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First Look : OpenOffice.org 2.0 Looks Good - 3/23/2005 7:01:42 PM   
LinuxMarshall

 

Posts: 757
Joined: 3/4/2004
From: Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK)
Status: offline
If you're thrifty and you use an office suite, it's hard not to like OpenOffice.org, the open-source set of office productivity tools. Version 1.0, which first appeared in 2002, does most things Microsoft Office can do (including smoothly trade files with users of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint). Plus it's free. So what's to improve in version 2.0?

OpenOffice.org 2.0, still in beta during my tests, adds a database creation application similar to Microsoft Access. But beyond that, many of the changes are small improvements that are nice to have, but probably won't radically change how you work. And in that way, OpenOffice.org is similar to Microsoft Office, which hasn't made a change that's really significant to most users in years.

In addition to Base, the database app, OpenOffice.org 2.0 includes a word processor, a spreadsheet application, a presentation program, an app for creating mathematical formulas, and a nifty drawing program much more powerful and fun than Microsoft's Paint. The beta version is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac machines. I tested the Windows version; for PC World's take on the Linux version, check out Matthew Newton's Free Agent column.

Too Much Like Access?

OpenOffice.org's developers seem to have tried to make Base look and act as much like Access as possible. That's been the group's MO from the beginning, and it makes sense--the easiest way to convert millions of Office users to the open-source alternative is to make the transition as simple as possible.


The problem with making an app that's just like Access, though, is that Access completely mystifies many who attempt to use it. And many of those users who do master it don't like it much. It might have been a better plan to create a database app more like FileMaker Pro; that is, one that's not at all like Access but much easier to use.

Tweaks and Additions

Now for the tweaks: Writer now has an easier-to-find word count tool that will tell you simultaneously the number of words in the whole document and the number in a specific selection of the document. (Word, by contrast, won't give you both totals at once.)

Calc, the spreadsheet application, now supports just as many rows of data as Excel, which eliminates one problem major number-crunchers had with the previous version. And if, heaven forbid, you're a fan of transitions and sounds in between the slides of your presentation, Impress now has buckets of them.

While version 2.0 certainly includes features worth having, it might be prudent to stick with version 1.0 until beta testing is over. If you do try the beta, be warned--the version I tested really is a beta. I experienced a number of crashes, especially in Base, and the file recovery system had some glitches.

But once the OpenOffice.org developers release a final edition of version 2.0 (there's no firm schedule), it should prompt lots of people to ask themselves why they pay $300 or more for Microsoft Office with such a good, free alternative available.

OpenOffice.org Version 2.0
Beta version; not ratedEverything you need in an office suite--for free.Free to download www.openoffice.org


Source : YahooNews
Post #: 1
RE: First Look : OpenOffice.org 2.0 Looks Good - 3/23/2005 10:17:08 PM   
SithTracy


Posts: 1670
Status: offline
Any idea on when this might come out of beta? I've been using it since 1.0 and it is an excellent alternative for home use. I'm an old DOS guy and sill use WordPerfect... did prefer Excel over 1-2-3, but used it all. But OpenOffice.org can't be beat for the price!

(in reply to LinuxMarshall)
Post #: 2
RE: First Look : OpenOffice.org 2.0 Looks Good - 3/24/2005 9:48:33 AM   
SiliconFreak


Posts: 12104
Joined: 7/4/2003
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUS
Status: offline
Sorry SithTracy...have no idea when it might come out of Beta. So...you have 2 options...either to check their homepage (above) regularly...and see if there are any news about that...or...wait until we receive more info about that(correct me LinuxMarshall if I am wrong with this one!?) ... In both cases...You would have to wait a while...

Ohhh...here is something that I just found at their homepage, and which could be interesting to You...

February 2005: OOo 2.0 Beta
Februray/March 2005 : OOo 2.0 changes will be done on separated branch, the trunk (HEAD) will then be used for the next OOo major (3.0 ?) release.
April 2005: OOo 2.0 rc
May/June 2005 : OOo 2.0
Q3 2005: OOo 2.0.1


So...if thats true...expect to see final 2.0 somewhere around...April,May or June.....

Have a nice day/night...bye.

(in reply to SithTracy)
Post #: 3
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