VB and Perl users.
  • by ChrisRijk ( 1818 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:25AM (#6441409)
    New features in 1.1rc over beta2 release: []

    # a "talkback" style crash reporter to collect stacktrace and error information
    # new command line parameter -start to automatically start a presentation after the document is loaded
    # ability to update existing 1.0.x single user installations
    # support for drawing objects in headers and footers
    # an example XSLT filter for Office 2003 XML format
    # support for MS Excel 95 and older form controls
    # UNO python bridge - python is now a first class language for creating UNO components for
    # built in spell checking dictionaries for English (UK) and Italian
    # built in hyphenation support for Danish, English (UK), German and Russian
    # integrated Bitstream Vera fonts
    # improved spelling suggestions using n-gram scoring
    • UNO (Score:3, Funny)

      by Surak ( 18578 ) *
      Two person UNO:

      Skip You. Reverse. Draw Two. Draw Four. Skip You. UNO! :-P
  • by FTL ( 112112 ) <{eman.resarf.lien} {ta} {todhsals}> on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:27AM (#6441419) Homepage
    Yes it imports Word documents better, yes it exports as PDFs, yes it does many nice new things. But I don't care. The only thing I care about is the fix for menus. When you right-clicked in the 1.0 version, the popup menu popped up on the wrong monitor. A stupid one-line bug. And quickly fixed (according to their Bugzilla). But one that has been driving me up the wall.

    Programmers take note. The media (this includes Slashdot) will report the Big Features. But the users will love it for the little features. For a successfull release you need both Big Features (so that word of the release gets out) and little features (so that users will like it).

  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:29AM (#6441429) Journal
    Something I thought was a very annoying feature in OpenOffice 1.0.3 was that it tries to be "smart" and open a file in a part of the office suite it "thinks" is best fit to do the job, and no apparent way to turn that function off.

    For example, if I choose to open a tab-delimited .txt file in Calc, it still open it in Writer. What?! I didn't tell it to open it in Writer. Even MS Office is more smart than that and imports it as best as it can by figuring out the delimiter etc, and certainly not tries to open it in the word processor, when I basically issued the command "ooocalc.exe table.txt". If it lacks the intelligence to open it, at least go confused and show me the Import dialog so I can properly import it as a tab-delimited text. But there doesn't even seem to be a setting for this...

    I noticed there's a setting in OO that let you select the default program to use. But I don't want to open any document in a "default" program, I want to open a document in the program I'm opening it with!

    So right now, I have to go through the looong path of starting Calc stand-alone, File->Open, select the .txt file, pick the .txt file format to be something like "Comma-delimited txt file" somewhere deep in its combo box and then it finally understands "aaah, it's delimited!" and stops forcing me to use another program than I'm trying to open it with.

    I really hope I'm missing something here, or this behavior will be fixed in OO 1.1, because I really despise programs that think, no... assumes, they know more than you do. I was also shocked to once again have to disable the paper clip feature in OO! Only difference was that the current incarnation was now a light bulb and not a paper clip. What progress the world is making. :-(
    • Yeah, there is. Don't "Open" it, instead "Insert...External Data" into a sheet. This gives you the proper options. I agree that OOo should give you this option on the Open dialog.

      Hope this has saved you some time!
    • I have no problems moving text and data around between Open Office formats and portable text files. But I usually call them *.csv, which brings up the import dialog whenever you double click on it.

      Normally a spreadsheet is exported as a list of common separated values. Even Excel can do this, but it has trouble exporting the data in the proper format with the right delimiters for importing into my CGI scripts. For converting *.xls to a comma delimited text file Open Office is the best thing I've ever us
  • by Alkarismi ( 48631 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:30AM (#6441441) Homepage
    We have tried rolling this out at a number of sites. YMMV but this is our experience:

    OO is *perfect* for a large range of users, it handles all the bases and it's interoperability with the rest of the world (i.e. MS Office) is 'good enough'.

    A significant proportion of users like it better than "the real thing" - heh, heh

    When a user comes down to the IT department asking for a copy of 'Office' for home it is the perfect opportunity for evangelism ("We can't let you have office, it's £500, but you can have this for free - it's almost as good, so you won't even see much difference").

    Management/Bean Counters *love* it - if you can lose £200-£500 *per desktop* every 3 years they'll think you can walk on water - especially if you've just lost them a few £100k off the cost of their back-end systems ;)


    Much a I have unbridled enthusiasm for OO, and I believe it is an essential part of Open Source's killer nature, it is *not yet* a no brainer for the enterprise.

