Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 15th Sep 2003 21:44 UTC
Gnome The GNOME-Office team announced the immediate availability of GNOME-Office 1.0. It includes the AbiWord-2.0 word processor, GNOME-DB-1.0 database interface and Gnumeric-1.2.0 spreadsheet. In the meantime, Nautilus is set to receive a new UI design which will be object oriented-based. In this OO design each folder is an object and opens in its own window, while the navigational buttons and methods are going away from the default interface (similar to Tracker in the pre-OpenTracker BeOS 4/5 days).
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GNOME-Office 1.0 Released
by Eugenia on Mon 15th Sep 2003 21:56 UTC

Nice timely release.

I would like to see the GTK+ 2.x versions of DIA, Sodipodi, Gimp and gLabels ( to become part of Gnome Office too!
Also, I hope that someone takes up Agnubis' development and continue the abandoned now project:
Bringing up to speed Balsa (mostly UI fixes), Galeon and a bug fixed Rubrica 2 ( would add more value to the Gnome desktop overall.

Regarding the OO Nautilus, well, it has its pluses and its minuses... BeOS' Tracker windows were like that, and people were shouting for years before OpenTracker add the ability to navigate via the same window to calm all these people down... ;)

If the GNOME group can do this...
by NA on Mon 15th Sep 2003 21:57 UTC

If GNOME becomes a much more spatial desktop environment, ala MacOS pre-X, then they will have found a new user in me.

Apple seems to be content to make their system less and less spatial as time goes on, and in doing so makes me wish for the old days of their OS sans the lack of nearly any modern core OS features ;)

One more thing....
by NA on Mon 15th Sep 2003 21:58 UTC

Please make my desktop be the logical "top" of the computer. I really miss that ;)

by Adam Scheinberg on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:01 UTC seems to have people brainwashed. And put simply, to be productive, you MUST have it installed on your Linux desktop. But don't overlook Abiword and Gnumeric, because the two of them are fastest, attractive, sweet applications, with real reachable developers you can e-mail and products that you can effect with your support and feedback.

Nice job guys!

RE: GNOME-Office 1.0 Released
by Eugenia on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:02 UTC

Hmm, a few more additions to Gnome Office for consideration could be Bluefish or Screem or Peacock.
Of course, MrProject 1.0 and a GTK+ 2.x version of Gnucash would also be great.
For the Gnome newcomers, other great Gnome apps involve Glade, Pan and Anjuta.

BTW, have you seen Passepartout?

any screenshots ?
by Sikosis on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:07 UTC

screenshots please ...

OO-Nautilus are they nuts.
by John Blink on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:14 UTC

How can an OO design vs navigation design be easier to understand.

It drove me nuts in Windows and BeOS, at least in Windows I could fix it, but BeOS Personal couldn't by default.

Besides I have a slow computer 450Mhz do you know how slow launching a new window would be for an already slow nautilus.

They should just forget this feature and just focus on optimising the code for speed.

Re: OO-Nautilus are they nuts.
by John Blink on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:17 UTC

I want to emphasize that we are not removing the navigation window.

Whoops, must have missed that.

OO Nautilus - New Window
by Anonymous on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:20 UTC

I hate having a 'new' window open for every directory I have. I keep a very well organized file system and in doing so, you must drill down many levels (directories) to get to the data. If a new window is opened for every drill down cycle - my desktop would soon become VERY cluttered

Oh no...
by Jago on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:21 UTC

"In this OO design each folder is an object and opens in its own window"


RE: GNOME-Office 1.0 Released
by Andrew G on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:23 UTC

BeOS' Tracker windows were like that, and people were shouting for years before OpenTracker add the ability to navigate via the same window to calm all these people down... ;)

I agree with you. That was one thing I did not like on BeOS. Maybe I was to used to working with Windows Explorer. Anyway I am just starting to become Gnomified and then they seem to want to make Gnome less functional from my point of view. Making Nautilus less useful(Opening 5 windows to get to the one I want seems crazy) and removing the 'Extract here' option.

RE: OO Nautilus - New Window
by Eugenia on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:25 UTC

>If a new window is opened for every drill down cycle - my desktop would soon become VERY cluttered

On the pre-OpenTracker BeOS -- which had the same problem --, there was a workaround: if the user was pressing CNTL or ALT while clicking on the directory he/she wants to open, the directory would open in a new window while the previous window would close.

I hated Tracker's behaviors too.

It was when OpenTracker came about adding real navigational capabilities to the file manager, at the end of 2000, that I felt more like home with Tracker.

