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Porting OpenOffice To OSX

Hemos posted about 13 years ago | from the running-on-more-platforms dept.

Apple 189

jeffy124 writes "ZDnet has an interesting article on how OpenOffice, Sun's Open-Source version of StarOffice, needs some serious help in being ported to the Macintosh OS-X. With Microsoft about to release Office 2001 for OS-X and demo it at next week's MacWorld Expo, support in getting a Mac OS-X port out for OpenOffice is critical to keeping a Microsoft dominance of yet another operating system's office suite to a minimum. The project is need of someone to step up to the plate as a project lead."

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Re:wish it could be me... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#87016)

GTK already exists under OS X.

Re:wish it could be me... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#87017)

If I remember correctly, GTK has already been ported to OS X. Try http://www.macgimp.org

Other options -- (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#87018)

Pardon my french, but I still prefer AppleWorks to OO, and AppleWorks is already available in an OSX-compatible form.

Even Linus has admited that in such applications that the inner workings are fairly static and its the presentation and interface that matters, commercial software still has a leg up over open source. Word processors were a given example of such an application, iirc.

Give it a rest. Help port OO to Linux/PPC first. (its more than just recompiling, people. Ask Kevin Hendricks. He's been doing most of the work.)

Re:Seriously (2)

Don Negro (1069) | about 13 years ago | (#87022)

But God help you if you tried to run Excel and Netscape 4.x at the same time on 8.6-9.1.

That combo leaks memory like Niagra leaks water.

Don Negro

Re:Rah rah rah I guess... (2)

Craig Maloney (1104) | about 13 years ago | (#87023)

Where did you hear that Ford was going to an OpenSource desktop? I worked there, and if anything, they were moving in the complete opposite direction. Of course, anything is possible, but I'd have to see a link to prove it.

And they're most certainly not using old P166s where I worked. :)

Re:There's a lot of work to be done (2)

Rob Parkhill (1444) | about 13 years ago | (#87024)

The first 'commercial' word processor for NeXTstep was WordPerfect. Want to see what happens when you take the code for another platform, and mung it enough so that it kind-of works on an elegant system like NeXTstep? Then you want to see WordPerfect.

I'd really hate to see that happen on MacOS X too...

It is all about giving OpenOffice options (2)

jjr (6873) | about 13 years ago | (#87033)

The main reason they need these people is to help establish themselves as THE "Ultimate Office Suite". Whether that will happen I do not know but it will be sure fun to find out

What about Abiword? (5)

VValdo (10446) | about 13 years ago | (#87042)

Right now there's a one-man effort at Abiword [abiword.com] to port this cross-platform, GPL'd word processor to OS X. I know that Hubert Figuiere would appreciate any contribution to the project.

To read the latest discussion on Abiword development, check out this page [abisource.com] .

I wonder how many people have tried MacGIMP [macgimp.org] because Adobe's taking so long to release Photoshop for OS X? Judging from some of the chat boards, I'm guessing a lot.

W
-------------------

Re:About copyrights (1)

GiMP (10923) | about 13 years ago | (#87043)

That is true, a fork could be done.. however, that would require quite a bit of work. It would be nice if ones copyright was assumed transferred by commitment or by electronic decree, rather than snail-mail/fax.

Issues with OpenOffice. (5)

GiMP (10923) | about 13 years ago | (#87044)

First, before anyone asks.. OpenOffice is licensed under the following licenses.
GNU General Public License (GPL)
GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)
Sun Industry Standards Source License (SISSL)
further information: http://www.openoffice.org/license.html

The problem I find with contributing to OpenOffice is that they will not accept code submissions over 10 lines of code if one has not assigned copyright to Sun. This can not be done electronically, only by snail mail or fax.

I was considering helping but I'd like to keep my copyright. Also, I'd have to sell out the bucks for the upgrade to OSX :)

BTW, to those who asked.. openoffice just opens a large window and draws its own widgets inside of it, so the platform issue of toolkits/apis is at a minimum.

Re:wish it could be me... (2)

daviddennis (10926) | about 13 years ago | (#87045)

That isn't a true Aqua-native version, though, is it? I thought that was still running using Xfree86 as it runs on MacOS X (which is a bit clunky from what I understand).

D

----

Office XP (1)

moeman (11668) | about 13 years ago | (#87046)

I use office because I really feel like if there is something I want to to, it has a way of doing it. And generally its not to hard to figure out. I have used star office, ABI word, Koffice, and always found that it was burdensome, both to my computer, and to me as the user. So why should I use a second rate program, when I have Office, which has always been 100% reliable for me?

The answer? I am not going to go pay $100+ bucks for it. Its just not worth it. I have a copy of Office that came in my laptop. But when its time to get Office XP, I won't be "upgradeing." And since I can't just "borror" a copy from a friend, I will probably just switch to useing Open Office. I have a feeling that when many people find that in order to start useing the lates MS software, that they actually have to BUY it, more people will start useing Open Office.

Re:Issues with OpenOffice. (2)

Dionysus (12737) | about 13 years ago | (#87047)

The problem I find with contributing to OpenOffice is that they will not accept code submissions over 10 lines of code if one has not assigned copyright to Sun.


So does FSF and the GCC team. Lots of Free Software requires you to sign over the copyright.

