Is Penguin so scary in 2022. Office packages in ALT Education 10
You have been “transplanted” to Linux (voluntarily-compulsorily went through this process, this is a separate issue) and you need to continue working in it. You can get used to changes in the file system and the graphical environment, since lately the same Windows and Linux environments have become similar to each other, but application software remains a “red line” for many. As a person familiar with Linux not only as “you”, but also involved in its development in 2008–2014, I became interested in what a user can get in 2022 in various areas of OS application and how I myself will perceive the system through 10 years of “windows use”? I decided to start with office suites, and then I will try to go over other aspects “at the request of users” from the comments.
We will all watch on the ALT Education 10 distribution kit, which has been updated to the latest available software versions. Looking ahead, I will say that all packages quite successfully digest documents in both Microsoft format (old and new) and Open Document. With macros (more precisely, with compatibility), “trouble-trouble” is everywhere, or rather, you can write and use them, but only on your own Basic in LibreOffice (there is still an opportunity in Java and Python) or on Lua in MyOffice.
The office suite is available by default after installation from a USB drive and after the update we are offered version 7.3. After launch, we are offered a “classic” interface, where additional functionality will be available to us on panels with buttons and from a drop-down menu, which nostalgically takes us back to 2007. Ribbons, familiar after MS Office, are still in test mode, but you can activate them yourself from the menu View – User Interface. Here they are called Tabs.
You can either install fonts (which is not entirely legal) from Microsoft, or use their open analogues of the Liberation family.
This office suite is closest to the usual Word, Excel or PowerPoint and allows you to work in it with almost no retraining, and use the familiar functionality. Of the minuses, I immediately want to note the absence of the already familiar auto-completion modes. Formulas in Calc are in Russian by default, as in Excel, but they can be switched to English by settings.
There is also a presentation editor (Impress), it opens presentations in pptx quite correctly, but there may be some problems with animation and effects.
Domestic “killer” MS Office. It is not in the repository (installing and updating software in Linux in general and in ALT in particular is a separate story), so first you need to download and install the RPM package from the manufacturer’s website. Then just double-click on the downloaded RPM package, enter the root password and wait for the installation to complete. After that, in the Office menu will appear … Word processor and Spreadsheet. Also by the way are called Writer and Calc in LibreOffice, so you can distinguish them by icons.
The text editor is similar to Word at the minimum (more precisely, its extended online version). All main elements are placed on one Ribbon without tabs. On the one hand, it is familiar to users of the latest versions of Office, on the other hand, you clearly notice that many functions, not to mention the “chips” of Microsoft products are missing here. For example, the same LibreOffice can translate the string “+====+====+====+” into a table, but MyOffice does not.
The table editor is also minimalistic, the basic functions will be in the Ribbon, for the rest you will have to go to the drop-down menu. Formulas can be entered both in Russian and in English, but the editor automatically converts them into Russian.
As for the presentation editor… It’s not here, at least in the Home version.
Another Russian office suite, for which even for home use they are asked to pay. A 1-year license costs about 2,000 rubles for 1 user and 4,000 rubles for 5 users. But there is a 30-day trial period, for which we will be asked to share personal data. There are ready-made packages for Alt, Rosa, Astra and RedOS, so we select Alt and download the rpm-ku. Then, by analogy with MyOffice, we install.
After installation, you will have a Document Editor in the program menu, which allows you to open or create a Document, Spreadsheet or Presentation through yourself. I will not comment on the functionality, it is even smaller than that of MyOffice (well, at least there is a presentation editor) and resembles a mix of everything that was before. Why not, since the P7 office is now used as part of the Yandex 360 service, and I recently recalled its developers in different words when I could not align the text in the table in the middle of the cell. So just look at the screenshots. I will add that in the table editor formulas can also be entered in English and then they are converted into Russian, and presentations are displayed in it the worst, the design “floats”.
Another office suite in Russian and with declared compatibility with Linux. As usual, we go to the official website, download and install the RPM package. Here we are in for a small ambush, since in ALT this package conflicts with two others, but where ours did not disappear. We push rpm-ku through the –replacefiles parameter and look. For normal use, the package is free, and its additional features, such as PDF editing or building a business cloud, still cannot be paid from the Russian Federation.
Beautiful, sincere, closest in interface to MS Office of covid years, but … Partially there is no translation in the main shell (everything is translated in the editors) and the main problem: it wildly slows down when entering text. The editor may think for a couple of seconds before displaying a new letter. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I check everything in Linux, which in turn is installed in a virtual machine. Perhaps this is due to the forced installation. But I cannot recommend him specifically in ALT Education. See also the screenshots for the appearance of WPS Office.
But I have… an Office 365 subscription and why not try running office suites on Linux. No sooner said than done, we download the offline installer from the Microsoft website, while replacing the User Agent in Chromium, we get access to the contents of the downloaded img-image, run wine and try to … break off. We climb on Winehq and see that the installation is possible, but we need to do a certain feint with our ears, update Wine Gecko and do a couple of other things that a regular user will not do … We postpone the idea until the moment when I install the missing software from Windows.
Clouds, white manes… office editors
Not a required item, but it doesn’t hurt to check the work in Office.com or Google Drive too. We launch Chromium, go and log in to office.com and … we get Word, Excel and PowerPoint, only in the web version + access to our OneDrive, which allows you to work with documents both on Windows and Linux almost seamlessly.
Now Google. We go and log in to Google Drive and get a working cloud and Google Docs editors. It would be strange if all this did not work in Chromium.
The conclusion from all of the above: with office applications in Linux, everything is quite good. Yes, there is still room to grow to the level of the latest versions of applications from Office 365, but for most of us the capabilities of the Google Docs cloud are enough, so 99% of office users will be able to adapt to Linux.
I would also be grateful if you write in the comments which part of the user experience to touch on next time? I’ll tell you right away about the games, it will be a separate story, since for their test it will be necessary to install Linux on a real gaming machine, and not in a virtual machine, but you can talk about the rest of the software in this configuration.