I hope Nautilus finds a better balance to the problem.

RE: GNOME-Office 1.0 Released
by Eugenia on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:26 UTC

>and removing the 'Extract here' option.

The option is still there I think, just under the "Scripts" I think...

...and I mean REALLY using them onn a daily basis as their main spreadsheet and wp applcations? To be honest, everybody raves how lean, clean and fast they are, but I do not know a single Linux user who stuck with them (or with KOffice, for that matter). In my department about 20 people use Linux as their main OS, out of whom there 4 LaTeX die-hards, and the rest are users. I personally tried almost every wp program there is, and 1.1 is the first and only one that is both powerful, not too slow, and fully interoperable wih you-know-what.

So, regular users, please speak up...

by Anonymous on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:48 UTC

OO oriented design may have worked in the beginning, when there was little data to manage. And maybe there was a time OO/spatial was more intuitive for users. These days, we have multiple gigabytes of data that is categorised in multiple levels. IMO, it's impossible to manage this, without navigational controls. Also, these days, people are used to the browsing paradigm, thanks to the internet, so I seriously doubt spatial is any easier today.

Don't get so uptight! This is good!
by Jace on Mon 15th Sep 2003 22:49 UTC

This is new functionality being added as an option, not replacing what you all are content with!

As a long-time Windows user, I too felt annoyed at the Mac/BeOS method of object oriented window management when I first started using them. You know what happened? I grew to like it. Now I miss it on Windows (because on Windows it never works as it should work when you use it and because there are too damn many things all over the UI in XP - and I have as much disabled and hidden as possible!).

I think that spacial design is extremely important for non-techie users (and even some of us techies who are sick of having to be techies in order to use computers as tools).

I agree with the comments from NA above that Apple is totally abandoning all the good design concepts they had. I prefer most of classic Mac OS's design over OS X (with some exceptions).

Pay attention to Eugenia's note above: the hot-key to make the old window vanish when the new one opens is very helpful if you aren't comfortable with the default behavior but also don't like the browser style (which I don't like in OpenTracker so I don't use it). Mac OS has the same window trade feature: hold down the option key while opening windows. Plus, the context-menu navigation in BeOS solves the "too-many-windows" problem that the advanced users hate.

This is how I work. I am VERY visually oriented and I like spacial organization. I'm the kind of user that puts things in my windows and on my desktop in certain places depending on what they are or what they are for.

Nautilus's developers get big points in my book for considering other ways of doing things, especially for new users. I hope they keep thinking this way and don't bend to the wills of the geek masses.

Yes, the browser style is great for those of us who are 100% comfortable with our OS and file system layout. For the new users and the non-techies, however, the browser style is very confusing because it does not connect to any real-world analogy. It is one of those "only in the world of computers" kind of behavior.

RE: Jace
by Anonymous on Mon 15th Sep 2003 23:00 UTC

I agree with the comments from NA above that Apple is totally abandoning all the good design concepts they had. I prefer most of classic Mac OS's design over OS X (with some exceptions).

Actually, Apple is giving spatial navigation as an option in the new panther finder too. Just one click on the toolbar button, and it transforms in a spatial file manager. Very minimal gui, new window a folder, position and size of the window is saved per folder,...

But in Apple's case, I think that the default browsing mode is the best. People are used to browsing, thanks to the internet, iTunes, iPhoto, addressbook, e-mail,... I don't think that having a real world analogy, automaticaly makes it easier to use. The software you sometimes get with your soundcard, that emulates a real world stereo is a pain in the but to use. It's not easy at all.
Plus, in some unnofficial testing, I get my work done in the panther finder faster in browsing mode than in spatial mode. I just have faster access to folders that matter to me.

Abiword/Gnumeric User
by Jason Lotito on Mon 15th Sep 2003 23:00 UTC

I use them on a daily basis, or rather, I use them when I need a word processing program, or a spread sheet program. I don't use Open Office, though it's installed when I recieve open office documents.

They are quick loading, and fully featured. I don't miss anything.

As far as the spatial nautilus is concerned, considering work is being done to ensure that it actually improves usability, I am willing to give it a try. Most (ALL?) File Manager suck. I would actually prefer something like Evolution for Files Management, with it's Virtual Folders and all.

Yep, all the time. On Windows, BeOS, and Slackware. OpenOffice is ugly and bloated, vs the nice slick interface of Abiword and Gnumeric.

by oGALAXYo on Mon 15th Sep 2003 23:03 UTC

> I would like to see the GTK+ 2.x versions of DIA.

