Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 20th Jan 2006 21:15 UTC, submitted by Herschel Cohen
GNU, GPL, Open Source "If building infrastructure is the true forte of Free/Open Source Software, why is there so much duplicative efforts to build so similar edifices seen in Office Suites? Would it not be better to put the initial efforts into construction a software scaffold as the first fundamental step in building the structure to allow all suites components to be placed upon it from any interested source? While I do not consider myself a competent software architect, conceptually the proposal in the previous sentence seems reasonable. Moreover, it could attract talent that is more attuned to fundamentals of process control, i.e. information exchange rather than the attributes seen in a keystroke binding to an action upon a gui that a class of users expects from an application."
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kamper
Member since:
2005-08-20

Isn't it wasted resources to have so many people looking for bugs in the linux kernel when a few people could do it more efficiently and the others could do something else more productive?

For craps' sake, the whole reason open source works (at least when you're looking at the linux community) is that people do what they want and don't worry about a little duplicated effort here and there. It also works because nobody tells anybody what they should and shouldn't do on a large scale. It's not like this hasn't been discussed before.

Reply Score: 5

mostly useless blah blah
by devurandom on Fri 20th Jan 2006 21:43 UTC
devurandom
Member since:
2005-07-06

Hey, this guy actually invented the concepts of components, shared libraries and GUI wrapper! How a genius we can praise!

Seriously, the article is mostly useless blabber. It is a really confused attempt to propose a component-based model, that can be interesting, but surely NOT in the way he feels to.

I find this expecially amusing:
Take one example, of academic usage in the sciences in contrast to a full featured word processor a lighter text version could suffice combined with a superior, independent equation writer. The latter combination would suffice for article writing, however, when a full length book or several chapters are to be composed other components could be added to fulfill the extra demands. The mix and match mind set could revise how differing sets of developers approach software applications. Perhaps the Unix mind set will come into play where the combination of small, specifically honed tools will result in the wholesale replacement of the over sized generalized tool that relies upon too many compromises.

Tell this clueless guy about the existence of LaTeX, please.

Reply Score: 5

All of the FLOSS world
by fretinator on Fri 20th Jan 2006 21:54 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

This article applies to _so_ much of the free software world. For example, just in the BSD's, what if all the great minds of the Open-, Net-, Free-, DragonFLy-, etc. all worked on a common OS foundation, with a smaller number of people working on things that _differentiate_ the BSD's. What a great foundation could be laid. Right! And I'm Cinderella. In fact, at one time this was the knock on all Unices -- the constant forking. I think we just have to live with this constant dynamic tension between 2 opposite forces.

#1 - the need to seek out new territory, new methods of operation, new standards, etc.

#2 - the powerful synergy when people come together and work on a common goal, framework.
There will always be pushing and shoving between these two forces, and really both are necessary. Sure, all developers of Office-type programs could suddenly merge on one "Best of Breed" Office Suite and it would be an amazing application. But many compromises would have to be made. Some would feel left out. I know many people who long for the day of much simpler Word Processors. And I know others who can't get enough features -- they want Video embedded in their document and "dancing icons" on the toolbar. Eventually someone would fork variations of the "Suite to End All Suites". Get used to it and enjoy the variety!!

Reply Score: 5

wasted !!!
by lawina on Fri 20th Jan 2006 21:55 UTC
lawina
Member since:
2006-01-20

There are only two office suites(OO and Koffice).
When is 'two' too much?

Reply Score: 5

RE: wasted !!!
by ozonehole on Fri 20th Jan 2006 23:26 UTC in reply to "wasted !!!"
ozonehole Member since:
2006-01-07

There are only two office suites(OO and Koffice).
When is 'two' too much?


