October 1, 2002

The Chinese2000 Linux test report

Author: JT Smith

- Translated from Linuxer magazine (Taiwan) -
This article was submitted by "Jim, the agent of the Chinese2000 Linux team in Taiwan," who said in his submission email, "The attached file is the translation of the test report of the Chinese2000 Linux that published
in Aug. 2002 'Linuxer' which is the top-selling Linux magazine in Taiwan. We hope the Chinese2000 Linux can be known by more and more international people who concern about Linux development. It will be cheerful if this test report can be published on your website. The author is the third party who isn't related Chinese2000 Linux team. This Article is a test report about the installation of Chinese2000 linux and operation of the OS and its bundle, 'Kai Office'."

The
Taiwan version of [Chinese 2000], which arouse great attention among
the Chinese Linux Market, finally emerges. The product, which was
officially launched in Taiwan at the end of July 2002, was
developed by Chinese 2000 Technology Limited (Hong Kong) of the
Culturecom Group with Palmforce Software Inc. as the sales agents in
Taiwan. Having tested the product, I am glad to present the testing
report of the system which is claimed to be [the most user-friendly
Chinese Linux System among the Chinese societies].

Introduction

The
Taiwan version [Chinese 2000 v1.01] is a new product from Chinese
2000 Technology Limited (Hong Kong) which was launched in July this
year. This localized Linux product is developed by the professional
team headed by Mr. Chu Bong Foo, the inventor of the Changjie input
system. It is a smash hit when newly launched in Beijing in Feb 2001
and it becomes one of the most popular Chinese Linux packages in Hong
Kong. In Taiwan, Linux lovers have long been waiting for the product
as it has not been launched in Taiwan all the while. It finally
reaches the island. The two companies lead by Mr. Chu Bong Foo –
the Beijing RedFlag Chinese 2000 Software Technology Co. Ltd., one of
those that successfully bid the software contract of the Beijing
government at the end of 2001, and the Chinese 2000 Technology Ltd.
(Hong Kong), are directed towards the development of Chinese
operating system and various Chinese application softwares really
owned and controlled by Chinese people. It is learned that the
products would gradually be launched in Taiwan and local users could
share the bear fruit in the near future.

Encounter
of Chinese 2000 v1.01

It
seems like [Chinese 2000 v1.01] targets at beginners of Chinese
Linux as on the package, “the most easy-to-use”(applications)
is emphasized. It can be seen from the introduction of the different
user's interfaces at the back of the product package that the product
is aimed to match the habitual usage of Microsoft Windows interfaces
users. To name the network function “Network Neighbourhood”
is one of the designs to enable familiarity.

A
full set of [KaiOffice] office suite is attached to [Chinese 2000
v1.01]. The office suite, at a price of 1000NT or more, is a product
from the KaiSource Systems Limited (Hong Kong) and is an improved
business software based on Open Office system. I have learned before
that the office suite is optimized and can totally accord with
Chinese operating environment. Shortcomings originally in OpenOffice
when operating Chinese characters have been amended. The merit would
be tested. Office software are of real importance to PC users. If
Chinese 2000 can be a true substitute of Microsoft, a cost of just
1000NT or more is beyond doubt a very competitive price.

24
sets of legitimate Chinese fonts are attached to [Chines 2000 v1.01].
This is an all-time retail-package practice in the industry and is
definitely an approach to office users who require various attractive
fonts for documentations. The fonts, I believe, would be of good
quality as they are from the two established companies DynaComware
and Arphic. The fonts also includes the standard Chinese characters
specified by the mainland government (GB18030). Chinese 2000 would
be also to handle operations of users who need to work with the
mainland factories and to adapt to the new Chinese character
standard.

Installation
test

Inside
the box packaging there are two handbooks and four CDs. As for the
two handbooks, one is the Chinese 2000 usage handbook with coloured
introduction for installation and the other is the usage handbook for
KaiOffice. The handbooks are easy to read and easy to understand
with limited pages. Linux beginners could probably read them without
pressure. Big volume advanced manuals may not be necessary to
general users and never touched manuals would be a waste and
contradict protection of environment. The development team of
Chinese 2000 could obviously grasp the effect and virtue of
simplicity and efficiency.

Switch
on the PC, put in the first CD to start the machine, choose
traditional Chinese installation, and then we go in the specific
Chinese 2000 installation interface. It doesn't look attractive at
first, maybe because of the low resolution and lack of colour. Well,
to be natural and simple may be the design purpose of the R&D
team (For this I asked the company if they had particular reason, and
they explained that to enable Chinese 2000 to run on older PC models
and to increase hardware capability, they used the VGA model that is
without frame buffer to make the installation programme. Even though
that is a harder work in the development process.)

Despite
the outer design, it is probably the fastest Chinese Linux
installation package that I have ever seen, although I haven't
installed KaiOffice and the third CD with 24 sets of Chinese fonts
yet. It takes about 20 minutes to install the standard Chinese 2000
system, and there is a reminder on the interface to remind users to
restart the machine to finish the installation process.

Go
into the Chinese 2000 system after restarting the machine

I
restart the machine. The Windows2000 in my computer are still safe
and sound. I can freely choose between the two operating systems
with LILO that has been automatically installed.

As
Chinese 2000 has got the formal authorization from Red Hat for
modification (there is a Red Hat trademark on the package), and
Linux kernel 2.4.18-018 is being used, I wouldn't go into detail the
packages that are the same as Red Hat. What I do here is to prepare
the testing report for the setups and functions that are more
special.

The
preset user's interface is the KDE2.2. For the Taiwan version. the
preset locale is zh_TW.Big5. No problem about it. Generally
speaking, the overall user's interface are compact and the small
fonts used look good and tidy. Although I think the fonts are a bit
too small, it is still very clear to look at. The font size is the
same as that of the Microsoft installation interface.

