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OSNews on the LinuxWorld Exhibition Floor 166

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the places-to-be dept.
Expo writes "OSNews reports on the second day of the LinuxWorld Expo. Highlights of the article is CodeWeaver's CrossOver Photoshop effort and the fact that OpenOffice.org is collaborating with _all_ the other major Linux office suites and word processors towards the creation of a new, open XML-based, file format. NewsForge also has a report."
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OSNews on the LinuxWorld Exhibition Floor

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  • by Quasar1999 (520073) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:41PM (#4078356) Journal
    But what about GAMES??? When are they going to have GAMES at one of these linux expos???
    • Everyone knows that parents new computer so their kids can play the latest games.

      Thats why new computers come with Windows installed.

  • I really don't understand what the big deal with XML is. The word processor people could just decide on one standard format, XML or no XML. The real inovation is that they would use the same format. XML is really more of way of thinking about things than a specific set of instructions, so I think it is a bit overrated.
    • Yeah, it's a bit overrated...but one of the big deal is, you no longer have to write parsers if you don't want to. Generic XML parsers will do the job for you...
      • We are currently doing a doc filter for data mining at my company, and being able to use a generic XML parser would be fantastic. Currently, we are dealing with .doc, .pdf, .html, etc. etc. what a pain in the arse!
      • ou no longer have to write parsers if you don't want to.

        That's not true for all applications. XML in itself is only useful for data that is suitable for sequential scanning and complete storage in RAM. To access the data in a random form, you need to build and maintain a binary index. To access data too large to conveniently fit in RAM, you need to have an external index and to be able to deal with partial XML data. XML can be bridged to a database but it is not a database.

        --
        Tim Maroney tim@maroney.org
      • come to think about it...why XML for word processors? It'd be a perfect world if they can just agree on a set of shared TeX scripts and macros, and use TeX as the default format!!
    • by Havokmon (89874) <rick.havokmon@com> on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:55PM (#4078467) Homepage Journal
      I really don't understand what the big deal with XML is. The word processor people could just decide on one standard format, XML or no XML. The real inovation is that they would use the same format. XML is really more of way of thinking about things than a specific set of instructions, so I think it is a bit overrated.

      You hit it on the head. XML is a way of thinking.

      Would you rather go to your boss and say, "Let's take a look at replacing MS Office with Open Office. They've started using a standard file format, so multiple vendors applications can read and interact with those files without any issues. This standard is available for Microsoft to implement also."
      OR
      "Let's take a look at replacing MS Office with Open Office. They've started using an XML-compliant file format, so multiple vendors applications can read and interact with those files without any issues. This standard is available for Microsoft to implement also, who is not yet using XML."

      The Boss's brain stops at 'XML', and says "I know that word, everybody is moving in that direction*".

      *all the guys on the golf course are talking about it - so they must already be using it.

      • XML is more than hype. It's a god send for many of us.

        Try writing a parser for any widely used file format. Go ahead I dare you, DOC, RTF, anyone. Just the parser, so the end result is a syntax tree in memory. See how long it takes to get anything useful. Don't stop there think of revisions of the format. Languages, are we going to have one solid C library and thats it? Aren't we going to support Ruby and Phython? Think of the API to get other programs to use your in-memory parse tree. How are you going to do that? Another API?

        XML makes this trivial. with libxml or any of the other popular XML libraries, no *real* coding is involved, just supply the DTD. And plus XML libraries are everywhere. DOM is documented and understood by programmers who may not have encountered your format before, shortening the learning curve for use of your product

        With an XML file format *any* of those libraries can be used to edit the format. No more sending mouse clicks to Microsoft word to do simple doc conversions or other hacks. Just write a *very* short PERL script that would parse this file. Also because XML is becoming the parser language of choice, there is a good chance that suitable XML libraries are available for your platform/langauge or installed already.

        The idea to use XML is most likely from coders who have had to deal with these parser issues for years. I doubt it was handed down my OpenOffice "management".

        • It's more than just parsing, when you work with XML you work both with a totally flexible data storage system and at the same time you work with a data storage system with a common well defined basic structure. The advantage of this? Portability, with a common base structure you can exchange data between applications based on XML data storage with veyr much ease as long as theyr use is similar, and some dissimillar applications would be able to share data too whereas before it was a tedious and long task to archieve so.