Re:How much good will this really do? (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 13 years ago | (#87051)

The problem is that Microsoft isn't going to allow a free product to dominate over Office, under any circumstances. We know that.

Microsoft may be powerful, but they aren't omnipotent.

Re:Try to emulate Office... (2)

Surak (18578) | about 13 years ago | (#87053)

OpenOffice blatantly rips off Microsoft Office's UI in a number of ways. No, its not an exact duplicate, but many things work exactly the same as they do in MS Office.

I have StarOffice (OpenOffice's kissing cousin so to speak) sitting on some Solaris boxes at work and have had some dyed-in-the-wool Office users who are not technical people at all sit at them and they were able to get their work done. That's what counts. Not bug-for-bug compatibility.

Choice is Important (2)

GroundBounce (20126) | about 13 years ago | (#87054)

There are a lot of posts here to the effect of "MS Office is already dominant, and it's pretty good as well, so why bother with a competing product?"

Do most of you Mac users really feel this way? Perhaps Mac users have had only one office suite for so long that they have forgotten the improvements that can be had by competition.

No realistic person thinks that OpenOffice will overtake MS Office any time soon even if it is as good or better feature for feature. But the presence of two full featured office suites will cause both of them to improve through competition. Remember how bad Word 6 was on the Mac? Microsoft did improve it later, but had they had competition, it probably would have never been that bad in the first place, and Mac users wouldn't have had to suffer through several years of a bad word processor because there was no other viable alternative.

The Mac market is small, and perhaps that's why there are several areas where most of the players except the dominant one have dropped out, but if the Mac platform is to grow as Apple would like, it will need to once again have competition among applications.

OpenOffice is a good way to reintroduce competition, because being an open source product, it does not need to have large market share at first since it does not need to bring in revenue.

Too little WAY too late. (5)

ShieldWolf (20476) | about 13 years ago | (#87055)

MS Office X will be available sometime i the forth quarter, OpenOffice is well over a year away from even having a rudimentary presense on OS X. This project should have started two years ago if it wanted any hope of acheiving the stated goals (have an open solution on OS X at the same time Office X is released). Furthermore OpenOffice is being pulled in ten directions at once - gnome/gtk+ - windows - XUL. Pulling in one more (quartx) won't help matters much. Microsoft _will_ achieve dominance on OS X, it is a certainty, the question is whether others will be able to crawl up or pull it down. That question is open, but a jihad to beat them to the punch is an obvious distaster.

-Shieldwolf

Re:Rah rah rah I guess... (2)

ce25254 (25706) | about 13 years ago | (#87056)

It'll nice to see if the /. effect can also have the effect of getting this project done before time runs out

What are the chances that the /. effect will cause anything to happen sooner rather than later? Has it ever been anything but destructive, merely bringing web sites to their knees?

It's not about dominance (5)

scotpurl (28825) | about 13 years ago | (#87059)

It's not about dominating one market. It's about options being available, AND people actually making use of the options.

I'm sure I could write a mission critical application using the Atari 2600, thereby making sure that someone doesn't "dominate" the market. Whether or not anyone will actually use it.....

Rushing a port of this thing out is exactly the wrong thing to do. Having a buggy piece of software available will delight few, and alienate most. You want to be best to market, not first to market.

NeXT wordprocesors (was Re:There's a lot of work.. (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 13 years ago | (#87062)

Well, originally, there was WriteNow.app, which was originally a Mac product (Apple paid for its development in case MacWrite didn't make it), then NeXT bought the company to have a wordprocessor to bundle. ~100,000 lines of M68K Assembler, not sure who owns it now (T/Maker?), but not terribly easy to port to Mac OS X....

WordPerfect 1.0 for NeXT was roughly equal to WordPerfect 5.0 for DOS (but with the 5.1 table editor?), but Services and Display PostScript made it quite nice---ported in just 6 weeks too (but they started from the working Unix version), but Corel seems to've lost the code, and it's way out of date anyway

CedarWord has been mentioned, but no sign of activity at http://www.cedar.co.uk/ (interesting program, uses TeX's H&J algorithm)

OpenWrite was absorbed by Sun when they bought Lighthouse. :(

WriteUp.app's status hasn't changed AFAICT from www.afstrade.com :( they're still refusing to do anything with it 'cause Apple renegged on their promise of free ``Yellow Box'' (i.e. Cocoa) run-time library licenses for Windows. PasteUp.app (written by Glenn Reid of www.rightbrain.com, he also worked on iMovie and PasteUp.app, which Adobe has lost :( is similarly locked up.

There' is TeX of course, and NeXTTeX, TeXview.app and InstantTeX are unmatched for integration and features anywhere ('s why my NeXT Cube at home is still my main machine)

William

--
Lettering Art in Modern Use

Re:Issues with OpenOffice. (4)

devphil (51341) | about 13 years ago | (#87066)

The problem I find with contributing to OpenOffice is that they will not accept code submissions over 10 lines of code if one has not assigned copyright to Sun.

So? This is the exact same policy that the FSF has for all the core GNU programs and libraries. There's just way too much danger that some contributor will donate an entire module, wait until it becomes widespread and useful, and then claim exclusive ownership and demand money, i.e., "pull a Unisys/GIF."

