Lodahl's blog: Lotus Symphony Linux Beta Review

01 November 2007

Lotus Symphony Linux Beta Review

This review of IBM Lotus Symphony on Linux http://polishlinux.org/apps/openofficeorg/lotus-symphony-linux-beta-review/ by Borys Musielak is actually quite positive:

Lotus Symphony is a really interesting initiative. There’s a great need of competition on the office suites (especially those that support the ODF format) market.
The positive outcome of the document support issue surprised me:
Testing results were quite positive for Lotus (it was a little surprise for me). Lotus viewed most of the tested documents (text documents and presentations) correctly. Documents had a little visual differences, but — and this is crucial for me — files created using Writer and then saved in Lotus, were identical after reopening them on OpenOffice Writer.
There is, on the other hand also some negative things:
In comparison to KOffice or Abiword (both can compete with OO.org on the efficiency and better graphical environments like GNOME and KDE cooperation fields) Lotus Symphony has nothing to impress us (except of few little functions).


marco said...

Mr. Lodahl,
Sorry if this is not the exact place to get in touch with you, but I couldn't find your e-mail.
I am a "power user" of office automation tools and quite a developer, so I was excited with the possibility of using Lotus Symphony to generate PDF forms. Unfortunately, seems to be no info available on how to design a little more elaborated forms features, such as calculated fields and db connections. Am I on the right path?
I am also sorry for my English. I'm Brasilian, from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. My native language is Portuguese. No Danish, even though I had the unforgettable opportunity of knowing your beautiful country a few years ago. One of my dearest friends is married to a Danish and lives in Fredensborg.
Thank you in advance for any help,
Marco A. F. Costa

Leif Lodahl said...

Hi marco,
Thank you very much for your post on my blog. If you want to get in contavt with me directly, you can use lodahl-at-openoffice -dot-org. Fell free.

I'll try to dig out some further information on the issue about connecting pdf forms directly to a back-end database table. I think I'we seen something about it some time ago.

If you need to do calculations (e.g. field validation) on the form, you need to use JavaScript. This is not possible in Symphony as it is today. You might whant to try another free software project Scribus (http://www.scribus.net). It's actually a destop publishing program, but with this specific feature, making pdf forms with JavaScript.

By the way, I want to pay your attention to one thing: Lotus Symphony is free software in the meening, free of charge. It's based on OpenOffice.org version 1.1.4. OpenOffice.org is free in the meening, liberated. OpenOffice.org is today version 2.3 is much more mature than version 1.1.4. I know that OpenOffice.org is about to be much more pdf-friendly, because it's planned to be connecting odf and pdf file formats much closer. I proposed JavaScript support in OpenOffice.org long time ago (http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=62843)

I'll recommend that you take a look at the Brazillian OpenOffice.org website http://www.broffice.org/

And marco, you don't need to appologize for your language. I'm not native English either and I think you are doing fine ;-)

marco said...

Hi Leif,

Thank you so much for all the good info you sent. I will pay attention for
OpenOffice new versions. Also, I'm happy to know that you support this
dynamic pdf forms approach.