          That is the real beauty of XML, portability from one source to another. Wich is also helped and aided by it being both an Open standard and a Human readable way of storing data.
      • we already have standards. MS already doesn't follow them. What's the point of pushing for something either a) MS won't adopt b/c they don't have to, or more likely b) will adopt but will change to suit their needs?
        • What's the point of pushing for something either a) MS won't adopt b/c they don't have to, or more likely b) will adopt but will change to suit their needs?

          First of all, with licensing 6.0, we see that the customers are pushing back. They're not blindly accepting anymore. An XML format would help MS keep Office marketshare by being able to import and export that format.

          Secondly, XML is said to be 'human readable'. It's plain text. I'd say like EDI, which does have some garbage in it, but you can read the files themselves. If Microsoft were to try and 'extend' the XML format, it would first be sensationalized (probably producing bad PR), and then, if the standards body approves it, adopted (Assuming OO, and not MS is playing catchup at that point).

          Not an issue.

        • The point is that finally I can use OO to work on files that were created on KOffice and vice versa.

          We need an open standard format that more than one project agrees on. This currently does not exist for wordprocessing and spreadsheets, unfortunately.

      • They've started using an XML-compliant file format, so multiple vendors applications can read and interact with those files without any issues.

        Yup...just like HTML - until things like Flash, Shockwave, Quicktime and all these other plugins get embedded into it.

        Hopefully XML can remain pure and more useful than HTML has become.

        And I don't even blame MS for this one - they may have added some things here and there, but even if you just follow the standards for HTML and CSS, half the crap only works on IE.
    • Why? XML is really cool. MS Word always has a format incompatible with the previous version. Why? Because designing a binary format that is extensible and flexible is not something you can do on a weekend. With XML this becomes easier.

      Suppose you want to define the font. In version 1.0 you have <font name="Arial" bold="true">. Now, in version 2.0 you come up with a cool formatting effect. It's a bit stupid but let's say you want font with a gradient. Now your new tag looks like <font name="Arial" bold="true" gradient="BlueGradient">. The old version of your app can simply ignore the new information and still load the document correctly.

      Using a binary format, all that goes to hell when you realize that you need to store more data in a field and change it from a char to an int type, making the format unreadable by the previous version. And of course no company will be happy having to accept a format like what Word uses. What if they want to add a new feature that can't be expressed in .doc? When done well, XML should allow having a base everybody can read and still add features unique to your program.
      • XML does not solve the format change problem. Adding new features to an XML-based word processor would necessarily involve changing the schema. Old applications could well be confused by the new data. They might be able to create a parse tree in memory, but on a semantic level they would not be able to understand what the parse tree meant.

        It's definitely not as easy as just ignoring new data, as you suggest. Suppose the new feature is footnotes within footnotes. Throwing away all the nested footnotes when the data are processed by an old application is not the right way to go. And you can't just blindly preserve the unknown information either, since transforms done to the rest of the data (e.g., changing the font universally to Garamond) also may need to be applied to the unknown data. Or they may not. If you don't understand the data you don't know whether they need to be done or not, and you may not understand the right way to do the transform.

        Some of these problems can be addressed in part, but they require significant extra infrastructure to do so, and complicate everyday data processing tasks. That is, a format flexible enough to solve most of these problems would be quite hard to deal with on an ongoing basis, due to the need to constantly make decisions based on variant data types and informational attributes. There is no magic bullet for the format change problem.

        --
        Tim Maroney tim@maroney.org
        • Hey! This is interesting.

          You seem to have given serious thought (beyond the hype of false solutions anyway) to this question, which I'm also trying to come to grips with. What are some good/bad strategies when you're designing a language and trying to make it extensible? I got some empirical feel for it by looking at some choice BNF/yacc grammars, TeX sources, how perl or html moved from version to version, even C -> Obj-C or C++ (and I should probably take a look at this book [amazon.com]), but if you have pointers at hand to any organized thoughts or references on the subject (books, courses, web, usenet, whatever), I'd be most interested. TIA!

          moc.cam@noiretsyh

        • I didn't claim that it solved the problem. But it does help a lot, when well used. Of course sometimes older programs won't be able to read the newer format correctly, but they almost certainly should be able to read at least something. A one byte change in a binary format can make the file completely unreadable.