DIA is a big issue because it's a) mostly GTK+ tied and b) hard to convince the developers to follow the GNOME roadmap which I have tried several times.

> I hope that someone takes up Agnubis' development

I know one of the developers of Agnubis and there is NO chance to have this project continue because of it's totally broken code and the canvas issue. The old developer started a new project named 'criawips' which do not have all these old issues that Agnubis had.

> Bringing up to speed Balsa (mostly UI fixes)

I was one of the co-authors of BALSA during the 1.0 -> 1.2 time and can tell that the CODE is a horrible mess not to mention the GUI itself which is in no way HIG conform even the Toolbar has it's own icons rather than following the stock stuff and everything around BALSA is more tweaking here and tweaking there. I can't tell if this has been changed during the GTK2 port of it but I bet it still has a lot of issues.

I think the way how applications are being chosen for inclusion of GNOME is a good way right now. Other apps as mentioned by you are for sure a benefit for the one or other user but they are FAR away to fullfil the requirements of GNOME.

v Gnome office is not released.
by nadav on Mon 15th Sep 2003 23:09 UTC

Quote from the post: "The idea is present an object oriented UI from the desktop".

Everything would essentially be an object like an OS/2 Warp desktop?

Criawips instead of Agnubis
by oGALAXYo on Mon 15th Sep 2003 23:11 UTC

Eugenia, click on the link below and read the about entries it explains why Agnubis project reached a point where further development was impossible because of wrong design decisions.

Like you I like to see DIA and some other stuff become part of GNOME but I think it would make more sense raising this request on bugzilla or on the official mailinglist. It's always really hard convincing developers who share their code on but not necessarily follow the GNOME philosophy to make a GNOME applicaiton out of it. This has been tried by many people to convince these developers. Sure we all would benefit from it but well. Reality looks differently in many areas.

v RE: Gnome office is not released.
by Eugenia on Mon 15th Sep 2003 23:13 UTC
OO & gnomeoffice
by boonders on Mon 15th Sep 2003 23:16 UTC

abi & gnum just can't do it yet. I hope either OOo reduces the bloat further and fixes some bugs with M$ office format files, or abi & gnum move fast in development.

This is the best bit...
by Maynard on Mon 15th Sep 2003 23:28 UTC

..." Dr. B. D. McCullough, associate professor of Decision Sciences at Drexel University and a noted authority on the accuracy of statistical software says: "Persons who wish to use a spreadsheet to perform statistical analyses, and who are concerned about the accuracy of their results, are advised to use Gnumeric rather than Excel.""

Damn, already better than Excel. Go Gnumeric.

OO Nautilus
by Metic on Mon 15th Sep 2003 23:35 UTC

Sorry, but I (among many others, it seems) don't quite get the point of that new "object oriented" Nautilus design.

Why is MS Windows Explorer or Xandros file manager what they are? You know, those people have made much GUI usability testing too. Also Konqueror, with its browser-like GUI design, is a perfectly usable file manager, and, I think, better than Nautilus.

If Nautilus development continues this way, maybe somebody should just develop an alternative, power user friendly file manager for Gnome 2? Rox filer is rather nice but it is a bit too minimalistic and lacks proper integration with Gnome (or KDE). Velocity may have some potential.

YOU may be comfortable with it, but it isn't a common feeling. Take it from someone who deals with tons of regular users all day, every day, from various social groups and education levels.

The browser design is NOT comfortable for first time users, nor does using the Internet make them more comfortable with using a browser to manage the contents of their computers. There are much better ways to manage huge amounts of data. Many users don't even have huge amounts of data. They have their songs, their pictures and their "school papers." Most of them are content to have it all in one folder, as long as they can find that folder.

The Internet is daunting and confusing (too much data, too many places to go, too many ways to do things, too many mismatched analogies and inconsistent UIs, etc). Having a browser, especially like the default setup in WinXP, as the system viewer is a terrible idea, but it caught on with the marketing people as a great way to sell the OS: "Look everybody! It's just like the Internet, which is popular and cool!!" Sadly, the geek communities love the browser for it's efficient use of windows.

The browser style of interface does not help users become more comfortable or at ease. With that and other things, we are going backwards at warp speed with user interface design these days.

Anonymous, reply 2
by Jace on Mon 15th Sep 2003 23:53 UTC

Thanks for the news about Apple's next version of OS X. I hope it does improve things a bit. I really don't like OSX much at all (for more reasons than just UI).

