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.comment: KOffice Is A Good Start

Who's It For?

  • October 30, 2000
  • By Dennis E. Powell

When measuring applications, especially in the Linux sphere, it's sometimes difficult to figure out the yardstick that should be applied. To some extent this is because of the way that Linux has, to the surprise of many, become a mainstream operating system.

It's easy to characterize Windows users as people to whom a computer is an appliance. And yes, this applies to Windows users in business as well.

Linux users are more difficult to pin down; indeed, all they seem to have in common is the use of Linux. Sure, there are applications for Linux that are leaders in the category no matter the operating system. There are also applications for Linux that are mere ghosts of the corresponding ones for other platforms. Why? Because the people who write code for Linux haven't been all that interested in those areas. As a result, emacs has been extended all over the place, while there's no Linux equivalent of the glorious old DOS TSR freeform database, InfoSelect.

But now things have changed, and programmers in Linux aren't coding just for themselves anymore. The big, unified desktops are written by people who are capable of living comfortably at the command prompt. Now an audience of others is being sought.

As a result, looking at a new application now means trying to sort out the target audience, then trying to see if that audience has been reached.

With KOffice, the new office suite of applications that is distributed with KDE2, both of these tasks are difficult.

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