A Quick Look at OpenOffice.org Writer 3.0 Beta 2
OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta 2 is available in preparation for an official September release. Here are some quick first impressions of the Writer word-processor program.
While I am a die-hard Linux and OO.org user, I must admit that I have been using Microsoft Office 2007 frequently - and I like it. That is, I like its features but dislike its closed nature. After much research, I decided that the best solution for the task of writing my master’s thesis was the combination of Word 2007 and EndNote. The main driver for choosing this combination was management of scientific citations. The Word-EndNote combination has saved me tens of hours of work in this area. The other driver was cost. I was able to obtain the entire Microsoft Office 2007 suite for $37. I would never pay the ridiculous full price that Microsoft demands.
Now, with some fresh Word experience under my belt, I thought I’d give OO.org Writer 3 a look.
While I was hoping that Writer 3 would adopt a Word-like interface, with its tabbed menus, but this is not the case. Although the icons have been updated, the overall look and feel of OO.org is not radically different from its predecessor.
Nevertheless, you can now import Word 2007 documents into OO.org 3, which is critical to its continued success and relevance.
Some other new Writer features include
- The ability to view multiple pages simultaneously
- Support for ODF 1.2 and PDF/A
- Native Mac OS X support
As mentioned above, citation management is a deal-maker or breaker for me. How does Writer 3 stack up there? Unfortunately, citation management in Writer 3 remains deficient for at least three reasons. First, the database fields in the bibliographic database are incomplete and non-standard in relation to how things are done in academia today. Certainly one could spend much time customizing the database fields, but the cost-benefit calculus doesn’t make sense to me. It appears that OO.org folks just whipped up something they thought looks reasonable. Second, when you insert a bibliographic citation, neither does it appear in a format typical for a scientific journal (e.g. “(Smith et al. 2006)”), nor is it editable. Third, Writer will not create a real-time (or any) bibliography at the end of your document as EndNote and other citation-management programs do. You have to create your bibliography by hand. Thus, if I were to start my master’s thesis over today, unfortunately I would skip Writer and choose the Word 2007-EndNote combination once again.
So, is OpenOffice.org Writer 3 worth the upgrade? Given Writer 3’s new features, such as support for Microsoft Office 2007 documents, ODF 1.2 and PDF/A, as well as the ability to view multiple pages simultaneously, the answer is a certain “yes”. However, if you are looking for a quantum-leap upgrade from OO.org 2.4 – or if you need to write a master’s thesis! - this is not a ‘write home to Mom’ release. Version 3.0 is a solid, incremental upgrade from Version 2.4.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide