IBM Lotus Symphony 1.1 offers users a clean and attractive user interface,but it's based on a 4-year-old version of OpenOffice.org. Lotus Symphony 1.1 lacks a lot of the features and support offered in such competitive products as Microsoft Office.
Lotus Symphony 1.1 is a freely available office productivity suite
from IBM that brings together a trio of word processor, spreadsheet and
presentation applications under a clean and well-implemented user
Symphony's UI atop the Eclipse IDE and the company's own Lotus
Expeditor managed client application framework, and turned to the
4-year-old OpenOffice.org 1.1.4 for the core of the suite's application
The result is a fairly good productivity suite with an interface
that's much fresher-and a feature set that's more stale-than those that
grace the OpenOffice.org 3.0 release I recently tested.
instance, upon fir??Ãing up the Symphony word processor application, I was
impressed right away by its tabbed interface, which makes switching between
different documents-as well as spreadsheets and presentations-as easy as
shifting between tabbed pages in Firefox.
it wasn't long before I started noticing the absence of fixes and enhancements
that long ago made their way into OpenOf??Ãfice.org. For one, I missed the
control-shift-v shortcut that pulls up the "paste special" menu I'm accustomed
to using to paste text from my clipboard while stripping out formatting.
more, Symphony lacks support for opening documents stored in the new OOXML-based
format to which Microsoft's Office 2007 now defaults.
IBM would do
well to sync up its Symphony efforts with the cur??Ãrent OpenOffice.org code base
to take advantage of all the progress the project has made over the past four
years. One of the great strengths of open-source soft??Ãware is the liberty that
separate development groups enjoy to take projects in divergent directions, and
IBM's ideas around UI-as well as the extensibility potential that
Eclipse offers-can end up strengthening both projects.
are a handful of plugins available for Symphony that ben??Ãefit from Eclipse's
module update framework, and I'm looking for??Ãward to seeing where Symphony
developers at IBM and elsewhere take the platform.
suggest that individuals and organizations interested in Microsoft Office
alternatives, particularly those with in-house Eclipse development projects in
the works, take Symphony for a spin. For now, though, OpenOf??Ãfice.org remains
the most viable alternative to Office.