Idea: ReactOffice?

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Tobi
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Idea: ReactOffice?

Post by Tobi »

Some time ago I was looking for document management software. Most of the software is compatible to MS office and offers plug ins which install additional buttons in some menu bars, for example. When you buy additional office software a certain version of it only supports certain MS office versions. When you update MS Office it is unsure if your additional software is still compatible. As in the OS sector, MS will support a certain office version for a defined period of time. When support is over, you will have to update if you want patches and security fixes. Basically the Office situation is similar to Windows here.

So it would be great if there was a free open source alternative to MS Office. Of course you could try Libre Office or Abi Word for example. But in the core Libre Office is a very different thing compared to MS Office. Libre Office uses the old Star Office core, it only tries to be as compatible as possible to MS Office files and tries to offer a similar user experience. But the interior architecture is completely different. Extensions of MS Office don't work with Libre Office. You can compare this approach to running Windows programs in Linux using Wine. This works in most cases but it won't help you using your old scanner with proprietary Windows drivers with that system. In the OS sector, this was the reason why the ReactOS project has been established.

I wonder if it would make sense to start a "ReactOffice" project with the goal of reprogramming MS Office with its complete architecture. That means reprogramming every .exe or .dll file of MS office with their APIs and functions, trying to become as compatible to MS Office as possible, also behind the scenes. With no problem of installing older extensions or running VBA scripts.

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Konata
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Re: Idea: ReactOffice?

Post by Konata »

If you want to do it then go ahead, but I think cloning non-system applications is outside of the scope of ReactOS, it's only goal is to recreate Windows NT itself. Especially something as big as Office, that would really sidetrack the project. Just note that you probably can't call it "React" anything, since that might be a trademark violation, and the ReactOS project has gotten a little bitter over someone trying to label their unofficial project as a ReactOS-branded product without permission in the past. I can't remember the name, but it was an assembler. You can probably ask for permission to name it something ReactOS-relevant from the ReactOS foundation. I don't know who specifically owns the ReactOS trademark or who could let you use it. But they might want an actual product presented to them before that happens, too (I doubt they've forgotten the "FreeWin95" project).

I'm sure you can get a few people on board if you ask on various related communities, like Wine, Open/Libre Office, etc. What you already mentioned. Though first I would actually get to decompiling your target version of Microsoft Office and look into any documentation you can, and truly get a view of the project scope if you haven't done so already. Then you can plan out how you'll implement it and what existing technology you might be able to use.

PurpleGurl
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Re: Idea: ReactOffice?

Post by PurpleGurl »

It seems you should take what you like of Libre Office and Apache Open Office and use them as a base for an office suite to your liking.

As for React, you would need to clear it with the foundation.

MadWolf
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Re: Idea: ReactOffice?

Post by MadWolf »

hi
it may be easier to create a compatibility plugin to run the MS of plugins imho if i used MS Office i stick with Office 2003 i do not like the ribbon interface

Tobi
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Re: Idea: ReactOffice?

Post by Tobi »

MadWolf wrote:hi
it may be easier to create a compatibility plugin to run the MS of plugins imho if i used MS Office i stick with Office 2003 i do not like the ribbon interface
I think that is exactly why a ReactOffice would be useful. MS Office 2003 is not supported anymore by MS.

Generally the combination of Windows and Office is the reason for the success of MS. It is the industry standard installed on every business computer, combined with company specific tools which often rely on the Windows/Office combo. So a ReactOffice could be a missing link. When you tell other people about ReactOS in internet forums you often get sceptical reactions: "When ReactOS is final there will be no more modern programs for it since it is only compatible to Win XP, all programs will reqire Win 7 compatibility or above then. So what are these efforts good for?" It would be interesting for these people to hear that you can install and run ReactOffice, a full office suite binary compatible to MS Office 2003.

In history, Windows 1.0 and 2.0 sucked. The success came when MS released Word and Excel for Windows 3.0 and bundled it to the MS Office Suite:
Winword 1.0 (1989):
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... Win_en.png

"Office for Windows bundles popular Microsoft applications" (Oct 1990)
https://books.google.de/books?id=VTwEAA ... &q&f=false

In the close future a ReactOffice will be getting even more relevant in my opinion because not everybody likes the strategy of MS offering Office 365 "as a service"with cloud connection and regular usage fees...

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dizt3mp3r
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Re: Idea: ReactOffice?

Post by dizt3mp3r »

This is a thread about developing an alternative office when ReactOS is about building the operating system not the apps.
So, you want the developers to start on a whole new development project?

I'm not sure you 'get' how much work is involved to create just this 'new' o/s.
I'm not sure you 'get' how much work would be involved in creating and supporting a whole new office compatible suite.

Furthermore, I think that no-one here is really interested in doing what you propose. This is the wrong place for that request.
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MadWolf
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Re: Idea: ReactOffice?

Post by MadWolf »

hi
it is going to take a long time before Reactos is ready for everyday use ms Office has the biggest market share but 10 to 20 years that may change to a combination of open source Office software

PurpleGurl
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Re: Idea: ReactOffice?

Post by PurpleGurl »

Well, those who don't want to code ROS can code this, and those who are developing for the others and don't like how things are going can do so too.

Stead
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Re: Idea: ReactOffice?

Post by Stead »

I would suggest trying to create the add-ons your desire with open office if you are not a fan of upgrading MS Office over time

Although as someone who develops in office, I would say its unlikely upgrading will cause issues unless the add-on has some funky code that is using a known bug in office to do what its doing.

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