The Software I Miss the Most

Screenshot from 2016-05-25 16-18-30

It was with a heavy sigh that I read this post. Lotus Smart Suite was and still is the best office suite ever created. I’ve used just about everything during my 30+ year IT career. This package was so far ahead of the curve it boggles the mind. Recently some good people at Libre Office have taken up the bug reports about tabbed document sections. I was searching for places where they could still get Smart Suite 9.8 for testing. As the image above shows I was able to install Smart Suite and run Word Pro under wine on Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit.

Notice the tabs at the top. The “Main Document” tab (name given by me) actually expands to include the “Section 1” tab. The tabs “Another Division” and “Research Notes” are not separate files. They are divisions within the same lwp file. Each document was its own little filing system. This was and still is the absolute best design for writers. It doesn’t matter if you are writing a novel, your thesis, or documents for work. You still have research notes, outlines, snippets, etc. With today’s feeble word processors you end up creating several dozen files inside of a directory (YES, it is a DIRECTORY not a folder) hoping you remember to copy everything when moving between machines, making backups, or working with colleagues.

Lotus Organizer was a gift from whatever higher power you choose to worship.

SmartSuite was the original cross platform office suite. It ran under OS/2 Warp and Windows during the days when 3.5 inch floppies first came on the market. You really could edit a file on one OS, copy it to a floppy, and edit it on another OS. Everything just worked.

There should be a federal law mandating that all abandonware have a buildable repository created in a “free” place like SourceForge or GitHub so the OpenSource community could step in to keep it going. SmartSuite would need to get rid of its internal dictionary and be modified to use one of the OpenSource dictionary packages like aspell, hunspell, etc.

Sigh…this is the software I miss the most. Now that it seems to run well under Wine I may get nostalgic and use it to write another book. I should be able to configure Wine to expose a PDF “printer” device from Linux so I could once again do a full layout of a book keeping all of the other needed content in the same file.

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