If things are easier for YOU in browser mode, then that's great. That's why it's there and you should use it if you prefer it and not let anyone tell you what is best for you. Some people find it more useful and more efficient. Sometimes I prefer it myself, but not all the times for all things. I think it's great to have the browser mode as an option, even if I don't choose to use it.

However, I really do feel that it is NOT easy or natural for new users at all, and this is from lots of experience with people using computers here at work.

As for your reference to real world UI in sound card software... you're 100% correct. The good designer knows when to use and when NOT to use real-world designs in software. Right now, there are very few good designers, or at least very few who are getting their good designs out to the masses. I know for a fact that marketing departments are driving UI design more than the application designers are in many places (again, from first hand experience).

No flaming or arguements, here, btw. :-) If you like one thing over another and I like the opposite, take what's best for you. I just disagree that browser modes are good defaults and that they are easy or that users are "getting used to it." They shouldn't have to, really ;-)

OO is not Spatial-Oriented
by Anonymous on Tue 16th Sep 2003 00:21 UTC

Why are people intermixing object-oriented with spatial-oriented as if they mean the same thing?

This is good news to me. The compromises in Panther still are not adequate to make the Finder function like the pre-OS X Finder--they have NOT done enough to allow the best of both behaviors to flourish, rather they have intermixed the two to the point where it feels as if you have control, but you do not.

This is not to say I want a purely spatial Finder either. I've come to enjoy the column view/browser style as well.

Which is why I am happy-- makes it more and more likely that Nautilus can be re-invigorated as a product for OS X... that is, it will feature functionality that Mac users are dying for... giving Nautilus a new market and encouraging users and developers to port it to Mac OS X. Giving me an option: Finder or Nautilus.

... in time ...

OO --- a step in the *WRONG* direction
by mike on Tue 16th Sep 2003 00:22 UTC

Although I understand the philosophy behind the two UI's, I'd have to question whether this is really a step forward. The proposed solution is to use the OO interface in certain instances (i.e. folders on the desktop), while using Navigation for others.

The GNOME GUI design guidelines emphasize *simplicity*... and simplicity is achieved through *consistency* of an interface and reducing options/customization. Having an application behave one way from one area, while acting completely different in another area is hardly intuitive and works against the GNOME philosophy; it's confusing. Ideally, there should be *ONE* UI behavior.

As some have previously mentioned, keeping a Navigation-oriented interface yields simplicity through its one-window/tree-structured navigation; something that is both intuitive and efficient. And while OO may provide a somewhat natural and intuitive user experience (going from point A to point B), its drawbacks are window clutter and a lack of flexibility (i.e. moving from point A to point Z).

Although I believe the navigational UI approach is superior, other users may have different needs or opinions. Therefore, for the sake of consistency and simplicity... one *DEFAULT* UI should be used throughout... and *ONE* preference option should be available to change this default to the opposing interface.

As a sidenote, the trends in most major desktops is the Navigational design (from a previous OO design). And while I don't think we should always play "follow the leader"; these *specific* modifications were probably implemented based on the results of useability research ($$$). This would make sense considering the consistency achieved with the popular Web Browser paradigm.

- Mike

Opening a new window for every folder...
by Shawna on Tue 16th Sep 2003 00:25 UTC the Windows default and I hate that. Next thing you know Nautilus will be hiding file extensions too. :-)

Using Abiword
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 16th Sep 2003 00:33 UTC

I don't use Abiword, but I use KOffice all the time. Most of the time, my document interchange is done in formats like PDFs (even my profs.) or HTML pages. I have to deal with Word documents at work, but our documents are bare-bones (and to the point ;) so RTF-export and basic Word import does just fine.

by chicobaud on Tue 16th Sep 2003 00:39 UTC

Yep, all the time. On Windows, BeOS, and Slackware. OpenOffice is ugly and bloated

I use KWord and Abisuite a lot (or scribus dtp + text files) on Linux.
On Windows (no KWord) I use Abiword 1.99.06 a lot too (save in .rtf) this version is really unstable when using tables. Hope it improved in 2.0 for windows (not yet built/compiled/available as I write this).

Usage II.
by chicobaud on Tue 16th Sep 2003 00:43 UTC

I forgot to say that I rarely (if ever) use OpenOffice for text processing. I only use OO draw for some .gif export (gif is normally not free in gimp).

// the Windows default and I hate that. Next thing you know Nautilus will be hiding file extensions too. :-)

Why do you care about file extensions?

