back to article OpenOffice 3.0 - the only option for masochistic Linux users

In a brilliant execution of public relations, OpenOffice.org 3.0 was released without enough capacity to handle the demand for downloads. Servers buckled under the traffic, and some of us in the media took the bait: Shit, this thing must be hot. Are people really getting that excited over an open source productivity suite? …

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Linux

simple instructions (easily found by a ubuntu noob)

a simple search gives this

http://www.rebelzero.com/ubuntu/installing-ooo-300-onto-hardy-heron/27

has nice intsructions, there is a x64 package and dpkg does install into 'Applications' folder

i think you should edit first part of your article to include instructions from above link

cheers

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Anonymous Coward

Not just linux.

The windows install went very nicely, and was required because some muppet had

sent me a doc in ODF.

I barely use these things, but sometimes you just need them, I'm quite glad I don't have to spend hundreds on Microsofts Orifice.

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Anonymous Coward

only rpms?

" Unfortunately, as an Ubuntu user, you'll get the RPM version, which makes things a little tricky considering Ubuntu doesn't, you know, use RPM."

You guys didn't try using "alien <name of package>.rpm" to convert the .rpm to a .deb?

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Anonymous Coward

Bloody slow on my PowerBook G4

I hope NeoOffice is faster.

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PPA?

Why install like that? Installing it like that is a _bad_ idea.

It's available in the ppa repository, at least for 8.10.. should be for hardy too.

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Anonymous Coward

There are other office tools

AbiWord, Gnumeric

Along with KOfiice.

But, really most in the unix world don't use these tools very much, tend to just be used to get information from other places.

Much simpler just to use a RDBMS and link in via scripts. Even DSV is more preferable and simpler to use as a data storage or capture storage. Python allows you to pickle objects, and of course SQL alchemy is quite a time saver. I have them all on gvim as well, makes people think about the words more, some are even learning HTML, bit of markup spice to it all.

But OpenOffice is fine for the numpties who have made the crossover, they seem to rather enjoy it.

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Linux

FYI

FYI, there is an option to use native file choosers instead of the crummy one provided by Openoffice.

After several years of thinking "Damn this filechooser sucks" every time I saved a file, I found out that OpenOffice provides an option to replace it.

It is found at the following convenient location:

Tools > Options > Openoffice.org > General > Open/save dialogues /[ - ] Use openoffice.org dialogues

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Anonymous Coward

Once again...

FOSS is loss, best tell the boss.

After just reading the Ubuntu article (and the comments) and now this, I am stunned that people still persevere with these unstable, incompatible and user-hostile applications. Freetards must be real masochists!

If you want to use office applications, send files and increase productivity; there's only on real-world choice. You know it, I know even the birds and the bees know it.

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Linux

I agree, it's not changed much but...

I am pleased that it is now usable with a dark colour scheme. No more invisible tooltips. I suspect you got the default file selector instead of the GNOME one because you used 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system. I think it was a bit unfair to slate the fact that you had to install it manually when you didn't wait for the distros to catch up. If the OOo guys didn't release it to the public until the distros were ready then people would cry even louder. I admit that Ubuntu have been a bit slow to include it officially (I think it should be in backports by now) but it is at least available at https://launchpad.net/~openoffice-pkgs/+archive. I personally built it from source on Gentoo and was surprised to find that it actually didn't take more than a couple of hours. I guess a quad core helps. XD

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You've clearly not heard of the PPAs

There are Ubuntu packages, with the Gnome save dialog etc etc at:

https://launchpad.net/~openoffice-pkgs/+archive

Maybe some investigative journalism might be in order...

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Ubuntu installation took me half a minute

1) Into folder.

2) Install all packages.

3) Into /menus folder

4) Install menu package.

5) Start app.

Shit, what an arduous task! I must immediately make witty graphs about it!

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Boffin

but...

I run it on Windows -it seemed easy to install to me!

