Summary: Spreadsheets and Word Processors

From: Gordon Lentz (
Date: Thu Dec 20 1990 - 14:54:35 CST

I wrote:

  (1) Does anyone know of decent spreadsheets available for Sparcs? Public-
  domain ones with decent documentation would be nice (we don't have many $)
  but comments on any commercial ones you have used would be appreciated.

  (2) The same question about word-processors; I know about WordPerfect and
  Write/Paint/Draw. Public-domain? Commercial? Of course MS Word can be
  used (slowly) under DOS-Windows (as can Lotus 1-2-3).

  Multi-user capability would be nice, of course.

The following is a summary of the responses I received which I prepared
for discussion locally. I hope I have adequately summarized the comments
that the respondants so kindly made. A complete copy of any (or all) of
the responses is available if requested.

----------------------------------- cut here ---------------------------------

                Spreadsheets and Word Procesors

        The email address, package type and package name are given. Where
a comment based on experience in use by the sender was given, a hyphenated
comment line is included; other (parenthasized, e.g.) comments are based
on little or no claimed experience. No comment generally means this is just
a suggestion based on ads seen, trade shows, etc.

        Bracketed comments are explanatory.

        Where one was supplied by the sender, a contact or suggested source
for the product is given.
        spreadsheet: (1) eXclaim! [beta-test version]
                                - X-windows base
                                - 1-2-3 compatible
                                - nice-looking
                                - beta-test version has bugs
                          contact: ?an May; Quality Software Products

                        (2) Lotus 1-2-3

        WP: (1) Framemaker
                                - reasonably sophisticated,
                                - powerful,
                                - X-windows/SunView compatible,
                                - some odd quirks
                          contact 1-800-U4FRAME

                        (2) SlimTPS [demo version]
                                - X-window/SunView compatibility,
                                - has some problems on both
                                - looks good when it works.
                           contact: Interleaf (617)577-9800
        spreadsheet: sc [ver 6.11]
                                - no graphics,
                                - free,
                                - good capability
                          contact: [couldn't find it there]

        WP: (1) Framemaker
                                - nice

                        (2) Interleaf
                                - big,
                                - bit more administrative headaches,
                                - produces excellant output

                        (3) ArborText [frontend to TeX]

                        (4) Asterix [from Applix]

                        (5) Quintet [from Dux -- not shipped yet]

                        (6) WordPerfect
        spreadsheet: Wingz
                                - very happy with it
                                - supports color
                                - SunView application
                                - price ~$100

        WP: FrameMaker
                                - powerful
                                - fairly easy to use
                                - wysiwyg
                                - more powerful than Write/Paint/Draw
                        sc [PD]
                          contact: comp.sources.unix

        spreadsheet: Wingz
                                - in use

        WP: Framemaker
                                - in use
        spreadsheet: sc [PD]
                                - vol 2 of comp.sources.unix []
        WP: Emacs/TeX, Emacs/LaTeX [PD]
                                - widely used
                                - used by secretaries
                                - hard to train on
                                - price is right
        spreadsheet: (1) Wingz
                                - less patching of OS
                                - good performance
                                - good options

                        (2) Lotus 1-2-3
                                - not as good performance
                                - patching of OS required

        WP: Frame[Maker?]
                                - openwindows version soon
                                - cheaper than Island*, Interleaf
                                - compatible across Mac/PC/Sun
                                - license server
        spreadsheet: (1) Lotus 1-2-3
                                - educational discounts
                           contact: Douglas Stewart Co 1-800-356-8370

                        (2) 20/20
                                - more expensive
                                - demo version available
                           contact: Access Technology; Natick Mass.

        WP: Framemaker
                                - with 10-20 potential users, 2-3 floating
                                  licenses seem to work most of time
        spreadsheet: sc [PD]
                                - runs with curses library
                                - "even" runs under VMS
        WP: FrameMaker
                                - discounts to Universities good
                                - floating license not tied to terminal
                                - mathematical typesetting
                                - PD utilities (xvgr for data graphing)
                                  output directly to it
        spreadsheets: (1) Wingz
                                - $125/node
                                - some flaws [all platforms]

                        (2) Lotus 1-2-3
                                - price about the same [recommended]
        spreadsheet: sc [PD]
                                - many have worked on
                                - recommend ver. 6.8
                                - can get from most archives


Many thanks to all who responded. The information is very valuable to us.

Gordon Lentz

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