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Posted Jan 29, 2013 18:56 UTC (Tue) by yodermk (subscriber, #3803)
Parent article: Schulz: The meaning of the 4.0

I'm excited by the rapid progress of LibreOffice ....

Except for the Base application. Every time I try to use it it seems clunky and nearly unusable. Are there any plans to put some significant resources into making it a serious competitor to Access?

Or, am I off "base"? If anyone is using it for any significant project, I'd be interested in hearing about it. My experience trying to connect it to PostgreSQL was that I got all kinds of errors which I was able to solve only because I'm already familiar with PG.

(Yes, perhaps I should step up and volunteer ... which I will think about, but I'm not sure that I really want to learn LO innards ...)

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Posted Jan 29, 2013 20:10 UTC (Tue) by AlexHudson (guest, #41828) [Link]

I tried using it for some serious work a while ago (a good while ago - not that I suspect it has changed much in the interim). I think the basic problem here is that it's just not a native app compared to the rest of the suite.

I'm pretty sure that some significant portion of it was written in Java originally, and that the original idea was something along the lines of teaming up the form side of Writer with some convenient local database and XForms support or something. It was always tremendously buggy, though.

I would be surprised if LibreOffice managed to do anything with it; if I were them, I would scrap it and start it again as a native app that fits in with the rest of the suite. This is probably a time-consuming route though (which is probably why Sun never attempted it).

Getting Access compatibility would also be hellishly hard at this point. Modern Access has a cut-down version of SQL Server inside, along with lots of other high-powered gizmos - it's actually a very powerful system - and that's before you get to all the scripting goodies.


Posted Jan 30, 2013 1:57 UTC (Wed) by yodermk (subscriber, #3803) [Link]

Yeah I think you're right about the Java origin.

It's just a bit depressing to see release after release of OOo, AOO, and LO have long lists af sweet new features for Writer and Calc, and a minor thing or two for Base - the only part of the suite that's not pretty awesome already.

Also it seems like the other free DB front ends that once looked promising have mostly died.

I just installed Office 2013 including Access on my new laptop (got it via a Home Use license for $10 so I figured what the heck). I think I will use it to re-aquaint myself with Access (which I used some at work 15+ years ago) and do some thinking about how open source can do what it does.

I am currently deep diving into learning Qt5 well and may be interested in working with a solution that uses that toolkit.


Posted Jan 30, 2013 4:56 UTC (Wed) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

I'm not sure how much of this kind of tool is actually used for new things in practice, it seems that most of the simple form based data entry and querying that used to be done through MS Access and related tools moved to HTTP CGIs, PHP and frameworks like Rails which pretty much do the same thing.


Posted Jan 30, 2013 6:10 UTC (Wed) by rahvin (subscriber, #16953) [Link]

So why not do what MS did and take one of the OSS Databases and stick it into base with a frontend and scripting engine tacked on? I'd imagine that there is much of this already existing in OSS and that the biggest work would be buttoning it all together in a way that leveraged the development communities already in place.

I understand we need these database "office" applications but there isn't a very good reason (IMO) not to leverage what we already have and stick a GUI front end on it that strips the command language down and adds a scripting interface. Just imagine PGL as the backend and base as a front end GUI.


Posted Jan 30, 2013 21:30 UTC (Wed) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

Nothing bad about Base, but I'm under the impression that Kexi is a far more mature and powerful Access-like application. Ever tried it?


Posted Feb 1, 2013 9:59 UTC (Fri) by job (guest, #670) [Link]

I second this. It's remarkably powerful, with integrated Python scripting, and while not compatible with MS Access you should at least be able to import the data. It seems to be able to connect to a remote Postgres but I've never tried it.

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