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Star Office 6.0 Source Code GPL!

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the still-waiting-for-the-license dept.

Sun Microsystems 232

jjr writes "An article over at TechWeb states the date for the release of the source code Star Office 6.0 is on Oct. 13 and it will be released at" We've been hearing rumors of this for some time now, but I'm still looking for confirmation of the license, but the rumor is that it will be Open Source compliant, and hopefully GPL (especially considering the (well deserved) heat they took over their previous license). Rumors about the license in German. I've also heard that the among the major goals is a GTK port of the suite. Update: 07/19 01:31 PM by CT : It's apparently official: Finally a story in English proclaiming that it will be released under the GPL!

cancel ×


GPL staroffice will "linux" the office suite mkt (1)

poopie (35416) | more than 13 years ago | (#922206)

So, can I claim credit for being the first to use linux as a verb?

linux - v - act of opensource product rapidly gaining marketshare over commercial competitors, forcing competing commercial products to offer more featues or reduce price, and ultimately the opensource product becoming the de-facto standard. EX: (1)OpenSSH linuxed's sales of ssh 2.X. (2) PGP was linuxed by GnuPrivacy guard. (3) The market for photoshop has been seriously linuxed by The Gimp. (4) The RIAA fears that napster may linux their embryonic plans for an online music distribution system. (5) Sun's GPL'ing of StarOffice helps offset fears that it will be linuxed by gnumeric and abiword.

Staroffice to take away 40% of Microsoft's current revenue stream?

"Over the next three years, we'll have a similar impact on the office-suite market as Linux did to the operating-system market." -- Marco Boerries

now as to replacing the toolkit with GTK, I bet that will take quite a while longer.

All in all, this is a good move for Sun and will do a lot to help enhance and improve SO over the long run (1)

raffe (28595) | more than 13 years ago | (#922207)

FYI: is running Apache/1.3.13-dev (Unix) ApacheJServ/1.1.2 AuthMySQL/2.20 on Linux

Re:GPL unlikely, IMO. (1)

-brazil- (111867) | more than 13 years ago | (#922208)

I can't see a big corp going for the GPL with a major product like this, if only for reasons of pride.

I can easily see them doing it for reasons of favorable publicity.

Re:Sun is quite ambitious... (1)

Cpyder (57655) | more than 13 years ago | (#922222)

Well, for starters it is scaring the hell out of Microsoft (remember the Halloween documents?), and it is slowly but steadily taking away Windows NT market share. But that is a different story (and completely off topic here) More info here []
/ /pyder.....
\_\ sig under construction

It makes no sense (2)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 13 years ago | (#922223)

"Over the next three years, we'll have a similar impact on the office-suite market as Linux did to the operating-system market."

What impact is that?
Sure a lot of people use linux but SunOS is still *probably* (dont flame me) a better platform for high end servers and windows is certainly still the most common platform for desktops.

Comparatively few people actually use StarOffice.

Now *there's* one for conspiracy theorists... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#922224)

Sun has always said, "the network IS the computer"... meaning that they think everybody should be connected to the Internet.

Scott McNealy purportedly said that we don't have privacy anyway, so get over it.

Sun makes a lot of money supplying to government agencies and government contractors (there are a bunch of Suns at the NSA...).

Reputable companies have been known to put privacy-violating components in their software (look at RealPlayer, or any number of other software products...).

Even "source-available" (not Open-Source) software can have undetected bugs for long periods of time (PGP bug, anybody?)-- if not enough people are looking at it.
StarOffice has the potential to become one of the biggest desktop apps for ANY OS, especially now that it's been GPL'd.

The program will be released on October 13th: 10-13. Any X-Files fan should know what THAT means...

Re:Agh the cluebies... (1)

dvduijn (73663) | more than 13 years ago | (#922225)

As far as I can see, onbody claims anything to be ``Open Source Compliant''. The author just says `... the rumor is that it will be Open Source compliant ...' without making his own statements. I can see no problem with that.

`Well-deserved' flack? (4)

Bob Uhl (30977) | more than 13 years ago | (#922226)

What, exactly, was wrong with the older Sun license? Yeah, it was not free software, but it gave full use of the source code to those who had purchased the product. This allowed bug fizing and feature enehancement by the community for the community (unless I greatly misremember the details). Quite honestly, this is the way I think software should work by defaut. If I buy a copy of Word I should get full source. I don't necessarily believe that I should then be able to give that source away. But I do not want to be locked into a buggy piece of software which I cannot fix or modify.

Perhaps the old license was too restrictive in other ways, in order to ensure that only paying members got source? Or did it demand that Sun be assigend copyright on mods? Or was there some other valid complaint? Or was it simply griping that Sun dared release non-free software?