          For example, I wrote a tiny POP3 client that was designed to store mail on a floppy. The format is approximately this:
          4 bytes magic number
          4 bytes header length
          compressed table of 4 byte message lengths
          compressed messages
          compressed table of 4 byte message lengths
          4 bytes header length
          4 bytes magic number

          As you see, the format is symmetric, to avoid data loss if the header becomes corrupt. Due to this design it's absolutely impossible to add anything to the end of the file, and since lengths are used instead of offsets it's not possible to add any new data between the length table and the compressed messages either.

          It's very compact, and can easily store 1000 messages on a floppy. However it's inefficent, requiring to decompress a message to read its subject. There's no way of adding an uncompressed message subject without breaking compability. With XML the length table would have looked like this:
          <message length=1024/>

          With this system a bit more space would be spent, but adding a subject line would have been trivial without breaking compability. With a well written program and reasonably well designed format it would have been very easy to make sure that even the 1.0 version could still read the messages written by a 5.0 version made two years later.
        • > There is no magic bullet for the format change
          > problem.

          Sure there is. If both formats are open and processable by any language advanced enough to deal with the "character" data abstraction, scripts can be written in any language to translate from one format to the other. Lordy, you could even distribute these scripts as macros with a common interface, a practice invented by Dr. Paul E. Morphism in 1957. So users could be forwards-compatible with new formats without upgrading their client app, by downloading necessary translation modules.

          Significant extrie architecture this is not.
          • Were you under the impression that all languages are translatable into each other? They're not. If version 1.2 allows a construct not present in version 1.1, then translation back and forth between the two formats leads to a loss of information. Again, consider the nested footnotes example.

            --
            Tim Maroney tim@maroney.org
            • Okay, I can agree with that. I would contend that you can map these higher constructs onto more primitive ones with loss of information (e.g., flatten the nested footnotes), and that this loss would be understood by users as the price of heterogeneity. But if loss is unacceptable, then true, XML wouldn't magically solve that.
      • "MS Word always has a format incompatible with the previous version."

        No. Not always.
      • MS Word always has a format incompatible with the previous version. Why? Because designing a binary format that is extensible and flexible is not something you can do on a weekend. With XML this becomes easier.

        Eeek. Wrong.

        Because a compatible format would not force-upgrade users.

        • I suspect that this is true only in part. It's much more easy to ignore backwards compability and force upgrades as an additional advantage than try to make it backwards compatible. I've heard that the MS Word format is already pretty horrible, and I doubt it'd be any better if anybody tried to extend it while keeping compability
    • by CynicTheHedgehog (261139) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:27PM (#4078751) Homepage
      1) DTDs

      XML allows you to define your own document format standards and embed those standards into your documents, for on-the-fly validation during parsing. DTDs can be distributed to your vendors, and they can draft documents according to that DTD, and be assured some level of compatibility with your software.

      2) Heirarchal Storage of Data

      This may not be that important to a lot of people, but it offers the ability to categorize data in common groupings with duplication of meta data. It's great for, say, directory structures and whatnot. Sure, there's LDAP, but that's an interface standard. This is a storage standard.

      3) Readability

      There's a whole debate over how readable XML is, given the prevalance of markup, but I would argue that the heirarchal outlines are much more intuitive than a flat file format. Well-designed DTDs and well-named tags help reduce the interference of markup.

      4) Conciseness

      XML wouldn't be good for, say, a network layer protocol, but as an interface between applications and users it is fairly small for what it does. Sure there's "overhead" and "bloat", but who wants to visually parse run-together character strings or hexadecimal encoded bytes?

      5) Standardization

      XML has to make a lot of concessions because it is designed to be universal. It's a standard. Yes, not all applications make use of all the features it offers. They don't have to. But those features are available so more applications can make use of it. It's widely used, it's open, and it works.

      XML is good at what it's designed for. The standardized office document formats are a great place for it, as it offers the user *some* readability outside of an application framework while preserving special markup. Ever try reading a .DOC file in WordPad? Yech.
    • it is nice they're collaborating on a common format. I can't say whether XML is good or not for a format, but it is nice to be able to take document files created from any office program and open and edit in a differnt program WITHOUT saving in a txt or rtf that loses a lot of formatting features.