Ok. the article was funny, but do we need so many pages to point out the at a piece of software not designed for your version of OS is tricky to install and run?

Was there a point to the 150mb download comment? The implication is that its a lot, but compared with an MSOffice iso it delivers rather more than you might expect.

And on the "How Badly I Need OO.o 3" graph, surely only a habitual windows user (or perhaps a 1st day iPhone 3G buyer), missing the pain of paying license fees, would undergo so much installation pain for software they don't need!

Icon: May the clue be with you!

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Flame

Early adopter?

So you didnt want to wait for all the testing to be done on ubuntu, so you decided to manually install it. Then you complain about not understanding the processes?

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Coat

office 2007 file support

probably the primary reason for upgrade

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Anonymous Coward

But it works

I've used Open Office for several years now, on my Mac. It's nice that I no longer have to start X to use it (mostly because cut and paste doesn't always behave between environments and I can't get the '#' key to work in X).

The point I would like to make though is that I like Open Office. It works... generally. I don't think it has ever crashed on me. As far as I remember, it's never screwed up a document, and generally it's ok.

One complaint I DO have is that it has a habit of changing formatting willy-nilly (which is not good). The word processor often changes text formatting / size for no apparent reason (this was in a previous version - not had any problems with 3.0 yet).

One problem I found in 3.0 has been in the spreadsheet - I had a cell that kept switching to "percent" format. I kept changing it back to "number" format, but the next time I edited it, it got changed back to a "percent". I think it was trying to be "helpful" because there were percentages in other places in the spreadsheet, but this is definitely a bug.

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Anonymous Coward

@There are other office tools

"Much simpler just to use a RDBMS and link in via scripts.... Python allows you to pickle objects, and of course SQL alchemy is quite a time saver....."

What you say may be true, but it's a bloody stupid way of writing a letter!

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Disappointing

Ted - where's the fscking swearing gone?

Sure, there's some 'ass' etc., but we expect more from you!

Please return normal swearvice as soon as possible...

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Impressed...?

Actually, I'd say they've made the slide layout selector *worse*.

The use of colour gives visual prominence to several particular layouts, biasing the choice. Not good, IMO.

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Alert

What are you, idiots?

Installing within three months of release?

You got everything you deserved.

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Linux

What about....

... emerge open-office

... emerge open-office-bin

All works fine for me and has done since release.

@AC that's the type of attitude that ensures Linux stays second to Microsloth - try getting

your granny to use vi or wrestle with some SQL. pah.

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Misleading

Dude, you really don't "get it" do you? Linux distribution is a different animal to Windows. Your distribution provides you the packages and the integration you want. If you go installing stuff from <random website> and it doesn't install easily or seamlessly etc. then that's your problem, don't go crying about it.

The whole point in the distribution centric model is that the QA and integration work can happen in a tested environment. The trouble comes when the latest and greatest version of XYZ comes along any everyone wants NOW NOW NOW! Instant gratification is all well and good for a home user who doesn't mind cocking up their desktop, but in a company or school etc., stability and managed upgrades are the way forward.

Your article was a total misrepresentation. It was basically "I'm a bit of an idiot and I don't really know what I'm doing here and I had a bit of a bad experience". It certainly wasn't a "review" in any recognisable form.

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Bronze badge
Linux

Gnu Isn't Ubuntu

But, from reading this review, you might be forgiven for imagining that the author thinks it is. And the alternative isn't necessarily dropping back to an old version of RedHat either.

Having said that, I can categorically state that I am in no hurry to download something that big if it doesn't give an appreciable improvement in usability. That can wait for when my distro gets its next upgrade, if at all.

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Tom
Silver badge

Weird

All I typed was "portupgrade -PP openoffice". Course, that's with FreeBSD, a real OS.

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Bronze badge

Oh good

Yet another Reg article written by somebody without a clue. Read this one sentence and you will realise that the rest of the review will be of little worth:

"OpenOffice is really the only option for Linux users who don't understand the hype behind web-based office software like Google Docs"

The only option? Ever heard of KOffice, or any of the other office apps available for Linux?