Free software is cool stuff. I write it, and GPL it. But I do not demand that everyone else GPL their stuff. Although I do think that software copyrights should be like patents: short term (say, two to five years); can be renewed once for an additional term; the source is on file; the source becomes available at the expiration of the copyright. This way people can make money for a few years on their work, but we still get the source in the not-so-long-run.

Re:GPL unlikely, IMO. (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 13 years ago | (#922227)

Well, it has only belonged to Sun for a few months. The actual company who desserves is StarDivision.
Now, if Sun...
  1. realize that they are about to lose more cash with SO than they expected to make
  2. still wants to gain market shares
  3. and still wants to piss off Kro$oft
Then, as this is not their baby, they will easily get rid of it.
BTW, could we expect some GPL'ed Swing-like toolkit for Guavac/Kaffe, one of these days ?

Official Press release!! (5)

ChrisRijk (1818) | more than 13 years ago | (#922229)

Source Code Offered Via GNU General Public License and to Reside At [] .

  • PALO ALTO, Calif., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Monterey, California, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW - news) announced it will release the source code of its StarOffice(TM) Suite, a leading, high quality, office productivity application software suite, to the open source community under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Sun also announced will be formed and managed by Collab.Net and will serve as the coordination point for the source code, the definition of XML-based file formats, and the definition of language-independent office application programming interfaces (APIs).

btw, the GPLd version will be v6, which is a complete re-write according so some things I've heard. Apparantly, since the takeover, Sun have quadrupled the number of developers! btw, Sun reps have also clearly stated recently, that even with StarPortal, they expect people to be using the normal StarOffice product for many years.

Also, Sun actually have about 4 'source available' license in use - SCSL, MPL (mozila public license), the "Open Source (tm)" certified one they're using for 'technical' things like the NFS 4 release, and also the license for Solaris. This makes 5. Quite a wide range.

Re:GTK port? (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#922231)

I have it from a pretty decent source that they have a large team of people working on the GTK port (read: multiple dozens of coders), and that they have had that team working on it for some time. So it's not as far fetched as it would seem. Also, for the most part everything will be available as a bonobo component, so you won't have to load the entire thing as one monolithic binary anymore.

This will create a diffent kind of market (2)

jjr (6873) | more than 13 years ago | (#922233)

If it is indeed GPL this will allow people to create an Office Suite appliance were that is the only thing that computer does. What would also be another interesting thing if some creates a GUI that write to the linux frame buffer then you won't even need an X server.

It *i* GPL! (3)

-brazil- (111867) | more than 13 years ago | (#922241)

According to dpa / [] , the license will indeed be the GPL. Way to go, Sun!

good news (2)

gazdean (71600) | more than 13 years ago | (#922244)

If Star Office is GPL'd then surely the guys working on Koffice, Applixware etc... can only benefit.

Sun is quite ambitious... (2)

Cpyder (57655) | more than 13 years ago | (#922249)

...stating that StarOffice gpld will do to Ms Office what Linux has done to (fill in the Unix/Windows of your choice here)... Hope this 6.0 (which it's going to be based on) is in a better state than the "Netscape 5.0" was when the source came out. (I mean: the first mozilla source was so stripped down it was barely usable, maybe it would be better to release the 5.2 source (but then again, what are they allowed to ship (or: what parts of the code do they have to remove))) p.s. sorry for all the brackets :-)
/ /pyder.....
\_\ sig under construction

Heise says it's GPLd, too. (4)

tjansen (2845) | more than 13 years ago | (#922252)

The german Heise Newsticker [] writes [] that it is GPLd and the official announcement will follow today at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention. It also mentions that Sun has hired Tim O'Reilly, Miguel de Icaza, Brian Behlendorf and Andy Hertzfeld as coordinators for and they will also define "open" XML-based data formats at openoffice. (2)

Sivaraj (34067) | more than 13 years ago | (#922255) domain is owned by Caldera.
So soon we can expect another rumour that Sun is buying Caldera?

This is great! (1)

Bad_CRC (137146) | more than 13 years ago | (#922256)

best news I've heard in a while!

This is exactly the step which was needed to make SO a realistic alternative to that other package.

God, I hope this works out!


Re:It *i* GPL! (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#922257) seem to be misinformed...the correct terminology is "first post"

4th post by the way

Filters (2)

RPoet (20693) | more than 13 years ago | (#922259)

Yes! One of the biggest hassles that the koffice team works on, is the import filters. These are extremely important to have in order to recruit users of certain other suites, but they take a lot of work to develop. It doesn't help that Corel, which has sworn it's support to KDE, won't donate their excellent filter code to koffice. Hopefully they should be able to use the ones in staroffice though!

