Patrick\’s Bytes

29, July 2008

Novell OpenOffice developer speaks on why we need client side apps

Filed under: OpenOffice,OpenXML — patrickyong @ 5:22 am

Some may look at this interview as a Sun bashing post but I think its more on why client side apps like OpenOffice (or MS Office) is still relevant despite more companies coming out with online apps like Google Apps

Also isn’t even finished right now and rewriting all of this in HTML and Javascript would be quite difficult, the web is not a beautiful, clean development environment. It’s actually very difficult to produce something which looks like you want it to look like. And that’s by design – it’s not a fixed layout, which is good for the web but when you try to layout documents you need more precision.

Meeks also mentioned why OpenOffice does not need to follow MS Office 2007 Ribbon interface but the problem with current OpenOffice UI

The current one is using a very inflexible widget toolkit called VCL and that is really something out of the Mid-Nineties – it’s a disaster. It hasn’t been improved substantially since then. So we are doing a whole lot of work to improve the widget toolkit inside, to introduce layout and that’s being funded by Novell and driven by us.


Then they chat about an alternative OpenOffice version named Go-OO

There also is the gstreamer audio/video-support which is not yet upstream, lots of that nasty Microsoft Works file format support, Mono-integration, better Chinese font rendering and so on. You can go to and check the differences out for yourself.

Not to leave out is OOXML support in Go-OO


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