What stops me from going OO.org? PIM!

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What stops me from going OO.org? PIM!

Postby JacobSaaby » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:16 am

Hey guys,

I've been pondering this subject for some time now, and I need to get it out. I hope you read this post, in the spirit of which it is written: With affection :)

See, I like OO.org. I think it's a brilliant solution, and I/it could easily persuade people to save a lot of money on licenses. But you know... at least where I come from, the MAIN program that gets used all the time, is Outlook.

And so I don't make the switch. And so none of my friends or family make the switch. I'm guessing you really don't make the switch if Outlook is in play at all. Why would you not install the other applications in the MS Office suite, when they're readily available to you, if you have Outlook ? (I know that isn't a 100% true, some get them with e.g. their smartphones and pda's, and it's an Outlook license only).

I think it's a crying shame that you don't have a PIM solution !

And... don't give me the standard response here (at least it's standard from what I read elsewhere): You want to focus on the core functionality of an office suite.

What is that ? Is that some kind of excuse ?

You know what ? Everyone else have that explanation too. All the office suites "just want to focus on the core functionality". Since a lot of them are based on OO.org (e.g. StarOffice and Symphony), they kinda just bloat the range. Basically you're covering what 90% of Office applications users use anyway, it's very few people that are really advanced in their use of these applications. There are others (KOffice, and probably others), just not OO.org based, but they do the same thing.

And so we're left with a situation where none of them really stands out. Pick this, pick that, it doesn't really matter much. They all focus on the same thing. The approach may differ a little, but that's it.

The only time I go fully OO.org is on my Ubuntu, since it makes sense there. I have Evolution on Ubuntu. I don't have that on Windows, and I don't want it on Windows. It's so low priority that I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot burning radioactive pole. On Linux it's kinda the only solution, so it's sensible (and necessary) to go with it on that platform.

You know what I wish for ? I wish you guys would get moving on that. Make a buttkicking PIM application. Make sure it can synchronize via some standard interface, with mobile devices (never forget sync, it's absolutely necessary in todays environment).

Cause really. No serious PIM users would go Thunderbird + plugin. It's just not up to par. And that brings me to another subject... the answer has often been "But we have thunderbird ?". Yeah, that's fine. Thunderbird is a mail app. It's not a PIM app. Probably never will be, I don't know. But it isn't now. And on that thing it's basically same same as with the office suites: There are like a thousand mail apps out there, and they all do the exact same thing. Only the range of functionality, and the approach, differ. They still only do mail though.

I really really really seriously would love it if you could ever consider putting some work into a PIM application that was 100% integrated with the rest of the OO.org suite. Expose some SyncML interface or something, so we can sync too.

Seriously, I truly believe that this is the only thing stopping OO.org from being truly mainstream, wide spread and extremely popular (as opposed to "just popular, but not necessarily gaining widespread acceptance over already available competing products). You have a brilliant product that works for 90% of all Office users. Why not go that extra mile and make sure there are no excuses ? No reasons NOT to switch ?

Like I said earlier... I think it's a bleeding shame. Really. And it's annoying to see something good, being held back, when it could literally eat its way into the market, in a flash.

Think about it. An opensource PIM, with sync interface, and a plugin interface (so someone could create e.g. an Exchange plugin/interface, so it could gain corporate acceptance), that was fully integrated with OO.org.

OO.org would literally blow up. I'm sure of it.

Please consider doing such a thing. It's needed, and it's necessary.

Thanks for reading
Jacob
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:59 am

Did you read the Survival Guide to the Forum?

Your long post is wasted here, as this is not the place to contact the developers.
The place to post this is in Bugs and Issues, but for goodness sake, keep it brief.

Search first to see if the request has been made before — it probably has.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby DrewJensen » Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:24 pm

True this is not a place necessarily to contact developers and it most certainly does not equate to entering a formal RFE - but don't under estimate the value of these types of discussions here - we do not live in a bubble and information does flow back to the main project folks. Granted it often does this via individuals but non the less it is still a connection.