Gee wow. - Sarcastic (1)

datadictator (122615) | more than 13 years ago | (#922260)

Ok, am I the only one in the world who doesn't like star-office ?
Ok, it is pretty functionall, but nonetheless, I am pretty irritated by that windows like interface, I actually hate the windows GUI, I do not agree that it's good, it suxors majorly, KDE (with the 'K' button hidden and a good theme loaded) is about 6000 times nicer to work in.
I am not berating the software, just the interface, I wish we could get an open-source office suite with this power, and none of that crappy cascading menu crap.

Have you looked at how BLOATED Star Office is? (1)

Jumpin'ET (212008) | more than 13 years ago | (#922261)

From a functional perspective, Star Office is pretty cool.

But have you ever wondered why it takes SOOOooooooo long to load? Ever run top or gtop to see just what an incredible hog it is? Try it and you'll be pretty surprised!

IMHO, Star Office isn't even close to snuff -- a well-written program should not be a memory monster. A lot of work will be required, if it is even possible, to put Star Office on a diet!

Re:BeOS (1)

kronoman (200543) | more than 13 years ago | (#922262)

If it's GPL'd, or otherwise Open Source, then a port can't be far away (just switch from X to Tracker / Appserver, and voila, instant BeOS office suite.)

Perhaps a more realistic projection (2)

streetlawyer (169828) | more than 13 years ago | (#922263)

I would think that a more realistic assessment would be "Over the next three years, we'll have a similar impact on the office-suite market to that which Corel and Lotus had on the office-suite market".

Or perhaps "A similar effect to that which Mozilla had on the browser market".

In the spirit of open source, I also cleared up this man's sub-literate grammar.

Re:Bad news, actually. (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#922264)

Aww, relax. Have you ever used Star Office?
If you do something like turn the computer off every night, there's nothing to worry about. The program is so slow that I couldn't use it til after lunch. Assuming I remembered to start it before the morning coffee break.

At the point where it does actually become useable, you can look forward to a creative rendering of MS-Word documents. I can't help but wonder if someone didn't get a preview of Word 97's HTML formatting and copied it.

On Sun's side, remember Sun announcing free copies of Solaris 8 source (minus media and shipping cost) ? Anyone have their Solaris 8 source CD?

Re:GTK port? (1)

11223 (201561) | more than 13 years ago | (#922265)

Whoa... cool. Could this blow Applix's advantage right out of the water?

When do we see GTK Java?

The main problem... (3)

Psiren (6145) | more than 13 years ago | (#922266)

... with Staroffice as I see it is that it's one huge application. And I mean, HUGE. If I want to work on a spreadsheet, I don't need my Word Processor sitting in memory too. Unfortunately because of the tight integration in StarOffice this is exactly what happens. It kills my 64MB P-II. Gnumeric and AbiWord, although nowhere near as advanced, are at least usable.


garethwi (118563) | more than 13 years ago | (#922267)

ESR said, "Sun gets it".

Re:Have you looked at how BLOATED Star Office is? (1)

kronoman (200543) | more than 13 years ago | (#922268)

On Linux, it's nowhere near as fast as WordPerfect 8.0, Applix 4.0 or AbiWord, but on Windows, it's faster than Macro$haft Office 9x / 2k (well, about even with Office 95 on a P166/MMX (64MB), way the heck faster on an Athlon 900 (256MB)) An open-source office suite would be stellar. Especially one with a preexisting Windows version (not because I'm an Windows fan, far from it, because it could help to wean M$ lusers off Office, and since Office is one of the bigger reasons to stick with 9x/NT in the workplace... It's a short hop to Linux all around (Or Solaris, but this wouldn't be as big of a loss as all Win... Let's thoroughly farkle up the M$ hegemony)

GTK port (1)

Frodo (1221) | more than 13 years ago | (#922291)

Yeah, yeah! I want it. Current interface is *way* too ugly. Also, using GTK probably will bring in all goodies like theming, antialiased fonts, etc. And if they port to bonobo too - we get all office framework compatible with GNOME. Dreams come true :)

Hmmm... (2)

BJH (11355) | more than 13 years ago | (#922292)

One thing that would be helped greatly by a GPL release of StarOffice is i18n. For example, currently, there is exactly one applicatione suite suitable for use in Japanese (Applixware), and quite frankly, it sucks. It doesn't suck in any major way; it just has amny small to medium niggles that make using it about as pleasant as picking your nose with a corkscrew - it'll get the job done, but it's not what I'd call fun.
In particular, I'd like to see the GTK port mentioned above. GStarOffice make a great addition to Gnome.