The sentence also seems to imply that OOo isn't available for other platforms.

And then there's the bit about Google Docs. "Don't understand the hype" what the hell are you talking about? Hyperbole might be defined as "obvious and deliberate exageration" and most of us do understand that the buzz around online office suites is indeed hyperbole. You, on the other hand, do not appear to understand what "hype" actually means.

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Gates Halo

Not yet ready for Prime Time

If a experienced linux user has this much trouble installing a linux package, how much harder do you think it would be for the new users or Windows converts. Just goes to show that with all the talk of wanting people to switch from Windows to Linux, Linux is just not ready for Prime Time. Until such a time that the different distros become standarized, and installing a package is as easy as double clicking on the equivilent of install.exe, Linux will continue to remain a fringe product.

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Silver badge
Linux

I'm using Debian 64 bit

And I built it from Source Code.

Alright, then, it was Debian's own pre-patched Source Code, from Experimental. But it built fine on Sid, with a few packages (in particular OpenJDK) and I haven't had problems with it.

Mind, if you were running KDE, you'd know KOffice isn't bad -- and it doesn't slow to a crawl with every keystroke.

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Go

There is a big reason to go 3.0 from 2.4

One word.

Comments.

OO Notes functionality works like comments in 'Word' now. This is a big deal for a lot of people. Oh, and track changes works properly in 3.0 too. User interface is much improved.

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Thumb Up

Most chortlesome.

Thanks for the lulz, Ted.

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Anonymous Coward

Easy to reach 3

Intrepid users add repo to Software Sources:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/openoffice-pkgs/ubuntu intrepid main

How-to:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/How-To-Install-OpenOffice-org-3-0-in-Ubuntu-8-10-96449.shtml

Easy as 1-2-3, see.

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Bronze badge

Bit of an idiot

I've got to agree that the author is a bit of a nutter. He doesn't seem to know what he's doing, it'd be a bit like me installing Windows 95 software on Vista and then complaining when it doesn't work.

If you stick to your distro sources Linux does tend to just work. Whether it's better than Windows is another discussion.

What I will say is that we swapped to OpenOffice because MS Office had such a hard time handling 100+ page reports. MS Office just seems to slowly corrupt the file! MS support could only suggest breaking the file up into smaller pieces!

I'm not really a heavy spreadsheet user so I can't comment on that part but the Word Processor is pretty good.

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Stop

File dialogs

I wondered a bit about the file dialogs comments., specially the "pain in the ass" arrow from the filename bar.

The standard windows (and quite old) filedialog with its fairly intuititive type ahead is one of the things I miss the most on non-windows.

The same with keyboard usability, which for me is still one of the key advantages of Windows. The Windows classic GUI , despite popular myth, is still the best keyboard-only navigable GUI.

Including Gnome, KDE, Mac and the classic X window managers.

However this great feature is under threat, even on Windows, where the GUI of an average program tends to look more and more as a glossy blob. (with ditto usability)

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Silver badge

youi're not allowed to criticise ...

... because it's free.

One of the tenets of free software is that you're only allowed to say good things about it. if you dissent, you can expect a stream of comments along the lines of

"Hey, it's free. If you don't like it, just uninstall it" or, my favourite (also used by **** Air to justify crappy service):

"What do you expect for nothing" with the implication that the supplier is actually doing you a favour by letting you have their software/service/product/flight.

In fact, as we all know deep down, there's no such thing as free. Zero financial cost, yes - but when the time spent trying to turn a pigs ear into a silk purse is factored in, a lot of "free" software is very expensive indeed. In this particular case it provides no additional benefits over what I already have (not free) so I can't see any reason why I should spend my time on it.

YMMV

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Anonymous Coward

Not ready for prime time?

@ Kevin Eastman

Installing software in windows.