To the actual point of the posters comments however:

What you are talking about is a very important issue. It is also something that is being squarely addressed by the OpenOffice.org community, in concert with other organizations. Anyone that followed the presentations given at this years OOoCon in Barcelona Spain could not help but realize that this hole in the portfolio has been recognized and is being addressed.

Exactly how they are doing this is a subject for a longer discussion then I have time for this morning. I would say this, it is my opinion that the missing piece is not outlook it is exchange server. On that note then I would simply point to a couple of 'in play' points of interest:

Thunderbird - you say it has no PIM, then you have not been following the latest updates. The fact that SUN is now supplying software engineers to the project for just this feature.
Google has quietly added iMAP as a protocol.
SUN Microsystems is open sourcing the Communications Server platform. Part of the work being done with Thunderbird is to build a tight integration with that platform.
NOVELL - GroupWise.
IBM - the newest corporate player in the OpenOffice.org tent. Granted today Symphony is based on an outdated code base, but saying they will be updating to get in synch with the rest of the folks ASAP. Can anyone not expect Notes and Domnio to come into play here.

The fact is that the last few years have been spent with the OpenOffice.org team focused on the large institutional base ( Municipalities, Universities ) and the Individual. Simply look at the Marketing plan put together in 2004 and then look at where all the activity has been - they said it, they did it. What is on the horizon now is the SMB market and yes for that Outlook and Exchange is the key, or so it appears to me.

I say it is about time.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby Buddha » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:37 pm

I'm new here and have, in the past few years, thought about (actually installed) OOo in an effort to migrate away from MS Office (I'll save my MS bashing for another time and place) - everytime I get in the mood to switch I go looking around for a PIM solution and everytime I can't find one (other than Outlook).

So I'm with JacobSaaby here

But you know... at least where I come from, the MAIN program that gets used all the time, is Outlook.

And so I don't make the switch.


If/when OOo ever gets a PIM that comes anywhere near Outlook - then I'll be a full fledged convert.

EDIT: RESPONSE TO DREW

Well what I need is:
- obviously e-mail (I really need POP/IMAP and the ability to get mail from an exchange server but can live with just POP)
- contacts
- calendar
- tasks
- journal or notes (i could live with just a notes feature but I would prefer a journal feature as well)

all of this needs to be tightly integrated so that i can right click on a contact and send an e-mail it also needs to have sign and encrypt features (which means certificate management features)
Last edited by Buddha on Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby DrewJensen » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:41 pm

OK - Would you mind taking a minute to share something with me.

You say you can't find a PIM, accept OutLook. Well what feature really is it that you can not find?

I'm really interested in knowing you answer on that, for more then just idle curiosity. I doubt I will come back with a 'see this product' kind of answer, but there is a long term project I am working on and I could use input from those that 'just can't seem to find an outlook replacement'.

So, I would thank you very much for you time.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby Corfy » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:06 pm

BTW, here is a list of other PIM programs that include many more than just Outlook, Evolution and Thunderbird/Sunbird. I don't know if any of them meet your needs, but it shows that there are alternatives out there:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_personal_information_managers

You may find some more alternatives at http://sourceforge.net.

Personally, I use Evolution on Linux and Palm Desktop on Windows. I use Outlook at work, but those are due to some groupware features that I need at my office, not PIM. My "Contacts" folder and my "Calendar" are both empty in Outlook. If I didn't need access to some of the shared calendars at my office, I would ditch Outlook in a heartbeat.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby JacobSaaby » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:21 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Your long post is wasted here, as this is not the place to contact the developers.
The place to post this is in Bugs and Issues, but for goodness sake, keep it brief.


I don't think it is. The description for the link here says "the premium place...", and so I count on others participating here. I'm equally interested in having other OO.org users discuss this subject, as I may very well be a minority on this matter. I don't know. But I'm interested in discussing the subject and find out.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby JacobSaaby » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:45 am

DrewJensen wrote:Anyone that followed the presentations given at this years OOoCon in Barcelona Spain could not help but realize that this hole in the portfolio has been recognized and is being addressed.


