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post #41 of 124
Quote:
But I distinctly remember when Microsoft introduced the List Manager feature in Office v. X, they said that 90% of their spreadsheet users used Excel to make simple lists. This is from Microsoft themselves.

So why hasn't Omni or Mellel or Nisus ever written a spreadsheet app for this huge base of low end users? It doesn't seem like it would take that much time, and would at least add significant value to their Word Processor package.

Mariner has Calc, and there is this (Mesa Spreadsheet, which is decent. Compatibility with Excel files is better now. One major lack on the Mac side is adequate scripting comparable to VBA (AppleScript doesn't fit the bill).

Since I work in Excel 2002 on Win 2000 all day, for me the biggest draw back for widescale adoption of an alternative to XL is VBA. The VBA shipped with Office 2004 (which I have at home) is 10% of the VBA capabilities on the Windows side. So also ActiveX controls, which Mac OS doesn't support. Thus, even for cross-platform development within just the Excel "family" there is a vast difference. And while 99% of the people in my department don't use/know about VBA, they have to be able to read the results of what I produce in VBA.
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post #42 of 124
One note: AppleScript *CAN* fit the bill, easily, if the developer chooses to add robust support for it. MS chooses not to.
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post #43 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
One note: AppleScript *CAN* fit the bill, easily, if the developer chooses to add robust support for it. MS chooses not to.

To some extent. Rick Schaut (works in MS MacBU) has interesting comments on his weblog concerning the integration of MS Office into the Mac environment and the challenges they face.

Another possibility, but I haven't looked at it for 18 months or so, is Thinkfree Office
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post #44 of 124
A link would be lovely.

I'm not saying that AppleScript can be a 100% drop-in replacement for VBA... only that the power is there, if MS chooses to take advantage of it. They won't, for both technical and marketing reasons... mostly the latter.
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post #45 of 124
my opinion:

1. there is nothing that can compete with excel; M$ owns this market, and they do so with the best app

2. writing.... well, this is a difficult issue. But this is how I see it. There are many writing apps, all that cater to different circumstances.

Stickies/textedit cater for those times when you just need to put down a few notes/maximum one page or so.

M$ Word is good if you work with mac/pc-people and need to share, it is good to write shorter essays, 30-50 pages perhpas, and don't need massive layout. It has a good spell checker (yes, it is far better than the build-in in OS X) and the app works nicley I think. Haven't tried the note-taking feature yet, but will have to learn it first).

Then we have layout-apps like indesign, but you don't really write here very much.

Mellel, Nissus writer &c: these cater to people who don't need all the features of wrod, they are cheaper, easier to use and so on (ok, not feature complete yeet... nevermind).

What is missing is an app that caters for those that write techinal stuff, long documents (phd:s and so forth) with some layouting-capabilities, and easy to get consistent (so that writing a book is easy). This was solved by framemaker... which does not exist anymore for mac, and probably not coming neither. Here Apple basically has no competition and there is a market for such an app.

Go Apple Go!!!
post #46 of 124
I just finished a very long technical document in Word, it does the job the fine.

The other very handy thing about Word is tracked changes when work is shared around.
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post #47 of 124
not as well as framemaker did.... sure, not the prettiest programme, but very very good.
post #48 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by dividend
not as well as framemaker did.... sure, not the prettiest programme, but very very good.

Agreed. Yes, you can do long documents with Word, but Word's long documents do you, too. FrameMaker, on the other hand, is just lovely.
post #49 of 124
Quote:
1. there is nothing that can compete with excel; M$ owns this market, and they do so with the best app

Of course because every competitor is trying to be an Excel clone. Clones are rarely better than the original. Take a look at the Quantrix Modeler while I'm sure there are plenty of missing features the nucleus of this app is different and more intuitive for many functions. I imagine if Apple purchased this product and put some effort into it we'd see a nice app. It's Java too so cross platform capabilities would be fairly easy.

Word is a nice "do everything" processor but Apple could perhaps focus on having a "imminently modifiable" product that is modular. Need long document writing...plug in a component..need something tailored to the creative writer..plug in a component. Yes it is similar to Opendoc in principle. Apple should be enable a cottage industry of components for their suite. With Adobe promoting Acrobat heavily there's never been a better time to enter this market and freshen it up a bit.