1. Find the website of the vendor

2. Find the download page

3. Usually register.

4. Download a file

5. Open file - when are they going to standardise, zip, exe, msi

6. Agreed a load of shit

7. Choose where to install

Ubuntu

Open the application managed, choose app, install.

Shall we start on getting all my software up to date, I still cannot find the windows control panel app that does that.

So some retard wrote about his attempt at doing something he did not understand - so what.

Shall I write an article about me unzipping an application and trying to copy all the files to the correct places, system32 etc, editing the registry

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Paris Hilton

Muppets and ODF for Microsoft

@JonB

FYI, Sun has an ODF plug-in for Microsoft Office. Works pretty well to import and export. I have Office 2003, Sun StarOffice, and OpenOffice installed in my Windows system so I am pretty flexible. Every so often I will open Office docs in StarOffice or OpenOffice, or save Office docs from the others, import an Open Document Format into Office, or export from. Eh, you get what you expect, mostly, but the information is still there.

Paris, pretty flexible on imports and exports.

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Jobs Halo

Solver for Mac

Umm, much as I hate Office for Mac, you seem to have not noticed the solver tool freely available for Office 2008 here: http://www.solver.com/mac/dwnmacsolver.htm

Simon Elliott

www.thefreemac.com

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Linux

A few comments

Quote: "I'm glad that OpenOffice decided to dump GNOME's default save-as menu for their own harder-to-use menu"

Well, I am glad they did. The cretins at GNOME have created a menu that is incapable of working versus automounted filesystems. As a result one of the greatest features of Unix and greatest tools in the hands of a sysadmin - the automounter is unusable for anything that uses Gnome menus. As a result you cannot use any gnome tool sensibly in a network environment designed and set according to system administration best practice.

So applause for someone taking the sensible decision and telling the gnome to shovel their idiotic "usability improvement" where it belongs. Ahem and congrats.

Also, wasn't there some sort of controversy about the solver's licensing?

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Stop

American Journalism?

"it's no surprise that charts made by the Calc spreadsheet still kind of look like ass"

Looks like "ass"??

No.

Stop.

Step away from the keyboard.

I bet you even think the Windows Aero interface looks "sick". Go get a job washing cars or something.

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Dead Vulture

Ted's a n00b!

c'mon, 6 pages on installing OOo? Rants about not finding it in the Applications menu? Ubuntu, for Dog's sake? Never heard of alien? "only option for Linux users"? You mean what, only option for Linux users who want to write a letter or do some number-crunching? Gawd, where have you been for the last 50 years? All this article reeks of poorly documented n00biness. I bet you still have problems finding the on/off switch. Please tell me your first encounter with the penguin was 2 weeks ago!

I don't really use OOo much anyway, it's much better than MSOffice but still a bit too bloated for my taste. The output is a bit sub-optimal too, as compared to what you get from Lout or LateX. And for my number-crunching or plotting needs, I use some real number-crunching and plotting pieces of software. The only OOo tool I use is OOimpress, the presentation tool, because most moronic institutions/conference organizers only allow PowerPoint files. Idiots.

Anyway, the logical way an article should be written is: 1) find subject. 2) do some research 3) write. This piece looks like it's been written following the slightly different method: 1) Try to do something too complicated for one's skills 2) Fail. 3) Rant. 4) get rant published. That last method is in the Silly Blogger's Handbook, not in the Seasonned IT Reporter Guide. For that reason, I'll be removing El Reg from my shortcuts, Youth these days, oh the nerve, back in my time the Register was much better, all that crap ;-)

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Flame

It's a shame

There are many reasons above and beyond "free as in beer" why Free Software is important.

Of course because it is free-as-in-beer quite possibly the servers, (y'know, the one you got it from, free?) were not mega-sized so they were not giving you an instant down load.

And it was a whole 150Mb?, damn, on that piece of wet string connecting you to the internet, must have taken a week.

And it's not perfect? Well, for my pains, I've been able to open .docx since June. (And I'm so pleased it doesn't write docx - what a good decision).

Usability? (Despite it being good and getting better) let's measure it against Apple

Ubiquity? Let's measure it against Microsoft

Price? Not relevant, as your employer or the taxpayer picks the bill up.

Enabling transparency, good governance and certainty, hmm, let's ignore those because we're a bunch of techies who don't (or for our own reasons, claim not to) understand that open source != Free Software.

Closes digital divide without any need for intervention through unnecessary taxation?

Let's label those involved as freetards.

An ecosystem of well crafted software that doesn't charge your employer or the taxpayer enough money therefore you can't have your technical conference or golf day somewhere exotic?

Let's not call you freetards.

People who try to point out the benefits of Free Software without the polish or ducking and diving skills gained from an expensive, carefully crafted sales training programme?

I expect they haven't got girl friends

And so on

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@Not ready for prime time

Installing on Windows:

Download package

unpack if necessary

double click setup

Agree to license (have to same thing with FOSS)

click next a bunch of times

get coffee

use app

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Thumb Down

Is this article....

...supposed to be funny?

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Flame

The good thing with Linux...

... is that pompous asses always take the beating they desserve. It's fairly easy with windows to get a wizard reputation for what amounts to basic script kid tricks. Because even seasoned IT pros are dumbstruck by how backward things are in windows, with every version sweeping clean the knowledge base, anyone with something up his sleeve nearly achieves instant Morris's fame among the clueless crowd of family and office.

Not so with linux.

Linux brings back rationality, predictablity, and learning investment back into the computing scheme. Lazy idiots can't help trying to pull their old tricks, but no-one will ever get impressed by someone stupid enough to build a mega software from source because he can't add a repo line to his apt config to save his life.

Mister, I would have been impressed if you had taken the chance to edit some code and speeded the OO.o boot process by 1 second. But seeing you hitting all the walls like a blind fly because you just can't google and read is plain pathetic.

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Anonymous Coward

<well_formed_title/>

Is Space Invaders still and Easter egg in Calc? If not there's no way I'm upgrading, that was the most useful feature...

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Silver badge

Desktop fever

Hm. Dzuiba's got a point in the "save" menu: I usually prefer the open/save dialogs to stick with the underlying GUI theme (this is also why I hate those Apple apps that insist on forcing Aqua look-and-feel on Windows XP, or Office 2007.)

But I find something even more annoying: the "Desktop" syndrome that some apps have of defaulting to save on the Desktop (I'm looking at you, Firefox!). Oooh yeeeah, it might've been cool on Mac when they started letting you do that, but these days it only leads to clutter on my desktop. Gah!

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arselinux

You've just highlighted one of the problems with Linux - so many distributions. No doubt if arselinux was released and used the arse package system you would be able to complain that OpenOffice was not yet available from your repository (called, yes, the arsehole).

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Kev

For those that bitch

about how difficult it is, oh woe is me!!! Read some of the comments above, it CAN be as easy as a one line command.

If you want to, you can run MSOffice on linux under wine, but i am that would be far too complicated for you.

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influenced vocabulary ?

"a pain in the balls"

"major asspain"

"kind of look like ass"

It looks like I'm not the only one happy to see South Park airing again :-)

(however, I guess I'd better keep these influences out of my work docs)

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Silver badge
Stop

Dont get me talking about file choosers

Acorn had true drag and drop file saving on the late 1980s. That way you know *exactly* where your fail is saved, and no stupid menu systems to wade through, just drag an icon where you want the file to go.

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Flame

A quick software patent trolling...

How come, if software patents prevent developers 'doing anything', there is yet another release of an office suite that replicates M$ office functionality and even lets you open M$ office docs? If there is one situation where you'd expect software patents to put the mockers on imitation it's M$ bleedin' Office.

Or, just perhaps, the anti-software crowd are just full of tin-foil coated BS?

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