That's real good. Cause I never understood the argument of "we concentrate on the core functionality of an office suite". Outlook, or PIM functionality, IS core functionality this day in age. It's crucial to have an application that gather and coordinate your data, documents, appointments, mail, etc. I know I absolutely can't live without it.

Thunderbird - you say it has no PIM, then you have not been following the latest updates. The fact that SUN is now supplying software engineers to the project for just this feature.


I'm not saying it hasn't got any. I'm saying it isn't up to par, by my standards at least. I'm not interested in using an e-mail program, that got a plugin, just because the e-mail program happened to get popular. Thunderbirds core functionality is e-mailing. Someone added a calendar plugin. In my world that doesn't make it a PIM application. Not by a longshot.

Google has quietly added iMAP as a protocol.


Yup, and it's great. I use it myself in Outlook 2007 :)

SUN Microsystems is open sourcing the Communications Server platform. Part of the work being done with Thunderbird is to build a tight integration with that platform.


Cool. Looking forward to seeing where that takes it.

NOVELL - GroupWise.


Myeah. Sorry, not touching that with a 100 feet radioactive whalekilling spear. I know of several GroupWise installations. I don't ever want to go there (at least not in its current incarnation).

IBM - the newest corporate player in the OpenOffice.org tent. Granted today Symphony is based on an outdated code base, but saying they will be updating to get in synch with the rest of the folks ASAP. Can anyone not expect Notes and Domnio to come into play here.


My grief with Symphony isn't if it's an outdated codebase or not. I don't really care about that, if the applications work like they should, and provide me with the functionality I need.

My grief is, that it doesn't provide me anything else, anything that sets it apart from standard OO.org. And so it really doesn't take up any space in my mind, other than I know its name and have read about it. And the same goes for the rest of the office suites. Same, different or completely new codebase - as long as everyone "concentrates on the core funcionality", none are set apart from the others. Red, green, sour, sweet, they're all apples.

So they can update it or not. I'm not ever gonna use it. For that very basic reason that I already have what I need in OO.org. I don't need an IBM name on it to use it. In fact, I'd much rather use "the original" package.

The fact is that the last few years have been spent with the OpenOffice.org team focused on the large institutional base ( Municipalities, Universities ) and the Individual. Simply look at the Marketing plan put together in 2004 and then look at where all the activity has been - they said it, they did it. What is on the horizon now is the SMB market and yes for that Outlook and Exchange is the key, or so it appears to me.


Well the point is, that all of those markets need a PIM solution. Some use separate programs. One for calendar data, one for contact information, one for mail, etc. Some use obscure applications they happened to find somewhere at some point.

What I want, and what I see as a major showstopper for the distribution AND ACCEPTANCE of OO.org into the business segment primarily, is that it doesn't have a PIM solution. NO business I know of, would drop MS Office when they don't get the whole package at the competitor. Then they just don't switch. And there's no acceptance of the package as a whole being a serious competitor, simply because it's lacking.

I know there are die hard opensource guys out there now going: "WTH is he talking about, OO.org isn't lacking ?". But it is.

See... forget about OO.org relying on some corporation integrating OO.org into their existing products.

Cause Exchange is a force to be reckoned with. A lot of businesses use that as their groupware backend. Subsequently they use Outlook. And since the users know that from work, they often go for that at home too. And they're NOT gonna switch for anything that is less.

Notes ? Forget it. It's fine for distributed databases. The PIM part of it sucks to a degree I won't even get into here. And private market acceptance ? For get it. Never in a billion years. Not even just a million, but a whole billion. Won't ever happen, and that's not a segment Notes is aimed at anyway.

