Software for a Design Office on Linux
I've been thinking about how best to run an office entirely on free / open source software. Clearly a prodessional usable FOSS CAD package is nowhere to be seen on the horizon line... ...but with Bricsys getting serious about delivering a usable CAD package for linux, we can fill one of the last remaining boxes.
- CAD package = BricsCAD
- Rendering package = Blender
- Office package = OpenOffice for schedules, specifications & transmittals...
- ...but why would you use OpenOffice for templates, correspondence and reports when you can put Scribus on every workstation in the office!
- Inkscape or Karbon 14 for vector graphics &
- Gimp, Cinepaint or Krita for raster graphics can similarly be legally installed on every desktop for the cost of the time they take to install...
...the interesting bit is that most of the above packages already have windows versions.
The killer for many is their Exchange server and Microsoft Outlook. Nobody seems to really care that they have so much company data in such an insecure program. At the same time, shared task lists, calendars and contact lists in Exchange are truely a wonderful tool for collaboration. I've been looking at a number of server packages like Sugar CRM for something that exceeds the capabilities of Exchange. It's hard to find something that:
- handles a Gant Chart of tasks with sub-tasks & dependencies (not that exchange ever did this)
- can connect documents, contacts or meetings with tasks...
- can turn e-mails into tasks, contacts, projects, etc...
- can handle databasing and versioning of documents
- and ideally can take projects, tasks, resources and hours and turn them into usable timesheets...
...anyway, that's the outline of what I'm looking for. There are quite a few server/client packages out there that do bits and pieces of the above.