10 May 2006

[open_source] Got My OpenOffice.org 2.0

One of the cool tools which I keep about is a nifty office suite called OpenOffice.org. Derived from Sun's StarOffice suite, it's open source, and it's free.

And it's stylish: just look at the document icon to the right there.

That's right. As in, you don't pay a dime for it. You just have to download it.

There's a version for Windows, for MacOS X (requires X11 but if you have 10.3 or later you'll likely have that) and for Linux (requires Xwindows as well).

It's a suite that includes a word processor (Writer), a slide presentation editor (Impress), a spreadsheet (Calc), a vector drawing app (Draw), an equation editor (Math), and an SQL database (Base).

I don't need to use all that stuff but I have used OOo since about version 1.1.3, and it makes (at least for my needs) any MS Office completely unneccssary. It not only groks MS Office files, reading and saving as .doc, .xls, and .ppt formats, but conforms to the XML-based OASIS standard...any application that will read XML-based documents will talke to OOo.

This is a great app for those who want to de-MS thier home computers, those who need to exchange documents with Word users who can't get MS Office, or anyone who has a copy of Office that has, we might say, a checkered provenance.

Check it all out here

At least, since it's free, it's worth looking over.


Anonymous said...

Dude, you should also check out AjaxWrite.

It is bascially a word processor application that reads and writes MS Word & OpenOffice. The catch is that the application "lives" on the web server. You just go to their website: http://www.ajaxwrite.com/

Then the javascript application can be executed. You edit the doc in the web-based application, but save it on your own machine.

It is pretty cool. You'll dig it!

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

You're right, it is pretty interesting. Nice innovation.

Personally I'm averse. Being limited to dialup this application, at this time, is just not right for my needs: I just don't have the constant access to an online connection I would need, and whilst it doesn't take a long time to load, it takes much longer to get my business done in in than something on my desktop.

However, the fact that it's free and reads DOC files makes it a very powerful option for everyone. Being Firefox only limits their audience, I'm afraid; Firefox (which I depend on) does make one wicked good browser and it is making strides against IE (which isn't even developed anymore for my Mac) but is still a minority browser.

As an aside, I'm not completely on board the trend I percieve in web-based applications software. I'm pretty old-school when it comes to buying software, I like getting a copy of the code that runs locally. I don't really feel as though I've gotten something of value unless that obtains.