GroupWise ? I don't know about other places in the world, but it's more or less dead where I live. You seldomly hear of anyone using GroupWise, and when you do, they're really annoyed that they do. Cause they can't find competent consultants for it. Cause they can't find proper sync solutions for it, unless they wanna deposit 50% of their income or something (a bit specialized, and therefor expensive).

What I want... is for OO.org to do a PIM application that gives me tight integration with the rest of the OO.org package. Open it up via a plugin architecture, so it's easy to extend and expand. Let others worry about building connectors via that architecture, to Exchange, to GroupWise, to OpenXChange, to Communications Server etc. Or, include it from the beginning, that would be optimal for the users of the product.

And once you have that - I'm pretty sure we'll start to see the acceptance curve go way up. It doesn't take many good stories for others to see, before they start considering "Mmmm... this product is free, it's continuously updated, it can do what my current product can do, and I can make a complete switch with ease".

Boom. License money saved, functionality preserved, everyone happy.

That's why it's so important that OO.org makes a PIM solution for OO.org. Because it's needed. Not only do the users and the businesses need it. OO.org needs it too, if they want to ever stand a real chance against their main competitor.

I say it is about time.


Amen ! :)
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby JacobSaaby » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:54 am

DrewJensen wrote:OK - Would you mind taking a minute to share something with me.

You say you can't find a PIM, accept OutLook. Well what feature really is it that you can not find?

I'm really interested in knowing you answer on that, for more then just idle curiosity. I doubt I will come back with a 'see this product' kind of answer, but there is a long term project I am working on and I could use input from those that 'just can't seem to find an outlook replacement'.

So, I would thank you very much for you time.


What I need ?

- Contacts
- Calendar
- E-Mail
- Tasks (preferably better than the ones in Outlook, they're very basic I think)
- Open, meaning it's easy to develop plugins and connectors for it (only way to be sure that a product like that will get used, is to make sure more or less everyone actually CAN use it)
- An interface that lets you synchronize data (personally I use both Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60 phones), or lets you create a sync product relatively easy

And if you want to surpass Outlook, also the following:

- CRM functionality
- Journalling (I know Outlook has that)
- IM integration (presence information primarily)
- A useful, easy to use interface that prioritizes presentation of data the right way
- Scripting interface
- Integration with all the major proprietary and opensource groupware backends
- Teamwork functionality like Groove and Collanos (these kinds of products will take off in 2008/2009 I'm pretty sure. Running Groove within my team now, and it's EXCELLENT functionality !). Actually if you want to really revolutionize PIM's, bypass the groupware backend servers completely, and do P2P sharing of data. THAT would actually be amazingly useful !
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby JacobSaaby » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:05 am

Corfy wrote:Personally, I use Evolution on Linux and Palm Desktop on Windows. I use Outlook at work, but those are due to some groupware features that I need at my office, not PIM. My "Contacts" folder and my "Calendar" are both empty in Outlook. If I didn't need access to some of the shared calendars at my office, I would ditch Outlook in a heartbeat.


In Ubuntu I use Evolution too. Cause it makes sense (and it's the only really good PIM). At home, I'll be changing to an iMac (24" it's gonna be sweet !) in february. I'm looking forward to experiencing PIM on a Mac. AFAIK it syncs all data, but to separate applications alltogether. One for calendar, one for conctacts etc. And there's Entourage 2004 (but that's payware). Probably others. As long as it can sync an use that data I provide, I'm good.

I use the Contacts and Calendar functionality of Outlook extensively. My whole phonebook in my phone(s) rely completely on it. But it might as well rely on something other than Outlook. As long as it provide me with the same functionality, cause I can't really live without it ;) (Well that sounds so bombastic, and of course I could if I had to, but I'd really rather not).
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby JacobSaaby » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:07 am

Corfy, thanks for the list btw. It had a link to an app called Chandler, that looks very exciting. Available for Mac too, so I think I'll try that when the time comes.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby RevNomad » Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:01 pm

Label me curious.