I guess there are three if you include the somewhat esoteric Gnome Office. Of course, it's hard to know what Gnome Office is given the way it's components are named. I believe it consists of Abiword, Gnumeric, Evince, Evolution, Epiphany (I'm using it now to browse this site) and maybe some others that I can't remember. I just wish they'd rename these apps so that we can know it's an office suite.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: wasted !!!
by siride on Fri 20th Jan 2006 23:31 UTC in reply to "RE: wasted !!!"
RE[2]: wasted !!!
by cm__ on Sat 21st Jan 2006 00:22 UTC in reply to "RE: wasted !!!"
cm__ Member since:
2005-07-07

> I believe it consists of Abiword, Gnumeric, Evince, Evolution, Epiphany

Hmm? Evolution, a document viewer and a browser as components of an office suite? I don't think so.

If you're talking about this GNOME office: http://www.gnome.org/gnome-office/ then it's just Abiword, Gnumeric and the start of a DB-access layer.

Edited 2006-01-21 00:26

Reply Score: 2

Slighty OT
by eMagius on Fri 20th Jan 2006 21:57 UTC
eMagius
Member since:
2005-07-06

This has got to be the worst-written, worst-edited story OSnews has linked to so far this year. The author's writing is barely legible, let alone comprehensible. Mr. Cohen's disdain for grammar, spelling and punctuation is utterly astonishing, and the reader is left wondering what Cohen is trying to get at as he meanders about vague concepts shrouded in some abyssal variant of English.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Slighty OT
by kamper on Fri 20th Jan 2006 22:10 UTC in reply to "Slighty OT"
kamper Member since:
2005-08-20

shrouded in some abyssal variant of English.

I think you mean abysmal ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Slighty OT
by dagw on Fri 20th Jan 2006 23:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Slighty OT"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

He could have been refering to the version of english spoken in the abyss of hell.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Slighty OT
by kamper on Fri 20th Jan 2006 23:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Slighty OT"
kamper Member since:
2005-08-20

He could have been refering to the version of english spoken in the abyss of hell.

Lol, I just learned a new word :p

Reply Score: 1

Because you're not the boss of me.
by Sphinx on Fri 20th Jan 2006 22:08 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

What I see you really proposing is to stifle all innovation. The exact same reason there has to be so many distros, it's how we evolve. Your myopic view puts forth the premise there is only one way to do something, nobody could do better, there couldn't be any competition since there's only one so there's no reason to try anything new.. one framework, line forms to the right, result is total stagnation and ultimately the end of open source.

No software truly worth a damn has ever been invented by a committee. Committees are dark alleyways where brilliant innovative ideas are taken and quietly choked to death.

Reply Score: 2

kamper Member since:
2005-08-20

No software truly worth a damn has ever been invented by a committee. Committees are dark alleyways where brilliant innovative ideas are taken and quietly choked to death.

I think you may be going a bit overboard there. The chaos model of the linux community is an interesting one, but it's not the only way to develop software, not even open source software. The BSDs are much more centrally organized and they certainly have their value. And there's crap in the linux world, just like there's crap in the proprietary world. Both worlds also have some good stuff.

Reply Score: 3

Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

I thought Bill Joy was the inventor of BSD.

Reply Score: 1

Wasted Efforts?
by locohijo on Fri 20th Jan 2006 23:58 UTC
locohijo
Member since:
2006-01-03

This is one of the strongest points of the F/OSS, with these 'duplication', there exist choices.

In addition, one can get the best technology on each of these duplicated projects and merge it with an existing or new (forked) project, thus creating a much better project than it was.

Think evolution.

Reply Score: 2

v Reinventing the wheel
by Tom K on Sat 21st Jan 2006 00:30 UTC
RE: Reinventing the wheel
by Mathman on Sat 21st Jan 2006 00:42 UTC in reply to "Reinventing the wheel"
Mathman Member since:
2005-07-08

Exactly. Nothing is ever original or interesting in the open source world. I mean, you never end up with anything like NX, distcc, Xen, OpenMosix, LTSP, Knoppix, DragonFly BSD, Rocks, and so on and so forth, do you?

