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Author Topic: wordperfect 8 for linux  (Read 10028 times)
Colonel Panic
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« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2009, 11:52:14 am »

GrannyGeek,

Thanks for reminding us of Wordstar Dos.  Wordstar 2 for Windows was not much, but Wordstar Dos is probably the best word processor ever. A user's group is still active.  Once learned, the dot commands allow very fast and accurate formatting.

For more info, send a message to wslinux-request@wordstar2.com) containing just the word 'help' in the message body, and an email message will be sent back with instructions.

Those who have questions, problems, comments, etc, send them to wslinux-owner@wordstar2.com.


Thanks again for the info! WordStar for DOS certainly seems to be one of the best loved word processors ever, the command keys you use most often are the most central on your keyboard so it's very ergonomic and convenient. Back when I had Windows there wasn't much I needed to do in Word that I couldn't do in WordStar; the only thing I missed was the choice of fonts, and StarWriter (6 for DOS, which I got later) made up for that.

I've seen a science fiction writer online saying he does all his writing using WordStar.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 11:53:57 am by Colonel Panic » Logged
GrannyGeek
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« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2009, 09:05:04 pm »

Wordstar 2 for Windows was not much, but Wordstar Dos is probably the best word processor ever. A user's group is still active.  Once learned, the dot commands allow very fast and accurate formatting.

I strongly disagree about WSWin 2. It has been my main word processor/DTP app since Win 3.1 days (1994). It has no similarity whatever to WS DOS except that it has a set of prebuilt WordStar control-key combinations and some filters for various versions of WS DOS and the PIX graphics format it used.

WSWin it the BEST DTP-program-cum-word-processor ever. Nothing else comes close. Unfortunately, it is a 16-bit program and is showing its age badly. Some of its functions broke under Windows NT and its successors (W2K, XP, Vista). Mainly it still works unless you need one of those functions. I haven't been able to get WSWin working under Wine. I'm now making a painful transition to a modern, cross platform word processor. The problem is I don't like any that I've tried. AbiWord is too limited in features, OpenOffice Writer is clunky, TextMaker is maddening because it allows just centimeters or inches as measurement systems (you can type a pica or point measurement but it gets converted to inches or centimeters), and you can't specify locations for frames beyond a tenth of an inch, which is unacceptable. WSWin is a hard-core frames- and styles-based program, which is something I insist on because most of what I do is highly and precisely formatted.

I guess I'll have to use OOo Writer and/or TextMaker for writing and then import the text into Scribus to get it in shape. If only Scribus had an acceptable hyphenation and justification algorithm... I never set justified type in Scribus because it does a BAD job and is very worky to fix. The developers know this and a new text engine is in the works, but Scribus development proceeds at a snail's pace (few developers, all volunteers, lots that needs to be done, not enough time to do it).
--GrannyGeek
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sledgehammer
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« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2009, 12:58:03 am »

GrannyGeek.

I may have been a little hard of wswin2.  I migrated to it from wordstar dos and thought it inferior. You say tomato. I say tomato. You might try IBM's Lotus Symphony 1.2 for linux
(http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/home.nsf/home).  I use symphony 1.1 (1.2 says it requires libcstdc++.so.6 and I don't have that and can't find it). 1.1 is kind of buggy but we use it as it does not have the bloat of StarOffice 8, does a better job with word docs and has a clean and pretty interface.

Also, unless you have need to convert to word, I highly recommend lyx 1.6.1 (on the vector 5.9 repositories). It, to me at least, is a great "thinking" document, along the lines of Wordstar Dos.  And it makes the prettiest page of any of them.  Steep learning curve though, particularly if you are not satisfied with the defaults.

John
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wcs
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« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2009, 05:46:16 am »

Quote
Another old, proprietary piece of software I have is Civilization: Call To Power.

Caitlyn: I finally managed to have CivCTP working fine in VL 5.9 after many tries.
I got the info and libraries from a gentoo wiki, I think.
I unpack the compressed old libs and then start it with:
Code:
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/CivCTP/Loki_Compat/ /opt/CivCTP/Loki_Compat/ld-linux.so.2 /opt/CivCTP/civctp.dynamic

(this is with the 1.2a upgrade of the game, and a patch to the upgrade)

Since loki died, it's more difficult to find these things, so pm me if you want the files.