I've heard this since I began using OO.org (far too many years ago for me to admit). I still don't understand it. Perhaps because I'm the only person in my office but I do not understand how having an OpenOffice.org PIM will help. I can imagine how integrating address books would help but that's about all.

I would appreciate a clear example of how this would work and justify increasing the download size of OO.org.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby Corfy » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:24 pm

RevNomad wrote:I do not understand how having an OpenOffice.org PIM will help.


Here is a possible explanation coming from a person who is not that concerned with having an integrated PIM.

I think most people are wanting a one-to-one equivelant of Microsoft Office, and since Microsoft Office has a PIM client and OpenOffice.org doesn't, then it is very easy to dismiss all of OpenOffice.org as not being good enough. Certainly, it is much easier to dismiss the whole suite than it is to look for alternatives to the one program that they see as "missing". But then, many office suites would be dismissed as well, and that's the way Microsoft likes it.

Microsoft has gotten everyone used to the idea of "bundling", so that people are used to some big mega corporation somewhere telling people that "these are the programs you need, and they should all come from the same place". They don't want to go out and find something else. Personally, since I started using Linux, I really like the idea that I'm not dependent upon any one company for all of my software needs.


At least, that is how I see it. But I could be wrong.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby RevNomad » Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:41 pm

That's real good. Cause I never understood the argument of "we concentrate on the core functionality of an office suite". Outlook, or PIM functionality, IS core functionality this day in age. It's crucial to have an application that gather and coordinate your data, documents, appointments, mail, etc. I know I absolutely can't live without it.


:oops: I'm certain I'm showing my lack of sophistication, how do you use a PIM to coordinate documents and data?

Reading your post gave me an idea for my work. I need to "hear" ...err read more to be certain I understand. Do you tie documents to a specific event in your calendar?

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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby foxcole » Thu Dec 27, 2007 10:52 pm

I completely agree on JacobSaaby's points about integrating a PIM solution with the OOo bundle. He includes some great ideas about ways to improve upon what's already out there in the form of Outlook and its clones. Businesses and individuals are moving into a much more collaborative work environment than was ever possible in the past, and collaboration is much easier when task, scheduling and communication tools are a mouse-click away. It helps concentrate and speed up the work efforts. Bonus points for suggesting CRM and IM integrations. Good thinking!

However, a missing PIM is not going to shoot OOo out of the water, and is not going to prevent businesses from implementing it as an Office replacement. They're already using it. I'm using it here at work, have it open right now as a matter of fact. That argument adds not one milligram of weight to the PIM issue. I've been around other OOo forums long enough to instantly reject the "if OOo doesn't have this feature that I want, it's useless!" wheezes. That attitude immediately sours the complainer's core, and often valid, issue. The argument just won't fly... which is proven in the global impact that OOo has already made and is increasing with every new release. So, please, drop that foolishness. Let's just focus on the actual import and value of PIM tools.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby DCDAn » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:02 pm

A PIM isn't a feature, it's an application; it's exclusion keeps OOo from being a complete Office Suite. Who would spend good money (I know OOo is free) on an office suite without the ability to manage business contacts, keep a ToDo list (tasks), jot down needed items (notes), record their appointments...

This is one of those "Get Real" items. Outlook is central to MSOffice not ancillary. Now a PIM that used the Database Manager - so we could set up relationships between different contacts, track call/appointment/email histories, allowed scripting - that would be something to behold. In my IT days I would have developed it myself but now, with my 9/11-forced career change, I rely on dedicated creative people like the Open Office folks.

Open software is to a large degree a labor of love. This devotion, I believe, is what leads to its quality. Just handing someone the task probably won't cut it. You have to find someone who really wants to do it. On the other hand, ignoring the need for the PIM is probably (I apologize for the harshness) naive. It is requisite to be accepted as a mainstream product. Being multi-platform, with a good PIM used both at work and at home, could make it dominant and possibly start to change the direction of the industry entirely. Who wouldn't want a piece of that?