Reply Score: 3

v RE[2]: Reinventing the wheel
by Tom K on Sat 21st Jan 2006 00:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Reinventing the wheel"
RE[3]: Reinventing the wheel
by chemical_scum on Sat 21st Jan 2006 00:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reinventing the wheel"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

How many IM clients are there on SourceForge these days? Is it up to 1000 yet? How many package managers? Have we broken 100? Office "suites"? Shells? Window managers?

That's evolution in operation !

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Reinventing the wheel
by j-s-h on Sat 21st Jan 2006 02:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reinventing the wheel"
j-s-h Member since:
2005-07-08

And having so many options is bad because...

Oh noes, look at how much duplication! Bring in the duplication police!!11oneone

Reply Score: 1

v RE[4]: Reinventing the wheel
by Tom K on Sat 21st Jan 2006 07:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Reinventing the wheel"
RE[3]: Reinventing the wheel
by devurandom on Sat 21st Jan 2006 03:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reinventing the wheel"
devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

No, it doesn't hurt. It's one of the many reasons I use OSS.

I'm really happy to have N window managers to choose from. Running the same OS with Fluxbox on an old machine and KDE on a shiny new one is a privilege you don't have with Windows / MacOS X.

I want alternatives. I don't buy the "there-should-be-only-one-perfect-app" argument, because there is no perfect app for everyone. What looks wonderful for someone is terrible for someone else. Take media players, for example. There are a lot of people that like iTunesque players like iTunes itself, or amaroK, or whatever. I just can't stand them, and I'm happy to be able to choose and use my dear XMMS (or Winamp, on Windows).

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Reinventing the wheel
by renox on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 06:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Reinventing the wheel"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

It hurts a little: when you're trying to find a good application and you have to evaluate dozens of application which are all half-finished.
I remember trying to select a FTP client and it took me quite some times before settling on ncftp..

While I agree with you that selecting the application which is perfect for you depends on your need, so there can't be one perfect application, it still remains that the strong NIH syndrome in open source tends to create many half-baked apps instead of a small number of high-quality apps, and this is a pain for users as they loose time choosing between too many solutions.

That said, the article linked in the post is probably one of the worst I've seen recently: poor English, fuzzy concept, ugh..

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Reinventing the wheel
by DeadFishMan on Sat 21st Jan 2006 04:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reinventing the wheel"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

And for every one of those, there are hundreds of projects that are duplicates of each other.

How many IM clients are there on SourceForge these days? Is it up to 1000 yet? How many package managers? Have we broken 100? Office "suites"? Shells? Window managers?

Yeah, I know ... it hurts.


I never get tired of using this arguments against dimwits like you, so there you go:

Why there are so many multimedia players for Windows and Mac? Windows Media Player is the best media player in existence as everybody and their dogs know, right? (Yep, now I'm getting ridiculous here... I know...) And as far as Windows is concerned, that's one too many. Right? RIGHT?

The same go to Apple. Let's kill any media player sans Quicktime. Why not? It'll make the noobs lives easier when picking up a media player. Who could possibly need all the features that Quicktime does not offer already? Who, for Christ's sake??? And by the way Apple: pull that iTunes and QuickTime shit that you released for Windows without my prior consent (the horror!), because we already have Windows Media Player.

Let's also tell Corel to pack their baggage and go home, because on the Office suite front, we already got MS Office. Thank you very much. Who needs a WordPerfect Suite? And while we are at it, get that damn Corel Draw Suite with you. Adobe offers everything that we need already.

That's right: Nobody needs Winamp, RealPlayer, Nero Burning ROM, FruitLoops, BSPlayer, etc, etc, etc, because I'm saying so. That's why. Take all that damn options that only confuse this hypotetic newbie that I keep bringing all the time whenever this options subject come up and throw it at Linux land because those idiots love this sort of shit... I mean, if those idiots can cope with KDE (poor bastards!), they surely can take all these extra options that *I* don't need.

