Novell, WP

James Knott james.knott-bJEeYj9oJeDQT0dZR+AlfA at
Sat Nov 19 00:56:18 UTC 2005

Evan Leibovitch wrote:
> WP was the darling of Unix people because it was supported on so many
> platforms, and was clearly the best desktop app for Unix. It could run
> very nicely on dumb terminals (such as the ubiquitous Wyse 60) at 9600
> baud, though they had to totally dispense with the traditional Unix
> termcap/terminfo mechanisms to do it. But WordPerfect for XWin never
> really caught on.

IIRC, the first version of WP was for the Data General line of
>>> The 4.x versions for Amiga were not exactly successful either and the
>>> users there looked at the text program in a window and wondered why
>>> someone wanted over $500 for that, when for under $200 they could buy a
>>> nice WYSIWYG word processor, although one with a lot less lawyer
>>> features than wordperfect (although not being lawyers, most users didn't
>>> care about the missing features, and prefered the features they gained
>>> and actually used).
> To this day, WP appears to be the choice of the legal (and in some cases
> government) sectors. I've come across a number  of instances where lack
> of WP support quickly eliminated OpenOfficeV1 from consideration.

OpenOffice v2 can read WP files and StarOffice 8 can also write WP format.

> I'd say that using open, standards-compliant document formats counts for
> a lot. So does multi-OS capability, which nobody has done well since
> WordPerfect abandoned Unix/Linux. They've never used talking paper clips
> to belittle their users. Also, in a free (as in beer) project there's
> less incentive to gratuitously feature-creep just to drive upgrade sales.
> It's amazing how far they've come. When I first used StarOffice, many
> years before Sun bought it in 1999, it was a horrible piece of work
> whose only feature was being the only reasonably stable multi-app office
> suite for Unix/Motif.

My first experience with StarOffice was on OS/2, where it provided some
measure of compatibility with Word.  However, my main word processor was
Describe and I occasionally used the old Windows 3.1 Word Viewer in a
WinOS2 session, so that I could cut 'n paste a Word document into Describe.

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