22. September 2009 07:28
Clear Office comes from a very simple idea: use the most advanced software platform (.NET) to create the most widely used software (Office). Hence the name Clear Office (=CLR=Common Language Runtime = .NET). For consumers, this means a free alternative to Microsoft Office with a familiar intuitive user interface. For developers, the Spreadsheet Framework provides a straightforward set of libraries for creating and hosting Office documents.
One thing you’ll notice right away is how small Clear Office is. The download is only 2MB - it would almost fit on two floppy disks!. Once decompressed, it takes only about 4.5 MB of disk space.
The install process is super easy and should take only a few seconds. The installer simply unpacks the executables to the hard disk. In fact, you can move the files around without breaking Clear Office. Also, Clear Office runs great from a USB drive.
Once you start Spreadsheet, you’ll notice a familiar User Interface (UI). It uses the same shortcuts, colors, etc. as Excel. More importantly, it uses the same file format as Microsoft Excel. This is intentional. If you use Clear Office, you should be able to exchange documents with Microsoft Office users without any trouble.
On the developer side, you’ll notice a set of .NET assemblies. Each assembly has a very clear purpose. Also, assemblies with UI components are clearly separated from assemblies with only non visual components. For example, Office.Spreadsheet contains classes for workbooks, worksheets, cells, etc while Office.Spreadsheet.UI contains the controls (or templates), menu and commands for visually editing these documents. These assemblies are small enough to be packaged with your application.