The
easy-to-use design

Click
the [start] menu. I find the display of functions really simple and
clear. But I start to wonder if the functions would be adequate for
basic requirements in offices.

When
I check the menu, functions of system management, tools, network
communication, games, multi-media, office applications, etc., are all
included. Actually the Chinese 2000 R&D team has put in real
effort to simplify the originally complicated menu of the functions
included in the Red Hat package. Duplicate and unnecessary functions
are simplified beforehand. What's displaying now are only the
recommended functions. Being so considerate for beginners to enable
easy-to-use is a meritorious feature of the product.

Functions
in the Red Hat package that are not shown are not however deleted.
They are still in the two installation CDs. If users find them
necessary, they can always install them by the package management
tools. Index for the various packages are included at the back of
the user's handbook for reference.

Special
items of Chinese 2000

There
is a [Network Neighbourhood] on the desktop. By clicking it,
computers sharing the same data in the office would be shown
directly, just like the Microsoft Windows. I need to fix a minor
problem when I use the functions in [Network Neighbourhood]. The
name of the group has to be changed once in order to find all the
groups correctly. I am not sure if that is the problem of the
network environment in my office or the problem of the software
package.

Functions
of [Network Neighbourhood] should be the contribution of
LinNeighborhood package. Having them installed in the system preset
function is more convenient for Linux beginners for sure. Just to
translate the packages into familiar corresponding names could
already make the system more easy-to-use.

Chinese
2000 can facilitate the change of resolution by just right clicking
the mouse while changing resolution is originally a problem in the X
environment. It is now just as convenient as Microsoft Windows
(picture 7).

To
link up the settings of network environment is just as easy.
Network settings of

Chinese
2000 has been particularly simplified (like the picture attached).
Common ISPs in Taiwan are also listed. This is convenient for user's
settings.

Although
there are not many items preset and displayed on the menu. the four
well-known browsers, Galeon, Netscape, Mozila and Konqueror (picture
8) are all included. Not a single browser is highlighted. Users can
freely choose among the different browsers.

Audio-visual
application software XMMS and XINE are used for MP3 and VCD. Good
choice. Powerful enough. So other audio-visual players are not
necessary.

What's
more is the operation of the CD machine. Other Linux would usually
lock the CD machine and users have to type the mount or unmount
command to enable the CD-ROM again. But it wouldn't happen in
Chinese 2000, the CD_ROM will automatically enable/disable when you
insert/eject a CD.

KaiOffice

We
have tried the desktop functions. Not much problem. Easy to
operate. Now let's try the office suite.

KaiOffice
is the office suite being used in Chinese 2000 v1.01. As it is a
business software being sold as attachment with Chinese 2000, it was
not preset and has to be installed separately with another CD. It is
OK as the installation is not difficult. First, install the Java
environment, second, activate directly the installation programme in
the CD to finish the installation process. It takes about 10
minutes or more to finish the installation (And I also install the CD
with fonts. Then I discover that several development tools from
Borland company were also included in the CD with fonts. Users who
need to develop applications can install the tools as well.)

Let's
try the familiar office functions one by one. That includes software
such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint. The corresponding functions in
KaiOffice are Writer, Calc and Impress. It is just the same as
OpenOffice. And there are additional functions like Draw and Math
that provide functions of drawing and formula editing respectively.

Let's
try Writer first. In OpenOffice, we need to reset the type of fonts
every time we open the documents. In KaiOffice, this problem is
fixed. I have tried to use Writer to read one of my MS-Word
documents and I think it is OK except that the corresponding font is
different. The problem of handling Chinese characters is also fixed,
as Chinese characters usually stick together in OpenOffice. I can't
find vertical editing functions for documents in Writer. But
vertical input is OK if I use text boxes. There is no problem with
printing except that if I read a MS-Word document without choosing a
type of font, the type of font printed would be different from that
on the screen. Actually in KaiOffice, a lot of the problems
originally in OpenOffice are fixed. Although there are still room
for improvements, it is adequate enough for general users to handle
documentations.

Then
we come to Calc. This is a corresponding software of Excel. I don't
have the very complicated excel files for testing, so I test some
sample files. Seems OK, no problem. General requirements could be
met.

The
turn of Impress now. Many of my PowerPoint files run in Impress have
a bit discrepancies. Well enough, that can still be amended and
satisfactory effects can still be made. Editing problem appears
occasionally, like the overlap of characters in editing box. The
problem disappears when other editing functions are carried out.
Well, there are minor defects but functions in Impress are the same
as PowerPoint and for me, the functions in Impress are already
powerful and practical enough.

Conclusion

The
simplicity level of Chinese 2000 v1.01 which aim as a desktop SO is
satisfactory. The user-friendly intention of developers created the
very special feature of the Chinese Linux Distro. KDE operating
environment is set to match the habitual usage of Microsoft Windows
users. Linux beginners can also get used to it easily. KaiOffice
and the various fonts provided can satisfy both office users and
students. On the whole, the Chinese 2000 is easy to install and use,
and it also provide KaiOffice and the 24 sets of Chinese fonts, which
the listed price is more than 1000NT, with no extra cost to the
users, I think this Distro gives real good value to users, and can be
a alternative choose of the Chinese OS for desktop PC.

Author
brief Introduction:

Name:
Hong
Lon-Hsiang
Education:
Master of science :
National Taiwan University computer science graduate
school
Experience:
Lanwin Information Corp: Consultant of Linux information system
EquityTaiwan Corp.: Director of information system

Pacific Securities: Internet marketing department

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