FinalWriter!
  • Moderator
    Senex
    Posts: 496 from 2003/2/17
    From: Hannover / Ger...
    As mentioned in the other thread, I've contacted Woody about FinalWriter again after ten years and to my surprise he did indeed reply.

    I've sent Fraggle a PM with his e-mail address and what he told me. While I highly doubt that even Fraggle could put up enough money for Woody to sell, maybe a platform independent (i.e. AmigaOS, OS4, MorphOS, AROS) bounty project, kickstarted by Fraggle, could reach enough money?

    To sum up what he told me:

    [list]- He still owns the source code, Tommy Hwang had only distribution rights for a limited number of finished products.

    - He would be willing to sell the source rights; but no one in all these years has mentioned money sufficient enough for him to take the offer seriously.

    - One has to understand, though, that there was technology licensed by him for the speller, thesaurus, etc. which he can't re-license. Any modules of Final Writer that contain licensed code would need to be re-written or licensed from the licensees.

    - He does also own the source code to the old ProWrite word processor.

    - As for making modifications to the code for a new buyer, the option is open; but it would probably be more cost effective for a new buyer to outsource that himself rather than paying Softwood to do so.

    - He also owns the source to Final Data.

    - Final Calc, though, was written by Khalid Aldoseri, so he owns the rights to that source.[/list]
  • »03.10.12 - 15:42
    Profile Visit Website
  • Moderator
    hooligan
    Posts: 1936 from 2003/2/23
    From: Lahti, Finland
    The source code is worth zero now lying on his compact disc and it's worth wont be increasing that way either.

    Also, unfortunately there are several points why its not worth more than few hundreds tops.. dated software needing updating, some parts needs to be rewritten completely, there are free alternatives available etc. etc.

    Sorry for my negativity but one just can't ask too much from -88 Corolla, and the same is the case here.
    www.mikseri.net/hooligan <- Free music
  • »03.10.12 - 16:43
    Profile Visit Website
  • Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Jambalah
    Posts: 800 from 2008/3/30
    From: Roma, Italy
    This could be a good piece of news and a bad one at the same time. Since Fraggie had done a great move for MorphOS donating 2000 euros for R300 project (not existing words to thank you man!), let's cross our fingers til he will receive an answer and let's help him. I agree with you Senex and if something should go wrong the bounty could be used for another project(s).
    Pegasos II 1 ghz
    Powermac G4 Quicksilver with Sonnet Encore 1.8 ghz
    Powermac G4 MDD single 1.25 ghz, silenced for ears health...
    Powermac G5 dual 2.7 ghz
  • »03.10.12 - 16:46
    Profile
  • Moderator
    Senex
    Posts: 496 from 2003/2/17
    From: Hannover / Ger...
    Well, for me already the minor tweak making it running 100.0% on MorphOS would be sufficient, but indeed my requirements are low.
  • »03.10.12 - 16:48
    Profile Visit Website
  • Yokemate of Keyboards
    Yokemate of Keyboards
    takemehomegrandma
    Posts: 2606 from 2003/2/24
    Cool! :-)

    Quote:

    maybe a platform independent (i.e. AmigaOS, OS4, MorphOS, AROS) bounty project, kickstarted by Fraggle, could reach enough money?


    That seems perhaps the most realistic?


    Quote:

    - He would be willing to sell the source rights; but no one in all these years has mentioned money sufficient enough for him to take the offer seriously.


    Though he surely must realize that as time goes by, the value of the technology shrinks, and potential buyers gets fewer. At least I hope he has realistic expectations of what he might get for it today.
    MorphOS is Amiga done right! :-)
    MorphOS NG will be AROS done right! :-)
  • »03.10.12 - 16:48
    Profile
  • Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    XDelusion
    Posts: 602 from 2010/10/27
    I agree, dude man should settle for less.