    Try giving it to a secretary. Worse yet, give it to a whole department of them. You will not get our ALIVE.

    OO needs much stronger mailmerge capabilities. Then it will be awesome from the secretarial point of view. Until then they would rather die than give up MS Office.

    OO, or a seperate project also needs a replacement for 'Access'. Yes I know we should be moving them to LAMP (and in fact we do a lot of this ourselves), but the honest truth is there are sh*t loads of companies out there with hundreds of little access applications. This is our market too.

    Anyway, as I said, YMMV
    • People like what they are used to. The do not like the new unless it is a significant improvement. This means, it is exactly what I had, only better. To get something different even if it is free, especially when it is corporate and not personal dollars at stake, is a fight with the Borg.

      In the early 80s the secretaries were certain that should they type a document it could just "disappear." And backups? They did not need to backup the typewriter, so why do I have to do something on the computer I did
    • OO, or a seperate project also needs a replacement for 'Access'.
      There is one it's called mysql, check out the trail of tears [] article at linuxworld. I find it funny that all his problems are attributable to RedHat's piss-poor package management system (or any Linux distro for that matter). I did it using FreeBSD as the server with no hassles, on a mixed FreeBSD and windows network.
  • At my office we use M$ Office and we do a lot of customization to it. I've never used Open Office but seeing as we get raped every year it might be nice to have an alternative.

    So, what kind of developmet does Open Office allow? And does it support database intergration and intergration with Exchange?
    • Re:Customization (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonym0us Cow Herd ( 231084 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @10:06AM (#6442252)
      So, what kind of developmet does Open Office allow?

      Read all about it. [] []

      Go over to [] , go into the Macros and API section and read what people are doing.

      Go over to [] , they also have a Macros and devlopment section.

      You can write StarBasic code directly into OOo documents. You can write programs in Java to drive a running OOo, even on a different computer. (For example, a Java program on, say, Windows, telling an OOo running on Linux what to do.) You can write components in C++ or Java or Python.

      The Python UNO bridge is new. I haven't tried it yet. I believe you can do anything with Python that you could do with Java or C++ in OOo. StarBasic is limited in that you cannot create new components, it lacks sophisticated data structures, and you can only embed it within documents. The other languages cannot be embedded within documents (yet). I'm hoping to someday be able to embed Java classes or Python within an OOo document, just like I can with StarBasic macros.

      Be sure to download the SDK. Read the documentation, especially the developer's guide. The first big learning curve is to understand UNO. This is pretty much a prerequisite for everything else. Once you do though, you're on your way.

      Oh yeah, on languages that can access OOo. If you're on Windows, you can use Windows Automation. This means you can access it from, say, Visual Basic. I have seen programmed from Visual FoxPro.
  • by Pembers ( 250842 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:39AM (#6441490) Homepage the addition of a progress bar to the splash screen. (See this page [], under "Other Enhancements", near the bottom.) This would normally be a sign that your code is getting a wee bit bloated.

    That said, I use 1.0.2 a lot at home, and am very pleased with it. It is slow to start, but is quite fast afterwards, and normally I have it running all the time. (This is on a 1.3GHz Athlon with 512Mb, running Mandrake 9.1.) I use mostly the wordprocessor, with a bit of the spreadsheet, and for my relatively simple needs, I've yet to find anything it can't do.

    I've never owned a copy of MS Office, so the improvements in compatability with it will pass me by. Occasionally, lusers send me Word documents, and OOo already does a good job of getting the gist across. Most of the time, they're not saying anything that couldn't be said just as effectively in plain text. If the formatting is too complicated for OOo to unmangle, well... the document probably wasn't worth reading anyway :-p

  • Reviews (previews?) of 1.1 keep claiming that it supports exporting to PDF. What exactly does this mean? Is it plain `print to ps then run through gs so you get something a bit like a PDF that will open in acroread', or is it proper support for PDF, complete with links and bookmarks?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @09:21AM (#6441801)
    My wife is illiterate in a pc world and because of my profession, uses me gratuitously for support. She is also a college student at 37 and must type many papers. Up until this summer she has only used MS Word for her work and has no knowledge of any other processing apps that are out there. I have a Win2k domain at home and I created an MSI install so that deployments are hands free, and simple. The results of the test? She did NOT realize that Word wasn't installed for two weeks. It's true that some of the menu items aren't there or are different but it didn't matter because she would call me any way. It turns out that there are features that she prefers now such as a much cleaner auto complete. I think we would all be making mistake by comparing to MS Office too directly. They are different apps with a different feature-set even though ostensibly they are both used for the same tasks. Sure there are bugs in, but ahem.... when was the last time you commented on a bug free MS Office? Besides that it would be worth three months of torture in hell to do away with that freakin paper clip!
  • Just tried it... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Stinky Glen20 ( 689507 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @09:26AM (#6441843)
    My wife wanted me to install Word, but I sneakily installed Open Office instead.