This is not a philosophical issue. It is pragmatic and high impact. Go for it. It's worth the effort.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby Villeroy » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:42 pm

If OOo had a PIM, 95% of all Outlook users would complain about it. FOr instance, Evolution is not good enough. How many thousands of man-hours have been invested in Evolution?
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby foxcole » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:52 pm

As has been already mentioned, some good PIM tools (some of them open source) exist outside of OOo. I have no problem with not bundling them with OOo and see no reason to bundle it in because they are available separately... keeps the office suite focused on its purpose and controls the installer download size.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby Boatman189 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:31 pm

Well obviously some one really like outlook. He should stick with it if it works that well for him and his job. I had MS office for years and never used Outlook so to see it as THE one critical thing nesseccary to to make OO go gangbusters just doesn't figure with me. Especially with so many good pims out there already. Haven't noticed that many others clamoring for that type of program either.
It is to bad that most of the complaints here, seems like 100% actually to me, are from MS users who complain because OO doesn't do some thing or other the way MS Office does.
Wouldn't it be nice to see a user like this, who actually did his home work and found a OO solution for what his company or he thought was important, like this PIM thingy, and shared his solution with us instead of just complaining that OO is not MS Office..
Then if he was right he could could take all the credit for finally making OO THE contender to MS..
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby crusader » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:08 am

Thoughts of an ardent OOo (with or without PIM) supporter:

I agree with Corfy, Foxcole, Villeroy and Boatman189.

While it would be nice -- very nice -– to have a PIM with OOo, the lack thereof does not reduce OOo as an Office Suite. There are ample PIMs out there -– including open source ones that meet most needs. Tight integration is ideal, not a do or die. Please note: I am not suggesting that we should not strive to be the best.

As in most cases here and elsewhere, even an exceptionally well written (and integrated) PIM will generate complaints –- and comparisons to Outlook. As I have stated elsewhere on multiple occasions, until comparisons to M$ Office stop, embracing OOo will be difficult, if not impossible.

Another element that I picked up in this discussion is the “do this urgently” sense. It appears that sometimes (many times?), requesters (critics?) forget that OOo programmers are volunteers. At an absolute minimum, their time and efforts should be respected and appreciated. Suggestions will get their day –- as and when time permits in this voluntary system. It is not going to happen as soon the request (demand?) has been pronounced (or even shortly thereafter). Anyone dying to get a feature/application in OOo that is present in M$ Office or make a feature work like it does in M$ Office has the following options:

1. Roll up your sleeves and join the OOo volunteer programmers.
2. Cough up the money and buy what you like (M$ doesn't give a hoot about your thoughts -– try telling them things work differently in OOo).
3. Accept OOo for what it is and provide appropriate feedback and support to further enrich it.

God Bless all OOo volunteers!
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby Corfy » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:40 pm

crusader wrote:(M$ doesn't give a hoot about your thoughts -– try telling them things work differently in OOo).


Microsoft doesn't care about my thoughts? Are you serious? :o

This reminds me of a conversation I had the other day about MS Word. I was told that, in a specific case, Word didn't always do a good job removing temp files that it created, and that they had to be removed manually. I commented, "You mean Microsoft actually made a product that doesn't work 100% perfectly all the time? I find that hard to believe." He got a good chuckle out of that.

If you are wondering, this "specific case" involves a third-party add-on that the third-party has so far refused to re-work for OOo, but I am still working on them (obviously, they don't care much about my thoughts, either, so this isn't something limited to Microsoft).
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby Caracalla » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:53 pm

Not that i disagree with your overall point, but this is just not true.
crusader wrote:Another element that I picked up in this discussion is the “do this urgently” sense. It appears that sometimes (many times?), requesters (critics?) forget that OOo programmers are volunteers.

Many, (most?) OOo programmers are employees of SUN, IBM or Novell.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby Villeroy » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:00 pm

Caracalla wrote:Many, (most?) OOo programmers are employees of SUN, IBM or Novell.