For all of MS' dominance in this area I still find the tools in Office 2003 to be rather rudimentary for the typical layperson. It feels far more intuitive than previous versions but I'd say it still doesn't have the "feel" of a well written Mac app.
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post #50 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
Take a look at the Quantrix Modeler while I'm sure there are plenty of missing features the nucleus of this app is different and more intuitive for many functions. I imagine if Apple purchased this product and put some effort into it we'd see a nice app. It's Java too so cross platform capabilities would be fairly easy.

I'm not sure I like that idea. Aren't java-applications rather alien to our esteemed Mac OS UI? Also, aren't they rather sluggish? Admittedly I'm a layman at best, but I think that Apple should focus on putting out great native software that can utilize the power of Cocoa (and Carbon). Besides, if putting out an Excel-compeditor for the Mac would piss Microsoft off, I can only imagine what a Windows-compatible version would do.
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post #51 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by salmonstk
...
Instead... they should devot some cash to shipping all mac's with office or at least word like PC's do.
...

Again, what is wrong with appleworks ? It is fairly good enough for most purposes. At least for so called "basic stuff", like writing invitation cards.
And more.

If you are professionally on writing, then you probably have to buy the ms office suite. Period. This is monopoly gaming.

What i've never quite understood though, damn, why doesn't MS sell word seperatly from the whole office suite. Well, i am not a sells guy

MS would sell Word alone to mac customers like hot cakes.

Since 3 - and if i count the classic days - since 13 years i have never launched powerpoint. Hear that? excel? 3 or 4 times.

What a huge waste of resources and money.

my 2cents
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post #52 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by dividend
...
M$ Word is good if you work with mac/pc-people and need to share, it is good to write shorter essays, 30-50 pages perhpas, and don't need massive layout. ..

Hey don't get me wrong. THIS is not a stump speech for M$ but Word handles
docs with 150 pages and beyond quite well. No probs here.
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post #53 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
Word is a nice "do everything" processor but Apple could perhaps focus on having a "imminently modifiable" product that is modular. Need long document writing...plug in a component..need something tailored to the creative writer..plug in a component. Yes it is similar to Opendoc in principle. Apple should be enable a cottage industry of components for their suite. With Adobe promoting Acrobat heavily there's never been a better time to enter this market and freshen it up a bit.

Yeah, Apple went big on OpenDoc, and encouraged many developers to do so. Nisus was the pioneer in moving that way. Oh, then Apple decided not to go OpenDoc, after all. So, Nisus invested heavily in that and then was left out in the cold.

The difficulty with anticipating Apple's move as a developer is: Do you believe Apple when it says - "this is the future"? We would like to think so, but history has shown many carcasses littered along the way of those who have believed Apple.

On the other hand, the modular approach makes sense. And I think both Mellel and Nisus could be big players in this. They approached OS X development differently, but offer competent products. And of course, one wonders how much longer MS can continue to build on the build of the build of the build...

Rick Schaut weblog
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post #54 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
A link would be lovely.

Rick Schaut Weblog
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post #55 of 124
of course you can write 150 pages with Word. but you don't have all the layout-tools that make documents look great, no matter how many pages they are. files don't iincrease in size as much neither with document length; consistency in layout/tables/notes/bullets/equations is a lot easier with framemaker (once you know how to do it!). besides, TOC and so forth are easy to make and become interactive in pdf-s. think about it like making all the stuff for a book - few books are printed straigth from MS Word (or from pdf-s from Word). They go into quark or indesign - this you don't need with framemaker.
post #56 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by GrayShades
The difficulty with anticipating Apple's move as a developer is: Do you believe Apple when it says - "this is the future"? We would like to think so, but history has shown many carcasses littered along the way of those who have believed Apple.

They've addressed this problem pretty well since the Return of Steve. A bunch of legacy technologies got retired, and since then they've been pretty consistent. The only exception I can think of is GameSprockets, which got retired for the much lower-level HID Manager. Mostly, though, Apple seems to have earned their trust. I get the impression that this your mentioning this is an artifact of some explanation of why Mac Office has historically hardly ever used any native widgets or functions, preferring always to exist as its own island.

