From: Rick Moen
Newsgroups: linuxworld.forums.articles.1999-12-penguin_1
Subject: Re: Disagree
Date: 4 Jan 2000 23:41:15 GMT
Organization: If you lived here, you'd be $HOME already
User-Agent: tin/pre-1.4-981002 ("Phobia") (UNIX) (Linux/2.0.38 (i486))


You have:

Quadraton Cliq
Gnome Office apps
Star Office
Corel Word Perfect and upcoming siblings

Here are some open-source additions. A few of these (such as Abiword)
I actually _use_ on occasion. The others are just hanging around on my
Debian "potato"-based laptop in case I ever need them. For most of my
needs, I'm a vim / Mozilla / m4 / python / bash / awk / grep kinda guy. ;->

LyX (slick graphical front-end to LaTeX)
Siag Office (includes Scheme In A Grid spreadsheet, Pathetic Writer word
processor, Egon animation program, Xfiler file manager, each of
which is also available separately).

> Am I missing anything obvious? Do you have any comments (quotable or
> otherwise) on this stuff?

Understand that you're asking this of someone who generates printouts
of Web pages like this:

lynx -dump http://foo/ | enscript -G -p - | nc 9100

What I mean is that I prefer small, fast, solid tools that work
well in combination over 50MB-in-RAM wonders like Star Office. So, I
may not be the fellow you want to quote. (That having been said,
Word Perfect 8.0 is pretty solid, and relatively compact in RAM at about
6-8 MB. Nicely done.) I'm also forgiving of the shortcomings in such
open-source efforts as Mozilla milestone 12 and AbiWord 0.7.7 beta,
because I'd rather use, encourage, and help debug open-source projects.


From: Bryan -TheBS- Smith
Organization: Theseus Logic
To: Ian B MacLure
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 11:40:56 -0400
Subject: [svlug] My take on apps -- RE: DocBook, Framemaker on Linux


- Word Processing: Hate all (always have on any OS)
- Text Processing: LyX w/SGML and/or DocBook
(why waste time with WP?!?!?!)
- DTP/Frame Layout: FrameMaker (Linux Demo), KWord? (future)

- HTML Editor: StarWord is a very good WYSIWYG editor
(if you use Netscape Composer, dump it for SW!!!),
otherwise, it's GVIM for me, or LyX/LaTeX conversion
for documentation (see the HOWTO HOWTO), and W3C's
Amaya when I want 100% standard HTML (start with GVIM
or LyX/LaTeX, then pull into Amaya for *TRUE* WYSIWYG
preview and syntax correction/cleaning).

If you have a mixed Windows-Linux world, it's StarOffice. It's
word processor, StarWord, is adequate (just like MS-Word, but I'm
biased because I HATE word processors, period), although its
spreadsheet, StarCalc, really sucks (at least on Excel conversion
-- Gnumeric is 10x better).


I find StarWord is a perfect replacement for Netscape Composer. If
you are using Composer chuck it and start using StarWord. Amaya is
another excellent WYSIWYG HTML editor, 100% standards compliant,
but unlike the others, you canNOT simultanously WYSIWYG and markup
edit (e.g., it's good for post-processing for final publishing

Being an old AmiPro/1-2-3 user (and miss them both greatly,
because even Excel still does not have all the features of my
5-year old 1-2-3 release 4, let alone fast and sleek AmiPro), I
anxiously await KWord. I've played with AbiWord and it looks like
yet another word processor. KWord is a frame-layout DTP package
that should cater to us old AmiPro users (I'm hoping ;-).

> I <option><s> ( or equivalent ) every few minutes or so as an
> automatic reflex. A habit picked up many years ago on IBM
> and DEC iron of various weights and its mostly worked for
> me but yes if I were writing extensively I'd be backing
> up to zip a lot and burning CDs daily.

Yeah, but that does LITTLE if the save command in Word corrupts the
file, and even the backup file. Data integrity, NOT save
speed/backgrounding should be priority #1 / default in Word. Hence
why I have to complete exit Word, then use the file manager to copy
to 2 other systems (as well as use Xdelta to check-in on the file
server itself for revision control). Simply using Save-As (to
another drive/system) in Word can cause corruptions too!