We'll let Adobe play on our backyard as long as they behave. I still am not over that Macromedia acquisition thing... Probably they already have software that overlap features from each other. We're going to have a looooong talk later, boy. I mean it.

See how this stupid argument is a double edged sword? Somehow, availability of choice is only a problem when it is related to Linux because everybody knows that MS nor Apple can do no wrong, right? RIGHT?

Edited 2006-01-21 04:22

Reply Score: 5

v RE[4]: Reinventing the wheel
by Tom K on Sat 21st Jan 2006 07:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Reinventing the wheel"
RE[5]: Reinventing the wheel
by superstoned on Sat 21st Jan 2006 11:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Reinventing the wheel"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

i don't think linux has any less mediaplayers compared to windows. have a look around, there are hundreds of mediaplayers targeting windows users. just like linux. and linux has several VERY GOOD ones, like amarok, juk and xmms. and yes, lots of small, less powerfull ones, indeed. but even of those, many of them are used, and the authors wouldn't want to work on juk, amarok or xmms anyway... the choice is not "several medicore or one good" but several medicore or none". many people don't seem to understand these developers need some motivation, not payment, to work...

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Reinventing the wheel
by anda_skoa on Sat 21st Jan 2006 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Reinventing the wheel"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

Focus on 5, 10, hell 20 projects ... but no more

Focusing on "n" projects assumes that there are only "n" usage patterns. Given that the world population is around 6 billion, I guess "n" really depends on the application's domain.

And remember that a large number of projects are testbeds for not-yet implemented technology.

It quite often doesn't make sense to implement some new idea in a heavily used application.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Reinventing the wheel
by gilboa on Sat 21st Jan 2006 23:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Reinventing the wheel"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

For once I actually managed to read one of you posts without feeling the urge to vote it down immediately... Guess it means pig do fly.

More to the point, who get's to choose which are the 20 projects that are "allowed" to continue? You? Following /your/ needs? /Your/ usage patterns?
And what if I have a killer feature that /to me/ warrants a new media player? Who gets to decide if I'm allowed to develop it or not? You? Based on what?

The answer is simple:
Freedom of choice.
Each and every Linux/BSD/OSX/Windows/etc user gets to choose which player suites /his/ and perfectly suites /his/ usage patterns.
Duplicate projects that bring nothing new to the table will slowly drift into the night, while others, that innovate and improve will thrive. Eco-system 101.

You can continue to bash F/OSS as much are you like; but the same free environment that brought us (and I quote) 30 useless media player, also brought us Linux, BSD, RPM, Gentoo, Debian, Xen, OpenMosix, KDE, GNOME, IceWM, Flubox, XFCE, xine, mplayer, FireFox, evolution, vim, kdevelop, anjuta, MySQL, PostgreSQL, k3b, blender, gimp... and the list goes on and on and on.

Each of these project have duplicate project keeping on it toes; If it fails there are other projects that will take his place.

But I'm just wasting my time, ain't I?
You're so used to being told what you need and what you should use that the mere idea of having to select, yourself, between 10, 20 and even 100 different options is something you simply cannot comprehend.

For the likes of you it would have been much easier if you had a single choice, preferably with MS logo on top of it, to choose from.
Simply put, I pity you.

G.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Reinventing the wheel
by Mathman on Sat 21st Jan 2006 04:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reinventing the wheel"
Mathman Member since:
2005-07-08

I don't know why, I suppose it's the guy on the BSD thread from the other day that did it, but I'll be nice to you this time LIP. Not that I've ever just sat down here and made fun of you like it was Bob and I reading your comments, but I'll still try and be nice this time.

