This blog posting was made with Genuine 0-Day Warez.
Specifically, WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS.
This thing was genuinely the greatest thing for writing when I was a kid. Our school computers had this thing, and my father had it on his computer since he is a teacher. The school sure doesn't use it now, I wish I had had the opportunity to grab the properly licensed copy from the trash heap...
It's pretty weird to use this thing after so many years. It works pretty well in DOSBox. And even weirder to see it in English - the school copy was, of course, in Finnish.
And of course, right now, the license is held by Corel, who don't want to part with this thing at all - oh, no market for DOS programs these days. Oh, and not abandonware either - you can buy this thing on CD-ROM from some obscure place that only sells to USA.
I beg you, Corel, to either zip WP5.1 together with DOSBox and stick it on your website and market it as "the perfect Linux wordprocessing package", or give us a Leet and Appropriate New Version of WordPerfect that runs in Linux once again, supports OpenDocument, and such. Aww heck, nobody reads this blog anyway, and obviously a big mean corporation can't listen to reasonable requests.
I seriously need a DOS WordPerfect clone to get any real writing done. This thing frigging rules.
And why does it rule? Well, for one thing, this thing only shows text, text and text. OpenOffice.org shows everything and formatting - OO.o has a "Web layout" mode, which comes close, but isn't quite what I was looking for.
Secondly, this thing doesn't waste too much space on extras. There's a status line, a menu bar, all take three lines total. What else does anyone need, anyway? Luckily, OO.o can be stripped of extraneous crap.
Thirdly - the screen layout. Blue background, gray text. This thing just looks nice. Black on white is getting pretty annoying pretty fast. Also, there's no such thing as long lines here. 80-column display isn't that bad to work in, and even here, word wrap is seen.
WordPerfect is just about the best program I've seen for the specific purpose of writing text. The new programs try to roll in together two things that don't work well together - writing text and formatting it.
If I were to write a word processor, I'd make a WordPerfect clone that world be written in C/C++, run in ncurses environment, use OpenDocument as the native file type, and also allow exporting to various formats. (Hmm, I note that for the purposes of writing blog posts, WP5.1 isn't pretty good - can't export directly to Textile markup...)