Linked by snydeq on Mon 4th Oct 2010 21:25 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp looks beyond OpenOffice.org to list 10 great free and open source desktop tools for word processing, page layout, graphics editing, illustration, task management, and more. Some of the featured tools provide a worthwhile alternative to expensive proprietary software, while others carve a niche all their own. All are available for Windows, and nearly all are available for Linux and Mac OS X as well. From AbiWord, to Inkscape, to Task Coach, each of the tools provides further proof that the roster of available free programs is growing remarkably -- in both the breadth and depth of functionality offered.
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Page Clicks
by Macrat on Mon 4th Oct 2010 21:51 UTC
Macrat
Member since:
2006-03-27

writer: I just finished an article about open source apps

editor: how many web pages can we make out of it

writer: 5

editor: make it 6 and we'll publish it

Edited 2010-10-04 21:51 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: Page Clicks
by WorknMan on Mon 4th Oct 2010 22:05 UTC in reply to "Page Clicks"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

editor: how many web pages can we make out of it

writer: 5

editor: make it 6 and we'll publish it


Yeah, c'mon web publishers... *1* page, 2 at the most. For those of us that like reading content offline, this is a PITA.

Anyway, nice list. You can certainly find apps that are better than these in many cases, but it's hard to beat free ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Page Clicks
by artworx on Wed 6th Oct 2010 21:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Page Clicks"
artworx Member since:
2008-07-21
I concur
by TechGeek on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:20 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I hate Infoworld. Do I really need to visit 10 pages plus one full ad to see 10 apps? What a waste of time.

Reply Score: 8

RE: I concur
by dvhh on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:59 UTC in reply to "I concur"
dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

Should we ban article base on Inforworld , their contribution of information/pain to the world ratio is quite low (this one is especially obvious).

Reply Score: 5

RE: I concur
by bitwelder on Tue 5th Oct 2010 06:50 UTC in reply to "I concur"
bitwelder Member since:
2010-04-27

You haven't yet learn to (ab)use the Print article option? ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: I concur
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 5th Oct 2010 12:35 UTC in reply to "RE: I concur"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

You haven't yet learn to (ab)use the Print article option? ;)

And use AdBlock...

Reply Score: 2

KOffice
by ebasconp on Tue 5th Oct 2010 00:12 UTC
ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

KOffice is the big forgotten here!

Reply Score: 5

RE: KOffice
by lemur2 on Tue 5th Oct 2010 02:51 UTC in reply to "KOffice"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

KOffice is the big forgotten here!


All of the KDE SC/Qt applications were studiously ignored.

Krita, KWord, Kexi, Karbon, k3b, digikam, sKrooge, Kdevelop, Cantor, Kompozer, Kile and Umbrello ... not a single one to be found even insofar as a hint of their existence. Together the functionality of these applications would stomp all over the ten that were mentioned.

(Unfortunately I can't mention Kivio instead of Dia because Kivio is in limbo at this time, and Dia is a better option right now).

I mean ... Paint.Net, for goodness sakes!

Edited 2010-10-05 03:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: KOffice
by John Blink on Tue 5th Oct 2010 12:19 UTC in reply to "RE: KOffice"
John Blink Member since:
2005-10-11

I see that they are all available on Windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: KOffice
by lemur2 on Tue 5th Oct 2010 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: KOffice"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I see that they are all available on Windows.


Yes, indeed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KDE_Software_Compilation_4

The entire KDE SC is cross-platform.

Having said that, the Windows versions are still experimental for many of the applications.

Other applications which have been available on Windows for longer are more stable. Krita is probably the most worthwhile stable application if you want a raster graphics editor (paint program) with some vector graphics ability:
http://krita.org/
http://krita.org/features
http://krita.org/showcase

Karbon14 is capable enough if you need the reverse: vector graphics with some raster capability. It is as good a way to produce SVG graphics as any other.

Digikam is a decent photo manager and editor, but there are a number of programs for Windows that fit this bill.

Still, Krita plus digikam plus karbon plus kipi plugins gives people a fairly decent graphics suite overall that will all work together (at least it does on the KDE platform, I can't say how well they integrate on Windows). Hard to beat the combination.

Likewise kword plus kspread plus kexi plus kpresenter plus kformula ... each one by itself is okayish, but together they start to add up to a pretty powerful set of applications.

On a full KDE desktop distribution, you get all of this plus more (e.g. KDE PIM, k3b etc) out of the box. It is by far the most powerful desktop collection out of the box for any OS distribution. To match this desktop after a new Windows installation you would have to install an extra ten or so applications, some of which are going to cost you a pretty penny.

Reply Score: 3

I build Scribus and Inkscape daily
by tyrione on Tue 5th Oct 2010 01:53 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

And I have to say Scribus is a Pile of confusion at the moment and seriously buggy. It looks like the main developers are all out on those famous 6 week European vacations. Much deserved indeed, but definitely explains the long delays between releases.

