A Free Office Package

You are probably reading this because you are using one of the applications Siag, Pathetic Writer or Egon Animator. They are part of an effort to create a full-featured, free Office package (with "free" referring to freedom as per GPL, not price).

The applications are written with the following in mind:

Good Looks

It has been a long standing tradition that free programs have user interfaces that make them look obsolete even when they are superior to their commercial counterparts. I believe that it is necessary for free software to look good, if anybody is ever going to use it. Editing should be WYSIWYG whenever appropriate and each application should be able to produce printed output using Postscript as printer language.

And it should be immediately apparent that the application has all these capabilities. If it can print, there should be a button with a printer icon, if it can use different fonts and colors, there should be menus to choose from them.


Unlike commercial applications, where the vendors try to lock users into proprietary file formats and standards, these applications use free, non-patented routines and data whenever possible. In addition, data portability is ensured through support for multiple file formats.

Siag Office tries hard to integrate with existing environments. See Tools - Environment.

Internet Connectivity

Applications today should created with Internet connectivity in mind. As a result, Siag can load and save HTML tables, mail documents over the Internet directly from the application and even serve them as an HTTP server. Pathetic Writer can load and save documents in HTML format and Egon Animator can save its animations in animated GIF format, ready to be displayed in Netscape. Other functions can be implemented in any of four network-enabled languages.

So far, the package includes the following applications. Not all of them are written by me, but the ones that are not have been modified more or less extensively to fit into the big picture.

Siag, Scheme In A Grid
A spreadsheet.
Pathetic Writer
A word processor.
Egon Animator
A program to create animated sequences.
File manager.
Text editor.
Postscript previewer.
A plotting program. Usually used interactively, but Siag uses Gnuplot to create graphs from data in spreadsheets.
For information on Who Wrote What, read the credits.
Ulric Eriksson - February 2000 - ulric@siag.nu