Re: AbiWord on the Web

From: Alan Horkan <>
Date: Thu Jan 13 2005 - 03:43:01 CET

On Wed, 12 Jan 2005, Michael A. Peters wrote:

> Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 09:58:07 +0000
> From: Michael A. Peters <>
> To: Abiword User List <>
> Subject: AbiWord on the Web
> I don't like OpenOffice, nothing personal - but I find it slow and
> cumbersome to deal with. AbiWord works very well for me - especially
> since the 2.0 tree went stable. Fast, easy to use.

I like because it includes a Word Processor, a Spreadsheet,
a Presentation program, and a Drawing Program (and PDF export is sweet).

I'd like it more if it were faster (it has improved lots in recent years)
and if I had more control over the components (and if they properly
supported SVG in the drawing and presentation programs) but currently
there are at least one or two reasons for me to install it on my system.

As Microsoft learned long ago it is difficult for individual applications
to compete with a collection of applications which can be more than the
sum of its parts. is difficult for Abiword to compete with
head on, which is why I try not to think of it in that way.

When it comes to wordprocessing I like Abiword more. I like that Abiword
is fast and light. There is more than enough room on my machine for both
and I don't just mean literally in terms of storage space (because I could
fit abiword on a floppy disk if I really wanted to). I'd like to see
Abiword carve out more of a niche and convince users that they want to
have both!

> In a discussion, someone claimed that AbiWord just was not in the same
> "league" as OpenOffice.

On the internet people are mean. It is unfair to compare a word processor
to an Office Suite, and more importantly it depends on the user what is
best for them and what really meets their needs.

In some ways the PDF support in is doing us and everyone a
favour. If you want things to look exactly the same use PDF. No more
unrealistic expectations about imported word documents looking exactly the
same in different programs (something even Microsoft cannot seem to get

> Not knowing what he does, I couldn't agree or disagree, but I decided to
> look for comparisons of the two.
> Googling for comparisons of the two, it seems that a lot websites that
> compare them worked with old crusty versions of AbiWord, a lot of
> functionallity not there is there and has been for some time.

Even the functionality of Abiword 1.0 was not well understood.
Many users have learned to use tables for layout and the powerful concept
of styles didn't quite catch on, perhaps because it requires a litte more
learning to begin with to get better results in the long run. Perhaps if
we want to promote styles we need more and better Templates. Templates
seem to be a core part of the new Word Processor from Apple called "Pages"
part of their iWork Suite.

> Is there an AbiWord contact person who deals with these kinds of
> issues?

I'm not the only abiword cheerleader/evangelist and we always encourage
people to get involved and to help us promote Abiword (but lets try and
avoid comparisons). Abiword is free and the great thing is that users can
use it and other programs too if they want.

> It's kind of sad that so much out there that high ranks on google is
> outdated so severely, often having looked at 1.x branch of AbiWord,
> sometimes even earlier -

I spent a few minutes recently updating the Wikipedia entry for Abiword
trying to make it fairer and more favourable but I'm sure more could be

I would strongly encourage you to write about Abiword and perhaps we can
make it easier for users to find up to date information and convince
people to try abiword again.

> for example. They don't specify what version of AbiWord is used, but
> they link to a 0.9.2 version - which clearly is old.

Perhaps a polite letter to them, encouraging them to print a new review of
a more up to date version of abiword (and perhaps even include a link in
the old story, pointing to the newer related article).

It is always good to hear an enthusiastic user telling us (other users and
developers) how they have put abiword to good use or found it satisfying.



Alan Horkan

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Received on Thu Jan 13 03:45:16 2005

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