[CentOS] Word Perfect [Was: Novell sale news?]

Wade Hampton wadehamptoniv at gmail.com
Tue Nov 23 16:21:37 EST 2010


Bit of info on WordPerfect and Linux.  WP was ported to
SCO Xenix by SDC of Utah in the early 90's. Several of us
figured out how to get it running on Linux (1.0 or 1.2 series
kernels, libc5) using the SCO libs and iBCS2 the old Intel
binary compatible interface (I wrote the Linux WP mini-howto
about 15 years ago).

The SDC version was WP 6 or 7.  They later made native
Linux versions of WP 7 and 8.  There were several serious
problems with macros and some stability problems which
AFIK were never fixed.

In the late 90's, I wrote numerous long documents in WP
on my Linux desktop! For long docs it was far better than
Word.

Novel bought WordPerfect for $885M in 1993-94 and sold it
to Corel for $185M in 1996.  See:
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordPerfect

After Corel purchased WP, they stopped working with SDC
(WP/UNIX/Linux was SDC's major contract if I recall correctly).
Corel then released WP9 for Linux using Wine and also made
a lot of improvements to wine in the process.  This version was
nearly identical to the Windows version but seemed slower
and had stability issues.

However, when Microsoft bailed out Corel, Corel stopped
shipping both Corel Linux and WP for Linux.  This left a
big hole in office suites and was a major impediment to
Linux on the desktop for YEARS until OpenOffice came
out and was stable (last few of years).  A strategic move
by Microsoft.

Some organizations still use WP (governments, medical,
legal, etc.).  Most have migrated to Word.

BTW, I wrote all the papers for my MBA using macros
in DEC Runoff, spooled the papers to 9-track tape,
and drove 1/2 mile to the other building to use the
DG-controlled 20' long LASER printer....  Now my
kids write all their High School & College papers
using OpenOffice and print at home in color.  Very
different skill set and it gets the job done (less time
learning the tool and more focusing on content).

Cheers,
--
Wade Hampton


More information about the CentOS mailing list