TextMaker: Should we support FreeBSD at all?

Paul Robinson p.robinson at mmu.ac.uk
Mon Oct 6 09:21:52 PDT 2003

I'm CC'ing in SoftMaker so that they can get involved in the discussion
themselves, directly, if they wish.

My thoughts for what they're worth are below.

Johnathan Drews wrote:

> You have purchased TextMaker for Linux.

How much did that cost you, btw, John? Price sensitive crowd around
> NOTE: Please do not pass along this installation file or
> pointers to it. You receive it only because you are a paying
> customer. We'll have free trial versions later.

For a reasonable response to the question they need free trial versions
available ASAP. It's hard for me to decide whether I would pay for a
FreeBSD version unless they let me have a version to play with for a
> 1. Should we support FreeBSD at all?

The short answer to give them is "Yes". Never, ever "maybe" or "no".
However, if for economical reasons (I can't think why) it's problematic,
just make sure there are instructions to make it easy for us to run it
under Linux emulation. Even better, take control of the entry in
/usr/ports and make sure it works for every release of TextMaker and
FreeBSD. That'd be nice.
> 2. Does TextMaker for FreeBSD work without flaws on your
> FreeBSD system? (if not, please file bug reports to
> beta at softmaker.de)

Johnathan is suggesting it's slow. That's a flaw. It needs to be at
least as fast if not faster than OpenOffice. It needs to look better,
import MS files better, everything. If I'm going to pay for it, it needs
to be much, much better than what is available for free. Everybody in
the FreeBSD community feels that way, otherwise we would all be using
Solaris. It's the key reason so few people actually move their code over
to FreeBSD - we're used to having so much quality code available for
free, we tend to flinch when it comes time to put our hands in our
pockets. The notable exceptions are Oracle and if they ever dreamed of
doing it, anything from Macromedia where the quality is VERY good.
> 3. Which printed magazines do you read that cover FreeBSD?

Hahahaha. I once tried ordering a copy of DaemonNews. That didn't work
out. Are there any printed mags that cover it any detail? Should we
start trying to subvert the Linux magazines by offering regular pieces
to editors? Perhaps a piece on why more commercial companies should
start supporting FreeBSD?
> 4. Which BSD-specific web sites do you visit?

Web sites? Are they like CVS repos? I heard about them once, but thought
they were illegal or something. :-)

Daemon News and FreeBSD mall are the big ones, and the ones around them.
Here's a list that was just lying around in another thread:

> 5. How can we reach FreeBSD users? How can we ensure that
> more FreeBSD users learn about our software?

Give the project $1 million? :-) Usual channels I suppose, advertising,
supporting events and the web sites and mags that do exist, start using
it yourself, etc., etc.
> 6. On which Unix-like operating systems would you like to
> see TextMaker, PlanMaker and our future office suite software?

The work involved in making it available for Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD and
OpenBSD are negligible. Mac OS X is one area they could look at if they
want to make a splash. It needs to very, VERY good though.
Paul Robinson

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