Gnumeric for Gnumbers

Continuing the spate of 1.0 releases (we addressed Evolution in a

previous newsletter: http://www.itworld.com/nl/lnx_desktop/01312002),

the spreadsheet program, Gnumeric, is now at a 1.0 release as well.

Gnumeric, a popular Linux spreadsheet, has been around for years in a

series of pre-release versions. This is fairly common on Linux, where

1.0-level programs are rare compared to pre-release versions. Gnumeric

looks and acts much like Microsoft Excel. The ability to import files

created by commercial packages is crucial for a non-mainstream

spreadsheet (such as Gnumeric) so Gnumeric imports Microsoft Excel,

Lotus 1-2-3, XBase, and even the Psion handheld format.

Gnumeric also supports most of the Excel functions, making life a lot

easier when moving from a mainstream system. The Gnumeric Web site

(http://www.gnome.org/projects/gnumeric) claims that Gnumeric supports

95 percent of all built-in Excel functions. Gnumeric also supports all

built-in Excel number formats. In addition, Gnumeric provides a number

of high-end functions, in areas such as number theory or financial

derivatives that you won't find in more limited tools such as Excel.

With the Guppi add on, available from http://www.gnome.org/guppi, you

can create graphs and charts from data in Gnumeric.

You can find out more about Gnumeric at

http://www.gnome.org/projects/gnumeric/gnumeric-1.0.0. You can download

Gnumeric from http://download.gnome.org/GNOME/stable/sources/gnumeric.

Since the program name starts with that strange "g" (as opposed to the

strange "k"), you can guess, correctly, that Gnumeric is part of the

GNOME desktop environment. Even so, Gnumeric should run just fine on

Linux systems running the KDE desktop.

In most cases, though, unless you have the latest GNOME desktop, and

all its sundry programming libraries, installed, then you are better

off waiting until the next release of either the full GNOME desktop or

of your Linux distribution. That's because you can quickly get into all

sorts of hassles with different library versions. It is much easier for

most users to let someone else deal with the problem and release an

integrated set of applications. Typically, your Linux distribution

vendors, such as SuSE or Red Hat, take care of this task for you.

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