So let me tell you a story. Just the other day I decided I'd write a program to simulate a blackjack game. It was coming along nicely in fact. I had my shoe all set up so that I could vary the amount of decks it contained. I had a pretty decent and efficient shuffle method up and running. And never a problem, I took one more step forward in becomming the master of Fortran 95 that I've always wanted to be. But then I realized how deep I'd gotten myself, especially if this thing was going to help train me to count cards like I had hoped. So I figured I'd dig around source forge. Lo and behold, there were around 30 or so different projects to chose from. A short while later, after mentally discarding all the games or the programs I couldn't get up and running, I had about 8 or so projects that are just brilliant. Now, not only do I have the beginnings of my very own blackjack simulator, I also have 8 more I can extend and borrow from, one of which is even written by a guy from MIT. As an added bonus I've gone ahead and extended my already working knowledge of C/C++, Java, Python, Make, Scons, Ant, and Linux.

But then I suppose I won't be nice after all (can't fault me for trying though). I've grown tired of you LIP. In fact I'm going to be downright mean this time. You my friend are a complete and utter idiot. It hurts you say? It hurts me that I have 30 different blackjack projects to chose from on source forge? It hurts me that every single one of those applications of are free for me to do what I want with?

But wait. Now's the part where you tell me that each and every one of the blackjack applications on source forge is the exact same as the other. Nevermind one will just train you basic strategy, the other will simulate betting strategies, the other simulates card counting, the other is just a client server game, and so on. Right. I certainly value that opinion. Truth be told here, I seriously doubt you could come up with a hello world in CS 101, let alone do anything as remotely sophisticated as a blackjack simulator.

Or wait, I have it. Now's the point where you tell me how lacking in quality each and every one of those blackjack applications are. I mean, I'm talking to the guy who develops Linux kernel power saving functionality after all. Your valuable opinion is duly noted sir.

The way I see it. Some things are hard. For some people anyway. Developing computer applications is one of them. Heck, just using some of the blackjack applications off source forge would boggle some peoples minds. Your's being one of them it seems LIP. Which is why hearing you criticize something as amazing and complex as the Linux kernel, or various Linux distributions for that matter, is just laughable.

But rock on my friend. Linux is poo, no?

Edited 2006-01-21 04:46

Reply Score: 5

v RE[4]: Reinventing the wheel
by Tom K on Sat 21st Jan 2006 07:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Reinventing the wheel"
RE[5]: Reinventing the wheel
by alcibiades on Sat 21st Jan 2006 08:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Reinventing the wheel"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

Missing the point. The difference is evolution versus plan. The difference is an open market versus a planned economy.

People in the days before the fall of the Soviet Union always used to look at the sheer waste of capitalist economies, and say how silly it was. If we just replaced all these failing companies, duplicate competitive efforts with the right planned effort, how much faster we would grow, how much richer we would all be, how much better health care we would have, and how much freer we would be.

The problem was actually doing it.

Most of the critics of OSS don't grasp this, or don't like it. UI design, for instance, I once had an Apple using friend say, is probably best left to experts who know whats best for us. Do that, and you will never have fvwm or enlightenment. Or one of them will be compulsory.

I do not know whether the OSS model is going to win out long term, but if so, it will be for the same reasons that led to the fall of the Soviet model. Those piles of rusting tractors that littered the sidings of the trans Siberian railway, produced to plan, but not to need. Just as the reality of the planned economies was waste on a prodigious scale, which dwarfed that of the West, so the reality of closed source planned applications is prodigious waste too - of opportunity. Of innovation which someone, who knows no better than anyone else, rejects.

What you are looking at on SourceForge is all the blind alleys, but you cannot see which of them is going to be the way through to something amazing.

Consider music for instance. We have all these talentless people wasting their time trying to become performers. Surely, we should have a State music bureau, pick the two or three best, and really support them. The rest we will send to be factory workers. They did it, and this is why Soviet music was so utterly tedious. The fact is, the only way to find out what will work is to let everyone try it.

