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KOffice GUI Competition Winner 204

Boudewijn Rempt writes "The KOffice GUI Competition has been won by Martin Pfeiffer. His entry was chosen from eighteen submissions by the jury because of its innovative, ground-breaking approach to workflow and document handling. Many submitters broke away from the beaten path and explored wild and wonderful ideas. The results page also has all submitted entries available for review."
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KOffice GUI Competition Winner

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  • Check it out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Life700MB ( 930032 ) on Sunday March 05, 2006 @07:34PM (#14855042)

    It's a pity the real poor coverage KOffice gets in the web compared to OpenOffice, being a really cool suite with great programs. It deserves a lot of respect what are they doing.

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  • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Sunday March 05, 2006 @07:44PM (#14855080) Homepage
    Ofcourse it supports exporting to PDF; all KDE applications does. You just press print and use the PDF printer.

    Importing .doc is however notiously difficult, and KWord only does so in limited ways.
  • by rRaminrodt ( 250095 ) on Sunday March 05, 2006 @07:50PM (#14855101) Homepage Journal
    All kde programs, including koffice, can print to pdf. It's a function of the printing subsystem, not the app itself.

    It's not as good as OO.org at opening word docs, but I just tried one someone emailed me and it opened up fine and I could get at the content.

    Even better, they're standardizing on the OpenDocument format. Hopefully, the more folks use opendocument the fewer issues exchanging files between different office apps.
  • by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Sunday March 05, 2006 @07:59PM (#14855125) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure how I feel about an application having a "desktop" which is separate from the actual OS' desktop; it seems like it would lead to a situation where every application has its own desktop, possibly with conflicting UI metaphors, and that's not a good end result for the user.

    I think you need to view it less as the application having its own desktop so much as the office suite having a "workflow" view. There's plenty of space in the office suite market for such an overview option, particularly if it can provide a workflow overview of a inter-related corpus of various documents (spreadsheets, presentations, reports, etc.) as well as just a single document. Think in terms of how Aperture is a workflow oriented overview for photographers and imagine a workflow oriented overview for office workers. I think there's plenty of scope for dramatic improvements there.

  • Re:Check it out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Sunday March 05, 2006 @08:07PM (#14855145)
    Its a pity KOffice only runs on *nixes (afaik).

    OpenOffice runs on Windows and OS X.

    Given most computers run on Windows, that translates to more coverage. You want to slingshot KOffice into the limelight with OO.org port it to Windows.

    It would also help Mass., with its ODF migration.

  • Re:What I'd like (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mvdw ( 613057 ) on Sunday March 05, 2006 @08:34PM (#14855234) Homepage
    Does anyone know of a tool that can do this?

    What about bash? Seriously, though, I don't know of a tool that can save a particular desktop context, although KDE tends to save the context on logout, so when you log back in it's pretty much as you logged out. I don't think it extends to files within apps, though, unless they are KDE apps.

    It would make a great utility to sit in the task tray (for windows or for KDE or gnome or OSX or whatever): one click and it saves the complete desktop context (open files and all), and creates a desktop shortcut to that context. Maybe even with check boxes to exclude certain apps (like the mail client or mp3 player for example) from the save.

  • by jackjansen ( 898733 ) on Sunday March 05, 2006 @08:42PM (#14855262)
    The comments to this article (so far) IMHO show why Open Source user interfaces are in such a bad shape: 90% is about some minor functionality that this-or-that package doesn't have, 9% is about graphics design. Only one post discusses the reason this submission won the contest: it proposes an innovative way to present your daily work.

    After 20+ years of research results that tell people what good user interface guidelines are, plus companies such as Apple that have products that more-or-less adhere to these guidelines, it seems that the open source community (I know, equating /. posters with the open source community is a bit of a stretch:-) still doesn't get the point. It is not about how many thousand things your application can do, it is not about beautiful screen layouts, it is about enabling the end user to complete the task they have set themselves with the minimal amount of hassle (especially if s/he has done a similar thing many times before), and helping them with that task as much as possible (especially if s/he is doing something for the first time).
  • by PygmySurfer ( 442860 ) on Sunday March 05, 2006 @08:46PM (#14855273)
    I'd guess (hope?) that many of those software packages had gone through extensive usability testing, and the reason for the garish colours was that it minimizes eye strain for the poor people staring at them for 8 hours a day.