Finally, signs of intelligent life on /. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#922293)

Listen folks... it's going to take more than a bunch of starry-eyed kids touting the virtue of openness to wrestle with the market forces of the PC world. Not much has changed in terms of market share during the 90s except that NT is now ruler of the realm rather than NetWare for PC LANs. Unix is still used as an alternative for big iron. Windows is still on the desktop. Linux is widely popular in the press but is not yet ready for the role that the current Unix & NT servers are doing. This is due to lack of a proper support structure and also lack of enough scalability/uptime. On the desktop front, Linux doesn't stand a chance in it's current form. It hasn't the mutlimedia features or the apps to make for a desktop. So let's see... not big and bad enough for the glass house... not sexy enough for the desktop ... sounds like there's still plenty of work to be done. Let's hope that StarOffice has a better success rate.

StarOffice Release In October (1)

CalamityJones (180223) | more than 13 years ago | (#922294)

This article [] from Reuters [] has a Sun spokesman named Marco Boerries stating that the "open source" release of StarOffice will be based on StarOffice 6.0, and will occur on October 13th.

Offtopic (1)

11223 (201561) | more than 13 years ago | (#922295)

This is so offtopic, but I'm so excited that I'm going to post it here anyway:

Apple just introduced dual 450 and 500mhz G4's - available today! Sweeet!

Re:Have you looked at how BLOATED Star Office is? (2)

luge (4808) | more than 13 years ago | (#922296)

Yeah, but Sun has a large team (a couple other folks around here seem to have confirmed this) doing that "lot of work." Remember, this is not going to be 4.x or 5.x (both of which sucked, size wise.) It's going to be a new version which (presumably) will have learned a lot from the mistakes of the old one.
Heck, just pure speculation- if you follow Gnome, you know what a freak Miguel De Icaza is about componentization through Gnome's Bonobo framework. We know he is on their advisory board- what do you want to bet that the new release is bonoboized? If that guess is correct, and they do it right, then there is no need to worry about the size- you just strip out the component you want to use and put it in a stripped-down GTK framework, no problem. Light-weight word processing, here we come...

Re:Have you looked at how BLOATED Star Office is? (1)

luge (4808) | more than 13 years ago | (#922314)

Heh. As soon as I say that, the official press release quotes Miguel as saying he is excited that it will all be bonoboized. Cool... I suppose that definitely means GTK too. Nice. Very, very nice.

Re:GTK port? (1)

__soup_dragon__ (112372) | more than 13 years ago | (#922315)

thats not very extraordinary... have you used wxwindows? now, thats a toolkit...

Re:StarOffice Release In October (1)

luge (4808) | more than 13 years ago | (#922316)

FYI: Boerries is not a spokesman, but the original author of Star Office.

Microsoft Office (1)

ronny-da-hill (212803) | more than 13 years ago | (#922317)

Well, lets be honest - MS Office is better than most other products, in terms of value and performance at any rate. Just my 0.02$ worth, Ron.

Re:The main problem... (1)

yooden (115278) | more than 13 years ago | (#922318)

... with Staroffice as I see it is that it's one huge application.

That will change, too. According to Heise [] , "(...) sollen die Module wie Textverarbeitung oder Tabellenkalkulation optional nicht mehr unter dem eigenen Desktop, sondern wieder als einzelne Applikationen laufen. Diese Version soll als Grundlage für die weitere Entwicklung dienen."
(For the ungermaned: "The different modules like text processor or spreadsheet will optionally run not with StarOffice' desktop, but as stand-alone applications. This version will be the base for further development.")

Another important issue is the gplization of StarOffice' application framework, probably based on what was formerly known as StarBase.

Does anyone really use StarOffice? (2)

SIGFPE (97527) | more than 13 years ago | (#922319)

I tried to work on a simple letter created in Word recently using SO. A simple letter with about 3 paragraphs and nothing fancy. It was unusable - the cursor kept being 3 or 4 characters out from where the text was actually getting inserted. I tried creating a presentation in SO,a really simple one, but things kept changing every time I saved and reloaded it. And in both cases the fonts looked so yucky it hurt my eyes. I tried reading in a presentation from PowerPoint into SO. It was 90Mb long (lots of pictures). On a 64Mb Windows machine it plays fine. It completely locked up a 128Mb Linux box because it went into heavy duty swap. Let's hope GPLing gets some things fixed but right now I don't think anyone in their right mind would consider using SO for anything but the most trivial tasks. (I'm using SO5.1a BTW FWIW) And please can people break this monolith into bite sized chunks. I don't want to load up every sinlge other application as well as a Windows-look-alike desktop thingy every time I edit a document. And please, can it not look *exactly* like a Microsoft application - it makes me feel a bit dirty to use it. Can't a program have its own look and feel?