Inkscape is turning into a Pile of Bloat and missed so many of it's original roadmap:

The technical Drawing area of the roadmap completely gone for one.

: and with the Cairo changes that are taking forever with Cairo/Poppler and the OpenGL backend, not to mention Pixman's every changing API current Inkscape trunk has serious memory leaks and bloat.

When Scribus 1.5.x is finally released it might be considered on par with InDesign 1.0 beta, if that.

When Inkscape 1.0 is finally released it might be equivalent to Corel Draw from 5 or more years prior, let alone the Technical Drawing Suite from Corel that was one of the goals for Inkscape now completely gone.

http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite/us/en/Product/1152105051461#...

If Inkscape focused on this type of technical drawing capabilities [which would allow for a proper 3D Vector coordinate system] all of their hacks and current workarounds based upon dealing with a flawed coordinate system would be gone.

Instead, we won't see that for another 4 years, if we're lucky.

The current roadmap:

http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/Roadmap

The lack of several old goals gives one pause for concern in the sense that Inkscape is seriously running on empty with developers and funding.

Everyone I know uses the app for web development and yet they still don't even have a basic means of funding other than for conferences.

These types of goals are all on hold.

http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/CAD

Without features like this:

http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/BlueprintGeometricAndTechDr...

which will be more useful when WebGL takes off, make Inkscape continuously behind the curve.

I'm not holding my breath with the rate at which progress diverts and moves forward.

If they could first get all the damn memory bloat and lag on the CPU [we don't have SMP support let alone OpenCL support even though it compiles w/ openmp I'm not seeing more than one core touched] perhaps we'll see all their lofty original goals, by the next 5 years.

Reply Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Re Scribus: absolutely. I've tried to use it, but ultimately have had to move to something that crashes less.

Re Inkscape: I obviously have lower requirements than you do for my vector programs. It works great for my simple design needs. It works better than any paid app I'd used in the (admittedly very distant) past.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by vezhlys
by vezhlys on Tue 5th Oct 2010 06:03 UTC
vezhlys
Member since:
2005-08-19

I can add that Abiword is not that great in its current state too (unless you do some small documents with it only and don't share documents with others). Whenever I tried it, Abiword just didn't have enough compatibility with MS Office, had problems with stability and handling bigger documents and the list goes on. On the other hand I like gnumeric from Gnome Office (though I don't use spreadsheets often).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by vezhlys
by lemur2 on Tue 5th Oct 2010 11:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by vezhlys"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I can add that Abiword is not that great in its current state too (unless you do some small documents with it only and don't share documents with others). Whenever I tried it, Abiword just didn't have enough compatibility with MS Office, had problems with stability and handling bigger documents and the list goes on. On the other hand I like gnumeric from Gnome Office (though I don't use spreadsheets often).


Not only does Abiword have trouble with compatibility with MSOffice, it also has trouble with compatibility with OpenDocument (ODF) files.

Meanwhile, KWord is another relatively lightweight wordprocessor, but uses ODF as its native file format, it has picked up a lot better compatibility with legacy MSOffice through the work of Intel for Meego, and it is very well integrated with other KOffice applications which gives it the ability to include fancy word-art, diagrams, all kinds of graphics, spreadsheets and databases. Finally, it is scriptable.

http://www.koffice.org/kword/

Edited 2010-10-05 11:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by vezhlys
by vodoomoth on Fri 8th Oct 2010 13:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by vezhlys"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Not only does Abiword have trouble with compatibility with MSOffice, it also has trouble with compatibility with OpenDocument (ODF) files.

Isn't ODF an open specification?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by vezhlys
by KLU9 on Fri 8th Oct 2010 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by vezhlys"
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

Yes, but that doesn't mean Abiword doesn't still have trouble with it.

Sigh. (at Abiword)

Reply Score: 1

Readability
by makkus on Tue 5th Oct 2010 09:00 UTC
makkus
Member since:
2006-01-11

People complaining about the layout (number of pages) should check the Readability addon for Firefox. It also removes the clutter aroud the things you want to read

Reply Score: 5

RE: Readability
by whartung on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:55 UTC in reply to "Readability"
whartung Member since:
2005-07-06

Unfortunately, it thwarts Safari Reader. Only gets one page.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Readability
by righard on Wed 6th Oct 2010 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Readability"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

You can use Readability on any modern browser without the need for a plugin.

http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/

Reply Score: 2

Dia?
by Timmmm on Wed 6th Oct 2010 16:16 UTC
Timmmm
Member since:
2006-07-25

Dia is well known. They should instead have mentioned IPE, which is another diagramming tool, with more of a focus on scientific and mathematical diagrams (it can handle latex), and is way way way more awesome than Dia.

Way more awesome, and totally under-appreciated.

http://ipe7.sourceforge.net/

Some good examples of what you can (very easily) do with it:

http://melusine.eu.org/lab/ipe

Reply Score: 2