    Also, kind of interesting your bank uses software programmed for Win95 - I thought most banks used OS/2 :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 05, 2006 @09:24PM (#14855363)

    It's not about pretty versus functional, it's about immediate satisfaction versus long-term gain.

    The quality of a search engine is immediately apparent. You either find what you are looking for or you don't.

    The productivity of an office suite isn't immediately apparent. If it saves you a few hours per month, then the average person won't notice.

    The prettiness of an office suite, on the other hand, is immediately apparent. The average person can load it up and go "ooh" or "ugh" straight away.

    The OP's point stands: it's not about who's better, it's about who can impress the average end-user immediately. In the case of office suites, this is manifested as "prettiness wins". In the case of search engines, this is manifested as "relevant results win".

  • by biglig2 ( 89374 ) on Sunday March 05, 2006 @10:14PM (#14855483) Homepage Journal
    No, it's because when a serious bank, warehouse, or whatever finds an application that works, they leave it the hell alone. Suppose they do an upgrade. One of two things will happen:
    1) New version still works, and looks nicer.
    2) New version no longer works.

    The benfits on 1 do not outway the disaster of 2.
  • Re:Check it out (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <aussie_bobNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Sunday March 05, 2006 @10:22PM (#14855500) Journal
    Why should good Free software help M$ and Apple sell operating systems?

    Because it's open source and enough of us want it to. The whole point of open source is that it's less restrictive than commercial software.
  • by Omega Blue ( 220968 ) on Sunday March 05, 2006 @10:51PM (#14855601)
    After years and years of advancements in computing we still haven't been able to create a replacement for paper. Paper is still the best choice for taking notes, jotting down ideas, drawing things, etc., etc.

    The reason is simple - you can put anything down (that you can with a writing implement) anywhere on a piece of paper. For example, you can start with drawing a sketch in the middle. Then putting down some annotating text and connecting them with arrows to the sketch. Perhaps you could make a detailed diagram of an especially complicated part at a corner. On the back of the sheet you can make some quick back of envelope calculations. After you are done, you can put the whole thing safely in your wallet.

    Do we care about typefaces, point sizes, and that sort of thing? No. All those have nothing to do with the formation, recording, and refining of ideas. However a lot of time was spent on these features that should really belong on an end node down near the very bottom of the creative process.
  • This is a problem with the whole industry, not just Open Source.
  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @12:43AM (#14855905) Homepage
    I do not think I understand your "wish" properly. Fonts aren't a problem for me, but I know this does mean that there is no problem. Could you better explain?
  • by 404 Clue Not Found ( 763556 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @02:22AM (#14856131)
    After years and years of advancements in computing we still haven't been able to create a replacement for paper. Paper is still the best choice for taking notes, jotting down ideas, drawing things, etc., etc.

    The reason is simple - you can put anything down (that you can with a writing implement) anywhere on a piece of paper. (snip)

    It's not that simple. It's not just about being able to write/draw anywhere. Tablet PC software can already do that. Microsoft OneNote can do that. Most paint programs can do that. Software does it better too, since you can easily drag around elements when they need to be moved or otherwise edit them. And you get an eraser that beats any real-world one by far.

    It's paper's other advantages that are hard to beat. Paper is cheap. Paper is ubiquitous. Paper is paper-thin. Paper (even just for notetaking) comes in a billion different sizes and can be folded for storage and portability. Paper is drop-proof. Paper gives good writing texture -- or at least it's what many people are used to.

    It's going to be hard to replace without some sort of uber device that meets all the same criteria. In the short term, I'd be glad if something can just replace notebooks, not necessarily individual sheets of paper. PDAs are too small to be effective notetakers and tablet PCs are too expensive, heavy, and power-hungry.
  • by pherthyl ( 445706 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @02:36AM (#14856153)
    As the first reply already says, could you elaborate? Where's the link to the wishlist entry? Fonts seem to work ok here. Control center - Appearance - fonts. There are two other places you can adjust fonts, one is for the konqueror web browser, and one is the advanced editor kpart. Other than that all the apps seem to respect the overall font settings.
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @03:26AM (#14856234) Journal
    That's why everybody's first choice is Yahoo for searches, and Google's been forgotten!

    Geeks believing Yahoo is pretty is the reason we have ugly UI's on Linux. :-)

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"