What was the largest Free Software contribution? (2)

Carl (12719) | more than 13 years ago | (#922320)

The Press Release says: "Sun's open-sourcing of StarOffice Suite is the single largest open-source software contribution in GPL history"

So what was the largest Free Software contribution? The GNU project itself?

Friday the 13th? (1)

Basje (26968) | more than 13 years ago | (#922321)

any release on that particular day has to be bad luck!


Solaris 9 (1)

bscanl (79871) | more than 13 years ago | (#922322)

Sun aren't shipping OpenWindows *shudder* with it.
Bets they ship the helixcode desktop environment with it, to go with their GTK enabled Staroffice 6. :)

Yahoo beats /. (1)

pointwood (14018) | more than 13 years ago | (#922323)

Incredible - Yahoo actually beated /. in the competition "Who makes the article with most broken links*".

* Broken links include links which requires username and password.


Re:Friday the 13th? (1)

Jeld (17209) | more than 13 years ago | (#922324)

Cool .sig

Re:GPL staroffice will "linux" the office suite mk (2)

mrogers (85392) | more than 13 years ago | (#922325)

You can verb anything these days.

$ cat < /dev/mouse

Re:GPL unlikely, IMO. (1)

-brazil- (111867) | more than 13 years ago | (#922326)

Will this really help Sun? Another question: did Sun need help?

Well, if they didn't think so, they wouldn't have done it.

StarOffice based on Bonobo - Bonobo not ready yet? (1)

Florian (2471) | more than 13 years ago | (#922327)

Miguel de Icaza says that SO 6.0 is based on Gnome's Bonobo component model. AFAIK, Bonobo is neither released yet, nor are there any Gnome applications making use of pre-release Bonobo versions. So I guess the GPL'ed StarOffice will not build (yet) and take a long time before it's ready for use, probably as long as Mozilla.

Re:`Well-deserved' flack? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 13 years ago | (#922328)

>Or did it demand that Sun be assigend copyright on mods?


Re:Does anyone really use StarOffice? (1)

Jeld (17209) | more than 13 years ago | (#922329)

Basically, what you are trying to say is that SO is bad because it doesn't read your MSO files properly. Try to reverse the experiment and see how well MSO reads SO files. Anyway, I am not saying that SO is a wonderful office suite, but your examples are biased.

Re:GTK port? (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 13 years ago | (#922330)

You will soon (?) see a KDE/Qt Java! :)

Panhandling in the Post-PC era? (2)

laetus (45131) | more than 13 years ago | (#922344)

Given the talk that the PC is predicted to soon be dead (see Intel Preparing for post-PC world [] ), I have to wonder, is Gnome/Star Office/Linux on the PC simply panhandling now for gold flakes after Microsoft has hauled off most of the gold during the height of the PC era?


Re:Offtopic (1)

MostlyHarmless (75501) | more than 13 years ago | (#922345)

BTW, what happened to those funny characters after your nick? This is the first time I've been able to see your user info...

Re:Gee wow. - Sarcastic (1)

Raindog (13847) | more than 13 years ago | (#922346)

Frankly, I don't like SO either, but I'm thrilled to see it go GPL all the same.....alittle (well, alot) of work could make it into a great suite...namely by breaking the damn apps apart.

Word Perfect Suite 2000 ain't bad, but running via wine creates some I'm still trying to make the damn thing print.

Re:Offtopic (1)

11223 (201561) | more than 13 years ago | (#922347)

They fixed me! The bastards!

You should always have been able to see it by inserting five %08's after my name - a %08 is a ^H, so my username was 11223^H^H^H^H^H.

Re:GTK port (1)

kalifa (143176) | more than 13 years ago | (#922348)

Well, once you've made the Gtk port and the bonoboification, I don't think there's gonna much of the original source code left...

Seriously, this is good news, but the problems are still ahead: do you think it's doable now to transform this non-native autarcic bloatware into a native and performant application? I don't. To me the main good thing is that this code should include pretty good MS-Office export/import filters that can be used in other projects.

Re:GTK port? (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 13 years ago | (#922349)

moderate parent +5, Good News

I'd love a GTK version and especially to get rid of the "start" button.

wI want to know... (1)

jmccay (70985) | more than 13 years ago | (#922350)

What's with the Login with a password at [] ? I think this may come dwn after the 10/13/2000 release date? I hope so. What would be the point of GPLing the Star Office if only a select fiew can get to it?! Wonder what MS thought when they heard that?

A comment from bi-lingual reader (1)

Jeld (17209) | more than 13 years ago | (#922351)

English ( as the name suggests ) was not invented in America.