    So far, she has been able to do whatever she needed in OO, and has not come across any limitations in terms of it's capabilities.

    My first impression of it was that it seems to be up to the task, but I didn't like how it started to prompt for Data sources when I first started it.

    Cool feature, maybe.. but let me find that stuff when I want it, not when I want to play with the tool and see what it does.

    Other than that small gripe, it's probably gonna go on any new boxes I build, unless a customer asks otherwise
  • by bach37 ( 602070 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @09:38AM (#6441949)
    I can't believe all the negative comments. You guys are so harsh towards something that is FREE! That is one thing that MS Office can never come close to. For many small companies or schools, free is an obvious choice over M$, and it will do the job. I can't believe how so many people here are very picky about little things. If you don't like it, pay the M$ tax and quit complaining.

    • by jridley ( 9305 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @10:20AM (#6442395)
      We're getting on its case because it's so good. It's ALMOST THERE as an MS Office killer. We all want to be able to deploy it in place of MS Office.

      If your attitude is "It's free so it's OK for it to suck" then do you not think there's any reason to make open source software that's as good or better than commercial stuff?

      It's fine that it's good enough for small companies and schools. But it'll be even better when, one day, it's good enough to displace MS Office in really large enterprises! It won't get there if everyone is just saying "It's good enough for gramma to write letters, let's stop working on it."
    • It's not complaining in the sense of "I'll never use it because of X," it's more of a "Here's what I've found when using it. It's great except for X. And you can't beat the price!"

      Perhaps nerds aren't used to expressing gratitude for near-perfect systems, as they tend to continue to work on a program until it is perfect in their eyes.

  • Installed last night (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @09:54AM (#6442133) Homepage
    My wife emailed me her resume (in .doc format, which, like it or not, is the standard nowadays) so I could review it. 1.0.3 crashed upon trying to open it. This is a Word doc that was exported from 1.0.3... how sad is that? I installed 1.1RC1 and it was just fine though. So I'd guess the import is improved.

    Installing RC1 on her system was rather more difficult... since the installer kept bombing about a UNICOWS.DLL error. Yes, the solution was easy to find on the website, but why not have a more useful error message than that in the first place? If it's a FAQ, it should be reasonable to integrate the error message into the installer rather than confuse the user. Most people will get an error like that and say screw it and go back to Word/Works/whatever.
  • by praedor ( 218403 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @09:57AM (#6442163) Homepage

    They are still ignoring a really big, important feature: BIBLIOGRAPHY. The built-in bibliography "manager" SUCKS large rocks through capillary tubes. It is NOT useful in any way, shape, or form.

    If you are a high school or college student, or a professional who actually gives proper attribution rather than flat-out plaigerizes, or write scientific papers (biology, for instance - physics and math people use latex/lyx, end of story) you MUST provide references in your papers Research papers for class, papers for submission to professional journals, publications for dissemination online...all require references and a properly formatted reference list.

    I am a biochemist. I recently gave an Impress presentation to my colleagues on my research. Afterwards, a few had questions on what I was using...they noted that I was using linux on my laptop. I told them about OO/StarOffice. They were interested but ultimately I had to disabuse them of the idea of using it to replace Office because OO/SO cannot do references properly. These people use Office with EndNote so they can create a properly formatted and REFERENCED document for publication. Without reference management (ala EndNote-like capability) OO/SO is useless to them. A non-starter. I myself never use OO/SO for writing. I use Lyx plus pybliographer because between the two, I can relatively easily create a proper document with properly formatted references with ease. Can OO/SO do this? Not. Even. Close.

    OO/SO is nifty for doing "powerpoint-like" presentations and the Calc function is minimally useful (for real work I have to use gnumeric because it has some nice, handy scientifically relevant functions and capabilities that Calc lacks). For writing a letter or some similarly low-power document, OO/SO is fine. For real writing, Lyx/latex...because it is the only thing in the linux world up to the task.

    For god's sake! SOMEONE in the wordprocessing world (Textmaker, Gobe, OO/SO, etc) add the ability to manage references! This includes a SIMPLE means of inserting a citation or citations into a doc AND auto-generate configurable reference pages to go with it - not all journals or departments, etc, use the same citation and reference page formatting. Quit with the crap like adding a progress bar during startup (what the fuh?!) and do something worthwhile and actually useful. Add a real functional improvement rather than just more window dressing.