So they are not free to do what they want. ODF is a are strategic non-profit project against Microsoft domination regarding file formats. OOo is just the leading tool to edit ODF files and demonstrate the potential of this industry standard.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby ccornell » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:22 pm

Caracalla wrote:Many, (most?) OOo programmers are employees of SUN, IBM or Novell.

Don't forget all the programmers at RedOffice2000 in China. :)
A large number of the volunteer developers are working on smaller aspects like Extensions or specific projects such as those tagged for Google Summer Of Code (just one example)
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby DCDAn » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:10 am

It seems that anyone who thinks a PIM is requisite in an office (read business) suite is a Microsoft Lover that really must like Outlook. Then why am I trying so hard to replace it? I wish I had the time to do in depth analysis of all the good PIMs but I run a business and am trying to raise 2 kids and that pretty much takes up my time. Yes, there a single fathers too.

OOo is an OFFICE suite. It is used by people doing BUSINESS. Not having a PIM, does diminish it. I am sorry if some of you somehow feel the need to become defensive about a product that you don't own but defensiveness does not move these things forward. They advance through discussion and need. Even a free product requires a market. I am a huge fan of open software. I used to write and submit some of my best work to user groups. I developed tools for friends so they didn't need to pay for them. I am now in A/V not IT. I need a good office suite. I can't stand MSoft Office and the competing products are worse.

I can take the time to write this because I am waiting for Outlook to start a forward of a message. It's been about 10 minutes now. Yup, I really do love Outlook - operates cleanly - and the support - well how could that be better? Only about $1000.hour to find out why it's hung. I thereby also appear to be hung - out to dry.

Open Office, product by product, admits it is functionally about 90% of Microsoft Office. I'll give up the 10% for reliability and in support of the movement toward open products. But without a PIM it is just a collection of applications that does not fulfill the office/business needs that such a suite is intended to do (I opened a can of worms with that choice of words). The PIM is the heart of the suite not a feature.

Open office has all the makings of a great product (free or not, it is a product) including the DBMS needed for contact and task management. It just needs one more piece to be complete. It is not bad. It is incomplete. It is good. It is powerful. It is open. It is cross-platform. It is WONDERFUL, but it is incomplete.

I will say again, that OOo has a chance to dominate the marketplace and change the direction of the industry. It has support and a growing user-base. It may be the piece of open software that breaks through to the common man and small business user. Linux didn't. Apache didn't. They found their niche and made an impact. But the public does not directly use operating systems or web servers. It uses the end products. OOo has a chance to be the end product that breaks through to the public, not as shareware or freeware, but as an application that everyone uses. But it's not finished yet. It needs one more piece - a PIM.

Don't be so short sighted as to try to justify the lack. OOo does not have a PIM and it may never have one. But until it does, it's not ready for the outside world.

Well, back to try and forward my message.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby foxcole » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:04 am

Defensive? This is a discussion thread, and we are all expressing our opinions, users to other users. I don't think OOo needs a PIM, I think it's holding very well to its core purpose, and I will continue saying so. Nothing in that deserves to be called defensive. Let's not begin insulting one another's opinions, please. That does nothing constructive, offends other participants, and diminishes the offender's voice.

OOo is already large enough as a download and already is tight enough on support and development that at this point a PIM would just not make sense to support and would add needless bloat for those of us who already have our own solutions or simply don't need one. The goal here should be modularity and choice. I'd rather have my choice of PIM to use with OOo. You've made it clear that you don't like Outlook, DCDAn. Why would adding a PIM to OOo be any better? What if you don't like that PIM? What if I don't like it---do you think I should have to use it anyway? Possibly just the fact that it's bundled in with an office suite is one of the reasons for its substandard performance.

The OOo programs all use the same underlying technology for the same essential purpose, to author documents. A PIM is a different animal; it requires different development, distribution and support systems and engines so it would depart from existing infrastructures, and it adds no direct value nor content to the ODF files produced by the suite applications. A PIM simply provides a means for people to collaborate on those products. The available PIM applications are varied in function and feature, the purpose of PIMS is not producing ODF files but linking people with other people and schedules, and quite simply not everyone needs or wants a PIM.