Re:GPL unlikely, IMO. (1)

Ded Bob (67043) | more than 13 years ago | (#922352)

I can easily see them doing it for reasons of favorable publicity.

This will not help them very much. Who does this really impress? I can see it bringing smiles to fans of the GPL--there ought to be a club. I doubt stockholders will be impressed: SUNW is now down 1 3/4 as I write this. No. I cannot confirm if it is related to this news. Will this really help Sun? Another question: did Sun need help?

Good for SO too (1)

FunkyChild (99051) | more than 13 years ago | (#922353)

Not only is this good for projects like Abiword, Koffice etc. as they can use Sun's code, it also means that Sun can use code from other GPL projects. From what I've seen, the page layout/frames aspect of koffice looks very powerful, as well as other interesting features, and now Sun could quite easily put this in SO.

Open source - it's a win-win situation!

Re:`Well-deserved' flack? (1)

chris.bitmead (24598) | more than 13 years ago | (#922354)

Well, umm, because if it's not free software, then you ARE locked into buggy software. If it's not free there is no guarantee, and possibly not even likelyhood that your patches will get anywhere.

Re:GTK port? (1)

11223 (201561) | more than 13 years ago | (#922355)

Whoa... where can I get info on this? This would make my day!

Imagine... a KDE Open Source desktop with a KDE Open Source standards-compliant browser on a QT Open Source toolkit with a KDE Open Source Office Suite... and a native port of Java! Whoa...

Re:This is unfortunate (1)

Jeld (17209) | more than 13 years ago | (#922356)

I don't know, I still don't understand why people are so obsessive about licenses used. IMHO if the source is available and you are legally allowed to fuck with it without too many restrictions it is free.

Commercialization of Linux (3)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 13 years ago | (#922357)

I hope that as we see all of this commercial attention towards linux, it doesn't lose some of the qualities that have made it so good.

We'll still always have the source to the OS thanks to the GPL. This is great.

Some applications will be free(d), and if they're good enough to be worth it, dedicated hackers will be able to fix bugs in them.

Yet, something tells me that Sun didn't GPL StarOffice out of a sense of community, they did it for buzzword compliance. Press releases riddled with marketspeak phrases like "move forward" and "continued innovation" make me cringe, fearing the worst...

Linux may turn into Windows.

With fancy new GUI "Windows" managers, X has started to crash for me occasionally. X used to never crash! The latest redhat shipped with no fewer than two remote root exploits. It's getting to be a major chore to understand all of the things your system does on boot (3 years ago with slackware, this was easy!)

We're starting to see proprietary drivers available for linux. When we have as many proprietary drivers as Windows does, will we see the same loss of stability?

Linux has less and less become an "underground" (even "subculture" is losing applicability), and sometimes I think this has a negative impact on the OS. I see many of my friends who take that aspect seriously switching to less popular operating systems like OpenBSD or Be.

What do you think? Does this much marketing force and this much code eventually turn a great system mediocre? Will we just end up with another (mostly open source) Windows?

I hope not, but I'm still worried...

Re:Microsoft Office (3)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | more than 13 years ago | (#922358)

Well, lets be honest - MS Office is better than most other products, in terms of value

Have you seen the prices they are charging for it lately? Holy cow, have they ever increased the prices. You can buy WordPerfect Suite or Lotus SmartSuite for a tiny fraction of the price of MS Office. Both of those offer similar functionality, so how is MS Office better in terms of value? Even if it was marginally better (in my opinion, it is worse), is it two or three times better to justify being two or three times the price? Sorry, but value just isn't something that Microsoft is competing on. In terms of value, how is Microsoft going to compete with the new GPLed Star Office? Hard to beat the value of free.

and performance at any rate.

Actually, WordPerfect Suite and Lotus SmartSuite seem to run better on older machines than does MS-Office. Star Office is currently a bit on the slow side, but if they do to it what they claim they are going to, that problem should be history.

Just my 0.02$ worth, Ron.

You are entitled to your opinion. I completely disagree, however.

Details from the English Press Release (2)

Pilchie (869) | more than 13 years ago | (#922359)

It will be re-architechted to use smaller programs, and components

It will be integrated with GNOME via Bonobo component architecture(note that this does not necessarily mean using GTK). What it does mean is that GNOME applications will be able to embed SO docs, ala OLE. So a GNOME Email Client(don't know what they are, I use KDE) could allow in-place editing of SO attachments, etc.

In my opinion, both of those are excellent news.


GTK port? (3)

11223 (201561) | more than 13 years ago | (#922362)

No way on the GTK port - the entire suite is done with their StarView toolkit, which would mean that millions of lines of code would have to be changed just to get a GTK version up and running. It won't happen anytime soon.