EDIT: Even more annoying is that I bought the cd in a Linux World Expo, at a time that every distro (even slackware) had a 2.6 kernel. It didn't even cross my mind that it wouldn't work (or that they would sell it without letting me know).
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 06:07:07 am by wcs » Logged
wcs
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« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2009, 06:02:03 am »

Quote
Also, unless you have need to convert to word, I highly recommend lyx 1.6.1 (on the vector 5.9 repositories). It, to me at least, is a great "thinking" document, along the lines of Wordstar Dos.  And it makes the prettiest page of any of them.  Steep learning curve though, particularly if you are not satisfied with the defaults.

I like lyx very much, but you're right about the learning curve...
Sooner or later, it would give me hassle, and I had to edit the code myself.
Because this started happening frequently, I ended up switching to Latex completely, which after some time with lyx, I at least knew the basics of.

I'm now using the kile editor for Latex and (for long documents) don't even think about using anything else.
Great documentation as well, but it takes quite a while to learn Latex (and maybe a lifetime to master Smiley ).
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Joe1962
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WWW
« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2009, 06:23:24 am »

... but Wordstar Dos is probably the best word processor ever.

For me that would be WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS. I migrated after a couple of years of WordStar head-scratching... Grin
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Kosh
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« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2009, 06:40:09 am »

... but Wordstar Dos is probably the best word processor ever.

For me that would be WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS. I migrated after a couple of years of WordStar head-scratching... Grin

The same for me, long time ago I switch from WordStar ti WordPerfect 5.1 for MSDOS (in 1989 or 1990)

WP 8 for linux had the advantage of being fast and using few resources than Staroffice 5. Applixware was a lightweight office too

Oh, that was some years ago to. I'm old now!  Smiley
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2009, 05:16:34 pm »

I may have been a little hard of wswin2.  I migrated to it from wordstar dos and thought it inferior.

I think a lot of WS DOS users were expecting a Windows version of WordStar--maybe keeping the dot commands and keystrokes and just using Windows fonts, graphics, and printers. WSWin was not that, so I think these users were disappointed, shocked, or maybe horrified. It's not a program that would be likely to please people who just want to compose a lot of text and don't care that much about fancy formatting. It probably shouldn't have been called "WordStar." WSWin's origins were in a desktop publishing program, not WS DOS. By the way, I used WordStar DOS regularly for 7 years. I started with 3-something, used WS 5 and WS 7.0d.  I last used it in 1994, but I esteem it highly and will always have a soft spot in my heart for it.

Quote
You might try IBM's Lotus Symphony 1.2 for linux
(http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/home.nsf/home). 

I recall trying out a demo or beta version, possibly for Windows. That was quite a while ago. At that time I didn't find anything of interest to me. Is there a reason you consider it worth a try? OOo 3 Writer is a very competent word processor but I don't like the interface, which seems clunky to me. TextMaker (not free software) does a good job on DOC files and has a good interface, but I already described some of the things it's lacking. Anything I use seriously *must* offer points and picas as the program's measurement unit and it has to offer more than tenths of an inch for positioning text and graphic frames. I've already mentioned this on TextMaker's user boards but I guess the developers don't care that much, or maybe it's harder to implement than I think. I would be happy to use TextMaker (which offers a preconfigured WordStar keystroke set as an option) if those two deal breakers were taken care of. I've tried KWord, which is frame-based, but it was lacking many features, such as control over kerning pairs.

[quoteI highly recommend lyx 1.6.1[/quote]

No thanks. No Lyx, TeX, or any other derivatives of TeX. It's a techie tool, not a DTP tool. It's great for long documents that repeat the same formatting and it's great because it relieves the user of having to know anything about proper typesetting, but it's inflexible and not really WYSIWYG. To get enough flexibility in a document, you have to venture into programming, which I can't do and don't want to learn to do.

Quote
It, to me at least, is a great "thinking" document, along the lines of Wordstar Dos.