What alternative would you suggest that would keep the code and coders safe from the lawyers?

This can not be done electronically, only by snail mail or fax.

Again, just like the FSF. (Well, you email the initial form, they snailmail you the document, you sign the document and mail it back.) This is how American law currently works, is all.

I was considering helping but I'd like to keep my copyright.

Dunno about Sun, but the form that you sign for the FSF gives you the right to pull back the copyright (given a month's notice in writing). Of course, I would expect that when you do that, everything you've donated to the project will get removed, but then that's probably the person's whole point of withdrawing the copyright assignment in the first place.

Re:OpenOffice for OS X was doomed from the beginni (2)

NetCurl (54699) | about 13 years ago | (#87067)

The absolute worst thing which could happen is 'porting' OpenOffice in some way whereby it adopts the Aqua appearance without the mac behavior.

If you port the application with the correct APIs in Carbon or Cocoa, I don't believe there would be any way for it to behave differently. The OS X services are built in when ported to the correct APIs, this affectively grants a level of similarity between all applications that are OS X native. If you have Aqua, you have the OS X behavior as well...

Re:Hidden APIs? (2)

pondlife (56385) | about 13 years ago | (#87068)

Here we go with the tired old myth again... The real story (check "Inside Windows 2000" or http://www.sysinternals.com if you don't believe me), is that there are indeed 2 sets of APIs, but not for the paranoia-fuelled reasons that /.ers like to present.

Programmers call the Win32 API, which is fully documented (http://msdn.microsoft.com), and is the interface to Windows that everyone should use for development. Meanwhile, there is an internal kernel API, which is undocumented and should not be called directly. This allows Microsoft to modify kernel functions without breaking application code - it's a simple abstraction layer.

Now, OK, you might well argue that Microsoft should document their kernel API too, for the masochists in the crowd. However, how many people really want to mess with low-level IO calls which may change in the next servicepack, when Win32 exposes a consistent set of filesystem calls for file creation, deletion etc.?

This sort of thing may be anathema to die-hard /.ers, who want to play with the kernel for reasons varying from genuine interest and curiosity through to full-on intellectual masturbation, but in reality most people want to get on and use the OS. And if you think you can't mess with NT internals, check the references above...

Re:wish it could be me... (1)

mr100percent (57156) | about 13 years ago | (#87069)

Right, the Gimp in OS X runs ina rootless Xfree86 mode, so you have the windows alongside OS X apps, but there is no functionality between them (drag and drop) and the apps don't recognize each other. Not great.

Re:fair face off? (1)

mr100percent (57156) | about 13 years ago | (#87070)

Perhaps I'm jus cynical, but paid programmers will probably do something better than we-work-for-kudos programmers.

Or are they like the Spanish Inquisition? An almost fanatical devotion to the GPL?

Re:NeXT wordprocesors (was Re:There's a lot of wor (1)

mr100percent (57156) | about 13 years ago | (#87071)

How can a word processor be out of date?

Re:fair face off? (1)

AndrewHowe (60826) | about 13 years ago | (#87079)

Blah blah hidden APIs blah blah.
OK, so Office runs under Wine, right? So why don't you look at the debugging logs to see which functions it's calling in which DLLs, then you can disassemble them (like the Winers have obviously been doing) and see what they do. Then you can download the source to OpenOffice, and take advantage of the super hidden APIs! And stop whining!
Or were you trolling?

Re:Broken priorities? (1)

AndrewHowe (60826) | about 13 years ago | (#87080)

OK, I think there are cheaper ways of not giving money to Microsoft, but whatever floats your boat...
The point is, that for Microsoft to lose market share, someone else must gain it. It would seem a bit wrong for OpenOffice to gain market share for some other reason than being a good product. I mean, it clearly isn't at this point, unless you want to run it on a platform on which MS Office is not supported, or if you're too tight to pay for it.
And there's the fact that OpenOffice is clearly copying MS Office. If there's going to be competition, is it competition between features? Ease of use? Different paradigms? Or is it just "use this, because we wrote it and it's open source and you should be sticking it to the man"?

Re:Broken priorities? (1)

AndrewHowe (60826) | about 13 years ago | (#87081)

I have already explained my point, but for your benefit, it goes something like this. In all of the cases you mentioned, the MS product was *better* than the competition. Competition is *good*, right? Right? Only it sucks to lose doesn't it?

If you want to compete, you have to *make a better product*. That's what your first concern is. Not what happens to the other guy. What are *you* going to do to make Joe Punter buy your shit instead of the other man's?

OpenOffice is trying to compete with MS Office, and good luck to them. My point was about good and bad reasons. Hopefully I have clarified this for anyone who might have been confused.

ps. OK, maybe not Access. Whatever, it's pretty user friendly, but I am not a database expert.

Broken priorities? (2)

AndrewHowe (60826) | about 13 years ago | (#87082)

support in getting a Mac OS-X port out for OpenOffice is critical to keeping a Microsoft dominance of yet another operating system's office suite to a minimum
Does anyone actually want to make a good product any more? Or do they just want to ensure that Microsoft loses market share? What about the fact that Open/StarOffice are pretty much rip-offs of MS office anyway?