This is a perfect example of opportunity for choice.

There seems to be no clear reason to bundle one in, other than a few users want one and want that choice made for them, because that's what MS Office does. But then again, that's not a clear reason. I still see nothing wrong, and in fact everything right, about users going out and choosing the best tool for them if they need one. The document-creation choice has already been made.

On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with OOo recommending a PIM or two, perhaps linking to their download sites, if the PIMs stand out in how well they work with ODF files.

If you need a PIM, go get one. Some very good ones have already been suggested in this thread, so that will cut down quite a lot on your in-depth analysis time. ;)
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby Corfy » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:01 am

I also want to point out that Microsoft Outlook is available as a stand-alone application, and can be purchased for $110 USD, so if you absolutely have to have Outlook, you can have it, use OpenOffice.org, and still save $290 over the cost of Microsoft Office Standard (or save $120 over the cost of an upgrade for Microsoft Office Standard).
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby ccornell » Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:32 am

A VERY important thing to realize is that MS Windows is not the only operating system on the planet. What about OSX? Linux? FreeBSD? Solaris? and so on. None of these other operating systems use/have Outlook. Linux and OSX is a very rapidly growing market segment in Europe and elsewhere around the world. These OSes each have their own PIM solutions... for example KDE PIM and/or Evolution in Linux (both of which are being ported to other OSes).... or Thunderbird+Lightning for all OSes.

As already pointed out, there is absolutely nothing preventing people who chose to use Windows from using Outlook (despite its serious security problems) beside OpenOffice.org. If you prefer that PIM solution then use it.

Adding in a complete PIM solution as part of a OOo bundle adds a lot more (as much as a 30% increase depending on the application bundle) to the download, and provides a PIM solution that is likely to be redundant to a significant portion of the OOo community.

What is the difference between keeping OOo as it is and allowing people to use what PIM tools they want, for example, Evolution (which also runs on Windows and can connect to an MS Exchange mail server), vs bundling that same application into the OOo download? If you download the two apps and install them separately you would have the exact same result as if they were bundled.
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby crusader » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:21 pm

One problem that has beset OOo since inception is inappropriate comparison to M$ Office (I wonder where that emanates). :) It appears Microsofties feel that anything worth anything has to match M$. Obviously, this has not stopped at features. Based on what has been stated in this thread, PIM is an application, not a feature.

Despite the presence of numerous decent PIMs out there, there are calls for PIM in OOo. Although, it has not been explicitly stated, seemingly, there is a feeling that without a PIM, OOo cannot match M$ Office, and therefore is less of a product.

But is doesn't stop there. Bundling, a M$ marketing strategy, is also sought in OOo (I guess to make OOo conform even more to the mighty M$). As noted by ccornell, other PIMs installed separately would have the same effect as bundling. So bundling for the sake of bundling, is a poor idea. I also agree with ccornell that "a PIM solution is likely to be redundant to a significant portion of the OOo community."

Please note: I am not against having a PIM in OOo. In fact, it would be welcome -- but not because M$ Office has it. It would be welcome because it would be an additional component written at an appropriate time by a respected group. In the interim, I do not believe anyone is starving for a PIM. At the very least, there is Outlook -- for a fee, of course. :)
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Re: What stops me from going OO.org ? PIM !

Postby xrayzebra » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:57 pm

as a stoopid noob, I wanted to reiterate what a few others have suggested:

1 - PIM functionality IS core functionality to many. The integrated functions of word processing and data management in Outlook make it the one thing in MS Office that I can't pretty easily do without.

2 - Despite the fact that this is not "a direct line to the developers," in the sense that sending a complaint to a company that sells a product would be, this IS a direct line to the developers in the sense that this is open source software. Anybody could be a developer. This is a place where anyone could be participating. It's just not THE single, monopoly point of contact.
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