Fortunately however, we are living in the West and in the post Soviet era, and there is nothing any of the nay-sayers can do about the proliferation of OSS activity. That gives me great pleasure as I read these kinds of threads. These are people who want to work on stuff, mostly in evenings and free time, and you cannot stop them! Good luck to them. And in there somewhere is another Tellico or Treeline, in the middle of 10 or 20 or 100 other packages, that is going to make someone's life happier or better.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Reinventing the wheel
by superstoned on Sat 21st Jan 2006 12:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Reinventing the wheel"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

i love it - some people DO have a clue ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Reinventing the wheel
by Sphinx on Sat 21st Jan 2006 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Reinventing the wheel"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

I am not worthy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Reinventing the wheel
by Soulbender on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 06:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reinventing the wheel"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"And for every one of those, there are hundreds of projects that are duplicates of each other. "


Good thing there arent hundreds of Notepad replacements, Im clients, ftp clients etc for Windows on Tucows because that would kind of be a lot of wasted efforts....

Reply Score: 1

RE: Reinventing the wheel
by Sphinx on Sat 21st Jan 2006 19:52 UTC in reply to "Reinventing the wheel"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Some, some of it is about creating a whole new class of wheel never even dreamed before.

Reply Score: 1

Transcend and Include
by openartist on Sat 21st Jan 2006 09:04 UTC
openartist
Member since:
2005-09-11

I'd like to defend the author and also add that the fact that people have such strong responses proabably means that there is some validity to his thinking. I'd also like to add that just because we aren't talking face-to-face doesn't mean we should grant ourselves the license to be rude and disrespectful. When people offer ideas that challenge us we should have the openness of mind to be able to consider the idea and talk about its possible implications. Otherwise we are failing to the same conservative way of thinking that we accuse "The Man" of.

Social structures go through different phases as they develop and each phase in that development must transced and include what came before. Ken Wilber and Dr. Don Beck talk about this in their different models of human development. To use a broad generalisation open-source could be typified by the post-modern movement/way of thinking, while older developmental models represent structure defined by the maodern era. To truly evolve we should think about transcending and including both structures.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Transcend and Include
by anda_skoa on Sat 21st Jan 2006 12:27 UTC in reply to "Transcend and Include"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

I'd like to defend the author and also add that the fact that people have such strong responses proabably means that there is some validity to his thinking.

Those strong responses are a result of the author's personal attacks, not because the idea of a common office component framework is bad.

But of course calling something "waste" gets you a lot more page hits than writing about competing efforts.

As long as there is some positive impact and be it something abstract like increasing the developer's knowledge, it is obviously not wasted.

And don't forget that especially the existence of at least a second office suite from a different developer team supporting the new OpenDocument format is helping that very format's reputation

Reply Score: 3

waste of time...
by l3v1 on Sat 21st Jan 2006 12:29 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

...of the writer's time and of our time. Somebody who had a bitmore spare time that humanly spendable with reason resulting in a couple of pointless gibber.

While I do not consider myself a competent software architect,

I do not consider myself a competent gardener, but then again, I don't give advices to the gardener how to care for those flowers.

people have such strong responses proabably means that there is some validity to his thinking (by openartist)

Yeah, right. This is BS, and big time. "Openness of mind" doesn't mean one should swallow every piece of crap that comes with the wind.

Reply Score: 1

art and programming
by johndaly on Sat 21st Jan 2006 13:18 UTC
johndaly
Member since:
2006-01-16

There is an inherit difference in view between users and programmers; this difference mirrors that in artists and art consumers/aficionados. The artists creates art because he likes the process of creating, the art consumer/aficionado likes art for its esthetics. The same goes for programmers and users, at least in the FLOSS community, for the programmer its about the process while for the user its about the program.
Articles like this are out of the user perspective and only sound reasonable to a small and unintelligent population. Just think about what this type of rant would mean when you transfer it to the art world.

Reply Score: 3

aaaiee! my eyes!!
by helf on Sat 21st Jan 2006 13:41 UTC
helf
Member since:
2005-07-06

the goggles!! they do nothing!!!

