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Category Archives: omni

>Using NeoOffice

>NeoOffice is a free port of OpenOffice.org for the Mac. I’ve now been working with it for a few months. The program automatically checks for updates, which most programs seem to do by now. My current version is 2.0 Aqua Beta 3 Patch 15. Don’t ask me what that means, exactly. But it’s fairly stable.

An alternative to using NeoOffice is using OpenOffice.org directly on the Mac. This works fairly well, but requires X11 and does not provide an integrated solution. See the OpenOffice.org for Mac porting project.

Although NeoOffice works pretty stable overall, it’s not really integrated in Mac OS X. Menus are inconsistent with other Mac applications, as well as dialogs, keyboard shortcuts, etc. Some examples:

  • after confirming the print dialog (Cmd-P) another dialog is shown, asking for advanced settings;
  • there is a ‘Printer Settings’ dialog, but it doesn’t do anything;
  • default buttons don’t have the blue color they have in other applications;
  • buttons are smaller than in other apps;
  • when a file is modified, the red close icon in the window title bar does not change to include a dot;
  • when using Exposé, the dialogs are considered windows in their own right;
  • the list of recent documents is not in the NeoOffice program menu, but in the File menu; so it’s impossible to open a recently opened file without having any other file open;
  • it doesn’t use standard dialogs, such as the Font dialog;
  • it does not use the standard dictionary and hyphenation support offered by Mac OS X;
  • Cmd-RightArrow goes to the next word instead of the end of the line;
  • etc.

So although the product works quite well, it’s far from being a well-integrated Mac OS X application like any of the OmniGroup apps. Perhaps they should consider creating such a beast, although the business model for it may be hard to produce.

At openoffice.org they themselves are also working on an Aqua-port of their product. There was an announcement early February 2007 labeled OpenOffice.org Mac Porting team announces the top ten items to be fixed before alpha Aqua release. Interesting to know there are apparently some people working on it, but there’s not much information available on planning.

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>Some more OmniPlan feedback

>Some more suggestions regarding OmniPlan 1.0:

  • Provide some visual (or audio-) feedback when saving a file. When I press Cmd-S, there is no reaction from the program whatsoever. It makes me wonder whether I pressed the right key combo.

Regarding printing:

  • When I press Cmd-P, I expect the Print dialog to display instantly. Instead, I have to wait about 10 seconds.
  • When printing a document, I would like to be able to configure what to print, e.g. the task list.
  • When printing a document, I expect would like to be able to configure printing options on the thing I’m printing. E.g. do not print efforts, only task names, but do print start and end dates and assigned resources.
  • The quality of print output is suboptimal. E.g. there are page breaks in the middle of lines of text.
  • It would be nice to be able to configure page numbers on prints.
 

>OmniPlan 1.0

>Just purchased OmniPlan 1.0, a project management application for Mac OS X. Works like a charm. It’s a really intuitive application, allowing me to use the keyboard for most if not all tasks I need to perform.

However, of course I can produce a little wishlist of things I’d like to see improved:

  • When I navigate with the keyboard to a task that has no description or range explicitly set, I’d like to be able to remove such an empty task with Backspace, just a single key press.
    However, since the text in the item (e.g. “Task 1”) is not selected, I have to: (a) select all text, (b) Backspace to delete this text and (c) Backspace again to delete the task.
  • In the Resource View, it is not possible to select a range of tasks by clicking on the first one and then Shift-clicking on the last one. This is tedious when I want to process a lot of tasks in the same go.
  • I’d like to be able to mark items somehow, for example with a color coding. This allows me to easily see which items I’ve double-checked or for which items I still need to enter the depencies, make sure the dependencies are of the right type, or enter the efforts (durations).
  • It would be nice if a task could be promoted to a group.
  • An option to automatically delete empty tasks.
  • Spell checking is missing, it seems. It should be fairly easy to integrate with the Mac OS X system spell checking service.
  • Support for the Dutch locale would be nice.
  • Integration with the Leopard task system would be nice, when Leopard comes out.

But as I said, overall it’s a great program!