    FInal Writie is my favorite Word Processing app though, so I would love to see it go open source of course!
    "I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it." - Jack Handey

    Registered MorphOS user, Amiga user, and Atari 8-bit user.
  • »03.10.12 - 18:06
    Profile Visit Website
  • Acolyte of the Butterfly
    Acolyte of the Butterfly
    runequester
    Posts: 106 from 2010/1/11
    So what is he looking for, in terms of money ?
    Amiga 1200 and G4 MDD MOS as my main computers.
  • »03.10.12 - 19:01
    Profile
  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    pampers
    Posts: 1057 from 2009/2/26
    From: Tczew, Poland
    I have to agree with Hooligan. I won't put any money for a bounty to get an obsolete code which probably would need a lot of work to get it quite up to date. I would prefer to support Scriba.
    MorphOS 3.x
  • »03.10.12 - 21:11
    Profile Visit Website
  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    Fraggle
    Posts: 203 from 2012/9/2
    After being in communication with the Cinnnamon writer author I am convinced he`s the man to support. I will not pay a fortune for ancient code - I don`t think the FW97 source is worth more than 1000 euro these days.

    The money is best reserved to support more important stuff and I`ll not be chasing around wasting silly money on the FinalWriter code, no way.

    edit: That I`d rather give the 1000 euro to Claus for Cinnamon writer is what I`m saying - he is a man of integrity.

    [ Edited by Fraggle 03.10.2012 - 22:46 ]
    Fraggle
  • »03.10.12 - 22:42
    Profile
  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    BurnTwice
    Posts: 38 from 2009/10/27
    Well, back then I extensively used FW and of course I would like to see such a professional word processor running natively on Morph.

    Not being a programmer I don´t know how much work it would be to change the GUI to MUI, to implement some up to date import/export modules and "modern" functionality compared to a complete rewrite of a word processing / office application, like currently under way with Scriba.

    In fact, the basic requirements of such an application haven´t changed much over the years to be honest.

    So, maybe it would make sense to taking FWs framework and brushing it up?

    Since we cannot count anymore on Papyrus, maybe an updated Final Office suite could be a a professional alternative?
  • »03.10.12 - 22:48
    Profile
  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    BurnTwice
    Posts: 38 from 2009/10/27
    By the way, there were a lot of excellent classic Amiga apps which would suit our system well in a current and native version.

    For example I regard Art Department Professional one of the most thrilling graphix processor. The modular design was well ahead of time...

    Or SoundFX...

    Maybe it´s worth investigating more about the fate of such apps and check on the possibility of purchasing code, porting and updating.
  • »03.10.12 - 23:03
    Profile
  • Yokemate of Keyboards
    Yokemate of Keyboards
    takemehomegrandma
    Posts: 2606 from 2003/2/24
    @pampers

    Quote:

    I have to agree with Hooligan. I won't put any money for a bounty to get an obsolete code which probably would need a lot of work to get it quite up to date. I would prefer to support Scriba.


    Well indeed Final Writer isn't really comparable to what people would expect today. Still I'd like to say that my interest depends of the cost! It can surely be a useful thing, for what it is, and perhaps even a ground for improvement (which probably will take an overwhelming amount of work that isn't perhaps very realistic today anyway).

    But if the price is right for the sources and a quick port, take it for what it is, then why not?

    But of course if we are talking about ridiculous sums like for the "Dopus Magellan II", then I can't see how it could happen, or at least it can't be much more than that IMHO...
    MorphOS is Amiga done right! :-)
    MorphOS NG will be AROS done right! :-)
  • »03.10.12 - 23:34
    Profile
  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    Jupp3
    Posts: 1192 from 2003/2/24
    From: Helsinki, Finland
    Senex,
    Quote:

    - He still owns the source code

    One important question is, what is it written in? I assume it's (mostly) C. Íf not, I'd say it's worth much less... Not that it was worth much to begin with.

