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06/29/2004:

NF . openoffice


I downloaded OPENOffice.org 1.1.1 last night. Make that a couple of nights ago since it is already two in the morning. Installed it fifteen hours ago in the computer in the office i call as the 'Battle PC'. Experimented on it for awhile, click a few buttons here and there and opened some previously created files. I don't have any java runtime environment installed on my computers so i have to choose to run it sans the Java. All things are working fine so far but i'll do a research on that Java part. Even the setup window i must admit is quite refreshing... and i do like that eplastic effect on graphics which i first saw at PHONG.com years ago and is often used in current interfaces these days. It's good to see artistic interfaces being used but not abused. This one falls in the 'well used' category.

Back to Open Office... like Microsoft Office it has applications for text and documents, spreadsheets, presentations and even for HTML creation and editing. A quick tinkering and dropping down of menus showed that they are almost similar feature-wise. Which is scary... but at the same time, a big help especially in this part of the world were piracy is rampant, licensed softwares are too expensive as compared with the basic needs and currency is plummeting down so fast. A BIG help it would really be. (Of course you can view it differently)

Feature-wise, OpenOffice.org 1.1.1 even has an export to PDF feature which i can't find on my MS Office XP, but i must admit i haven't explored MS Word that much. With respect to MicroSoft, i believe that Office is one of their best products to date. Word and even Excel, along with their easter eggs, have done a lot since those old WordStar 4 and Lotus for DOS days. Yup i've used that before but i'm not that old yet. Oh no... i'm not... not yet.

What i can't fully understand, is why one creates a good package such as this and call it with a name which is not far from an existing 'dominant' product already? I can understand some similarities in lay-out and item placing and such, probably to make things easier for the user to adapt and familiarize, but why not name it to a different word. Why 'office'? The word 'open' is not much help even it means a lot. I guess this is just the 'trend' in the 'IT world', eh?. There's WordStar... then WordPerfect then MSWord and countless others having this affinity for the word 'word'. Partly i know and understand the reason... but still, part of me was hoping that the open source community would give more importance of having a sort of unique identity for their products. Yes, I do have a great respect for the open source principles and the minds behind such force, but that my friend, is another story for now.

Well i guess i'll just settle with figuring out how to make Visual Foxpro 'automate' with these new found treasures. Or should i also expect an Open Foxpro in the days to come? Uh... something to look forward to.


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