I will be helping with the BeOS and AtheOS ports, though - a GPL'ed suite like this, even though it's not the best - is a good foot in the door for a startup operating system!

I'm looking forward to the StarView technology itself - a cross platform porting toolkit for OS/2, Windows and X is a good thing!

Filters (2)

Wickie (101214) | more than 13 years ago | (#922367)

Hopefully all the filters are included. Then the development of filters for [K|Gnome]Office will benefit a lot from this release.

Re:It *i* GPL! (2)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 13 years ago | (#922369)

Whoah! How did this guy get an on-topic first post!? Congrats to -brazil-!

Meanwhile, GPL-ing StarOffice may give us another look at building in support for more file types. I can't tell you the number of packages I've uninstalled due to the fact that they don't read/write the formats my colleagues work with.

Additionally, while StarOffice also produces somewhat dirty HTML source, it is far better than some other editors for which HTML was also a secondary consideration. Integrating HTML-Tidy into a future version of StarOffice would be an excellent move.

who wants to go through the code? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#922374)

The code is going to be massive. And it's going to look messy because almost everyone will be new to it.
Except for a challenge nobody will want to go through this! (1)

Spudley (171066) | more than 13 years ago | (#922377)

If not, then one of their domain names, at the very least...

Big Question: Still Cross Platform? (2)

luge (4808) | more than 13 years ago | (#922383)

OK, so it would seem that the new SO is going to be built on GTK (see Miguel's comments about Bonobo and such.) I'm really curious: does this mean the end of multi-platform Star Office? I know that there is a GTK port to Windows, and I even found the home page [] , but it really doesn't say how stable, usable, or up to date it is. Not that I really care too much about the windows port, but it would be really nice to be able to give Windows users SO 6.0 for Windows and say: "This is what GPL software can be, if you give it a chance." So... anyone know enough about GTK for Windows to give an educated guess about the chances of the Windows port surviving?

Re:GTK port? (1)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 13 years ago | (#922384)

Yeah, GTK swing would be sweet.

Now if they would only GPL Java (1)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 13 years ago | (#922385)

Guess that would be too much to ask.

Re:Bad news, actually. (1)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 13 years ago | (#922386)

Hmm... I've just timed the start up at my cow-orker's Ultra 60. It took about 3 seconds, including creation of a new text document.

Do you run it on Z80, or what?

Re:looking down the road. (1)

zal (553) | more than 13 years ago | (#922387)

Well, one has to keep in mind that Sun is primarily a hardware vendor.
It might well be possible that they see StarOffice/StarPortal mainly as a way to sell their big hardware.
And what do you think will be necessary to run StarPortal for several hundred users??

Size matters (1)

eurik (110086) | more than 13 years ago | (#922388)

I hope the open-sourcing of SO will help making
it smaller (both package size and memory footprint) and faster. Then it would be usable for my setup (K6/233 Mhz, 48 MB ram) and I could finally delete Windows, which I still need to run MS Office (the _only_ use for them).

English means it must be official (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#922389)

Update: 07/19 01:31 PM by CT: It's apparently official: Finally a story in English proclaiming that it will be released under the GPL!

I'm as monolingual as the next American, and maybe it's not fair to quibble about stuff that's getting posted in a hurry, but this makes it look like the fact that the story is in English is what makes it official.

Which confirms the usual European prejudices about Americans.

P.S. I did read the story.

Re:Friday the 13th? (1)

tssm0n0 (200200) | more than 13 years ago | (#922390)

any release on that particular day has to be bad luck!

Hey! That's my birthday!

And it just so happens I was born on a friday...

Re:Bad news, actually. (1)

tssm0n0 (200200) | more than 13 years ago | (#922391)

Microsoft completely avoided that problem. They designed office applications (especially access) so that they load up quickly (under a half hour) but god forbid you should try to shut them down. I've spent many late nights waiting for parts of MS office to shut down, and for clippy to get his ugly ass off my screen.

Office 2000 seems to have perfected this. After a few minutes of hanging up the computer the program will GPF and die... a very innovative solution, if you ask me.

until there's MSOffice for unix, it's no option (2)

poopie (35416) | more than 13 years ago | (#922392)

If there were MSOffice for linux and solaris, I'd probably have purchased licenses and have been running it for a long time.

But there's not, and even if MS were to start porting it now, they've lost a whole lot of ground to Opensource office suites, and would have to practically give it away.

So, let's be Honest - Even a split MS may not port MSOffice to unix (try to make the business case for a linux MSOffice port...)

In a cross-platform world, that leaves MS Office out of the running as an option. I don't see any value or performance benefit if it doesn't run on all your platforms.

seems MSFT stock is taking a downturn today. Just my 0.02$ worth.