Shed your Windows habits and learn to use "file". ;-)

by CooCooCaChoo on Tue 16th Sep 2003 01:05 UTC

contrasutra (IP: - Posted on 2003-09-16 00:45:42

// the Windows default and I hate that. Next thing you know Nautilus will be hiding file extensions too. :-)

Why do you care about file extensions?

Shed your Windows habits and learn to use "file". ;-)


Could someone explain this to me. I tell a user to double click on internet explorer then state the icon is located on the desktop. Could someone please explain to me why users don't understand? do users actually read the names of the file or do they simply look at the pretty picture then pray and hope that when they do double click, they have opened the right thing?

As for OO desktops, I say bring them on. The numer of users who get to a folder then simply close the window, then start the whole process of finding another folder, well it is all to common. Most of these users don't use the back/foward button. Most simply get to a point, close all the Windows then start again.

In regards to using computers, IMHO, EVERY company should send their employees on software navigation classes so that they can use their computer efficiently and effectively. The number of users I see within an organisation working inefficiently is mind boggling. Why should the companies do it? so then idiots like me (when I worked for the local ISP) don't have to give desktop navigation lessons 101 to customers over the phone just so they can get their internet connect setup.

File extensions are the only way the OS, file manager, etc, on Windows or Unix knows what kind of file type your file is. Hiding file extensions is a braindead way of simplifying the Windows user experience and as my experience here at work shows me, this only COMPLICATES the user's tasks. Especially if it is someone learning HTML and web site construction.

Oh, if there is a method other than file extensions by which Linux or Unix "understands" which file is which type, please let me know. I don't use them.

I personally am in love with the BeOS method of file type management.

RE: Jace
by contrasutra on Tue 16th Sep 2003 01:44 UTC

Oh, if there is a method other than file extensions by which Linux or Unix "understands" which file is which type, please let me know. I don't use them.

Actually, there is, thats why I said it. The general term used to describe how UNIX figures out what files are is "automagic". It compares hash sums and other strange stuff.

Its never done me wrong.

If you happen to have a *nix on hand, use the "file" command.

try: making a text file called: foo.txt and run:

file foo.txt

and the rename that text file to: foo.exe, and run:

file foo.exe

it will still know what it is.

And for programs knowing how to access a file (like from a GUI), they use MIME types, which are extension independant.

abiword not up to par
by back bacon on Tue 16th Sep 2003 02:43 UTC

I like it and all, but come on...get tables implemented properly.

As for gnumeric, it beats the heck out of calc as far as i'm concerned. From every standpoint....nicer to look at, faster, works better with my excel files than calc does.

I love gnumeric!

Jace, you ever heard of mime-types? How do you think explorer knows what to do with file extensions? In Windows, explorer uses the file extension, which is weak, since all files with an extension will have to be open by the same app. In BeOS, it's an attribute, so each file can open in a different app. UNIX uses mime types to decipher the app to open a file with too.

Adam... Slap forehead. ;)
by Chris Simmons on Tue 16th Sep 2003 03:11 UTC

Re-read Jace's post again... ;)

He's quite aware of mimetypes and file extensions.

I think the main point of Jaces post was to point out that hiding the extension on windows (hiding is enabled by default across ALL versions when first installed) further complicates the file management process.

Trying to explain that an "html" file has the extension .htm and a "text" file has a .txt extension to a new user is a bit of an exercise, but c'est la vie.

Explaining mimetypes is a bit more work, but once they get it they see how much more powerful it is. Very Mac-like, in respect to the data fork from the old days.

Anyhow, file extensions serve their purpose and shouldn't be hidden. Until a new file paradigm comes about, file extensions should be the least of our worries.

-Chris Simmons,
Avid BeOS User.
The BeOSJournal.

File extensions do appear to matter
by Shawna on Tue 16th Sep 2003 03:14 UTC

I just tried what you said, I renamed an .mp3 that would open in XMMS when clicked to .exe, and KDE no longer knew what program to use to open the file. Same thing when I deleted the extension entirely. I also renamed a .gif file to .mp3 and it tried to open it with XMMS. I renamed a .zip that would open fine in konqueror's embeded archive viewing tool to .html, and when I clicked on it I got a page of gibberish.
I renamed a .txt file to a .zip and when I tried to open it I got an error message saying that "the file or directory does not exist"

Re: File extensions do appear to matter
by Feed on Tue 16th Sep 2003 03:19 UTC

They don't in gnome/nautilus.

v Nadav - get used to it
by Mike on Tue 16th Sep 2003 03:22 UTC

If I have a basic doc to write Abiword is good, but for 30 page plus papers ......No.

