It’s great to know that IBM has joined the efforts to propagate open source office suites using ODF format. Thanks to the announcement over PLUG mailing list, I came to know about IBM Lotus Symphony. Followed the link and readily installed the suite in my laptop computer.
However, the long time it took me to install the package had me suspect that Symphony would run slow in my laptop. And it excruciatingly did. I came back to the thread about the IBM announcement and found out that the Beta version was specifically meant for Suse Linux Enterprise 10 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, which require 900MB disk space minimum, and 1G RAM memory minimum. Tsk, tsk. I’m to blame because I didn’t refer to the Requirements page.
Two comments affirmed my glitchy exploration into Symphony:
- “It installs under Ubuntu Feisty. But that’s about it. I see in the program menu, bu it doesn’t run. I have to go back and look at their prerequisites.”
- “Install fine with Fedora 7 but I can say oOo still opens much faster. Its built heavily on Java and Eclipse technology which probably good because because plug-in development is very ccessible. It also uses its owned bundled IBM java version.”
On the positive side, Symphony appears to be the answer to Microsoft Office 2007 for its ‘Windowsy” look. It’s also user-friendlier in terms of the context-sensitive task panes at the right side of the window. But still, the bad news is that Symphony does not have equivalents for OpenOffice.org’s Base, Draw, and Math.
A day after the IBM-announcement post, I then learned about the official release of OpenOffice.org’s latest version at 2.3. Initially, I downloaded and installed it from OpenOffice.org’s site. No major changes except minor yet important ones. I tried to explore the Base and Impress and I felt that few annoyances I had experienced were resolved already. With Base, the form and report wizards have come back. With Impress, handouts layout options were a bit changed for the better.
It’s unfair to compare Symphony from OpenOffice.org at this point in time. To Symphony, good luck. To OpenOffice.org, continue to rock.