Passworded (2)

riggwelter (84180) | more than 13 years ago | (#922393)

Dunno if anyone else has noticed that appears to require password authentication. "Please enter username for Tigirs at"

This deliberate, or in error? And can anyone with a username/password shed light as to what is contained therein?

This is fantastic news of course, those of us who have been trumpeting SO as a realistic alternative to MSO while lamenting it's closed nature can amp up our trumpets and really give it some. Speech and beer, well, it don't get much better than this.


Re:It makes no sense (1)

yugami (102988) | more than 13 years ago | (#922394)

SunOS is still *probably* (dont flame me) a better platform for high end servers

do you really mean SunOS? or are you trying to say solaris and just forgot how to spell it?

just wondering, it would be nice if you got your terms right, cause SunOS and solaris aren't from the same code base, from the same company sure, but SunOS got dumped a while back. I think there might still be a few refs to sunos in the config files, but solaris is not to be mistaken for sunos

Re:Filters (1)

-brazil- (111867) | more than 13 years ago | (#922398)

Export filters, too. MY SO5.1 crashes when I try to export graphics as EPS, which sux because it's much more convenient than xfig.

Re: What's up with the website? (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 13 years ago | (#922400)

When I try to load [] it wants a userid and password.


Agh the cluebies... (2)

RPoet (20693) | more than 13 years ago | (#922402)

Who are you to determine what is "Open Source Compliant?" If you have the source to it, it is Open Source....

Actually, Open Source (tm) is a registered trademark of the Open Source Initiative [] . You are not allowed to call your product Open Source unless it is licensed after one of these licenses [] .

Finally! (1)

ishpeck (160581) | more than 13 years ago | (#922405)

I was wondering when they were going to get around to that. When I went to Comdex last year, they said that Star Office was planned for open sourcing some time. . . but it took 'em a while to do it.

Now I can fix some problems in Star Office! HOORAY!

looking down the road. (2)

Pondering (171105) | more than 13 years ago | (#922407)

Closely tied into the Star Office Suite is their Star Portal program which is just the network computer model. How much you do you want to bet that making Star Office free, then Open is actually setting up people to buy into their Star Portal program when it comes to fruitation (which I can't possibly see being free)?

sun's Star Portal webiste

Bad news, actually. (3)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 13 years ago | (#922408)

My computer at work doesn't have a port of StarOffice. Now it will, and I'll have no excuse for ignoring all those Word-formatted emails from PHBs and their secretaries. Fuck you, Sun!

Re:I can't beleive your stupidity... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#922409)

> What companies have been successful with a GPL model?

Sun is a hardware company idiot.

Re:Sun is quite ambitious... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#922429)

...stating that StarOffice gpld will do to Ms Office what Linux has done to (fill in the Unix/Windows of your choice here)...

Pardon my ignorance but what has Linux done to Windows? I haven't noticed anything.

BeOS (1)

jared51 (71757) | more than 13 years ago | (#922430)

I just hope that there's a BeOS port in the works. The OS is great - it just needs some serious software.

GPL unlikely, IMO. (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 13 years ago | (#922431)

I can't see a big corp going for the GPL with a major product like this, if only for reasons of pride. I would think something more like the Artistic licence would be likely, probably their home-grown variant. Maybe they'll just fix the problems with the SCSL.

good thing (1)

patreides (210724) | more than 13 years ago | (#922433)

I've been trying to find the best way to learn GTK and despite playing with it a little and buying a book, programming is easiest with experience. Perhaps this is an opportunity to learn two toolkits at once... hopefully there's ample documentation. Perhaps what's needed is a porting library, like one that uses StarView's function calls but translates them to GTK+? It wouldn't be perfect, but would save a lot of time. I'm out of school, I should work on that...

I'd also like to see StarOffice get recompiled for Linux/SPARC, and I'm sure many others would like to see that too.
One more thing on my wish list: split up the apps like StarOffice did in the old days, and stop reimplementing everything like the desktop, WM, etc. and then it would be hard to call bloated. Otherwise I really enjoyed using 5.1 until my affair with AbiWord, then WordPerfect Office 2000 came out.

Wrong link, sorry... (1)

RPoet (20693) | more than 13 years ago | (#922434)

Of course, the Open Source Initiative is at [] , not .com ;)

Re:who wants to go through the code? (1)

-brazil- (111867) | more than 13 years ago | (#922436)

What anbout the people doing Koffice? I should think they will find some parts quite useful.

Re:good news (1)

gazdean (71600) | more than 13 years ago | (#922437)

Sorry, yes of course you're right.
Actually, this puts Applixware in quite a tricky

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