Re:Enough With The Monopoly (1)

dbrutus (71639) | about 13 years ago | (#87085)

As an MCSE who happily goes home to his Linux and Mac Boxen at night, I'd suggest tacking a look at OmniWeb for your browser, OS X's very good mail application Mail and keep your eye on the office suite market because Office 98 is getting long in the tooth and its replacement seems to be having some problems (especially Entourage).

I think you might seriously reconsider your blanket condemnation of the Open Source movement (and business model) since Apple has certainly decided that there's money in open source and have based Mac OS X on an open source core (a freeBSD derivative called Darwin).

DB

Re:Anyone remember KOffice? (1)

dbrutus (71639) | about 13 years ago | (#87086)

"KOffice already runs on OS X"

AFAIK, KOffice requires KDE to run at all. KDE requires QT which is made by a nice friendly company called Trolltech. Trolltech technical support kindly informed me that they aren't going to make QT compatible with Mac OS X until they are ready to release a point upgrade past 3.0 (which isn't out yet).

DB

Re:Good luck (1)

dbrutus (71639) | about 13 years ago | (#87087)

Omniweb's taking care of the browser, the email app is written already (and called Mail), and they are likely to have MS-Office itself for the forseeable future.

Now I predict that within a year or two, you are going to see Mac OS X develop a Linux compatibility layer (just like every other BSD variant) so it is quite likely that anybody programming for Linux is going to have at least some of their userbase being run on a Mac.

Re:There's a lot of work to be done (1)

bscanl (79871) | about 13 years ago | (#87093)

Sun has released the project to the community (which I intrepret as dis-owning it)

Sun have dis-owned the StarOffice/OpenOffice project? Wow, that's big news, how did you deduce that?

Re:wish it could be me... (4)

quigonn (80360) | about 13 years ago | (#87094)

StarOffice/OpenOffice is not GTK+ based. Stardivision used to have their own widget library that acts as "frontend" for other widget libraries. That means the most work for doing a new port was actually porting the widget library called "StarView" to the new platform's native widget library.

Re:Help me out here, barney (1)

barneyfoo (80862) | about 13 years ago | (#87095)

Yeah I can help out.
  • Hey, maybe you can help me. I've got a dual boot 333MHz machine running Win98 and Mandrake 8.0/Gnome 1.4 and StarOffice on both. The same machine runs most windows apps and browsing between 3-5 times faster than Linux
Dont run gnome 1.4. Maybe you dont realize this, but Gnome1.4 was designed for 800Mhz cpu with 256MB of ram. Recent versions have improved that slightly, but it's certainly not gonna run well at all on a 333Mhz cpu. I assume by 3x slower you mean launch times. If you've got Gnome1.4 taking up 90% of your ram, of course your start up times are gonna turn to shit. Lets face it, you haven't really researched the linux platform well, if you think your choice is optimal or appropriate. But that's ok.

Re:Rah rah rah I guess... (2)

barneyfoo (80862) | about 13 years ago | (#87096)

I think it's fair to say that Open Office, more than any other piece of desktop free software, is pushing Linux/Free Software onto the corperate desktop. It's hard to beleive that the recent announcement from Ford Motor Company about its long term goal to move to completely Open Source desktop was motived by Gnome Office or KOffice. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if Ford had in mind Windowmaker + Open Office on old pentium 166 - 300 machines. It sure beats buying Pentium IV's to run the new-fangled XP suite of bloatware.

Re:Seriously (2)

barneyfoo (80862) | about 13 years ago | (#87097)

Of course, when subscriptions happen you wont be able to pirate all your MS software. I think the first rule of drug dealing is: the first few times are always free. (beside the point and not relevant, but the second rule is probably: Always keep them waiting!! Ugh!).

Re:Rah rah rah I guess... (2)

barneyfoo (80862) | about 13 years ago | (#87098)

Yes. I have a link for you. Basicly, Ford says that it's a long term goal of theirs to move to an Open Source desktop.

Article on Ford's announcement. [silicon.com]

For Pay? Lead from Nowhere? Huh? (2)

Speare (84249) | about 13 years ago | (#87100)

The article said they needed people, but didn't suggest one way or the other that they'd be paid for their work. Maybe so, maybe not.

Why should I help Scott "no privacy" "gates sucks" McNealy with his corporate strategic goals, without getting much in return?

Secondly, the writeup says 'lead'. Wouldn't the folks who are already writing bits of this product be the best applicants? Fishing for people out of the blue with no experience on the architecture of this particular product seems kinda strange, given that the source is open.

Closed Source pays its developers. I use that to pay my rent, which won't take free-as-in-beer lease agreements. Open Source is a spare-time hobby for the most part (the luminaries get speaking fees, the rest of the developers get... source code).

Hey, there are some projects that are sponsored, and some guys are finding cool companies that pay for open source. I hope this is one of those cases, but the article didn't give me much hope or indication of that.

Re:Try to emulate Office... (2)

Speare (84249) | about 13 years ago | (#87101)

programmers and porters would be well served to throw in some 'MS Office Compatibility' in terms of functionality and/or 'Help for Microsoft Office Users'

Microsoft Excel has for years offered "Help for Lotus 1-2-3 Users", and Microsoft Word has for years offered "Help for WordPerfect Users."