  • by karlandtanya ( 601084 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @10:03AM (#6442227)
    Opening an excel sheet from work using the released version of Oo.o, it would take ~30 minutes, and then the merged cells were not correctly parsed. I had to select the entire sheet and manually remove merged cells in order to see the contents at all.

    Opening the same sheet with Oo.o 1.1beta1 & 2, tood a few seconds (didn't time it), and the cells were parsed correctly.

    But, my adobe type1 fonts are now missing from the selection pulldown!

  • by MagicFab ( 7234 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @10:10AM (#6442288) Homepage
    Windows Downloads: table/1.1rc/
    http://www.ibibl ble/1.1rc/
    ftp://openofficeor fice/stable/1.1rc/ ab le/1.1rc/

    Linux Downloads: table/1.1rc/ OOo_1.1rc_LinuxIntel_install.tar.gz
    http://www.ib ble/1.1rc/OOo_1.1rc_LinuxIntel_install.tar.gz
    ftp :// OOo_1.1rc_LinuxIntel_install.tar.gz
    http://openof o_1.1rc_LinuxIntel_install.tar.gz
    ftp://openoffic fice/stable/1.1rc/OOo_1.1rc_LinuxIntel_install.tar .gz /stab le/1.1rc/OOo_1.1rc_LinuxIntel_install.tar.gz

    MacOSX Downloads: osx_download s.html#download

    New features in 1.1rc over beta2 release
    * a "talkback" style crash reporter to collect stacktrace and error information
    * new command line parameter -start to automatically start a presentation after the document is loaded
    * ability to update existing 1.0.x single user installations
    * support for drawing objects in headers and footers
    * an example XSLT filter for Office 2003 XML format
    * support for MS Excel 95 and older form controls
    * UNO python bridge - python is now a first class language for creating UNO components for
    * built in spell checking dictionaries for English (UK) and Italian
    * built in hyphenation support for Danish, English (UK), German and Russian
    * integrated Bitstream Vera fonts
    * improved spelling suggestions using n-gram scoring 1.1 RC Features
    Enhanced file format support

    * PDF (Portable Document Format) export
    * Support for mailing a document as PDF.
    * DocBook/XML import/export.
    * XHTML export.
    * Support for exporting as a flat XML file.
    * Support for Macromedia Flash (SWF) export.
    * Support for mobile device formats like AportisDoc (Palm), Pocket Word and Pocket Excel.
    * Example xslt based filter for Office 2003 XML documents


    * Support for full keyboard navigation and control
    * Support for tracking system colour scheme and theme settings
    * Support for accessibility in the help system and documents
    * Initial support for Assistive Technologies via Java accessibility APIs

    CTL, vertical and bidirectional writing

    * Support for vertical writing within text documents, text frames and graphic objects
    * Support for vertical writing in spreadsheet cells (the direction is individualy selectable)
    * Support for input, display and editing of scripts using Complex Text Layout (CTL)
    * Support for RTL layout and text in the GUI
    * Support for BiDi-writing in documents
    * Support for using either Arabic or Hindi numerals
    * The RTL vs. LTR default text direction is automaticly selected based on locale

    Other Internationalization enhancements

    * Support for various 8-bit Arabic and Hebrew text encodings / code pages.
    * Support for the KOI8_U encoding.
    * New CTL options tab in language options dialog.
    * Rescue mode support for BiDi/CTL with X11 fonts.
    * S
  • Needed features (Score:3, Interesting)

    by t482 ( 193197 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @10:41AM (#6442612) Homepage
    1) Grammar checker in OpenOffice - for all the Non native English speakers

    2) A Mail and calendar application that is integrated. Yes Mozilla is partially integrated - but the Mozilla Calendar doesn't work properly.
    Currently it is crippled and needs some work. It should support ITIP, read emailed Outlook events, and ftp for calendar entries (not just webdav).

    2) Integrated GNUe small business accounting software to be released (and work). Eventually all small businesses want to use the addressbook from their accounting software.

    4) OpenOffice needs to be more accessible to programmers. It is difficult for developers to get started and contribute to this project as it is so large and complex.

    5) OpenOffice to start quicker in linux like the Ximian Hack but faster.

    6) A Lotus Approach/MS Access/FileMaker Pro replacement

    7) Prettier icons. Compare kwrite to oo write. The icons are much prettier - and that stuff sells.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead