GNOME Office list, and Sun/AbiWord

Martin Sevior <> writes: 
> From what I know of staroffice it
> does not have Abi's GUI independence which makes this simultaneous
> development possible.

I have heard that Sun intends to continue to make StarOffice cross
platform. Remember that it is XP now. I'm not sure how they will
implement XP, but you could talk about it with them. (Right now I
think they have an XP toolkit in the Java/Swing tradition, maybe they
are planning to move to GTK as XP toolkit. I don't know.)
> We can share code and ideas but I don't see a merger happening unless Sun
> adopts the Abiword code base and helps us develop it.

Don't decide until you talk to Sun. Maybe they are willing to adopt
some of the AbiWord goals.

> It would have been nice to have been in the loop about this earlier.
> Abiword has contributed over 300,000 lines of code to Gnome and provides
> the 4th most useful program to normal users (after filemanager, email and
> web browser).
> Maybe it was our fault for not joining these mailing lists earlier.

I don't think you've missed anything; nothing is decided yet. It's not
"too late" or anything like that.

I don't know what the end goal for the AbiWord hackers is. The GNOME
goal, as I see it, is to get a complete office suite as soon as we
can. I'm not interested in an office suite that's "pretty good for a
free one", or a "small, fast but feature-incomplete suite." I think we
want a suite that can compete with proprietary offerings, especially
Microsoft Office. It has to have all the features end users need, it
has to be very stable, and it has to have a nice GUI.

I think maybe at least some of the AbiWord hackers share this goal,
and Sun shares this goal. It makes sense to work together, because we
can achieve a lot more that way. I hope everyone will try to put aside
the ego issues, and take a hard look at what their goals are and how
they can work together to achieve them. 

There's huge value in my opinion to having the current GNOME Office
developers work with Sun; it will jump-start a vibrant community for
the combined office suite, and keep the project from being 100% Sun

StarOffice is something like 6 million lines of code; this is not to
be sneezed at. It brings us a couple years closer to a complete suite,
without StarOffice and the Sun engineers we were probably looking at 4
years or so, now we can hope for 2. But only if we take advantage of
the opportunity, and build a strong free software community around the
combined GNOME/Star office suite. So I'm hoping the AbiWord hackers
will be interested in helping out with that.
> Well topics like this would be a natural thing to discuss. As Bonobo
> integration rolls forward we would like to hear from the gnumeric team,
> gnome-print, guppi and anyone else who wants their app to be embedded in
> Abiword documents.

OK I have created Subscribe in the usual
way. Let's follow up to that list.

Martin, can you ask the people working on UNIX AbiWord to join
is the URL.

Also, can you guys maybe think about the goals that you have, why you
want a word processor, what features are "must have" in the end
product? Then you can reasonably talk to Sun about what combination of
code will work best to achieve that.

It's possible most discussion will need to wait until you can look
over the Sun code Oct. 13, though.


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