Since these applications are trying to be fungible by supporting all of the commodity features in approximately the same way, the only reason to stay in the market is to get a piece of the market share. There's no corporate advantage to being compatible, other than to muscle in on established turf.

Re:There's a lot of work to be done (4)

Noer (85363) | about 13 years ago | (#87103)

I agree, porting this to have a nice Cocoa-based GUI wrapper would be a LOT of work. OTOH, the same is true with GIMP, which may be more worthwhile (maybe). I do wonder if just starting a Cocoa office suite from scratch might be a good idea. Any old NeXT users around? What was "the" word processor for NeXTStep? Was there one? Does it still exist, and if so, who owns it? I know "the" spreadsheet was Mesa, which rocks.

Frankly, I've been pinning my hopes on Nisus, which is rewriting Writer for Cocoa (not Carbon) and has always had a sweet word processor. However, these days, just a good wp and spreadsheet isn't enough; people want integration with that abomination powerpoint (ugh, the bane of corporate presentations... not cuz the app sucks, but cuz the presentations suck), the worst database ever (access), and other MS garbage.

Frankly, I think the most crucial feature of an office suite is TRANSPARENT handling of ALL the features (cruft) of MSOffice documents - revisions, that stupid highlighting stuff, etc - and that's hard to do. I still worry that many users will be "forced" into using MSOffice, not because better suites aren't available, but because MS has embraced/extended what a word processor or spreadsheet should do to the point where nobody can really compete.

They don't need programmers. The need translators. (2)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 13 years ago | (#87104)

All the openoffice comments are in German, don'tcha know.

Re:They don't need programmers. The need translato (2)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 13 years ago | (#87105)

/me Pulls out monty python German-Enligsh dictionary Sir you are mistaken. I never went home with the Shriners and the goat was a consenting party. How do I say that in your native tongue... /me flips to English-German section Ihre Brustwarze sind sichtbar.

Not really... (2)

artemis67 (93453) | about 13 years ago | (#87108)

I would say that "ease of use" is, at best, a distant second. The primary reason people buy MS Office is to have 100% compatibility with documents they send to and receive from people outside the workplace.

Because when it comes right down to it, the average Joe in his cubicle doesn't give a rodent's posterior about "fighting the Microsoft hegemony," he's just trying to do his job with as few complications as possible.

And by 100% compatible, I don't mean you can import the file and resave it in native format. As soon as the user sees that progress bar pop up that says "Converting from MS Word," you've suddenly shattered all illusions of 100% compatibility; they know that some formatting, somewhere, is going to drop out, and they'll never find it (but their client undoubtably will).

Re:Office XP (2)

jgerman (106518) | about 13 years ago | (#87110)

So why should I use a second rate program, when I have Office, which has always been 100% reliable for me?

Because for you a second rate product would be a step up. ;-)

When I need to edit text I use vi.

Death to Clippy, Long live MS Office! (flame on) (1)

mrnick (108356) | about 13 years ago | (#87113)

Ok, I am the first to jump on the bandwagon and say that Microsoft is an evil plot to undermine advancements in technology. But, if one can step back and look at MS Office objectively then there is no denying that MS Office is the one application that has gained its recognition on its merits. Once MS Word was able to overcome WordPerfect as the superior word processor there has only been improvements in the complete office package. The only office product to even attempt to compete against MS office was Lotus and that was a vain attempt with a weak set of applications.

MS Office is the standard and instead of trying to fight it we should get behind any, yes ANY, attempt to port this product to ANY non MS Windows platform. If MS Office is ever ported to Linux or BSD it will be the first step in moving that OS into the mainstream as a workstation OS. Until then they will be primarily used as servers and the fringe devotee.

Oh and YES I want the paperclip guy to DIE DIE DIE!


About copyrights (2)

Galvatron (115029) | about 13 years ago | (#87118)

First of all, if it's GPLed, does it really matter if you have the copyright? The FSF also requires the same for contributions to its projects, and that was what produced the emacs/Xemacs schism. If there are many copyright holders for a single piece of software, it will be difficult for any of them to enforce it.

If it really bothers you, you are obviously allowed to fork it, ala Xemacs. A bit more work than you're probably looking for, but certainly a viable option (and you can keep taking code from them forever, as long as new realeases stay GPLed)

The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.

Hidden APIs? (3)

Galvatron (115029) | about 13 years ago | (#87119)

And what hidden APIs would those be? The ones Wine was able to re-implement from scratch? For that matter, as stupid as it is, "shared source" DOES mean that programmers can go in and look at the code for Windows, thereby revealing any and all "hidden APIs."

I think you forgot your anti-paranoia pills...

The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.

Re:There's a lot of work to be done (2)

ecki (115356) | about 13 years ago | (#87120)

What was "the" word processor for NeXTStep? Was there one? Does it still exist, and if so, who owns it?

Well, there was FrameMaker. I'd love to see that for Mac OS X... besides that, there was a whole set of productivity applications [peak.org] from LightHouse Design.

Consider it done (1)

RennieScum (118197) | about 13 years ago | (#87121)

I'd be happy to take on the task. I've got a team of developers that would love to make this happen. We're very interested in giving back to the community. If you'd like to join us, send an email to bill@gatesfoundation.com and we'll be happy to answer all of your questions.

