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LinuxPlanet: HancomOffice: A Disruptive Disappointment

Jan 15, 2001, 16:09 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)

"Sadly, I don't think anybody is going to be developing filters to import HancomWord files, because I don't think anybody is going to stick with HancomWord long enough to produce any files. The reason is, the thing is monstrously ugly. By that I mean it actually hurts the eyes to look at it. Because it is a WINE port (or perhaps because of the way it was ported), the thing's furniture -- titlebar, toolbar icons, menu items -- shrink to tininess at 1024x768 or above. Okay, so do many of the same elements in, say, StarOffice. But with HamcomWord there's more: the screen fonts are the worst I've ever seen, and in Linux that's saying something. (The late, largely forgotten Maxwell somehow mastered putting letters and numbers on the screen, but its developers didn't master much else, including survival of their application. I do wish that someone would look at their code and see how they did it, though.)"

"Still, if one stayed at 800x600 and had no other choice, HancomWord would probably do. It doesn't seem to devour enormous resources and it is neither breathtakingly fast nor terribly slow. It works, it has a decent feature set, and one wishes it were Linux native from the get-go. But I'm really beginning to wish that people would forget WINE as an expedient toward porting Windows applications to Linux. In the OS/2 world there used to be Micrografx Mirrors which served much the same purpose with exactly the same effect: the production of bad semi-native applications. (Weirdly, it also brings along a qt-1.x library.)"

"I had hoped to delight you with screenshots of this case study in what an application should not look like, but before I really had the opportunity I discovered the utterly disqualifying feature of HancomOffice: it violates the prime directive. It breaks stuff. KDE, for instance."

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