My eyes started bleeding when i tried reading that... that... butchering of english.

What did he do, hit run on the article-O-matic?
ouch.

Reply Score: 3

wtf?
by hobgoblin on Sat 21st Jan 2006 16:49 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

is there a echo buildt into the net or something? (i have a feel someone will point towards "ping" very soon ;) )

give it 2 months, 3 tops, and another article about how the duplication effort of the f/oss community is hurting it. sorry, but it seems to very fine from where im viewing it.

Reply Score: 1

You guys are brutal! ;-)
by Guppetto on Sat 21st Jan 2006 17:07 UTC
Guppetto
Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, it's clear that this article has reinvigorated the we can work on however many projects we want spirit of FOSS advocates. However, when it comes to office suites everyone has to admit that their are many functions that each and every office suite performs that get duplicated needlessly. I think a component based system would have benifits, because bolt on development (like eclipse for instance) does seem to attract more industry participation. Let's also face the fact, that people love doing gui's that they believe initially leads users to choose an app, and a component based system would free up some of those developers, while other developers and interested companies could focus on adding support for standards (documents, font, calculations ...etc). Also, if companies could put their own front end (branding) on top of a platform, I think you'd attract more industry involvement. The authur may have said it wrong, but if you really want a platform that is up to date and well supported you've got to make it easier for everyone to contribute in their own way. A component based system in my oppinion makes it easier for you and I to contribute in our own little way. After all, how much influence does the average joe exert over Open Office or KOffice. Sure their open, but if you could extract a small tarball of code dedicated to adding open document support as opposed to having to pull the entire project from cvs and trying to get a clue as to how it all works together, wouldn't you be more enclined to contribute. I think his point is that projects that have a structure more conducive to multiple contributers can thrive, where as monolithic all powerful suites slow down development. IBM certainly has succeded with the structure of Eclipse which is all components. Please, don't be brutal in your replies! ;-)

Reply Score: 1

Re: You guys are brutal! ;-)
by kamper on Sat 21st Jan 2006 18:22 UTC
kamper
Member since:
2005-08-20

First of all, eclipse is not a good example of solidifying open source efforts. How many arguments have there been about a shared plugin mechanism with Netbeans? I haven't checked up on it in a while but I assume it's no closer to happening than ever before. Plus, how many shitty eclipse plugins duplicate eachother's functionality? Lots.

and a component based system would free up some of those developers,

That's where the people suggesting less diversification miss the point. You can't "free up" developers to do something else. They're not out there saying "well somebody has to make the nth office suite, I wish I could do something else though." They're not itching to be relieved of their obligations so they can work on something more worthwhile. Except in the case of corporate developers, the devs can just quit if they don't like what they're doing. On a larger scale, if the corporations didn't like doing what they were doing (governing the production of duplicated efforts) they'd just stop as well. You can't take these people and 'free' them from the jobs they're doing and tell them they must do something else for the community instead.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re: You guys are brutal! ;-)
by Guppetto on Sat 21st Jan 2006 19:18 UTC in reply to "Re: You guys are brutal! ;-)"
Guppetto Member since:
2005-07-06

"They're not itching to be relieved of their obligations so they can work on something more worthwhile"

Well, I've got to repectfully disagree. As a devloper working in a fortune 500 company, I can tell you that many developers really do often say they're tired of people requesting interface features. There are a lot of developers that like interacting with users and working on fine tuning a gui but there are just as many that want to work on integrating functionality feature (the stuff that no one talks about). Also, how many companies do you see contributing to Open Office or KOffice. If you had a framework to build upon, I can guarantee you'd see more companies getting involved,because then the applications wouldn't be thought of as belonging to a particular intity. It also becomes easier to brand an interface on top of a framework. Companies are willing to step outside of MS if they can determine their own direction. A framework gives them that ability. This is the very reason that the xserver is going to a component based system (to make it more attractive for outside contributions and to speed up development).