      Not to bash M$, but different companies working together is much better for the computer user. Ever try opening a Works document in M$ Word? It doesn't work, yet both packages are made from the same company, now what chance do other competing programs have with working with M$ files? The example of a common format will give more reason to use Linux, if this trend continues (or starts)
  • by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel,hedblom&gmail,com> on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:52PM (#4078448) Homepage Journal
    Thats more like it! Hopefully they give the olive branch to all Mac and Windows developers too. Not to Microsoft, remember kerberos anyone?


    If GNU/linux/Open Source can be a part in setting the standards instead of just following them it would be awesome. Then linux could be the developers platform that set the industry instead of just playing tag along with windows.


    To get backing for this it needs support from all other than Microsoft to be able to pressure them into supporting it. A web standard for documents would be nice instead of plain txt or vendor locked Microsoft and Adobe format. Adobe has its place too but its not a real standard, and its not free.


    • Adobe has its place too but its not a real standard, and its not free.

      Sure it is. Its an open standard.

      Apple created the OS X compositing engine to be compatible with PDF, making PDF generation a trivial thing for Mac Apps, and they did this without paying Adobe any money.

      AFAIK there are Open source implementations of PDF as well, if not then its only because nobody wanted it enough to write one.

      Or did you mean Free as in GNUtalitarian? "Sure, you're free to use our icon, you just have to open the source for your whole program. No, just releasing the changes you make to our work isn't enough, sorry."

      • Last I checked ghostscript and ghostview supported PDF. I've used ghostview as a poor-man's Acrobat, output to PS file, use gs to render pdf. Also handy for making PS files viewable on Windows machines.
    • PDF is openly available to be implemented in various systems.
      Check out Xpdf [foolabs.com]. Xpdf is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2, so that should make many /. readers happy :)
    • PDF isn't really a word processing format though... it's a display format.

    • "A web standard for documents would be nice instead of plain txt or vendor locked Microsoft and Adobe format"

      You mean like HTML? ;-)

      Most (if not all) word processors are capable of exporting html and that's one hell of a standard. Open too.
  • I'm sad to hear they didn't make it. I don't know why, but i'm just getting into Net after 6ish years w/ Free. Daemonnews was supposed to have a booth, too. I think the FreeBSD people where going to but, i know not.

    It is nice to know that people wheren't setting fire to Microsoft or anything. anything that makes either linux or bsd look bad is going to end up being bad for the other, becuase we're all on the fringe compared to say, sun or ms.

  • Greate company (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wilburdg (178573) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:58PM (#4078488)
    I really think CodeWeaver has a great place in the open source community. They are creating proprietary code, but in doing so, they are giving many windows users the option to switch to linux, by making available their favorite apps. Just because they offer a proprietary solutions, doesn't mean they aren't supporting the open source community.
  • by Dr. Awktagon (233360) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:00PM (#4078499) Homepage
    I think I just wet my pants...
    • You mean you can't tell for sure? :-)

      Serioiusly though. Do you really need Photoshop when you have the GIMP?

      • It's not a matter of what's available, it's a matter of what people like. I think the GIMP is great, and sure whomps Photoshop. But... people like Photoshop, and people don't want anything else but Photoshop. It's nolstagia, and that's what keeps people going back to the well of Adobe -- the same goes for M$ with their Office suite (though OO and SO are available and do great) and Intuit with Quicken and Quickbooks.
        • Alot of people depend on Photoshop for their livelihood, and have been using it since version 3 or lower. It's pretty hard to make the transition from Photoshop to Gimp...seems like everything is missing/works wrong. Trust me, I've wrestled with Gimp from time to time, but at the end of the day, I end up using Fireworks. I'll be sending Codeweavers a big wad of cash the day they have Codeweaver's Flash/Dreamweaver/Fireworks.
        • Gimp is great if only because it's free. Photoshop is able to do much more. Like get me jobs, allow me to finish them, and send them to people who can print them out.

          It's got nothing to do w/ nostalgia, Photoshop gets the job done. If Gimp did more than RGB, and was easier to use, then we'd see more people use it.

          I think the nostalgia is yours, for Gimp.

