Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Jul 2007 22:49 UTC
Features, Office "'Siag, it sucks less!' This is the slogan for Siag Office. This and the self-effacing name for the Siag Office Word Processor, Pathetic Writer, might leave you thinking that this office suite is a mere plaything, a university student's cobbled-together programming assignment. But don't be fooled by first impressions. Siag Office is a lightweight suite of applications which might be just the right set of office tools for you, especially if you have older hardware."
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Slow news day?
by BryanFeeney on Tue 10th Jul 2007 23:14 UTC
BryanFeeney
Member since:
2005-07-06

I remember Siag from my first Linux distro, SuSE 5.2 back in 1998. It was pretty much the only half-way decent free office suite for Unix back then. There were a couple of "word-processors" but most of them were no better then Wordpad on Windows. SuSE came with a 60-day trial of some commerical one, called Adabas or something.

However a year or two later StarOffice became a free "non-commerical" download, and then the free OpenOffice, and it blew pretty much all the competition out of the water, including KOffice and the old "Gnome Office" (Abiword, Gnumeric and some other stuff). Despite the commendable work that's being done, it's really only of historical interest these days. Much more interesting is the new upcoming KOffice, which would appear to be a free office suite, that the average developer can contribute too (by all accounts OpenOffice's code-base is frighteningly complicated).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Slow news day?
by leech on Tue 10th Jul 2007 23:30 in reply to "Slow news day?"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I really wish that Gnome's Office would take off more. I really like Abiword's feel, though admittedly it's strange to me that we have OpenOffice.org that is open source, yet the import of word documents for Abiword isn't quite up to it's quality.

By that I mean that with the source code being open, couldn't Abiword or other office suites just take some of OpenOffice.org's code and put it into their own project? Abiword is under GPL and OpenOffice.org is under LGPL.

Well if OpenOffice.org has such an incredible mess under the hood it would explain why projects don't use their code. Gnumeric for one already is probably the best program around for the job it does. But the rest of "Gnome Office" is quite lacking.

How I've longed for a native office suite for Gnome.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Slow news day?
by jaylaa on Tue 10th Jul 2007 23:40 in reply to "RE: Slow news day?"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

Just a 'me too' comment. Happy with Gnumeric and Abiword, but wish there were a presentation app to go along with them. There was a project called Criawips started a couple of years ago, but it seems to be dead in the water now.

Sorry for the off-topicness. But the review, even while praising Siag, doesn't inspire much confidence.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Slow news day?
by sbergman27 on Wed 11th Jul 2007 02:21 in reply to "RE: Slow news day?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
By that I mean that with the source code being open, couldn't Abiword or other office suites just take some of OpenOffice.org's code and put it into their own project?
"""

That's a really good question. And by that, I don't mean that they should because its a slam dunk. I mean it's a really good question to ask.

It seems to me that code reuse is a realy, really hard problem, which many people dismiss as trivial.

People worry that if their license is not iron-clad enough then someone will just steal their code and put it in their project... as though code were currency that can be found on the street and put into one's pocket.

Transplanting code has a very real cost.

For the last couple of years, I have been trying to settle on a Python web framework. The major contenders are Django and Turbogears.

Turbogears is the pinnacle of the Open Source philosophy. They bring together the "best of breed" of all the projects Python has to offer, and provide glue code to integrate them.

Meanwhile Django is a one stop shopping destination. They roll their own everything.

Turbogears has all of the Python universe (well, the cheeseshop, anyway) to draw from. And Django mostly (but not entirely) sticks to their own stuff.

And yet whereas Turbogears had the limelight in late 2005, and early 2006, Django is now, arguably, the leader.

How can that be?

The answer is complex. But I believe that one of the factors in Django's favor is that code reuse is hard. And even the lesser task of writing glue code to bind disparate modules (ORM, templating system, application server) together sometimes takes longer than writing the whole frecking stack from scratch with the intent of having the parts integrate. Especially when the project gets to the point of wanting to polish and those criss-cross Frankensteinian suture marks start to become a bit of an embarrassment.

I don't know if OpenOffice has "a mess under its hood" or not. I imagine they do. Most feature complete software is considered to be a mess by its creators. ( http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html )

But don't discount plain, old fashioned, impedance mismatch as the reason for the "islands of code" that we have floating about in the FOSS world.

Edited 2007-07-11 02:26

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Slow news day?
by alcibiades on Wed 11th Jul 2007 08:23 in reply to "RE: Slow news day?"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

Gnumeric is fine, but there are a couple of things about it that make it hard to use compared to OO in something demanding. One is speed on large files. I've found both KOffice and Gnumeric unusably slow to open a file with a few thousand rows.

Second, Gnumeric seems not to be compatible with Excel in terms of array formulas. So, you do an array in OO, it works fine in Excel. You then try to open it in Gnumeric, and nothing computes.

OO has speed problems as well, but it makes a better job of it than either of the other two. Of course if your files are small, any of them will do perfectly well.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Slow news day?
by BryanFeeney on Wed 11th Jul 2007 20:08 in reply to "RE: Slow news day?"
BryanFeeney Member since:
2005-07-06

By that I mean that with the source code being open, couldn't Abiword or other office suites just take some of OpenOffice.org's code and put it into their own project? Abiword is under GPL and OpenOffice.org is under LGPL.


There were very few comments in OpenOffice, at least a few years ago, they were all in German, and the code-base was very dense and difficult to understand, being built on an entirely custom platform-independence library (also documented in German). Lastly, the code for reading in Word files seemed to be fairly tightly coupled with OpenOffice's way of handling documents themselves. Consequently, despite a lot of effort by a lot of people, it just wasn't possible to simply "copy" it out, or even use it for hints (again due to absence of comments and comments being in German).

Edited 2007-07-11 20:16

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Slow news day?
by tspears on Wed 11th Jul 2007 17:34 in reply to "Slow news day?"
tspears Member since:
2006-05-22

ADABAS D was the database program, I think there was Xess for spreadsheet work, and Maple was a mathematics suite

Reply Parent Score: 1