office apps

Roland Smith rsmith at
Sun Jun 6 21:03:17 UTC 2010

On Sun, Jun 06, 2010 at 10:38:26PM +0200, Polytropon wrote:
> On Sun, 6 Jun 2010 13:34:16 -0700, Chip Camden <sterling at> wrote:
> > This might not be the right list for this question -- if so, please slap
> > me over to the right one.
> > 
> > Does anyone have a recommendation for a lighter-weight office suite?
> > OOo is such a pig.  It takes a good minute to start it up and open a
> > spreadsheet.

> There are office conglomerates both for KDE and Gnome, KOffice and
> GOffice. If you already have either of them installed, you may try
> this.
> An acceptable stand-alone word processor is Abiword.
Don't forget LaTeX! Especially since it is quite easy for scripting languages
to generate LaTeX code (automation).

> > Short of the full suite, how about just a spreadsheet program that supports
> > complex formulas and charting? 
> Gnumeric.

Second that. Especially for quick & dirty jobs.

> > If it could also be used without X11 when
> > charting isn't needed, that would make my day.
> CVS for data, C or awk for processing, gnuplot for plotting. :-)

For real data munching, programming languages do a much better job indeed. May
I also suggest Perl, Lua and Python al alternatives to C and awk? And 'make'
to tie everything together. Unless your machine is severely underpowered or
your datasets are _huge_, scripting languages tend to be fast enough for data
processing, IMHO.

The general weakness of office suites is _automation_, something that programs
following the UNIX philosophy excel at. (pardon the pun). Quoting Doug McIlroy:

    This is the Unix philosophy: Write programs that do one thing and do it
    well. Write programs to work together. Write programs to handle text streams,
    because that is a universal interface.

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