    • lol!! i had photoshop on linix 1.5 years ago with wine, what is the big deal ? this is old news to me. I dont think you ppl have tryed as many apps as you should. I when down the list and treyd just about every exe i could find my Ms partition.
  • New format? (Score:2, Informative)

    by raptwithal (134137)

    From the post: the fact that OpenOffice.org is collaborating with _all_ the other major Linux office suites and word processors towards the creation of a new, open XML-based, file format.

    From the article: some Gobe people were there, and they were all discussing the idea of creating a new, XML-based, common format

    Isn't there a difference between 'discussing the idea' of creating a new format and actually doing it?

  • It's nice to know that the MS booth was not targeted for any pranks (AFAIK). This really gives a lot of credibility to Linux and the open source (and especially Slashdot) communities, by showing that we can play nicely even if we do refer to MS as the evil empire.

    Evidently they got spent a lot of time thinking about who should represent them because the OSNews lady was quite impressed:

    "Most interesting person: The main Microsoft guy. Wasn't that guy sharp or what?"

    This is the best example I've seen to date about Microsoft taking *nix seriously
  • Is it possible to create a similar approach as with networks on documents. Creating an "OSI" model for documents would allow easy changes along the way and extensions on both high and low levels without the need to rewrite all code at once.

    It has obviously been proven very succesful on networks so do any of you think it would be workable?
  • by garcia (6573)
    the booth that "was packed all the time, was Red Hat's. These guys are big. They ran the whole show at LinuxWorld. You go to Sun, they use Red Hat. You go to Google, they use Red Hat. You go to some other booths and products, and they still use Red Hat."

    I ran RedHat for many years, it is still running on my Alpha UDB because I am just too damn lazy to wait for Debian to install on that lowly machine. Why is there such a buzz around RedHat as far as their distribution goes?

    I know that they do A LOT for the community but I just don't see their distribution as being the cleanest and safest of all.

    Any ideas on why they would be such a popular choice? Is it just their physical popularity or is there something else I am missing?
    • Re:RedHat? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jonny Ringo (444580)
      I often think its becuase of the "first to market" deal. Like Amazon for ecomerce or Ebay for auctions or Yahoo for portals. Redhat has been around for a while (one of the firsts) and they do a pretty decent job of marketing themselves.

      BTW, I am aware that Redhat does not eq linux and Linux was around before Redhat
  • by Metex (302736)
    Right now I am sitting in the press room typeing this and all I can say is LinuxWorld has evolved in many ways. At first glance most of my friends were somewhat dissapointed and the considerable drop of booths and people attending. But big buissness that have in the last past few years showed up in full force even the 3v1l Micro$haft. This signifys the continueing trend of how Linux and LinuxWorld Expo has turned from a kinda Comic Book convention atmosphere where you know everyone into a serious suit affair.

    The highlights from linux world for me? Getting a pic of 17 Microsoft Employes all holding up a bumpersticker that said "You shouldnt Buy software from ex convicts". Besides that the allways insperational Linux Bowl/ or by its proper name the Golden Penguin Bowl when my Friend Arthur Ulfelt(? last name allways screws me up) got picked to be on the sides. And unfortunatly again one of my friends were on the looseing team since last year I got my friend Jesse Crocker to go up on one of the sides he lost forgetting that Trinity was in room 303 and he missed the 20 people makeing signs that said it with there fingers. Oh well. Arthurs shigning moment was when he said as the answer "Food" to the questoin is C6H1206 food or poisen =)
    • Your friend was an excellent choice. He had great presence and spoke well, even if he didn't get a chance to answer too many questions.

      BTW, I submitted the story of Jeremy being on the winning team for a change...but it hasn't been accepted or rejected just yet. ChrisD may have taken offense at pointing out his "repepetitive" spelling mistakes...
  • OpenOffice.org is collaborating with _all_ the other major Linux office suites and word processors towards the creation of a new, open XML-based, file format.

    I'd be content if one of them would come out w/ a straight up DocBook editor that despensed w/ all the WYSIWYG non-sense and provided a convenient way to apply stylesheets and generate different output. What's the advantage of yet another XML DTD?

