posted by Uri Sharf on Thu 28th Oct 2004 21:01 UTC

"SuSE Live CD, Page 2/2"
Software and Applications

The KDE edition seems to come with OpenOffice.org (1.1.3) and The Gimp, but without Mozilla/Firefox. As much as I like Konquror, it is unable to handle too many sites.

Also, OpenOffice would just crash. I managed to get as far as being asked to pick a template once, but then it would just crash poping up a message saying "An unrecoverable error has occured." No KOffice here either ...

Groupware and collaboration

Groupware and collaboration support seems quite impressive. The KDE Groupware Wizard can setup Kontact/KMail to login and work with Kolab, eGroupware, SOLX or Novell's own Groupwise. It would add the appropriate incoming and outgoing resource to KMail, making it possible to retrieve mail and more. I didn't have a server to test this and I don't think a server was installed on the LiveCD itself.

SUSE 9.2 LiveCD also has the VNC's Desktop Sharing tools, which allows you to invite an authorized user to login remotely to share or take over the desktop. Invitation with full details allows this and can be sent by e-mail. The wizard lets you edit the message in KMail, just before you send it.

Localization

One problem many users face is the localization issue. Even though SUSE provides good support for English and some European languages, Arabic, Hebrew and other languages will find such distributions restricting.

There are of course many localization projects, and many distributions catering for specific languages, but it seems that non-english speakers are excluded when it comes to the generic distributions like SUSE, Fedora, Knoppix and others, with the exception of Mandrake which did include some support at the request of the developers community in Israel for example .

KDE and GNOME now offer excelent localization support. A minimal support 'out of the box' would go a long way to make it friendlier. The inclusion of high quality fonts for more languages such as Culmus - being an excelent example of GPL Hebrew Type1 fonts -, for instance, may be a more inclusive option. Even without a localized GUI, which most users don't use in any case, Linux is more inclusive.

Summary

IMHO, SUSE is one of the best examples of how far Linux can go. Though Xandros and Lycoris do a fine job as well, and possibly even better in some areas, SUSE is more interesting because it is open and accesiable. Other versions of SUSE/Novell Linux will, no doubt, have additional proprietary layer, catering for different customers, But the free version is impressive.

Still, with so many problems, both hardware and software, the KDE LiveCD edition is slightly disappointing. I hope that the full installable version should be a more positive experience.

About the author:
Uri Sharf, Editor of LInmagazine, Israeli interent magazine providing news, reviews and guides on Linux, Free and Open Source Software in Hebrew working with Hamakor ('The Source"), an NPO dedicated to the promotion of OSS in Israel, and other sites.


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  1. "SuSE Live CD, Page 1/2"
  2. "SuSE Live CD, Page 2/2"
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