Rick's blog crystallizes a lot of comments I've read on the AppleScript Users' list: First, that MS seems to take a perverse amount of pride in the sheer size of Word's dictionary, and second, that Word is its own world, and MS feels no obligation to make any of its features or feature names correlate to anything else in existence. (Word's AppleScript dictionary is as alien as it is vast; as Rick basically says, it's a thin veil over the old solution, which was to put a bunch of VBA into a string and tell Word to execute it.)

Since Rick doesn't even touch on Word's legions of bugs when he describes why some people hate it so much, I won't touch on the legions of bugs as a reason some people hates scripting Word.
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post #57 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Vox Barbara
Again, what is wrong with appleworks ?

I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that...

Quote:
Originally posted by Vox Barbara
MS would sell Word alone to mac customers like hot cakes.

They already do. Look in any catalog. It's the price that's the problem
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post #58 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
They already do. Look in any catalog. It's the price that's the problem

Price is definitely the problem! As a student, in particular, Word is basically the same price as the entire Office suite! I'm not a huge fan of PowerPoint, and Entourage drives me crazy sometimes, but if I can get all four programs for $150 or Word for $150 (haven't looked at the prices lately, so don't hold me to those), it only makes sense to buy the entire suite, even if you simply "think" about using Excel every now and then.

MS Office is bloated and nasty on Mac OS X (and Windows for that matter). BUT... it's the best we've got right now and we have to deal with that. I'd say that overall the MS MacBU has done a pretty good job with it. They're just following their own trail instead of Apple's. And Apple has to go along with it for now because without Office, Apple would be in trouble.

I'd love to see an updated AppleWorks. I'd buy it in an instant... if it didn't come with my new PowerBook.
post #59 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by adamrao
P
I'd love to see an updated AppleWorks. I'd buy it in an instant... if it didn't come with my new PowerBook.

I'd rather see Apple buy Nisus.
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post #60 of 124
to be part of the "industry standard", we will see M$ Office for Mac for a while.

But:
* mail - a nice mail app, has the function for "the rest of us", not as complex as entourage
* iCal - a nice calender; not as complex as entourage/outlook, but you can share, sync, etc.
* keynote - a nice you got the idea

what is missing?
* a new, intuitive word processor; we still work with the typewriter metaphor - ok, ok, I can train Word a lot of tricks, but who does? I imagine the functionality of the intelligent playlists of iTunes with the design effects of keynote ("select the type of writing: book, dairy, private letter, official letter", autofill of adresses, auto print out of couverts, auto integration from iPhotos, etc.)
* filemaker express/iFile/iShelf - delicios library has a nice conecept; and again, the iTunes way-of-browsing
* spreadsheet hmmm, very difficult; I share the view, that Excel is state-of-the-art; and, I don't neet a spreadsheet, not private, not in my job (I do my calculation with a calculator)

the AppleWorks<>Office connection will be as in "powerpoint<>keynote" - basic, but useful.

I'm sure, with Tiger we will see the renaissance of AppleWorks, we'll see in January
post #61 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Me
Agreed. Yes, you can do long documents with Word, but Word's long documents do you, too. FrameMaker, on the other hand, is just lovely.

Oh Frame we love you...

THE only application for long document design IMHO (and the market leader for technical documents).

Imagine Apple putting its software/design/UI teams onto Frame. The super powerful features which are a pig to use in painful dialogue boxes would be easier to use. Appleworks Pro anyone
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post #62 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by othello

Appleworks Pro anyone

<raising hand>

the Apple stlye, to offer an app in two versions, the "i one" and the pro one, should be reflected in a word processor - hey, my grandma doesn't do headers&footers, indices&footnotes - she needs nice templates and the adress in correct place-
post #63 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by k_munic
<raising hand>

...
hey, my grandma doesn't do headers&footers, indices&footnotes - she needs nice templates and the adress in correct place-

Again, Appleworks does this pretty good... well, basically.
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post #64 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Vox Barbara
Again, Appleworks does this pretty good... well, basically.