    Of course, it would also be nice if everyone would standardize on kerberos for single sign-on instead of all the bitching about liberty and passport.

    jason
    • The problem at the moment is the huge number of incompatable office programs on Linux. This would mean they would all have at least one common format that they can stabily support.
  • >>CodeWeavers were there, they were presenting Office under Linux, and they are creating two new products, one of which is the ability to run Photoshop properly under Linux! In fact, they had a beta ready to ship, but they found some last minute bugs, that put the release on hold

    Bugs, yeah...they're called Microsoft lawyers
  • by Plasmic (26063) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:13PM (#4078639)
    Unlike GIMP, Photoshop actually supports CMYK, Pantone, and 16-bit/channel images. The entire pre-press industry depends on these features.

    The only app for Linux that's competitive in this space is GIMP. According to GIMP's web site, supporting CMYK will "require a complete rewrite" of the painting engine and will not be available until GIMP 2.0 which some speculate will never come to fruition.

    There are entire industries blocking on Linux having the capabilities that Photoshop provides. This is a great step in the right direction, even if it's just a stop-gap until GIMP 2.0 is available.

    CMYK is a color model in which all colors are described as a mixture of these four process colors. CMYK is the standard color model used in offset printing for full-color documents. Because such printing uses inks of these four basic colors, it is often called four-color printing.

    In contrast, display devices generally use a different color model called RGB, which stands for Red-Green-Blue. One of the most difficult aspects of desktop publishing in color is color matching -- properly converting the RGB colors into CMYK colors so that what gets printed looks the same as what appears on the monitor.

    Photoshop does this rather well.
    • > CMYK is a color model [...]

      CMYK is a color model that only works on absorption media
      (such as pigment on paper). On a luminous medium (such
      as a CRT), things fundamentally don't (and can't) work that
      way. As good as Photoshop is, speaking of its having "support
      for CMYK" is marketroidese. All this means is that it can
      convert from RGB formats (which *must* be used on your CRT
      computer screen) to formats intended for printing. The
      conversion is necessarily lossy, because ink on paper cannot
      represent all of the same colours that the computer screen
      can (and vice versa). Unless you're using phosphorescent
      paint and viewing it under a blacklight, or some trick along
      those lines, you can't represent the brightness of the sky
      (for example) on paper. Similarly, your CRT can never show
      a truly _flat_ (as in nonglossy, nonluminous) color.

      You can throw buzzwords like "CMYK" at this all day long, but
      an image will NEVER look the same on paper (no, not even on
      glossy paper, although that's closer) as it does on a CRT
      monitor, and that's a problem Photoshop can't solve.

      LCDs (at their current level of tech) are even worse, because
      they show colors inconsistently. Perhaps some future technology
      will allow computers to display both luminous and flat colors on
      the same display...

      While we're on the subject of Photoshop, I agree that Photoshop
      on Linux is a good thing. Photoshop is very entrenched in the
      publishing community, and for good reason; it's quality stuff.
      It also has a pricetag to match, so I surely hope Gimp continues
      to develop (as it has been doing great so far), for those of us
      with less expansive budgets. Photoshop may be (and probably is)
      better, but my take on the matter is that Gimp is _comparable_,
      which is a tremendous achievement. (I have a friend who does
      graphics work for a living; he works at Eisenbraun's, a publisher
      specialising particularly in ancient near-east stuff. He works
      with Photoshop a lot. He'd been trying out Gimp, and was in
      some ways (not all ways, but some) impressed with it, and had
      noted that it had some really nice features Photoshop 6 did not
      have. (He didn't specify which features.) Then he got the new
      Photoshop, and they had it, he said, "in spades"). That says
      to me that the two programs are in roughly the same league, a
      huge accomplishment. But people who already know Photoshop and
      have the budget for it will want to stick with it, rather than
      learn Gimp which, although it's free, is not substantially
      _better_ than Photoshop (at least, not at this time), surely
      not better enough to justify a non-programmer to switch.

      To me, Photoshop on Linux is a great thing, because it's
      cross-platform technology, one more step toward separating
      the decision of what OS to use from the decision of what
      other software to use -- and THAT is a VERY good thing.
      • Even though your computer can't display CMYK images correctly the bigger point is color management support. It doesn't matter if the color is in CMYK or RGB, or grey scal eusing a 50% dot preceptual encoding the software needs to have a way to merge all of these together into one document to be printed.

        This final colorspace can be RGB, or CMYK, or a two plate process (black + spot color). Thats what I need to from photoshop.
    • by Adam Wiggins (349) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @06:24PM (#4079420) Homepage
      For people doing print work, CMYK is definitely important. For everyone else, it doesn't matter one bit. And people doing print work should be using a vector format anyway!

