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StarOffice 6 Quick Review
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Thread: StarOffice 6 Quick Review

  1. #1
    Mentor cga's Avatar
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    StarOffice 6 Quick Review

    I am the kind of guy who uses an office suite for much of my work, and professionally that has always meant using Microsoft Office. Ever since I left college, my jobs have thrown me in front of PCs running Windows and MS Office. I write technical reports and proposals with Word and use Excel to present and analyze data as well as to prepare bids. I would say that I am pretty savvy and knowledgeable when it comes MS Office, and I will also, grudgingly admit that MS Office is a very good product.

    I have used StarOffice 5.2 at home since I came to Linux back in 1999 because it was highly compatible with MS Office and compadability with Word and Excel files is a must for me. My older posts on that subject will show that I have always had a love-hate relationship with it. I liked the compatibility, hated the whole integrated desktop thing. About a month ago, I bought and installed StarOffice 6, and have been using it very heavily, both for work and for personal projects, ever since. My home system runs SuSE Linux 8.0 with KDE 3. My office system in Windows 98 on a Novell network with Office 97.

    StarOffice 6 is a much better suite than 5.2. Gone is the awful integrated desktop thing, and now you can assign your favorite external browser, file manager and e-mail client. The fonts are also much, much better than the older 5.2 and the whole UI has a much more polished and refined look and feel.

    StarOffice 6 is, for me, a very capable drop-in replacement for Office 97. It reads and writes Word and Excel files flawlessly. It has no problems with complex document items, such as Table of Contents and footnotes. It also has no problems with complex formulas in Excel. Moving files back and forth between my work machine and home is as easy as if both were running the same software.

    Functionality is excellent in StarOffice 6, and I have found no deficiencies when compared to Office 97. There are a few minor differences in how things are done, but I can do all of the tasks that I do in Office 97 and, as stated before, the files transfer back to MS Office just fine. StarOffice includes two very useful things that are missing in MS Office; a vector drawing program and an equation editor. The drawing program, while very basic, is quite feature rich and usable. The quality of the exported .gif and .jpg formats are much improved over the 5.2 version. Combined with ImageMagik and/or Gimp, this makes a powerful tool for web development. Plus, the drawing program is very useful to me in presenting geologic cross sections and site maps. The equation editor is very versatile and does far more than I will ever need, but I have often wished for this ability in MS Word.

    Of course, one of the best things about StarOffice 6 is that when you are free to use its native file format over MS formats, you are using XML. XML is the direction that I think the whole industry should be moving in, and even MS understands that and has XML as one of its key elements of future development. Also, when worrying about MS format is not an issue, you can do truly amazing things with text frames that Word can not even come close to wishing it could do.

    So, to make a long story short, I not only like StarOffice 6, I not only feel comfortable calling it the best office suite for Linux, I would go so far as to say that I could replace MS Office 97 on my Windows box at work with StarOffice 6 and have a better, richer and more useful suite. It is that good.


  2. #2
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    Re:StarOffice 6 Quick Review

    sweet! I have been debating the purchase of SO6.0 for a few weeks now. I guess I may as well go over to Suns page and buy it.

  3. #3
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    Re:StarOffice 6 Quick Review

    Has anyone tested StarOffice and OpenOffice on the same machine? Are there any differences in functionality or speed? I'm running OpenOffice right now and the biggest problem is that it is terribly slow. Is StarOffice any faster?

  4. #4
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    Re:StarOffice 6 Quick Review

    How speedy of a PC do ya have? Mine at home that runs SO5.2, is a AMD k6-2/500 w/512MB ram. It runs fine. I hate the damn desktop integration thing.

  5. #5
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    Re:StarOffice 6 Quick Review

    [quote author=ShadowMan link=board=2;threadid=4466;start=#44604 date=1028573534]
    How speedy of a PC do ya have? Mine at home that runs SO5.2, is a AMD k6-2/500 w/512MB ram. It runs fine. I hate the damn desktop integration thing.
    [/quote]

    I was actually trying to compare OO 1.0 and SO 6.0, not SO5.2. Anyway, on a P-III 650 with 512MB RAM it takes about 30 seconds for OO 1.0 just to load.

  6. #6
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    Re:StarOffice 6 Quick Review

    since OpenOffice and StarOffice are virtually the same thing (except for some extra proprietary stuff and templates and stuff like that in Staroffice) there's no way StarOffice is gonna be faster than OpenOffice

    and since u can compile OpenOffice urself (will take a few days though) u can optimise the hell out of it and make it start faster

  7. #7
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    Re:StarOffice 6 Quick Review

    I would have assumed that SO5.2 would be wayy slower than SO6, and SO 5.2 takes about 30 seconds or so to load up on my box. I havent used OO in a while. And it was the Win32 port at that.

  8. #8

    Re:StarOffice 6 Quick Review

    I've noticed the same thing. OO loads extremely slowly and is slow to respond to mouse movements, etc. That, and the UI is crapola. I'd love it if it were QT, or even GTK, but this java or whatever is shite. Other than that, I love OO...does everything I'll ever need. The spreadsheet is decent as well at first glance....I haven't had a chance to take it for a spin yet. Hrmmm...perhaps I'll compile from source and see if it makes a difference.

  9. #9

    Re:StarOffice 6 Quick Review

    thanks for starting the thread cga - i really like star office 6.0, i am using it quite a bit and am really quite impressed with it. speed is an issue with S06.0 and and open office for me, but only on loading, after that it is okay.

    is star office done in java ??? that would really suck!

  10. #10
    Mentor cga's Avatar
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    Re:StarOffice 6 Quick Review

    [quote author=pbharris link=board=2;threadid=4466;start=0#44637 date=1028590256]
    thanks for starting the thread cga - i really like star office 6.0, i am using it quite a bit and am really quite impressed with it. speed is an issue with S06.0 and and open office for me, but only on loading, after that it is okay.

    is star office done in java ??? that would really suck!
    [/quote]

    No problem. I don't worry about the speed issue- as you say, it is only on loading, and considering what is getting loaded, it is not too much of a surprise. Once it is loaded, it is quite responsive.

    No, it is not written in Java. I see that claim made from time to time, and it simply is not correct. I don't know what it is written in, but I'd say the easy way to find out would be to look at the OpenOffice source.


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