ok, then, do this:

first page: first letter three lines down, text + 10 mm from left side, header: none, footer: none, page# bottom middle, graphic between first title and the text

first page after above: header: top, right with current chapter, footer with page # bottom right,

second page: header: top, left with current hcapter name, fotter with page # bottom left. and so forth

last page in chapter: header: top, middle, current chapter, fotter with page " bottom middle

add to this:
side line titles/text that follow with appropiate text, automatic indiece/TOC made interative in pdf-s, automatic creation of standardised tables (visible in index/TOC with table numbers, insertedgraphics in text; text can flow along the graphic and not only above and below, creation of expressions as for tables, certain paragraphs will have graphical dividers automatically (e.g.: introductory text in a new chapter has lines above and below the text to show that it is in a sense separet)

footnotes: chose automatically dividing graphics (everybody do not want a normal line), chose at the same time differnt types of footnotes with different formats/behaviour

well, there is even more. sure, not everything was pretty, and some things word could do (line numbering for example, takes me why it didn't exist in frame). the point is also: once all things were done, one couyld simply write and everything would look according to plan, including graphics and so forth. no more adjusting here or there: just plain fun when writing.
post #65 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by dividend
ok, ...
just plain fun when writing.

Ok, Writing is no fun, writing is hard work, suffering, ... elegantly staring onto blank shiny white space. Struggling with words and characters Hoping the next block won't kill you. Seeking a neat explanation for your child for what you are really doing. Yes, Fun, thoroughly. Soaring....


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post #66 of 124
Hell yes support OO's file format(if it's unique and open). It's rather daft that in 2005 we will still have files being sent that are based on proprietary formats. Now encryption is a must but the actual file format need not be proprietary.

MS needs to start earning things on the merits of their applications and not some draconian lock in.

Tiger is looking so yummy I want to see what Apple and its 3rd parties can do. I still can't get the Quantrix Modeler out of my mind. It functions like a spreadsheet should. I really wish Apple could hit the market with products that redefine how office applications are used. I hear people crowing sometimes about how good excel is or word is but is that because these apps are intuitive and powerful or is it that they just learned the applications and what was once difficult is now easy?

I'm sooo glad Keynote looks to be alive I guess I shouldn't be complaining too much.
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post #67 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
MS needs to start earning things on the merits of their applications and not some draconian lock in.

I hate to break this to a lot of people but Microsoft doesn't dominate the office market because of their file formats and they aren't dominant due to their evil ways. Like it or hate it Office dominates because it is an excellent suite of programs that are very usable for a wide range of applications.
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post #68 of 124
Has anyone seen this? Used this?
http://www.redlers.com/mellel.html
post #69 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Telomar
I hate to break this to a lot of people but Microsoft doesn't dominate the office market because of their file formats and they aren't dominant due to their evil ways. Like it or hate it Office dominates because it is an excellent suite of programs that are very usable for a wide range of applications.

Not really... they dominate because they're an acceptable suite. Windows, Office, and most MS stuff wins because it is 'good enough'. It's not so poor people notice its flaws and cringe, but it could be a heck of a lot better.

Having said that, though, most apps could be better. Office isn't dire, once you've turned off all the defaults like AutoEverything
post #70 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Telomar
I hate to break this to a lot of people but Microsoft doesn't dominate the office market because of their file formats and they aren't dominant due to their evil ways. Like it or hate it Office dominates because it is an excellent suite of programs that are very usable for a wide range of applications.

And let guess you think IE dominates the browser market because it's just a great piece of software?

Sorry, there just isn't anything special about MS office software other than the proprietary format(s) that has people and companies locked into. Companies and governments across the globe are looking for ways to get themselves out of being locked into the MS office formats and upgrade treadmil.

It's long past time for Apple to be bold and take their future into their own hands by doing what they did with IE and Safari. Are we better or worse now that Apple dumped IE? It's time for them to finish the job with OpenOffice or the OpenOffice formats at least.
post #71 of 124
I just checked out the Nisus Writer Express web site for the first time. That is one beautiful app! I'm going to download it and play with it tomorrow. Wow. I am so amazed at the difference between Cocoa and Carbon. Wow.
post #72 of 124
The more I think about it, all I really want is a low end Cocoa spreadsheet app to crunch some budget numbers. Why aren't third parties jumping on this?

