Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What is go-oo?

Go-oo is a free (as in cost and freedom) variant (some might call it a fork) of the popular cross-platform open source productivity suite OpenOffice.org.

Is go-oo any different from the stock OpenOffice.org from Sun?

Not really. They are essentially the one and same, with the slight difference that the go-oo variant has some additional patches applied and feature-sets added. For instance, better VBA interoperability, built-in Quickstarter etc, a bunch of stuff that Sun did not want to integrate into the stock OpenOffice.org

In fact there are those who accuse Sun of intentionally ignoring contributions from the community or breaking OpenOffice.org because Sun wants to preserve the right to offer those extra goodies via StarOffice and even sell the development to the proprietary software market, like Lotus Symphony, from IBM.

There are improvements to the latest OpenOffice.org 3.0 from Sun that addresses some of the lack of features in 2.x i.e. faster startup, multi-page views etc, but it is odd that while the Windows version of OpenOffice.org 3.0 has the Quickstarter feature, the Linux versions do not have that option.

StarOffice is essentially souped-up OpenOffice.org with some of the extensions installed and a "proper" escalation point. In a way, go-oo is more similar to the paid-for StarOffice than the stock OpenOffice.org is.

Michael Meeks of Novell offers his opinion between go-oo and Sun OpenOffice.org here.

In short, try out go-oo. I am running it on my Fedora machines and have it installed on my wife's XP notebook. So far, everything is good. If you are running Ubuntu, your version of OpenOffice.org is already of the go-oo variant.

Personal note - Sun is not the big bad. In fact Sun is one of the biggest contributors to the Open Source world. Though there seem to be some friction between the community and the suits at Sun about OpenOffice.org, it is nevertheless noteworthy that if Sun did not release OpenOffice.org, the adoption of Linux or any Free OS will be severely reduced. OpenOffice.org is indeed one of the killer apps of the Open Source desktop.

2 comments:

Lesbian Penguin said...

yea long live oo :D

msian_tux_lover said...

ooo...a Penguin on Penguin action