    But if the price isn't too much, why not?
  • »04.10.12 - 05:10
    Profile Visit Website
  • Acolyte of the Butterfly
    Acolyte of the Butterfly
    runequester
    Posts: 106 from 2010/1/11
    Final Writer is very nice, but it already runs on MOS just fine. The biggest draw would be if it was possible to add things like .doc and .odt import. That being said, I tend to agree with fraggle. Unless the guy wants a very modest amount for the code, putting the effort behind Cinnamon might serve the platform better.
    Amiga 1200 and G4 MDD MOS as my main computers.
  • »04.10.12 - 07:47
    Profile
  • Yokemate of Keyboards
    Yokemate of Keyboards
    amigadave
    Posts: 2653 from 2006/3/21
    From: Lake Arrowhead...
    Even though Final Writer was my favorite Amiga word processor many years ago, and I bought every version and probably every product that SoftWood distributed, including Final Data and Final Calc and all of the word processors starting with Final Copy, Final Copy2 and then all of the versions of Final Writer from beginning to end and even the Windows version of Final Writer, I agree that it is probably not the best choice to port to MorphOS3.1. Cinnamon Writer is probably a much better choice, even though I have not taken a real close look at it's current capabilities.

    Final Writer might be useful to write some documents by using the 68k version on MorphOS3.1, but we need something more advanced if anyone is going to spend money on a port to MorphOS3.1, or write a word processor from scratch.

    To get a really top quality, modern word processor for MorphOS3.1, I think it is going to take more than one programmer working on a project, but I would be happy if proved wrong. It seems to me that we would have a better chance if several programmers worked together on porting a good Open Source Linux word processor to MorphOS3.1, instead of having 3 or 4 programmers working by themselves for years, trying to port something, or to write a new word processor from scratch.

    Edit: Of all the SoftWood products that I purchased, I think Final Calc is the best quality and maybe the one I would want to see ported to a native version for MorphOS3.1, but then there were a couple of other excellent spreadsheet programs for the Amiga that might be just as good as Final Calc, or better, and might be easier to port to MorphOS3.1.

    I wonder if anyone has contact information for the author of Final Calc, since it has been stated that the source code is not owned by the previous owner of SoftWood?

    [ Edited by amigadave 03.10.2012 - 23:54 ]
    MorphOS - The best Next Gen Amiga choice.
  • »04.10.12 - 07:49
    Profile
  • Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    connor
    Posts: 502 from 2007/7/29
    I also purchased Softwood products, almost all of them in several versions. I also purchased Digita Wordworth (also Digita Office) in several versions and AmiWriter (H&P). To me, FW is the most ancient and crude one in look and feel and usage while it maybe has the most functions. AmiWriter is quite the opposite: modern GUI and functions but few of them. Wordworth was always in the middle between them. And there was also MAxon Word which I only know from screenshots and magazine reviews.

    All of them could be a good base for a reworked word processor but at first comes the price. How much does Woody want to have? He has to name that first. It does not make sense to setup bounties with blurry goals like "let us collect muuuuuuuuuuuuuch money and then let's hope that he will give us the source". No. At first he and Softwood and Digita and Maxon and H&P or ... have to tell how much money they want to open the source. They also have to tell which programming language they used. Then they have to say which components are licensed and cannot be opened but must be replaced or reimplemented completely or re-licensed. ONLY THEN it makes sense to even think about whether one of these programs is worth collecting money for. Not beforehand. He who thinks that he can become rich the old days 15 years after selling the latest version of an ancient word processormust learn that in real world his program is worth nothing anymore because it cannot compete with Word, Open Office etc. It is his last chance to ever feel important about this ancient piece of code. His last chance to buy himself and his wife a pizza for it.
  • »04.10.12 - 13:48
    Profile
  • Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    boot_wb
    Posts: 874 from 2007/4/9
    From: Kingston upon ...
    Maybe a more constructive way to approach it might be putting the product on sale at a fixed price, and run a bounty system in parallel, with both sales revenue and bounty pledges contributing towards the target price for open-sourcing.

    That would allow people to get their hands on legacy software legally, give the developers some guaranteed cash, and give a reasonable gauge for whether enough people are interested.

    If the target is never reached, then the 'bounty' contributors get their money back, the 'purchasers' get to keep their legally bought copies, and the IP owners get to keep the cash from the sold copies.