Re:Try to emulate Office... (2)

jfmiller (119037) | about 13 years ago | (#87122)

Just to comment on MS Office's ease of use, I was a stonch supporter of all things ms office mainly because I had learned all the gimics and how to fix certian "feachers" that come with MSO. This all changed when I got my new job and was forced (kicking and screaming) to use Corel WordPerfict 9 for all office documentation. I must confess that while I sitll use most of the MSO suite (Access Database Design seems to be what this job has morfed into) I now use WordPerfict instead of Word. It is easier to make the advanced options (Table of Contense, Cross reference, Page Numbers, Section numbers, etc...) work the way there suposed to esp. with the reviel codes function.

So what's my point:

  • I agree that most people use MSO for compatibility reasons more than for ease of use.
  • I think that (at least for the all important Word Procesor) people who clame MSWord is easy to use have never really tried anything else.
  • It is quite possible to make a better User interface than MicroSoft's, It will be an issue of compatibility that will make or break Open Office.
Perhaps the best thing that could happen would be for OfficeXP (even more) Restrictive and convoluted license to bomb and send the market looking for alternitives.

JfMILLER

Re:Try to emulate Office../missing Exchange client (1)

ga53n (122179) | about 13 years ago | (#87123)

What is really missing is an Exchange-Client for Linux/BSD/OS X Outlook for OS X will come its way but to gain market share in the corporate market it is necessary to be able to connect to the "standard" mail and calender server most corporations use. Ximian is trying something for gnome, but the best would be something working with all windowmanagers

Re:fair face off? (2)

eMilkshake (131623) | about 13 years ago | (#87126)

For $100 million, you don't think MS couldn't get all the hidden APIs they wanted?

Death of a troll (2)

NetBoy (131975) | about 13 years ago | (#87128)

Strikes me that Microsoft's porting
Office to OSX finally answers the
popular troll about porting Office to linux.

No doubt it will run SUID root with
Active-X and Outlook. :-)

Talk about "embrace and extend"....

Re:Try to emulate Office... (1)

pcardoso (132954) | about 13 years ago | (#87129)

The problem with MS Office dominance is that people don't get to see any alternatives. Be it Lotus Smartsuite, Corel Wordperfect Office, or any other. I don't know if these produts still exist today.

The other problem, is that the vast majority of people use Office, and need to exchange documents with others, and it forces everyone to use Office.. At my school all the computers with printers have NT4 and Office 2000 installed. If I do some work in my home computer and need to print it, I need to convert the files into office 2000-readable formats. Combined with incompatibilities in the filters, I need to spend a lot more time fixing the documents in word before I save to a zip disk and go the school to print. Heck, if I need to use word to fix formatting errors, I might as well use Office from start to finish, without hassle. But it needs to be the same office version as the one my school is using, or it's the same thing if I used Staroffice. Office can't even read properly documents saved in a previous version, so open source developers can't take the blame.

Last year I had to make my last year's project report, and I used Office. It was a complete nightmare to have it print correctly. Some pages had no page number, others had pictures split between two pages, formatting styles were completely diferente on screen and on paper... I spent almost two days correcting everything. And to all my colleagues it happened the same thing. WYSIWYG? More like WYSIWYWBICBBTDI (what you see is what you wanted but I can't be bothered to do it).

On a side note, IBM had a rather basic, but still cool Works for it's OS/2, that I used for a while when I fell in love with OS/2. It wouldn't hurt if it's source was released and had ports for Linux/*BSD/BeOS or OSX.

wish it could be me... (2)

connorbd (151811) | about 13 years ago | (#87131)

Is OpenOffice GTK+ based? I seem to think it is, in which case the big problem here would be to get GTK+ or a reasonable facsimile ported over to OS X. Question is, can that be done easily?

/Brian

What is OpenOffice roadmap/schedule? (1)

caduguid (152224) | about 13 years ago | (#87132)

One thing I'm curious about is what the release timeline is like for openoffice.

I'm all for the standard open source 'release it when it's ready' approach, but it would be nice for the countless minions waiting to ditch MS Office to have at least a vague idea of when the promised revamping (with the xml file formats) is coming out.

On the openoffice.org site, they have a roadmap that has no mention of a schedule other than a cover date of 'through dec. 2001'.

Anyone have any approximate idea of a release schedule?

Re:There's a lot of work to be done (2)

Spoing (152917) | about 13 years ago | (#87133)

Sun has released the project to the community (which I intrepret as dis-owning it) with a lot left unfinished.

Sun plans on using OpenOffice as the basis for StarOffice 6 -- just like Netscape uses Mozilla as the base for Navigator.

Unfortunately, quite a few parts of StarOffice weren't owned by Sun, so Sun couldn't relase the source for them. Because of that, much got broken when the propriatory parts were no longer available.

Enough With The Monopoly (5)

Utterer (154288) | about 13 years ago | (#87134)

I am a Mac user and I *gasp* use Microsoft products. I just can't stand the constant bashing of MS by Mac users. Don't get me wrong, MS has messed up on the Mac before with just about everything before Office 98, but that was 3 years ago, time to move on.

