TextMaker: Should we support FreeBSD at all?

Martin Kotulla martin-k at softmaker.de
Tue Oct 7 13:13:57 PDT 2003


OK, second attempt to answer that. I replied through a newsgroup but 
didn't realize that this mail2news gate didn't propagate back my post. 
Hope my cutting-and-pasting isn't messing up the formatting too much...

Paul Robinson wrote:

> How much did that cost you, btw, John? Price sensitive crowd around
> here.

TextMaker has a list price of $49.95. As soon as our additional office 
suite components (PlanMaker, DataMaker) become available, there will 
also be an office suite-type package.

> 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
> while.

We already have the trial version. It is undergoing a bit more testing, 
and we'll make it available in the next couple of days.

>>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.

TextMaker for Linux already worked very nicely under Linux emulation on 
FreeBSD and NetBSD.

We did the port (a) because it was easy (just one source code change) 
and (b) there were a couple of people telling us they'd never consider 
running the Linux emulator on *BSD, and (c) because we could ... <g>

>>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. 

That's what irritates me. TextMaker on the vast majority of systems is 
MUCH faster than OpenOffice, even faster than Abiword. It should load in 
one or two seconds and redraw much faster than OO. I guess we'll have to 
wait till the trial version to get a better sampling of TextMaker's 
behaviour on FreeBSD.

One situation where TextMaker will be slow is on systems with less than 
16 bits of color. Apart from that, TextMaker should RACE on systems, not 
the opposite.

> 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. 

By many accounts, TextMaker already has better Word import and export 
than OpenOffice, and we are continually improving it. We are even going 
so far as to change TextMaker's feature to improve Word conversion. 
Simple example: The next release will support table cells larger than 
one page (which OO won't do till 2.0) because it improves import quality.

>>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?

Well, there ARE magazines with *BSD coverage, at least here in Germany. 
So I think that question was legitimate ...

>>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:
> http://www.freebsddiary.org/
> http://www.freshports.org/
> http://www.freshsource.org/
> http://www.bsdcan.org/
> http://www.daemonnews.org/
> http://daily.daemonnews.org/

Yep, that's about the list I compiled from other users' replies.

>>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.

If I had a million, I'd spend it for a couple more programmers to speed 
up development. :-)

Thank you for sharing your insights, I am interested in reading as many 
opinions as possible.

Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

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