    May depend any lingering distribution rights I suppose in some cases, but seems like a no-brainer really: win-win-win.
    www.hullchimneyservices.co.uk

    UI: Powerbook 5,6 (1.67GHz, 128MB VRam): OS3.1, OSX 10.5.8
    HTPC: Mac Mini G4 (1,5GHz, 64MB VRam): OS3.1 (ZVNC)
    Audiophile: Efika 5200b (SB Audigy): OS3.1 (VNC + Virtual Monitor)

    Windows free since 2011!
  • »04.10.12 - 15:24
    Profile Visit Website
  • Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    connor
    Posts: 502 from 2007/7/29
    Why busy so many people with collecting money and probably sending it back when you do not know yet whether
    a) you can buy the source at all
    b) in what constitution the source is
    c) how much money is asked for it
    d) it is worth that amount of money
    so all in all whether it makes sense to even think about it? Starting with steps 5, 4, 3, 2 before having done step 1 just busies and worries people.
  • »04.10.12 - 15:50
    Profile
  • jPV
  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    jPV
    Posts: 1592 from 2003/2/24
    From: po-RNO
    I've always found FW GUI to be fresh and sophisticated. And other programs like Amiga Writer a bit unpolished or amateurish like WW. And I usually end up to use FW for word processing & printing I need...

    But I don't know if there's much to gain with sources for it. It could be a big work to implement new features or support for more modern things... maybe the whole engine isn't up to it without complete rewrite? Porting current version to native MorphOS binary doesn't make much difference either... 68k version works pretty good itself. But if it could be get freeware or freewared by open sourcing with reasonable amount of money, so be it... although it sounds like it isn't going to be get with reasonable amount :/
  • »04.10.12 - 15:55
    Profile Visit Website
  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    redrumloa
    Posts: 1366 from 2003/4/13
    What bounty amount would be attractive to (a group of) coder(s) in order to port Open Office? $50,000? $100,000?

    Just curious.
  • »04.10.12 - 17:00
    Profile
  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    matt3
    Posts: 345 from 2004/2/10
    I would be for a bounty for it. If there was a realistic plan, price, and goal...

    I bought mutiple versions of softwood products and still use Final Writer on MOS 3.1 with any real isues.
  • »04.10.12 - 17:06
    Profile
  • MorphOS Developer
    Nadir
    Posts: 145 from 2003/3/17
    There is no need for a big group of developers to do this. 1 - 2 motivated and knowledgeable people for a few months would be enough for an initial port and then it's a matter of incremental improvements.

    The numbers you are quoting sound too high IMHO. The problem with past efforts was that it was attempted by guys with no background and that won't work out.
  • »04.10.12 - 21:30
    Profile
  • Jim
  • Yokemate of Keyboards
    Yokemate of Keyboards
    Jim
    Posts: 4860 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    Personally, I'll settle for Cinnamon Writer.
    It looks like a good base to expand on.

    And we can't do a port of Open Office since we don't have Java.
    Also, I have no idea why everybody so focus on FinalWriter.
    It obvious that the author does not have complete control of the package AND he wants an unrealistic amount for it.
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »05.10.12 - 00:03
    Profile
  • MorphOS Developer
    Nadir
    Posts: 145 from 2003/3/17
    You don't need java for an OO port. Anyway, I agree that a homegrown application is nicer. Question is just if it's realistic to get it up to the level people expect with the very limited resources
  • »05.10.12 - 01:15
    Profile
  • Jim
  • Yokemate of Keyboards
    Yokemate of Keyboards
    Jim
    Posts: 4860 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    Nadir,
    Quote:

    You don't need java for an OO port.


    Sorry, hasty posting.
    Older versions did make use of Java.
    But then, older versions also relied on X11.
    I haven't cleared up whether Java is still required or not (but then, most of Java is now covered by a GNU license making it a possibility too).

    Now that I've looked up the basic requirements for porting, there doesn't seem to be that many hurdles.
    Just a lot of work that a few skilled programmers might manage (with time).

    Still, have you looked at the current state of Cinnamon Writer?

    http://desler.be/modules/wfchannel/

    Still not out of beta yet, but a pretty good start.

    [ Edited by Jim 05.10.2012 - 02:56 ]
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »05.10.12 - 02:04
    Profile