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Bring on the OpenOffice.org and StarOffice questions!

Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
I'm sitting here at the laptop, enjoying the snotty OpenOffice banners, and ready to chat!
I'm a little outside of Denver, I'm now an independent writer/trainer/etc., I have two cats named Worf and Winston, and my OpenOffice web site is www.getopenoffice.org, and under www.getopenoffice.org/contact.html you can see a picture of me after two margaritas! (No actual impairment is visible, but it was a margarita event.)
Solveig


OpenOffice.org Users' Guides, Training, and More www.getopenoffice.org
J2EE: The Big Picture - Dating Design Patterns: What the Gang of Four Didn't Tell You - Dating Power Tools: Simple Stuff That Works - She'll Love It: The Guys' Guide to Giving Great Gifts
Sal DiStefano
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 28, 2002
Posts: 90
Hi
So Great to have you here. I'm looking forward to an interesting week of discussion and information sharing!!
Best Regards
Sal
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Hey Sol! I loved your StarOffice 6 book -- clear, helpful, and ENTERTAINING -- all very high on my priority list for a book and all too rare...
So is the OpenOffice book a lot like that in style, tone, content, etc.?
And my other question, what's the story with the Mac version of OpenOffice? I haven't been checking the status, but do you have any news on that? We don't want to be on the bleeding-edge of the early-adopter plan for this, but beta is fine as long as it's fairly stable and not too hard to install.
Thanks!! Looking forward to getting the OO book!
cheers,
Kathy
p.s. if anybody happens to find themselves in Colorado next week, a group of Java folks (Sun and ex-Sun employees) are going to be skiing at Copper Mountain all week. If anybody wants to join us and talk Java over Java in the lodge...
Matthew Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
The Mac port is in final beta.


Matthew Phillips
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
Hi Kathy,
Thanks! If it's helpful, that's what it's all about. And yeah, there might be one or two Princess Bride or Spinal Tap references. ;> (A Rob Reiner motif, actually.)
OpenOffice book is 95% the same, just tweaked for OOo not having any templates built in, etc., and I added a few cool procedures that I just found out about between SO publication and OOo publication.
The Mac version is a'comin', though I would be the last to attempt to accurately predict a software release date. The 2nd beta was in January or so, though, so I would think it would be surprising for summer to pass without the real version coming out. Or at least a new beta.
Btw, I've put excerpts from my book and a few templates, plus overview OOo info, on my site:
www.getopenoffice.org
And yes, anyone wanting to ski and who'll be in CO next week, let us know.
Solveig
Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:
Hey Sol! I loved your StarOffice 6 book -- clear, helpful, and ENTERTAINING -- all very high on my priority list for a book and all too rare...
So is the OpenOffice book a lot like that in style, tone, content, etc.?
And my other question, what's the story with the Mac version of OpenOffice? I haven't been checking the status, but do you have any news on that? We don't want to be on the bleeding-edge of the early-adopter plan for this, but beta is fine as long as it's fairly stable and not too hard to install.
Thanks!! Looking forward to getting the OO book!
cheers,
Kathy
p.s. if anybody happens to find themselves in Colorado next week, a group of Java folks (Sun and ex-Sun employees) are going to be skiing at Copper Mountain all week. If anybody wants to join us and talk Java over Java in the lodge...
Tom Koenning
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 25, 2003
Posts: 4
I briefly looked at StarOffice 5.?, and found the help screens to be weak. Specifically I was interested in converting an Access application. Is a conversion of a relatively sophisticated application with several forms, reports, and class modules possible?
Thanks, Tom K
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
Hmm...I'm weak on Access. However, the following is possible:
- Connecting to access of course, one table per form
- Some decent query and join and filter tools
- Forms that can add to and edit and delete databases
- Not quite sure what you mean by class modules, but if it's programming, you can probably do it with macros, it just won't be exceptionally easy to get started
developer's list at www.openoffice.org will probably be able to tell you, or the archives of that list.
- Reports might be a little iffy, but you can probably get some good stuff going by just bringing up a new Writer document, choosing View > Data Sources, and dragging the fields you want onto the document. You might have to add some logic with macros and at this point I'm a bit out of my league. Depends on how complicated you want it. Might be better in Calc, actually, since then you could probably throw in some nice sum fields, etc.
I cover a reasonable amount of the forms, data source, etc. stuff in the OpenOffice book. I just don't get into anything that could be viewed as programming.
HTH,
Solveig
Originally posted by Tom Koenning:
I briefly looked at StarOffice 5.?, and found the help screens to be weak. Specifically I was interested in converting an Access application. Is a conversion of a relatively sophisticated application with several forms, reports, and class modules possible?
Thanks, Tom K
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8804
    
    5
Hey Solveig -
Can you spell out for us the various incarnations / versions of star office / open office, how they compare, and which of your books covers what ? Also what's in a 'resource kit' ? And if you want to make the switch which version do you recommend, and why?
Thanks !
-Bert


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
Hi Bert,
StarOffice 5.2 came out roundabout spring 1999 maybe, was kind of cute in a cludgy way but Just Say No to it now. It was kinda free, kinda not, and mostly confusing in its pricing.
StarOffice 6.0 gained a $75 price tag,6.0 lost the unified desktop, support for HTML frames, the mail and schedule parts, gained a better way of connecting to data sources, fabulous XML file formats that are open standard, tiny, and very editable (just unzip), and...oh, and someone smart is in charge of StarOffice marketing now I think so it's being given away to a lot of educational institutions.
OpenOffice.org (or OOo from now on) is StarOffice's Inner Applications. StarOffice == OpenOffice.org more or less. StarOffice is commercial, OOo is free and open source. Kind of like the relationship betweeen Netscape and Mozilla.
No one should buy StarOffice unless you're doing it for the support contract that more or less comes with it.
My OpenOffice.org Resource Kit (thanks for asking! ;> ) is my StarOffice 6.0 Companion book redone for OpenOffice (pretty similar but some important differences), plus the Openoffice.org CD. The CD includes not only the software and source code but lots of other goodies: Flash presentation, templates, macros, wads of good stuff from the OOo community. Check out ooextras.org to get a sense of what's there.
Both my books (well, all three really including 5.2) cover pretty much all of the features. Only we don't go into writing macros, since that's a huge topic by itself. We do cover a reasonable amount on connecting to data sources via JDBC, ODBC, with the exact syntax you need. Also some reasonable coverage of forms, read only and readwrite.
Everyone should get OpenOffice.org 1.0.1 right now (there's a hitch or two, minor, with 1.0.2 I think), and no one should use anything else. ;> Free and good are why.
If you're using MS Office or SO 5.2 you can install OOo and nothing bad will happen. Just watch out in the install for the file association window and don't leave it as default or OOo will open all your Word files and you'll have to go back and disassociate.
Anyway, yes, all the applications play happily together, you can use them all at the same time.

And another pitch. Anyone who does any graphics should realllllly take a look at Draw. File > New > Draw. Kind of like Corel Draw. It's easy and powerful and has really cool 3D stuff, as well as Visio-like connector lines.
That's all, I think, and more. ;>
Solveig

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Hey Solveig -
Can you spell out for us the various incarnations / versions of star office / open office, how they compare, and which of your books covers what ? Also what's in a 'resource kit' ? And if you want to make the switch which version do you recommend, and why?
Thanks !
-Bert
 
Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
 
subject: Bring on the OpenOffice.org and StarOffice questions!
 
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