09 April 2013

383. WPS for Linux on Debain Wheezy -- Kingsoft Office for Linux

I've covered WPS already here: http://verahill.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/313-which-office-for-linux-users.html

However, given that everything is in Chinese (I'm not Chinese, but I've lived there and can just about struggle my way through a hundred common characters or so) I might as well make a post about how to install it.

Note that this is BETA software -- and there's no shortage of issues as you'll see below..

Looking at the different discussion regarding it (e.g. here, here and here) I'm a bit bothered by some of the prejudice and xenophobia that abounds. I originally had a long discussion here, based on actually having lived in China, but it all boils down to:
Use reasonable firewall policies, monitor your computer for compromise, and take a healthy distrust to any commercial or political entity. Just like you always should, in particular with close source software and always with pre-compiled binaries (whether open or closed source). Be a bit more cautious than normal, since you probably don't visit Chinese BBS:s on a regular basis and might not hear about any problems -- security or otherwise --that users have identified.
Intermission over

Installing WPS
Go to http://linux.wps.cn/

You can figure out which link to click by hovering over the options. 下 means 'down', which gives an indication that it might be a link for downloading.
And it takes us here:

Download the package you want.

Note that downloading is very slow (5 kb/s), at least from Australia, as Chinese websites tend to be.

Some direct links are here otherwise -- only download one of the files (i.e. rpm, deb or 'generic'):

Install dependencies. I'm presuming that you're on 64 bit linux -- in which case you'll need to add i386 as an architecture (sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386) in addition to installing ia32-libs. If you're on 32 bit linux you can omit ia32-libs. This blog spells out how to switch from Chinese to English
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs ttf-mscorefonts-installer
sudo dpkg -i wps-office_8.1.0.3724~b1p2_i386.deb
cd /opt/kingsoft/wps-office/office6/2052/
sudo rm qt.qm wps.qm wpp.qm et.qm

And then simply start

First look
We're still 'missing' some proprietary Microsoft fonts. So far the only effect of this is that I can't use the equation editor (greyed out), which is a big issue as far as I am concerned. 

On top of that, requiring a certain proprietary font set makes WPS almost useless as an alternative to MS Office, since it can be had for close to free in China.Add to that that in the west e.g. Wingdings 2 (which is useless for all other purposes) costs around $20, which is about 5-10 times more than an entire cracked office copy does in China.

In addition, I DO have libglu (-mesa) installed.

 Here's another big issue -- no open formats to save in.It's a bit TOO close to Office at this point.

If I try to export to PDF I get this error, which I presume is unrelated to the libGLU error before.

When I clicked to change user interface (see arrow) I ended up with this (Docer) which looks like an online directory. Still need someone to help me out with translating that.

Sorting out the fonts
Note that even if you follow all of the steps below you will still not be able to insert equations.

Attempt 1

I added  fonts from an XP iso that I had by following this thread. Note that it didn't actually solve anything and you will most likely gain nothing from following this procedure (but I wrote it up, so I'll post it)
sudo mount -o loop WinXP\ Pro\ US\ with\ SP1\ \&\ MS03-39.iso /mnt
cd /mnt/I386/
cp *.TT_ ~/tmp/fonts
cp *.FO_ ~/tmp/fonts
cd LANG/
cp *.TT_ ~/tmp/fonts
cp *.FO_ ~/tmp/fonts
cd ~/tmp/fonts
sudo apt-get install cabextract
cabextract *
sudo mkdir /usr/share/fonts/ms-truetype
sudo cp *.ttf /usr/share/fonts/ms-truetype
fc-cache -fv

But it didn't sort out Wingdings 2, Wingdings 3 and MT Extra.

Luckily, MT Extra could be sorted out like this:
Go to http://www.ufonts.com/download/mt-extra/30743.html, and download. Copy the ttf file to /usr/share/fonts/ms-truetype and run fc-cache -fv if the directory didn't already exist.

Attempt 2.
To sort out the rest you need to break the law/help someone break the law (depends on the jurisdiction):
First register at the WPS forums:
 You'll first have to give a nickname.

Then go here: http://bbs.wps.cn/thread-22360374-1-1.html

Download by clicking on fonts.zip.
sudo apt-get install file-roller
cd ~/tmp/fonts
mkdir rpms
cd rpms
mv ~/Downloads/fonts.zip .
unzip fonts.zip

Use file roller to extract the ttf files from the rpms:

Then install them:
sudo mv *.ttf /usr/share/fonts/ms-truetype/

If you start WPS now you should not have any errors about missing fonts.

This is a beta, so we can accept that not everything is working properly. However, a beta is meant to hammer out bugs, not to be feature incomplete, so when there's a reliance on proprietary fonts and a lack of open file formats to save to, this means that the finished product won't be able to do that either.

And that pretty much precludes the use of WPS with just about anyone who has switched to Linux on their own volition.

On the other hand, it may ease the transition from Windows to Linux among computer-illiterate (and -agnostic) users -- the interface is quite familiar to those who have used Office 2007, and WPS renders files extremely faithfully -- much better than even Microsoft Live Office which can't handle Office 2003 files properly.

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