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office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

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office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Our users need word processing and spreadsheet applications on HPUX, preferably ones that are supported by HP.

At one point, HP was making noises about offering a supported version of GNOME to replace CDE. Has HP abandoned that idea?

The last GNOME-for-HPUX release I found on software.hp.com was Gnome 1.4 back in December 2002, and all of the releases up to that point were unsupported "previews".

Since that time, Ximian has been bought out by Novell, Gnome has gone through several release cycles, and I haven't seen any updates at all from HP.

At this point, some of the applications (gnumeric, in particular) pop up dialogs indicating that they should be updated, and they don't work reliably on > 11.00 systems anyway.

Most of the applications are hopelessly outdated now (some were fairly immature in the Gnome 1.4 era to begin with).

This isn't something I can afford to inflict on our users.

Even hpux.cs.utah.edu doesn't have packages for most GNOME stuff, and OpenOffice has no HPUX port. What are my options?
29 REPLIES
Honored Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Well, there seems to be a usable port of Gnome 2 here

http://nauta.homeunix.net/gnomeHPUXWiki/



Never preceed any demonstration with anything more predictive than "watch this"
Exalted Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Gnome 1.4 is the only release that HP-UX depots exist for.

I have heard nothing about subsequent releases or an open office port.

You can get the source for the newer GNOME versions and try and compile it yourself. If open office source is available, same thing.

Its not a small project, but if you do it you might be able to charge money for compiling lessons.

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

I suspect that your least evil method is to use OpenOffice on a Linux Box that is accessed using your HP-UX X environment.

It's probably "doable", though far from painless, to download the OpenOffice source and make your own HP-UX native port.
If it ain't broke, I can fix that.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Plan C: Have you consider Citrix?
If it ain't broke, I can fix that.
Esteemed Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

There will not be any updates to the GNOME for HP-UX product preview. The downloads remain but they are not supported. HP has decided that CDE will remain the supported desktop for the immediate future. There are both PA and IP F versions of GNOME and they work about as well as those versions did on Linux.

I'll recap some of the options that have already been listed:

- porting OpenOffice - large task
- using existing - easy
- Linux box exporting display - medium, potential problems with remote display
- Windows running Citrix - unknown
Necessary questions: Why? What? How? When?
Honored Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Hi,

we do have an Citrix Metaframeserver here (mostly for MS-Office). Think this will have the greatest acceptance with your users. They will be able to use the Windows applications they are used to.

The only problem mitght exist whit different keyboard layouts. We use some old HIL keyboards which are missing some keys. If you use standard PS/2 keyboards there should be nothing your users would miss.

Hope this helps

Regards Stefan
No Mouse found. System halted. Press Mousebutton to continue.

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

We have considered Citrix, yes. If we went that way it'd probably be more cost-effective to replace everything with Windows desktops though.
Exalted Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

I was told by a source inside HP several years ago that because GNOME is a standard, it would become a standard for HP-UX.

Apparently this has been changed.

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Respected Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

We use Citrix here. With samba, it is a reasonable office alternative, don't attempt a Citrix implementation over long-haul lines. OpenOffice is of course preferable, but try telling 99% of the world to change...

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

OpenOffice would be ideal, but someone would need to do an HPUX port.

If I understand correctly (I could be wrong), OpenOffice's component architecture (like Mozilla's XPCOM) has architecture-specific bits, making it a non-trivial port.

I guess the HP-UX development community isn't large enough anymore for someone to attempt it (the existing Mozilla porting effort seems to have died, too).

I think at this point I'm going to attempt my own builds of Abiword and Gnumeric (GARNOME is nice, but too bleeding-edge to inflict on end-users); I'll post on how that goes...
Honored Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Let me offer a bass-ackwards solution: run the Citrix Client on the HP box, and publish the desktop apps to it from a Windows server. I do a lot of Metaframe for Unix stuff, but I haven't tried this (yet). I'll give it a whirl and see if it works. This should be interesting.....


Chris
Honored Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Okay, I tried it. You can get the Citrix Client for HP from the downloads page at www.citrix.com. Its a little old: 6.3 where the current version is 7.2. I suspect that this product will be End of Life for HP-UX but this is no problem. I looked at the feature list differences, and didn't see anything signficant.

This works pretty cool: seeing the Win2000 desktop inside an X window, instead of the other way around. If you don't have regular keyboards, you'll have to do some mapping. But t'is otherwise a no-brainer.

Just for giggles, I loaded the Citrix ICA client on the Win2k server, then loaded the HP CDE desktop session using Metaframe for Unix. Then I kicked off the Citrix ICA client for HP-UX, and loaded the desktop from the Win2k server that I started with. I then loaded the ICA client (again) and connected back to the Unix host!!!!

I guess you can continue to do this until you run out of network bandwidth, cpu cycles or Citrix licenses.

Try it, you'll like it. If you don't have Citrix Metaframe for Unix, you can get a freebie 90 day demo from Citrix. It shares licenses with your regular Citrix servers, so you can get away with the minimum of 3 licenses.

HP should really buy this product from Citrix. Its the most undermarketed yet useful tool I've worked with in a while. The problem is only that Citrix support sucks, and HP can only improve on it.


Chris

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Thanks, but as I said we had already tried Citrix. As far as functionality goes, it worked great.

In our particular case, though, getting the additonal funding for the CALs was not an option.
Respected Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

I am treading into territory I am unsure of here, but have you tried koffice? (requires kde of course...)
Honored Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

pcross,

Sadly, kde 3 and therefore koffice doesn't compile on hpux. Long ago, I ported KDE beta 3 and then kde 1.X to hp-ux but I never managed to get kde 2 to build. There is a project out there but success so far is limited to getting the arts to build and not a lot more.
Never preceed any demonstration with anything more predictive than "watch this"

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

I think at this point I'm going to try using an earlier version of GARNOME. Working out the required versions for everything has proven a bit nightmarish.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Although you obviously didn't like my Plan A, I think that you will find that having a dedicated Linux Server, with automounted home directories on the users' workstations, and essentially using your HP boxes as X-Terminals (with file hosting) is not a bad alternative at all. It's fast, cheap, and OpenOffice works quite well.
If it ain't broke, I can fix that.

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Well, looking back I didn't really do a very good job of posing my original question, at least as far as explaining the constraints I was under. (I also don't have a good feel for typical ratings on this board yet; at this point I'd probably amend some of my existing ratings if I could.)

We were, originally, evaluating Citrix, but we weren't able to justify the cost of licences or a dedicated Windows server. In our environment, I think it'd be even harder to justify the costs of another dedicated Unix (Linux) server.

So, pretty much I'm stuck with finding some solution on native HP-UX, or we're out of luck until the users in question get migrated to another platform.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Comparing a Linux server's cost to that of Citrix is VASTLY in the Linux box's favor --- probably by a factor of 10 when licenses are included. You would be hard-pressed to spend $3K on a very decent Linux box. Even purchased versions of Linux are dirt-cheap.
Even more attractive is that in the time you have spent on the Forums from your original posting, you could have had a fully functional OpenOffice implementation up and running even with automounted home directories. The only other additional direct cost would be that of backup. If you are already running OB2/DP that additional cost would be zero.
If it ain't broke, I can fix that.

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Hmm, I will have to sit down and figure out what the hardware requirements would be (similar to what we'd need for Citrix, I suspect). We may have an existing machine we could repurpose...
Respected Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

I would just like to make a cautionary comment regarding OpenOffice and compatibility. Make sure that your users aren't expecting a M$ product. OpenOffice is great if your files remain inside your place of work, yay for OpenOffice! But file compatibility and features are still issues when files are shared with Word and Excel users, because unfortunately, most of the world still uses M$, and M$ doesn't like sharing its file formats.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

Actually my experience with OpenOffice has been quite the opposite. Microsoft Word and Excel files exchange easily in both directions and transparently with their OpenOffice counterparts, Writer and Calc. The only glitches I've seen have occurred in Powerpoint with unusual layouts and even there the issues were minor. Best of all, an experienced Word/Excel user can sit down with Writer and Calc and be completely at home in a few minutes.

Of course, it's always possible for Microsoft to come out with "new, vastly improved" formats but that would also break their older versions as well.

If it ain't broke, I can fix that.

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

At least in the case of Word documents, OpenOffice would be a significant improvment over Abiword in that respect.

I've not compared OpenOffice with Gnumeric's Excel export/import in detail, though Gnumeric seems to do pretty well.
Respected Contributor

Re: office applications/GNOME on HPUX?

That's interesting, I have been using openoffice for years and, yes I can read M$ files, but formatting is usually off and any M$ file that incorporates advanced features confuses OO completely. I have also found that users (office admins, non-technical staff) who are used to word and excel require quite a bit of transitional training to be comfortable with OO.
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