      FYI, for non-professional use, creating RGB images and then converting them to CMYK works fine. I have created a number of flyers, folders, and other print materials in this fashion. The final colors come out looking a bit different from what was on the screen (paricularly the blues), but it certainly looks just fine.
      • For people doing print work, CMYK is definitely important. For everyone else, it doesn't matter one bit. And people doing print work should be using a vector format anyway!
        Really? Tell us, how does one make a vector format of a photograph?
  • Oy, it's bad (Score:4, Informative)

    by actappan (144541) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:23PM (#4078708) Homepage
    I stubled over to the show a couple times in the last few days - only a couple blocks from the office here. All the geeks in the office agreed that it was deeply deeply lame. 'Bout the best thing to come of the show was the elastic badge holder thingy.

    The floor seems empty, the booths seems thin, and the coolest thing I think I saw was this handheld voice rec translator - and it was running Windows.

    And - RedHat seems like a bunch of revolutionaries compared to the other exhibitors. They actualy use the words Open Source.

    Way downhill from last year (where's Ximian and the cool jungle booth?)
    • The mainstream success of Linux was inevitably going to be based on it being the best solution for a particular kind of job, and perhaps realizing that that quality comes as a result of Open Source licensing. To get the mainstream public to believe in the `ethics' of Free Software (that non-free software is immoral) was never realistically going to happen.

      I always thought real techies used the best tool for the job. If Linux is that tool, and that's why the Linuxworld attendees are there, more power to them

      Its a good thing that Linux now has more users than the developers. It means the developers were doing something right. Just like the Windows world, there will be seperate, smaller shows that will cater for developers - OSCon here we come. As a system admin and someone who often has to work out the best way to perform a given tak on Linux I like the fact that they're seperate - system admins have a different set of skills and desires than coders do.
    • Spot ON!
      I went there on Aug 14 Wed, taking the day off at work. BIG MISTAKE.

      1) the fun stuff were missing. Last years, there were tons of bean bags outside where geeks hung out and they were playing Matrix movie (or somethign else?) on a very big screen tv. This year nothing!

      2)most people in the booths wore full-sleeve shirts except the guys @ kde.org! Can you say 'business casual'? Yuck!

      3) the toys were lame too. I was only excited by
      3.1) google color pen
      3.2) Linux poster saying 'I will be your server for today Mr Gates'

      4) Mandrake, where art thou? I just couldn't find the guys.

      5) most guys in the booth were SALES people not techies. So asking them questions were pointless. I asked the 'geekiest looking guy' @ AMD booth about their Athlon MP workstation setup. I asked them what Video card they were using. THe answer I got 'we used standard OEM parts'.. WTF?? I left the booth laughing.

      6) another eg: I asked the guy on SUN booth about SPARC-Linux. he said 'Linux runs only on intell stuff' ..Oh My GOD!

      7) There is no 'COOL' product on display. Every one is selling (overpriced) network storage solutions and some embedded chips. I saw no compelling embedded device application at all.

      8) the interestign part of the show was watching Larry Ellison give a presentation *shudder*.

      Basically it has turned into a Comdex of Linux! waste of $30 bucks !!..*yawn*

      LinuxLover
  • Low quality article (Score:4, Informative)

    by bryanbrunton (262081) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:26PM (#4078746)

    Commenting on the Athlon, the article starts out with:

    "running at 1800 MHz (2200+) with the AthlonXP CPUs already maxed out in both speed and heat"

    The 2400+ and 2600+ Athlon will very likely be released on the 21st of THIS month. And they are supposed to be running much cooler. AMD found a glitch in the Athlons that was responsible for a good deal of the chips heat.
  • Funny quote... (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by thrillbert (146343)
    "Next booth I visited was Trolltech's"

    Wow.. didn't know the /. trolls were so well organized to have their own company...

    ---
    It is very difficult to prophesy, especially when it pertains to the future.
  • Man, maybe they should spend some time actually getting their suites to WORK RIGHT rather than file formats.

    For various reasons, I needed to open an Excel file under Linux yesterday. Now, this Excel file was created with the Spreadsheet::WriteExcel module for Perl (which rocks, by the way). Totally documented format. So what happens?