Omni can write business apps, it should also be child's play for Mellel and Nisus as well. What's the holdup?
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post #73 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Telomar
I hate to break this to a lot of people but Microsoft doesn't dominate the office market because of their file formats and they aren't dominant due to their evil ways. Like it or hate it Office dominates because it is an excellent suite of programs that are very usable for a wide range of applications.

I disagree. It is exactly because of the file formats that office maintains its dominance. Imagine that we never shared files and that we only used WPs like old mechanical typewriters. To send someone a document you would print it out and mail it to them. In that case you could imagine a rich variety of WPs.

However, in our world, especially in the business world, MS office formats are important because many people need to share documents. Person A creates it, person B modifies it, person C formats it and prints it. In such an environment one format eventually had to become dominant.

If we had a public domain document format (IEEE Word Processor Document Format) then we could have a large variety of WPs. You could choose software for Linux, windows or the Mac with some confidence that it would manage your data in the same fashion.

In the data world we have a few portable formats such tab delimited or comma separated value files. Data formatted like this can easily be moved from a File Maker Pro database to a Mariner Calc spread sheet to an Excel spreadsheet to a text editor to a printer. As soon as calculation methods are included with the data then much portability is lost as these are not standardized.
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post #74 of 124
I agree with you 100% neutrino23. Most times what holds me back from using even Appleworks is the less than perfect translation of word documents.
post #75 of 124
Bingo. MS figured this out decades ago while everyone else was worried about what app had the best features: it doesn't matter.

To put it simply: It's the DATA, stupid.

No one is ever going to switch to another application if they can't take their hard-created data with them, if their current application is even baseline 'good enough'. They will put up with any number of crappy things they have to work around, known bugs that never get fixed, and bizarre behaviours... as long as they're held hostage to their files.

MS knows this. Why else would they try and *patent* an *XML* schema for describing Office files?? Lock-in. Period.
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post #76 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by neutrino23
...
If we had a public domain document format (IEEE Word Processor Document Format) then we could have a large variety of WPs. You could choose software for Linux, windows or the Mac with some confidence that it would manage your data in the same fashion.

I guess we won't be seeing PDF as this file format, as Adobe wants to seel everyone their Acrobat software. It's a shame, as the format is already there .

Could XML be used to define a standard WP file format?
post #77 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Abrey
Could XML be used to define a standard WP file format?

Sure.
post #78 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Ra
Sure.

Could you elaborate? If it can be used, why hasn't it?
post #79 of 124
OpenOffice's file formats are XML:

http://xml.openoffice.org/

They've been approved by OASIS, which *everyone* who is anyone in documents and data is signed up for, even MSFT, though they are being dicks about it as it will kill both of their monopolies when it becomes popular:

http://www.oasis-open.org/home/index.php

The EU recently told MSFT to stop being dicks and open their formats since part of the EU mission is to standardise so that the EU can be as efficient as a single country the size of the US, rather than lots of individual countries with their own laws and regulations and office formats for government data.

MSFT hummed an hawed. Sun meanwhile took the EU's advice and put OO.org formats forward for ISO raticification:

http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/20.../09/24/SmartEC

Apple better have this stuff waiting in the wings. I don't care if they keep it shtoom to avoid pissing of MSFT but they better have it in a lab or I'll be very disappointed.
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post #80 of 124
Finally, people are understanding the issue!

A closed (or proprietary) file format is unly understandable when someone creates a new technology for dealing with data. Word processing and spreadsheets are not a new technology by any stretch of the imagination. They have been used on the desktop for over 20 years! In computer time, that's prehistory! Yet, we still don't use a standard file format for dealing with them!

Once all the major software start using a common file format, their differentiation now becomes how they help you to work on that data, thus forcing innovation. That is why it is long overdue for everyone to standardize on a file format. And currently, one of the best implementations and also the only one that's being submitted for standardization is the OpenOffice.org file format.

Apple, like most other software houses, should embrace this file format for their office suite. If Microsoft won't play nice and use this standardized file format, a few governments will force them to, unless Microsoft is willing to lose their business. Every week, there is a story of a government or big business that just decided to standardize on this file format. It is the future, so Apple doesn't have a choice here.
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