Use the tools that get the job done best. Right now, Linux fills
about 75% of those roles IMHO. Now if I could get us over to
100% StarOffice.

-- TheBS

From: Rick Moen
Subject: [vox-tech] Re: [vox] Linux Word Processors?
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 16:15:58 -0800

Moved to vox-tech.

Quoting Robert G. Scofield (

> Unlike most Linux users, I think there is a real problem getting a
> good
> wordprocessor. Unfortunately the ones for Windows are better. I am
> wondering what people think of Open Office and KWord.

If it'll help, I include a (too-brief) rundown on all available word
processors for Linux as part of my Word Perfect for Linux FAQ, . Please see especially section 8.5 ("What
alternatives to WP exist on Linux?").

> How is Open Office different from Star Office (which I can't stand)?

First of all, with Star Office /, as well as with all the
others, you have to be careful about what versions you're talking about:
There are a lot of comparisons floating around that address the merits
of long-vanished versions, which tend to mislead people. Also,
unfortunately, some _packages_ have fewer problems than others. (It's
like with the Galeon Web browser: I might say my Galeon v. 1.2.5 is
great, while you say your distribution's Galeon v. 1.2.5 is terrible and
unstable, and we might both be right.)

Back to your question about Star Office vs. is (approximately) the Star Office 6.0 code stripped of
third-party proprietary components Sun didn't own copyright to, plus
some enhancements developed by the surrounding open-source coder
community. And Star Office also throws in some materials Sun can't
really afford to give out to the public for free, such as use of Apple
Computer's patents on byte-hinting techniques for (some) TrueType fonts
at small point sizes:

The third-party components include the bundled ADABAS D SQL database and
the WordPerfect filters (again, Sun didn't own the rights), among other

_Both_ Star Office 6.0 and 1.0.x have the advantage over
Star Office 5.2 of eliminating the obnoxious "desktop" window that
everything had to reside in, on-screen. I believe SO 6.0 also
eliminates Motif in favour of GTK+. (OO.o definitely does.)

Both of them are pretty mammoth in the RAM they require to start (73
MB), but that's partly because the binary that loads can handle any of
the supported documents: I'm told that the perception of a distinct
"Star Calc", "Star Writer", etc., as well as of distinct data formats
for each document types is something of an illusion: There's a single
(very complex) XML-based format for all supported data, and a single
executable that assumes various roles.

A big plus for SO / OO.o is Microsoft document compatibility. They're
really good at it (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Abiword does well for
Word; Gnumeric does well for Excel; KPresenter does well for PowerPoint
-- but SO / OO.o is one-stop MS compatibility that's pretty reliable
(though not 100% perfect). It's important to note that Microsoft itself
isn't 100% able to parse Microsoft data formats, and sometimes SO / OO.o
will not only be able to read documents MS apps can't, but cleans them
up in the process of reading and resaving them so that MS apps _can_
suddenly read the result.

> Is anyone using KWord? Does anyone like KWord? What are the problems
> with KWord?

What I hear is that KWord has been undergoing pretty rapid development,
same as AbiWord. So, you'll need to be particularly careful about the
version and package problems noted above, in weighing anything you hear.

KWord differs from most of the others in being frame/template-based,
sort of like FrameMaker or the much-liked DeScribe word processor.
Arguably, this results in more-reliable and better-structured documents,
especially long ones.

KWord 1.1.1 is fairly current (being the KDE 2.2 version, not the KDE
3.0 one), and is the version I have some experience with -- but not
much. Most of my editing is in vim.

I've personally found the AbiWord stable release (1.0.1) to be _really_
stable -- and fast, and generally likeable. The main missing feature
is tables, which was deliberately deferred until after 1.0 (so they're
doing the code for that, now).

As always, compound documents (OLE stuff) and password-protected
documents from Microsoft tend to be problematic anywhere but on the
Microsoft platform du jour.

Cheers, "To summarize the summary of the summary:
Rick Moen People are a problem." -- Douglas Adams