office apps

Polytropon freebsd at
Sun Jun 6 21:22:16 UTC 2010

On Sun, 6 Jun 2010 23:03:11 +0200, Roland Smith <rsmith at> wrote:
> Don't forget LaTeX! Especially since it is quite easy for scripting languages
> to generate LaTeX code (automation).

Oh, but *I* didn't forget LaTeX. The OP requested a word processor, 
not a typesetting system (which is the next evolutionary step). :-)

But you are right: LaTeX is excellent because it does all the things
right that word processors do get right after you invested several
hours configuring them, or don't get it right at all.

In this relation, LyX should also be mentioned, a kind of "WYSIWYG"
interface to LaTeX (inaccurately spoken).

> > > 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.

Especially if efficiency is a topic ("number crunching"), nothing
beats native binary code.

> May
> I also suggest Perl, Lua and Python al alternatives to C and awk?

Especially Perl is worth mentioning.

> And 'make'
> to tie everything together. 

Totally agreed; I also (ab)use it for controlling tasks (like making
web pages out of statistical data).

> Unless your machine is severely underpowered or
> your datasets are _huge_, scripting languages tend to be fast enough for data
> processing, IMHO.

And of course a bit more comfortable to use.

> 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.

A nice summary. And true.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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