I use Internet Explorer, Outlook Express and Office 98 daily with no problems at all. Compare this to bloat/shovelware Netscape and their inability to release a stable browser in years that requires less than 30 megs of RAM.

I will continue to use MS office products as well over some unstable open source port that will never have the dedicated update support that a money making company can provide.

Re:It's not about dominance (1)

Meech (166762) | about 13 years ago | (#87136)

It is also about the price tag. There is no need to charge $579.00 for Office XP, that is just a rip off.

Re:Anyone remember KOffice? (1)

MrBogus (173033) | about 13 years ago | (#87137)

Lots of stuff runs on OS X's unix compatibility APIs, including XFree and Qt-Unix and most anything else that you'd want to port.

However, non of this stuff will be considered by the userbase to be 'native' applications. (Mac users have this nasty habit about actually caring about cut-n-paste!) So consider anything that isn't Carbon or Cocoa to be an interesting experiment by hackers and not a Mac OS X application.

Beating MS to Dominance? (1)

Kryptonik (173612) | about 13 years ago | (#87138)

...getting a Mac OS-X port out for OpenOffice is critical to keeping a Microsoft dominance of yet another operating system's office suite to a minimum. The project is need of someone to step up to the plate as a project lead. Let's not forget that MS made a ton of its initial cash selling office software for the Apple and Macintosh Operating Systems. In fact, MS Office first appeared on those OSes and NOT on Windows. Though many Mac users have chosen to use Corel's Office, MS has always been #1 or #2 on that platform. -Kryptonik

Wanted: Free Help (3)

duffbeer703 (177751) | about 13 years ago | (#87141)

Sun Microsystems needs an experienced developer to lead a team of volunteers in porting Sun's OpenOffice application to Mac OS 10.

The candidate will be compensated soley by free Sun t-shirts, mousepads and mugs. No salary or fringe benefits are available.

Isn't this a little late? (1)

MrDingDong (192786) | about 13 years ago | (#87142)

So Microsoft is releasing Office 2001 for OSX next week and someone just now decided that Open Office needs a Project Lead in order to prevent Microsoft dominance? And today's Friday? And oh by the way - do it all for no pay. Look's like someone is going to have a busy weekend. Talk about pressure to get a major release out...

Will Mac users care? (2)

sulli (195030) | about 13 years ago | (#87144)

Microsoft Office has held a commanding lead in the Mac market for about 10 years - far longer than in Windows, where MS has to fight off Lotus and Borland back in the Win 3.1 days. Mac users are also historically very willing to put up with shit from Microsoft - e.g. the very slow and buggy Word 6. Now that Office 2001 (and previously 98) work well, why switch?

Seriously (2)

sulli (195030) | about 13 years ago | (#87145)

My experience is that MS products for Mac have been, since the investment in Apple, excellent. Office 98 in particular has behaved extraordinarily well. I don't see cutting MS' marketshare as a sufficient reason to switch.

Of course, if/when MS moves to subscription pricing, then GPL software looks more attractive. But will it be any good? This story implies that it won't.

no thanks (2)

jchristopher (198929) | about 13 years ago | (#87149)

Please keep this to yourselves. MacOS does not need any programs with inconsistent interfaces that don't obey the user interface guidelines.

Seriously, if you're not going to do it right, don't bother. It needs to have documentation, good icons, help files, and work like a MacOS program. If it's just a cheap port of the Linux version with MacOSX windows and buttons, you might as well not bother. Mac users won't put up with that crap the way *nix people will.

Crossplatform Compatability (3)

LoudMusic (199347) | about 13 years ago | (#87150)

I could be way off, but it seems that crossplatform compatability is the biggest deal here. I work in an office of 40 Windows computers and 25 Macintosh computers. We use Microsoft Office because we can share files so easily with eachother and people outside the office. All our vendors and clients use MS Office. Microsoft knows how to make software speak "MS Office" better than anyone else ... because they wrote it. And that's the biggest issue, being able to share with others.

Even if OpenOffice blows MS Office away, MS already has a strong foot hold that even the new people want to be able to communicate with, trouble free.

~LoudMusic

OpenOffice for OS X was doomed from the beginning (1)

anarkhos (209172) | about 13 years ago | (#87154)

Mac users want a mac interface. That's why most of them hate Mozilla and most Java apps. They don't follow Mac human interface conventions.

The absolute worst thing which could happen is 'porting' OpenOffice in some way whereby it adopts the Aqua appearance without the mac behavior. Unless you're going to completely rewrite OpenOffice as a mac app it's better just to use rootless X11. At least then it'll be easy to differentiate between mac apps and mac app wannabes
---
>80 column hard wrapped e-mail is not a sign of intelligent

Re:fair face off? (1)

sumengen (230420) | about 13 years ago | (#87157)

IE: $0 vs mozilla $0

Office XP ~$600 vs Open Office $0

Re:wish it could be me... (2)

sumengen (230420) | about 13 years ago | (#87158)

No, it is not. But there is effort to bonoboize it.
OpenOffice.org is founded on UNO & OpenOffice API
http://udk.openoffice.org/
http://api.openoffice.org/

Bonobo and openoffice:
http://whiteboard.openoffice.org/bonobo/index.ht ml

Try to emulate Office... (3)

Bonker (243350) | about 13 years ago | (#87161)

Let's be honest here. Why is MS Office so popular? A lot of people will say 'ease of use', but it's really just that most people who use it are used to the set of features and mentality that Microsoft has gotten everyone familiar with. Open Office if anything, is easier to use than MS Office. Still, getting it to run on OSX, programmers and porters would be well served to throw in some 'MS Office Compatibility' in terms of functionality and/or 'Help for Microsoft Office Users'.