Reply Score: 1

anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

If you had a framework to build upon, I can guarantee you'd see more companies getting involved

If I am not mistaken OpenOffice.org has a componentent system (UNO) that is shared with StarOffice, yet I don't know any other company that has released UNO components.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Re: You guys are brutal! ;-)
by johndaly on Sat 21st Jan 2006 20:00 UTC in reply to "Re: You guys are brutal! ;-)"
johndaly Member since:
2006-01-16

What FLOSS Office Suites exits right now?

GOffice:
This never was much of an Office Suite, more of a bag full of apps and the arrival of OO.o killed all but two apps already. AbiWord and Gnumeric are all that's left, both are best of bread apps that gain most of their appeal by being light. If you integrate them with some big Office Suite you kill almost all of the appeal for these two lone surviving apps so just let them be.

KOffice
This Office Suite is all you want; it has lots of apps that are very well integrated with each other and is definitely the most modular Office Suite out there. It has only three problems, first it lakes features, second it is a KDE app and not portable (to Windows and MacOSX) and third it lacks the brand name of OO.o. The first two are being addressed with KOffice2 but there is just no way it can ever attain the recognition of OO.o in the mainstream.

OO.o
This is the Office Suite most user want us all to unite behind to drive away the heathens that dare to use other, non FLOSS Office Suites. This think is the antithesis of what you want. It's not modular and will take a long time to become. The code is not very easy to get into and most developers are still from Sun (as far as I know) AND to top it all of not everybody is happy about the larger and larger amounts of Java code that are becoming part of OO.o.

SIAG:
Dead.

Others:
Either commercial or commercial and dead.

So in your opinion what should we do? There is one Office Suite that has everything you want but no mind share and another that has a long way to go to become everything you want but has lots and lots of mind share. Do you think it is wise to abandon KOffice with all its riches for OO.o, especially with KOffice having more apps then OO.o, or do you think it remotely possible that Sun is going to abandon OO.o for KOffice?

What's so terrible about the current situation that needs changing so bad?

P.S.:This was directed at Guppetto and the original "You guys are brutal! ;-)" and got posted in this part of the thread by accident.

P.P.S.: anybody else get odd behavior out of Reply at times?

Edited 2006-01-21 20:07

Reply Score: 2

My thoughts on OpenOffice
by mharrison on Sat 21st Jan 2006 20:03 UTC
mharrison
Member since:
2006-01-21
Another attempt
by clausi on Sun 22nd Jan 2006 23:16 UTC
clausi
Member since:
2005-07-12

The problem is not wasted efforts. All these articles just try to discuss one problem: the slow progress on the GNU/Linux platform (on the desktop).

Let's be honest: As long as somebody wastes his own time or money, only, I don't care. Nobody cares. If somebody thinks, he's going to get famous for writing just another bloody editor -- well, have fun! (Althought there's a minority trying to advertise and distribute the bloody editor, and this is wasting everybodies attention, and it's also spamming the free resources!)

The bloody editor is done in a few days by a good programmer I guess, and thus they are still published. However, the majority of users are not waiting for another bloody editor, they are waiting for a full IDE that is able to compete with something like Microsoft's Visual Studio. (Before anybody is trying to point me to Anjuta or something else: It's just an example! I'm not looking for an IDE.)

This can be seen in many Linux bulletin boards. Someone asks: "Is there something to do X" and people respond with recommending Beta software.

Sitting somewhere on a desktop, watching the track of the editors (and other 'wasted efforts') move past, while waiting for more 'real' apps to appear, makes me sometimes wonder whether the whole FOSS talk was not just bullshit.

Somebody is probably now going to respond to me: "Look, the guy doing his bloody editor is probably not going to help a high-quality software project anyway because otherwise he wouldn't have done an editor in the first place!"

Yes. I know.

However, the knowledge doesn't help when you're again sitting before your desktop; watching the track of editors going past.

Reply Score: 1