You obviously cannot auto create table of contents and you cannot set page numbering to start on blahhh or do page numbers by sections.

So I don't think ABiword is a capable replacement for Students or anyone who writes any kind of lengthy paper.

AbiWord vs OO
by hoot on Tue 16th Sep 2003 03:24 UTC

Has anyone ever had OO crash? I haven't. AbiWord on the other hand...

by Shawna on Tue 16th Sep 2003 03:36 UTC

I just tried all the same stuff in Gnome/Nautilus, same results. The .mp3 file that would play fine in XMMS when double-clicked would no longer play as .exe or with no extension at all. BIBLE.txt would open fine when double-clicked, but when I renamed it to, I got "Nautilus has no installed viewer capable of displaying "/home/shawna/Documents/"."

It looks like some files will open fine regardless of the extension, but others won't.

by Maynard on Tue 16th Sep 2003 03:47 UTC

I thought Unix had mime types. Which is why a file can have no extension, and will be opened by the right app, if the mime types are set up correctly.

I think though, that certain file types sort of conflict, a 'mime type', for lack of a better term, for stuff like Windows executables is made to distinguish them, and this is only by extension. Maybe this takes precedence over other 'inbuilt' mime info.

I think mime types are a better way to represent metadata, but also, extension may make it easier in command line working, because there are no icons to guide the user there.

RE: Abiword vs OO
by anon on Tue 16th Sep 2003 05:33 UTC

"Has anyone ever had OO crash? I haven't. AbiWord on the other hand..."

I have, numerous times. It is on OS X under X11 though.

Re: Andrew G
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 16th Sep 2003 06:05 UTC

Students who write lengthy papers save themselves the trouble of dealing with manual formatting (and the attendent battle to the death with Word) and use something like LyX ;)

I don't rely on file extensions in GNOME/Nautilus. I just name files the way i want, and it works. that's the way it was meant to be, really. file extensions are iffy at most.

RE :Shawna ( Gnome/Nautilus)
by Lemma on Tue 16th Sep 2003 06:33 UTC

That's strange ... I can (in gnome 2.4) change wich program accociated to wich filetype under Applications/Desktop_preferences/Advanced/File_types_and_programs.
I can assign xmms to all ogg+mp3 and then name files of that type as I like - xmms is still the program that the file is loaded in ...

OOo Crash?
by Andrew D on Tue 16th Sep 2003 07:14 UTC

"Has anyone ever had OO crash? I haven't. AbiWord on the other hand..."

That is weird. I use it in Windows (keep getting the latest version tho I think I'm still on RC3) and I can honestly say I don't believe I've ever had it crash on me... Never thought of it till now. ;)

I've installed Abiword last month (latest version at the time whatever it is/was) on Windows too and can't believe it is even attempting to compete. Maybe it's because it's just on windows I was trying it but it crashed a lot and didn't seem very intuitive to use OR feature rich. (OOo has some bloody awful design ideas too for sure: my biggest problem with OSS: designed by geeks and very obviously so at times)

Sure Abiword is small and as a convenient app to drag around for editing if you need a small install maybe ok, but as a serious competitor I can't see it. That actually does disappoint me because I'm no lover of a brand but just want the best for whats out there.

Oh and Nautilus stinks. I can't believe how awful an experience it is to use it and from the sounds of what is being talked of here, it sounds like it's going to get worse. (Says he just about to go wipe a Wintel box to turn it into a Lintel one...)

Table Problem
by emey on Tue 16th Sep 2003 07:15 UTC

Abiword is good and fast wordprocessor but it lack of table support which inferior to OO and far away from catching Winword functionality. Those who use it for plain text can use it without problem but I cant since most of my report involving a lot of embedded charting, graphic and comples tabulation. Although I currently used OO full time, the lack of functionality and speed that Winword offer still haunt me, but I've to live with it since Linux is still the best alternative to Windows.

I'm having a hard time with this...
by NA on Tue 16th Sep 2003 07:28 UTC

I'm finding it really hard to swallow that people are so adverse to the idea of spatial organization.

I guess primarily because it is supported by over $500 million in HCI research, and more over because it allows the user to interact and organize their data in their own unique kind of organized chaos or chaotic organization.

Filesystem hierarchy trees are not "inutitve" and are a direct construct of computer implementation, not HCI. They are perhaps the least abstracted part of any modern system, and the metaphor only stuck because that's how "geeks" had been doing things for years.

