The OLPC will not be used in a typical first world environment with printers, cheap paper supplies and postal service. However, there will still be a need for children to practice composition, write essays, etc. Some type of word processor tailored to this environment will be an asset.
There is currently one project funded by the Abiword Summer of Code program, to develop a suitable Abiword UI for the OLPC. Erik Pukinskis is completing a full review of the AbiWord features and interface, as well as examining the target markets and keeping up with the OLPC design lead in developing a completely new interface for AbiWord on the OLPC which will build on our existing embedded platform support to provide the simplified, discovery-positive experience sought for the laptop project.
For simplicity's sake, a text editor such as gedit (mentioned here) might fill 90% of the writing needs of students.
- uses pango to render unicode fonts
- simple interface
However, it could be argued (and information Erik has found in his research supports) that students really enjoy changing the formatting of text, as a method of personalization or "feeling grown-up" and capable.