[maemo-users] N900 features

From: Peter Flynn peter.flynn at mars.ucc.ie
Date: Sun Dec 13 22:12:20 EET 2009
Mark Haury wrote:
> Peter Flynn wrote:
>> Mark Haury wrote:
>> [...]
>>> Abiword doesn't work for me. I can't get it to open anything other than 
>>> its native proprietary format. I've tried the maemo version, the linux 
>>> version and the Windows version, all with the same results.
>> You mean on the N900? Or anywhere at all? I've been using it under 
>> Ubuntu, Windows, Red Hat, and Maemo OS-2008 without any problems.
>> I wouldn't expect any version of any software to run unmodified on the 
>> N900 (or N800/880/770 for that matter). It would need to be compiled 
>> with the relevant toolchain. Or did you mean you compiled it yourself?
>> ///Peter
> Anywhere at all. It doesn't work on my desktops (any of them), laptop or 
> desktop. 

That's interesting, and rather weird.

> Maybe if your documents have little to no formatting it works, 
> but the documents I need to open invariably have lots of formatting: 
> fonts, indents, tables, columns, graphics, etc. IMO if the only thing 
> that matters in a given document is the text, then a plaintext file is 
> adequate and much more portable to _any_ device. Otherwise, complete 
> feature support is mandatory. Regardless, the fact that Abiword defaults 
> to its own proprietary format (or the fact that it even _has_ its own 
> unique format) makes it problematic. The last thing the world needs is 
> yet another noncompatible document format, and being forced to go 
> through a conversion process every time you want to create or edit a 
> document is a PITA.

All of which is true, except that all wordprocessors have their own 
unique default format, and always have...a relic of the days when 
Marketing people though it was terribly, terribly clever to trap the 
user with an impenetrable and incompatible file format (sadly, some of 
them still think like this).

But the documents I use are also heavily formatted; although none of 
them are authored in AbiWord, which I only use (on an Ubuntu 9.10 
desktop) for its ability to convert (clumsily, but fairly accurately) to 
LaTeX and a few other formats. For anything requiring Word 
compatibility, I use OpenOffice, which is why I was interested to see 
someone got it working on the N800.

I do use AbiWord on the N800 for the occasional (but rare) document I 
need to write while I'm travelling and save as .doc or .odt for someone 
else; and (again rarely, and usually only when away) to open a 
downloaded .doc or .docx email attachment. In essence, it's a slightly 
cronky but functional tool.

For anything requiring serious work I use Emacs and LaTeX: I can't 
imagine the nightmare of trying to do typesetting in a wordprocessor.

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