Christ if for no other reason I hope they follow through with this idea for the mere fact that at least it will give people who do like spatial organization another chance to use such a system since all the others have been pushed to the fringe by virtue of Microsoft's inability to realize the limitations of a web UI driven interface design.

I can't be the only one that remembers the joy of being able to work with files and folders, placing them anywhere on the system I wanted without interfering with anything else, and not having to dig through 5 or 6 layers of directories just to get at something. Directory trees, path address bars, column view, etc.... yuck. Spatial orientation baby, that's where it's at.

I have to believe part of the reason so many people are opposed to this is that they've never been exposed to a spatially designed system. If you haven't and don't have access to one then there's a pretty good write up of it at Arstechnica if anyone is interested.

re: I'm having a hard time with this...
by Andrew D on Tue 16th Sep 2003 07:38 UTC

"Filesystem hierarchy trees are not "inutitve" and are a direct construct of computer implementation, not HCI."

Not entirely true. Next time you're in an office ask to see their... files. Maybe the... folders they put them in. Possibly the... filing cabinets that they put the folders in. Maybe even the storage rooms they put the filing cabinets in.

Heirarchical file storage structure is not a invention of the computer age but a reflection of that which is in common use in the world around us. In that way it is intuitive: it reflects what the real world shows us.

Having said that, that does not mean it is the best way but HCI research still hasn't come up with the super duper idea yet. Or rather has yet to come up with an implementation of the multiple super duper ideas that are more *widely* acceptable. Once familiar with the computer environment almost everyone understands the folder/file paradigm because it parallels the real world. If another such thing can be divined and implemented then there is a chance of getting such widespread acceptance and/or understanding.

(My own personal belief, is that the one very possible way for this to happen is to grab hold of that artifact of the internet age - the search engine - as a system to parallelise and use that as the analogy for users to be able to grasp just what they are doing with their files/documents/items)

I pass no judgement except to wonder why they were moderated down.

Abiword and
by dubhthach on Tue 16th Sep 2003 08:31 UTC

sure who needs them when yeah can use LaTex ;-)

SQL./NL Queries & Virtual Folders
by JCooper on Tue 16th Sep 2003 08:58 UTC

I'm waiting for the day where I can have virtual folders actually within 'My Computer' or the Home folder in linux, that display information much like 'STORAGE' discussed on here a few days ago.

The combination of virtual folders and such natural language queries would make life a lot easier when wanting to find documents/images/music/vidoes etc in the 120Gb+ hard drives we have today.

Having Fixed Disks, Removable Disks, Optical Disks and Virtual Storage all within easy access would make life so much easier, especially if those virtual folders behaved exactly like 'real' folders.

I think Storage could provide something like this in the future - possibly providing a way to 'map' a virtual folder like a network drive in Explorer, though the user provides a natural language or SQL like query, rather than a path to a network resource.

As far as opening new windows is concerned, it seems a bit backwards as the large number of average users have become used to the back/forward/up navigation of a hierarchical structure. I'll be interested in have a play with the feature however.

I think if you read the artical it says something about quite a few I think it said tens of thousands & me as well using Abi Word in in a commercial environment.

I wrote a year and half of undergraduate essays on Abiword...does that count? ;)

Re: AbiWord vs OO
by Jason Lotito on Tue 16th Sep 2003 12:35 UTC

"Has anyone ever had OO crash? I haven't. AbiWord on the other hand..."

Yes. Many, many, many, many times.

One of the real downsides of AbiWord is that the *nix version can't do curly quotes (the quotes that look like 6's and 9's). OpenOffice can do it, but AbiWord is still stuck with straight quotes.

lots of little windows
by Phil Howard on Tue 16th Sep 2003 14:40 UTC

Wow this is one of the things I hate most about NT4, you need to see one little file and you have to slog through forty windows just to see it. yech, this is one feature I'll be disabling the second it hits my box.

I don't get it
by djame on Tue 16th Sep 2003 15:05 UTC

For years whith my Atari ST (with gem) when I double click on a folder while pressing [alt] the folder open in the same window, otherwise it opens a new window, same with win9X but with [ctlr] as far as I remember (and there was an option to change the default behaviour...)

so gmc sucks too much too be just noticed but nautilus have an entry in the contextual menu to just open a folder in a new window, so what is the big deal ?

do they just want to forget the crappy "what if my filemanager was a web browser, a ftpclient, an image viewer, a mp3 player ? Yes too cool, just add an option to play quake3 in a thunbail when my cursor passed on a .q3config file..." or what ? so, why don't they try to help the E-file crew and bring us this look-awesome filemanager faster ?

pfff, they'd rather be improving the nfs stuff in order to make nautilus really useable in a networked envirronnement..

and if they have time, they really, really should add "finderpop" functionnality into nautilus (I mean being able to navigate through the directory structure via a contextual menu. Yes I know, it would make the linux desktop experience too simple, too easy and so real mean won't use it...)

