Open Source SpreadsheetsMay 09, 1999, 18:14 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeff Alami)
By Jeff Alami
When making a document with my favourite spreadsheet, StarCalc, I came to the realisation that there must be some equally-powered Free Software spreadsheets. Many GNOME enthusiasts have heard of and used Gnumeric, and KDE fans have known about KSpread, a component of the KOffice suite of applications. In fact, a myriad of Open Source graphical spreadsheets are available for Linux and Unix users.
abs is a spreadsheet written with with Xaw athena widgets. It provides a variety of charts, uses the ABVisual macro language (compatible with Visual Basic macros), Microsoft Excel compatibility, and printing with xfig.
Gnumeric is the GNOME spreadsheet, and it one of the slated "killer apps" for the GNOME desktop environment. Gnumeric uses CORBA (through ORBit) and guile, key components of GNOME, for integration and a plugin system. The file format for Gnumeric is a human-readable XML format, designed for simpler parsing and text formatting.
GNU Oleo [GPL]
Oleo is a spreadsheet that could be considered ancient by today's software standards, but it's been recently taken on by several GNU project developers. A Motif/LessTif interface, graphics using GNU plotutils, and internationalisation are among the features of the updated Oleo spreadsheet. Oleo runs in character mode as well as in a GUI, making it very flexible.
KSpread is the spreadsheet to be included in the KOffice suite, a suite of office applications for KDE. KSpread is still under heavy development, and many features are not yet implemented.