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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Open Office 2 - coming of age?

I have been testing Open Office on and off and I must say the Open Office 2.3 is pretty impressive.

I am not here to give free advertisement extolling its specialties or features but to flag areas that are still raw:
1) Dialog box modality is still a problem. The program fails to disable the owned window allowing user to click or access the owned window when the dialog box is supposed to be the top level window. For example try Tools | Options... and while the dialog box is up, click on the resize button on the windows behind it. In a well designed Windows program, you cannot click onto the one behind it.

This weakness is the result of Java which still has great deal of difficulties in handling this simple UI task.

2) It is great to see a portable version of OpenOffice that I can take it with me on my USB drive. It only takes about 250M.

Sadly, it does not support Tablet PC's Tablet Input Panel (TIP). Without this floating panel, the only way is to use the Input Panel from the task bar, which has the side-effect of causing every visible window to resize.

Otherwise, it is quite steady and has not experienced any crashes. However, I must admit that I have not given it a reasonably large document to chew on.

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