And by the way, next time someone suggest me to upgrade my old 500 Mhz machine just to have the same reactivity I used to have with my former 8hmz and 512k machine, when I just want to browse file, I'll kill myself.

I was enjoying the back and forth here about file type management in Linux. I know it's off topic, but it's one of the topics that aren't ever fully brought to light in computing. Computer "experts" are so used to the way things are that they have a hard time understanding how annoying file type issues can be for new users (or those of us who are so used to the way things are that we hate that things are so stupid and braindead).

So one comment says that Linux uses hashing algorythms and the other says MIME types. Which is it, and in what part of the OS? Is it the shells that use MIME types? Is it the non-gui aspects that use hashing? When does the OS create these hash tables? How often? Why are there people here reporting that file type management still needs extensions?

The only thing I remember about file typing smarts from my time of using Unix and Linux is that the file systems use attributes to mark executables (smart idea, something DOS should have had). It would be nice if Linux could adopt the BeOS way, now that there are some decent GUI shells and file systems that can handle a wider range of file attributes.

RE: Rayiner Hashem
by Andrew G on Tue 16th Sep 2003 18:31 UTC

Sort of, except you can do the same thing in Word or OpenOffice. You type everything out and then just tag things as Heading1, Body, DefaultText etc. then just adjust the style to meet your needs and everything changes. Automatically build table of contents, figures, footnotes etc.

Re: djame
by daan on Tue 16th Sep 2003 19:47 UTC

And by the way, next time someone suggest me to upgrade my old 500 Mhz machine just to have the same reactivity I used to have with my former 8hmz and 512k machine, when I just want to browse file, I'll kill myself.

And right you are here. Actually, I can manage files faster with my Powerbook 140 (25 mhz 68030) than with my Pentium II 350 and Konqueror or Nautilus! Yes, OpenTracker is the idea for me, either browser-mode or spatial mode (configurable). And fast, everything happens just immediately. That's how it should be.
You know, people shout that BeZilla is slow. Well, IMO it is just as slow as on any other platform, just because BeOS is so fast it suddenly becomes obvious how slow Mozilla is...
Nautilus on the other hand is a nice product, the file selection looks great, the icons look well, and with the suggested changes it can really become a great FM, as I see it.

About GnomeOffice: I see no real integrated "office" product. It is just AbiWord, GNumeric and Gnome-DB, grabbed together with a stamp "GnomeOffice" on it. Both KOffice and OpenOffice are applications that share the same UI, the same libraries, integrate with eachother, support embedding from eachother and so forth.

Balsa should definitely not be part of it, the second last time it ate my mail*, the last time I tried it, it suddenly didn't react to certain buttons anymore and also crashed sometimes.

*Elaboration: I had two mails, one newsletter and one private. I wanted to check for new mail but clicked "Move to Trash" (hmmm, usability?) so the private mail got deleted. I clicked the trash; "Folder TRASH does not exist". I look in the inbox, empty.

OK, the "file" program uses "hash" type stuff. Where are the hashes? They are part of the "file" program. (confusing, aint it)

This is what the "file" Man page says:

"Tests preformed: filesystem tests, magic number
tests, and language tests. "

MIME types are generally used in big GUI environments, so when you click a link (for example), it knows where to open.

The MIME types come from

The point is that linux doesnt NEED file extensions. Like I showed you with "file".

Now that said, that won't stop someone from writing a program that DOES use file extensions (like someone said Konqueror uses).

The programmers are stupid if they use File extensions though, thats something from Windows I dont want to inherit.

Oh well, KDE is trying to be too much like Windows IMHO.

Missing TrueType fonts in GNOME
by Romendo on Tue 16th Sep 2003 21:15 UTC

Does anyone know how to enable TrueType fonts in GNOME 2.4 so that they show up in Desktop Preferences/Font. From what I found by googling around I need to set up the fonts for fontconfig. With fc-list Tahoma it returns the font. gnome-font-viewer even displays the font. However, I cannot select it in GNOME itself.


RE: Missing TrueType fonts in GNOME
by contrasutra on Tue 16th Sep 2003 21:50 UTC

make sure the fonts are in: /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TTF/

and then run (as root): "fc-cache -vf"