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:
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.
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.
For information on Who Wrote What, read the
- 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.
Ulric Eriksson - February 2000 - email@example.com