Tom's Definitive Linux Software Roundup: Office Applications

Project Management

KPlato (v.0.7.2)

Part of the KOffice suite, KPlato is a comprehensive task management application. Not only does KPlato provide tools for task tracking and scheduling, but it also has the ability to track and analyze costs associated with these tasks. Using this feature, you can quantify how deviations from your set schedule affect the bottom line.

KPlato has a tool that can associate resources with tasks, along with costs. This enables the user to keep track of resource allocation throughout a project's duration. Throw in all the analytical tools, and KPlato can be a pretty effective piece of software for even larger scale and complex operations.

TaskJuggler (v. 2.4.3)

TaskJuggler is a custom, detail-oriented project manager. While there is a GUI, you have to enter your resources and tasks manually, Notepad-style. This is intimidating, but it grants you the ability to add declarations, attributes, flags, and macros for almost anything. Once it's all done, simply select the Report tab to see graphical charts showing pretty much whatever view you want, provided you entered the information properly into the Editor tab.

Setting up a project of any scope in TaskJuggler can be a major pain, but because of its manual editor, keeping track of almost every minute detail of a project is possible. TaskJuggler is probably worth the time for larger projects, due to its abilty to custom tailor reports on almost everything.

Planner (v.0.14.4)

Planner is the project management part of the GNOME Office suite. Planner has four different tools or views for interacting with your project. They can be accessed by a slim left-hand pane and displayed on the rest of the screen.

The top view is Gantt view. This is a Gantt chart showing the smaller tasks that comprise your entire project, all in a time line view with the resources needed for each task shown attached to that task. The Tasks view allows for the creation and editing of individual tasks and the assigning of resources to tasks. The Resources view is for the creation and classification of resources. Finally, the ResourcesUsage view is a graphical representation of your resource usage, like the Gantt view, but emphasizing resources instead of tasks.

By associating costs with resources, both material and human, Planner lets you keep tabs on the total cost of a project. Planner has promise, but lacks the polish of KPlato and the sophistication of TaskJuggler.

  • ksa-_-jed
    And don't bother looking for any anti-virus becuase you don't need it or cracks for your software becuase almost all app are free !!!!!!!
  • DjEaZy
    ... for my laptop @ work the only licensed thing are win7hp and KAV... all other apps are free... infrerecorder, inkskape, OOo and so on...
  • bloody llama
    Open Office and the other open source software are great for what they are, but try replacing Access 2007 or 2010 with something open source, and you'll be tearing your hair out.
  • jsowoc
    I assume that OO 3.0.1 is what you have in the repositories - was that the reason for testing the older version (version 3.2 came out two months ago)?
  • JonathanDeane
    bloody llamaOpen Office and the other open source software are great for what they are, but try replacing Access 2007 or 2010 with something open source, and you'll be tearing your hair out.
    This is very true, I love Open Office and for my home use it does 100% of what I would use MS Office for, that being said if I had to run a business on it I am afraid it would be worth it to pony up the dough for an MS product.
  • ejmarkow
    Tom's Hardware omitted the best performing, most comprehensive, free and Open Source Accounting ERP software available for download. It's called "xTuple ERP PostBooks Edition" and utilizes PostgreSQL. This software is capable of running anything from a small to large business. Link:
  • killerclick
    We installed Linux and OOo into one of our offices (sort of an experiment to cut costs) and it was a riot. Not that Linux and OOo are bad, it's just that the power of habit is too strong to break when Windows and Linux are concerned. Windows and OS/X... not so much apparently.
  • Open Source is the future. ...... companies that profit millions or billions off of proprietary software. They are what hold us back.
  • randomizer
    killerclickWindows and OS/X... not so much apparently.Well it's not like Office on Windows and Mac are vastly different, I'd hope that users would feel comfortable using the exact same software...

    I must attest to the uselessness of OOo Calc though. It needs a ground-up rewrite. It's slow to load and process even a small to moderately sized amount of data and charts are slow to redraw when altered. I have not tested GNUMeric enough to comment on that but it's supposedly alot faster.

    I'm interested in looking at those project management programs. There's also OpenProj to add to the list.
  • haplo602
    hmm ... not my area of software, I try to avoid office apps as much as I can, but last time I worked in Writer/Calc it was slow and unresponsive. The best thing in Writer was the TeX like equation editor, way better than what MS had to offer. I think they made some progress on OOo since that time, so I'd have to test.