Explain what this means to you. I can't make sense of it because I don't agree with the premise. You can think with any word processor. It sort of reminds me of the copy in a Voice of the Mountains catalog advertising a manual typewriter: "Manual Olivetti Typewriter Types at a Pace You Can Think." "This manual Olivetti moves at a pace that allows ample time to compose your thoughts, and will never crash and lose your words of wisdom." My son and I have had many a laugh over this. The copy makes it sound as if the Devil siezes your hands when you sit down at a word processor and makes you type madly, much like the dancer wearing the magical ballet shoes in "The Red Shoes," if anyone remembers that movie from 1948.

I'm not trying to put you on the spot here. I'm interested in what you have in mind. We doubtless want different things from our word processors, which is why it's good that we have choices that are quite different from each other.
--GrannyGeek
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sledgehammer
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« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2009, 10:44:57 pm »

GrannyGeek,

re Symphony, you ask:
Quote
Is there a reason you consider it worth a try?
.  We have several lawyers and clerks.  Some are completely novice to computers and others are used to word perfect/word.  All of those folks use Symphony 1.1 (until I get 1.2 to work).  Symphony is easy for them to use and they like it.  Terribly unfair to Star Office, which is a better and more reliable, but bigger, program.  Go figure.  Those who are good at linux like Star Office better.  Symphony won't read or write to WP though, which necessitates that someone handle the conversion from wpd to odt, so they can use it.  It would be better for me if they all used Star Office as it at least reads wpd files. 

re lyx, you note:
Quote
It's a techie tool
  You might be right as to short documents, though I use it for everything I can, including letters.  However, it really shines in long documents.  It automatically prints a table of contents.   It is very easy to get around in Lyx.  And to organize, without giving the appearance of the document much thought.  But the folks who run it are a sadistic bunch, I fear, taking delight in punishing any deviation from their preferred (default) way of doing things.  So I just go with the defaults.  They do the job.  The end product always looks great.

Quote
"It, to me at least, is a great "thinking" document, along the lines of Wordstar Dos."

Explain what this means to you.
  I will try:  Wordstar dos displaced Perfect Writer and Wang and others, including WordStar CPM, but in turn was killed by Word Perfect - because Word Perfect figured out that the secretaries were really running the show.  Before that we dictated to a secretary or, later, into a machine.  The secretary made something usable out of it. After dictating went out of style, WordStar was king.  And when the attorneys started getting personal computers, they used WordStar Dos to put down thoughts (much as they earlier did when dictating) while still relying on the secretaries to pretty it up.  When the secretaries all started using Word Perfect, the attorneys lost out and started using WYSIWYG word processors themselves.  Instead of putting down thoughts, they started organizing those thoughts themselves. Indenting quotes. italicizing, etc..  Even doing their own table of contents.  Time consuming and wasteful to some degree.  And more than one client bitched that at her crazy hourly rate, the attorney was just "churning" the case.  They wanted the attorney to have the secretary/clerk do all that formating at a much lower hourly cost.  And just about any lawyer use of computers was quite unacceptable then to those then clinging to old protocols.  Lyx came along and now lets the attorney sort of "dictate" again.  Once down the learning curve, the attorney doesn't have to do much organizing ...just throw down thoughts.  Instead of having the secretaries pretty up the final document, Lyx kind of does that for you if you are willing to live with its defaults.. Its probably not as good for "thinking" as Word Star dos was, but its a pretty good compromise.

These are just my personal observations.  I am sure many will see things differently.  But, I note its sort of full circle now.  Long the attorneys were using Word Star dos and the Secretaries Word Perfect, The secretaries won. They will probably win again, for few of them use Lyx, and Lyx won't convert to Word Perfect or odt or Word.  The difference is that with Lyx, the attorney can sometimes at least put out a pretty good document that does not need further computerized editing by staff. 

As wcs says, Kile (also in the repositories) is very good.  Its a lot like lyx but just didn't fit my bill as well. Probably would if I used it more, but I am tired of all the changing.  I suspect the best word processor for just about anyone is the one with which they are most comfortable, especially if it reads and writes to other formats without doing too much damage to the formatting.   Lyx, by this standard, is never going to conquer the world.


« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 07:12:25 pm by sledgehammer » Logged

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caitlyn
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« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2009, 11:06:53 pm »

I will freely admit I was a WordStar user from version 3.1 onward.  I may be one of the few people who actually liked WSWin 2.0 and it *did* accept the old WordStar keyboard shortcuts from way back when.  Of course I ran WSWin under OS/2, but that's another story.  StarWriter was originally written for OS/2 and I started with a very, very early version, I think it was 2.0.  I also had MS Word for OS/2 version 1.1.  I eventually migrated to the Lotus SmartSuite which I really liked.

When I started migrating from OS/2 to Linux for my own use (circa 1998) and also began to work with it professionally my choice was still StarWriter.  I never much cared for WordPerfect 7 for Linux but 8 was better and I did buy a licensed copy which allowed me to import all the fonts I wanted.

Nowadays I am mostly happy with OpenOffice and AbiWord for lighter work.  I see nothing at all wrong with wanting to get an old word processor running again and I may even try it with WP 8. 

FWIW, I still think it would be great if someone bought the rights to WSWin, opened it, and ported it to Linux.  I doubt that will ever happen.

FWIW, I agree with GrannyGeek about Lyx.  It just isn't for me.  Right now I use Scribus for DTP which is OK but not great.
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Colonel Panic
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« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2009, 08:54:14 am »

Thanks for the replies, I'm enjoying this thread and the trip down memory lane. Smiley

Another well regarded (and British) DOS word processor, Protext, has recently been released as freeware and can be downloaded from this site;

http://www.glinton.prodigynet.co.uk/protext/

I've done so but it apparently needs installing from floppy, which I don't know how to do in DOSBox so I may have to give DOSEmu a try soon.
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2009, 05:59:10 pm »

FWIW, I still think it would be great if someone bought the rights to WSWin, opened it, and ported it to Linux.  I doubt that will ever happen.

Serious inquiries have been made more than once. Unfortunately, WSWin included major portions of code licensed from other companies and the owner of WSWin was not legally able to sell or give away the code for WSWin because the licenses had expired. WSWin was owned by a succession of companies after WordStar International merged with SoftKey. I don't know who owns it now.

Corel had bought rights to the code for WSWin, which it was planning to develop and include in an office suite. WSWin retained rights to develop its code further. But when Corel acquired WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, etc., the WordStar project was abandoned and nothing ever came of the code Corel had acquired.

WSWin developers had hoped to come out with a 32-bit version, but whoever owned it at the time stopped development (SoftKey, I think). The file format was a beast and very fragile, so without doubt it would have been reworked thoroughly if a 32-bit version had been developed. Alas, it was never to be.
--GrannyGeek
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2009, 06:07:58 pm »

sledgehammer,

Thanks for your very interesting comments and observations on Symphony, Lyx, WordStar, and WordPerfect.
--GrannyGeek
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Colonel Panic
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« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2009, 01:16:49 pm »

I know people who are running WordStar for DOS in Linux under DOSemu. Give it a try if you're really interested!

You can find some very helpful information here:
 http://www.wordstar2.com/wiki/index.php?WordStarAndDOS
--GrannyGeek

Thanks once again.

I am trying it as I speak. It works well except for one thing; I haven't found any way yet to output documents from WS7 directly to my printer (the same wirh Protext). All is not lost because I can always save them as text, load them into OpenOffice and then print them out using CUPS, but it'd be nice to be able to print directly from the program as intended.

I think the old style word processors have the new ones beat for ease of text manipulation though. For example, Ctrl-/ changes the case of text in Protext, Ctrl-Alt-S selects a sentence for moving around in PC-Write (and it's easier still in PC-Type). Would that the code from those could be open sourced for use in Linux.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 01:20:49 pm by Colonel Panic » Logged
caitlyn
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« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2009, 02:56:51 pm »

GrannyGeek:  SoftKey was bought out by The Learning Company.  They sold shrink wrapped copies of WSWin2 (by then a very old app) without box or manual for US$4.95 at some retailers.  The Learning Company was best known for children's educational software.  That's where I lost track of WSWin. 

I have no idea who owns all the rights to the various licenses now.  Someone does and they could be bought and opened or some proprietary stuff (like outdated import/export filters) could be stripped out.  I have no idea what Corel and other license holders would demand in payment.  Someone would need to be willing to spend the money to buy out each and every license involved and I just don't see that happening.  Pity.
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