This shows that it is possible to make a minimum viable product with one person with persistence and skill. Thank you for sharing!
Treat other developers in the same way we would want to be treated if in a similar position :)
It has nice style support.
I did a neat little screenplay-writing program with it one weekend...I simply created styles that matched to common screenplay formats (like dialog, scene descriptions, etc), assigned hotkeys to the styles, then wrote a little smart method to figure out the next probable style when you hit the return key.
Aside from the normal terror of using Swing, I agree with this--with one caveat. As JetBrains has learned, Swing's text editing controls and modern Linux look, regardless of style, like crap.
Less of a big deal for a word processor, but a pretty big deal for them. :(
Want to build the perfect tool, the better alternative? That's great, but why don't you start with a single product, say, a word processor, or a spreadsheet?
Start small, iterate, get feedback, and so on, and then expand.
If you were able to beat MS Office in a single product, you must be doing something right, and chances are you will get far more resources (developers, testers, etc.) to build other products.
What they should have done was to start with a single product like you said work on the essential features, get feedback and cruft out all the additional advanced functionality that the MS Office version has so you'd have a cleaner, leaner offering.
Although sometimes, at the end of the day, the issue isn't so much the software being the perfect tool but how compatible is the tool with existing processes. We use MS Office on the business side and OpenOffice on the engineering side - so much pain when sending documents across the two divisions with documents not looking the same.
Or take a step back, look at the ways people need to collect, manipulate and share information today, and consider whether a new application that fits into an established category like “word processor” or “spreadsheet” is still a good tool in the first place.
I don’t know what will eventually displace MS Office as the universal toolbox for these things, but somehow I doubt it will look very much like classical office applications at all.
You know, I spend 8 hours every day developing in NetBeans. It's OK to work in, and you can create cool applications with it, mostly Java EE apps in my case. But basing something on top of such a heavy and bug ridden platform is not a viable long term approach.
And why call it "The Open Source Java Office Suite"? Users do not care whether it's Java or C# or what not, as long as it's better than current offerings out there.
I could go on. Sorry - I'm not excited by this, but perhaps someone else is?
It seems to be a trend with developers sometimes to get so involved in what they make that they forget who their target audience is (I would guess in this case he wants more than developers to use it). If his only fault in target audience usability is the naming, then he's doing pretty well (don't know if it is or not yet and usability is subjective). Either way, still a great learning experience taking on a project like this and I don't think I would judge it past "proof of concept" so far.
The code was written in Netbeans? The code uses the Netbeans platform (which rocks). Or both?
I guess that's a huge amount of effort for the number of people, but overall it's something that a large company like Google or Facebook already built in-house.
Just goes to show some problems require more than others to solve. And also, by leveraging existing libraries, you can more quickly build an MVP that may not scale but can show off the capabilities.
An MVP doesn't need autoscaling, or most of the rest of the stuff you mention.
I always remember 37signals launching an app without writing a billing system, because they didn't need it until the end of the first trial period.
Compare: http://qbix.com/blog/index.php/2013/04/a-new-kind-of-platfor... :)
I guess it comes down to what you understand "viable" to mean. Because if:
1. our app couldn't work on all mobile platforms => you wouldn't be able to invite many of your contacts, losing a lot of virality that could make the difference (http://luckyapps.com/blog/?p=12)
2. we didn't produce native apps, e.g. with phonegap => lack of integration with addressbook would reduce virality and convenience for the user
3. our app didn't have a one-step invite process => people would get tired of jumping through hoops and virality would suffer
4. our app didn't have realtime updates in chat => people would have to keep refreshing the page on their mobile phone and not get rewarded for engaging with the app
5. our app didn't have offline notifications => engagement would suffer, as the app wouldn't be able to notify people of relevant things via transactional notifications
6. we didn't have ways to manage notifications => people might get annoyed they are getting too many notifications ... yes, this one we could have done later
7. we didn't have ways to manage privacy / access => then everything would have to be public, making many people concerned ... yes, this one we could have done later
8. didn't have auto scaling where we split shards that get too hot and bring up more machines => if all the virality and engagement was as high as we expect, then our machines would quickly crash and we would lose ALL our momentum.
So we decided to invest in 1-8 up front before launching. We have an unusual strategy, having built a distributed platform with all the features of a social network that puts the power into your hands, and works with realtime and mobile ... and having a completely distributed team that is based throughout Russia and Ukraine. We are now in a position to launch many viral apps very efficiently and manage all their common issues on one platform.
PS: We didn't just sit on our hands while building this framework. We already released two apps that have 250,000 monthly active users, so that is why we were worried about growing exponentially from there, once we made them "social".
PPS: Wow, this was a long post. I hope it was informative.
LyX gets you out of the presentation frame of mind, and straight into your content. Recent versions do a great job of integrating vector graphics (like SVG from Inkscape). PDF output looks fantastic.
If you're on OS X, Apple Pages is excellent.
Until Google closes your account for whatever reason.