    Gnumeric: Opens it, but formatting all screwed up

    Koffice: Core dumps

    OpenOffice: Core dumps

    This was NOT a complex spreadsheet. This was seriously pitiful. I hadn't tried the Linux office suites in a while, but this does not give me more motivation to try again.

    • So instead of using an open format to create a spreadsheet, you use a perl module and create some .xls closed format file and then expect other non MS suites to open them perfectly, and when one of them doesn't perfectly open your perl-created closed-format excel you request to have them working right and to not focus in file format?

      I'f I had the power I'd award your post the troll of the milenia award!
      • So instead of using an open format to create a spreadsheet, you use a perl module and create some .xls closed format file

        Apparently, you've been living off planet earth for a while. While you've been gone, we've establish MS/Office as the industry standard document interchange format. My customers use Excel; My customers like Excel; therefore, I send them automatic Spreadsheet reports in Excel.

        Besides that, you've apparently bought into the propaganda that Office is a totally closed format. Untrue. There are definitely undocumented parts, but much of it IS documented. That's what Spreadsheet::WriteExcel uses.

        then expect other non MS suites to open them perfectly, and when one of them doesn't perfectly open your perl-created closed-format excel you request to have them working right and to not focus in file format?

        You're damn right. An office program is completely WORTHLESS if it can't open the industry standard document formats. Maybe it's fine for you if you just want to exchange documents with your l33t haxhor friends, but in the real world, an office suite must read/write MS documents perfectly.

        Which is the point. If the filter is such garbage, why even include it in the distribution? I would rather they at least be honest and say "We don't support MS/Office format." and then people can make an honest decision on whether they want to be completely closed off from that part of the world.

        But there is just no excuse for not opening a simple Spreadsheet created with a COMPLETELY DOCUMENTED FORMAT.

        • Untrue. There are definitely undocumented parts

          Do you actually read your own post and check for consistency? Besides, I know MSOffice is the standard and that i can't use anything but Office when i need to talk to "normal people", but we will NEVER get 100% compatibility.

          So the point is having a file format that every other single office suite can talk to. Then we can create a MSOffice import/export filter and that's it.

          We can't keep saving everything as excel files as the standard. We need 1 single xls import/export filter to talk to a unified file format EVERYONE ELSE can use.

          But you'll never understand so I don't feel write for answering and losing my time ...
          • So the point is having a file format that every other single office suite can talk to. Then we can create a MSOffice import/export filter and that's it.

            That's fine -- in theory. I suppose one might argue that we could have a common filter interface. But I didn't see anything in those (admittedly) skimpy reports about that. All I see is talk about having a common format, not for the advantage of being able to read/write MS formats, but just so that there's a common format.

            It's obvious that none of the suites are serious about writing MS documents, just based on the fact that THREE of them choke on an extremely simple file created without using ANY of the undocumented features.

            I guess what irritates me is just the extreme stupidity that goes into this. It's like, "we hate Microsoft so much that we're going to write this office suite, and just to make sure no one uses it, we'll make the Microsoft import filters completely suck! That'll show Microsoft!"

            • MS file formats are designed to break compatibility. Even MS word crashes with document it has created itself. It's badly done.

              OO has put a lot of effort in filters, but it's not only a compatibility thing, it has to actually implement _EVERYTHING_ Word and Excel do as well as provide their own funcionalities as well as reverse engineer every damn change. It's not easy and it will never be perfect.

              Try to create your spreadsheet in Excel (same spreadsheet) and if it STILL crashes OO please file a gub report. They are very responsive and want to help.

              But it's be nice if you used CVS or something else than .xls from perl.
  • The single greatest consequence of a unified document format for all the Linux office suites is the economy in filter code. One single filter would be enough to go from, say, M$ Word 97(or whatever they call it) to the XML word-processing format, and would work for _all_ GNU/Linux office suites.

    That in turn would allow cooperation between all of these projects on getting just one filter but get it right, thus avoiding unnecessary multiplication of efforts. In short, I hope this idea goes through, everybody (but M$) wins ...
  • Linux users march on city hall [com.com]

    So it appears this crazy cause [slashdot.org] to make software "free as in required by law" is not even popular among the open source faithful. Chalk one up for common sense!

    --
    Tim Maroney tim@maroney.org

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