Why OpenOffice? (2)

dutchdabomb (248104) | about 13 years ago | (#87162)

Why should OpenOffice be the one to step up and be MS Office's competitor on OSX? AFAIK there are many more viable office suites currently in open and free development on linux. What makes OpenOffice the obvious choice to step up to MS Office?

Re:It's not about dominance (1)

Some Woman (250267) | about 13 years ago | (#87164)


Having a buggy piece of software available will delight few, and alienate most.

Actually, I've heard that as many as 90% of people who use a word processing program are delighted by buggy software. :)

fair face off? (4)

Proud Geek (260376) | about 13 years ago | (#87166)

I wonder if this will finally be a fair test of OpenOffice against MS Office? They are both available for Windows platforms also, but there Microsoft has the big advantage of hidden API's and the like.

For OS X, they will both be running natively using only Apple's public API's, and we will get to see how much better OpenOffice is when not running on a crippled MS Windows platform.

Re:Too little WAY too late. (2)

cyb0rq_m0nk3y (262090) | about 13 years ago | (#87167)

That question is open, but a jihad to beat them to the punch is an obvious distaster.

then don't beat them to the punch... beat them with a better product.

Stop worrying about "world-dominance" and start worrying about what matters: software that doesn't suck. I like StarOffice, I'd love to have OpenOffice on my Macs (still impatiently waiting for my wife to let me buy a new one with OS X).

Re:They don't need programmers. The need translato (1)

tbone1 (309237) | about 13 years ago | (#87169)

All the openoffice comments are in German, don'tcha know.

Warum ist das ein Problem, Amerikanischer Schweinhund? Wissen Sie nicht das Englisch ist eine Deutsche Sprache?

T-Bone
"They're German, don't mention the war! I did once, but I think I got away with it."
- John Cleese, Fawlty Towers

Re:Enough With The Monopoly (1)

tbone1 (309237) | about 13 years ago | (#87170)

I hate MicroSoft as much as the NeXT guy, but even I will admit that their Mac products aren't too shabby. This is because they have competition on the Mac.

That said, I prefer Appleworks to Office because of price and needs. Outlook is better on the Mac than on Windows, but that's grading on a curve. As for IE, I'll use it at home when I can't telnet to an account with lynx as a last resort.

And I will back up the review of OmniWeb. I used it years ago when I had a NeXT sitting in my office, and it is a bargain at twice the price.

T-Bone
An original thought. That can't be too hard. The library must be full of them.
- Stephen Fry, The Liar

Re:They don't need programmers. The need translato (1)

tbone1 (309237) | about 13 years ago | (#87171)

Sorry, my German is rustier than I thought. Perhaps I'd better oil her.

Re:Try to emulate Office... (2)

tbone1 (309237) | about 13 years ago | (#87173)

Also sprach Bonker:
Let's be honest here. Why is MS Office so popular? A lot of people will say 'ease of use', but it's really just that most people who use it are used to the set of features and mentality that Microsoft has gotten everyone familiar with. Open Office if anything, is easier to use than MS Office.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I think you might have missed one point. In my experience, people buy MS Office because that's what they have at work. Whether they like something else or not, and regardless their opinion of MS, having Office means that they can pretend to do a lot of work from home. I'm not a Mac evangelist, but I do take opportunities to point out to people that the Mac has a heck of a lot of advantages over MS, and most of MS' alleged advantages are largely FUD. No one disagrees, but they still buy MS and then bitch when it is constantly breaking. Why? Because it comes with MS Office and that's what they have at work. In other words, MS Office continues to be the most popular office suite because MS Office is the most popular office suite. MS Office was, and probably still is, the most popular non-Apple app used on Macs. (Hm, maybe I should say "most common" rather than "most popular" ...)

Then again, given how some people 'oo' and 'ah' over the Apple products (try running OS X on a TiBook in an airport terminal some time) but still don't buy them, if giving them Open Office for OS X will turn the trick to bring some to the platform, maybe I need to get off my pasty white backside and buy those O'Reilley Carbon and Cocoa books.

T-Bone
"As God is my witness, I though turkeys could fly."
- Gordon Jump, WKRP in Cincinnati

Wrong. (1)

AX.25 (310140) | about 13 years ago | (#87174)

Office 2002 does not run on OS X it runs on OS 9.1 or whatever that emulation layer is called. OpenOffice will be a true OS X application.

Re:Good luck (2)

tb3 (313150) | about 13 years ago | (#87176)

Two points: one, Apple has a buddy relationship with Microsoft, so they're not going to create anything that competes directly with Microsoft products. They used to have an integrated web browser email client (cyberdog) but abandoned it years ago. Appleworks is equivalent to MS Works; it's under-powered for most tasks. Two: Apple has changed its relationship with the developer community. You no longer have to cough up megabucks for the documentation or tools; they're free for the asking from the Apple Developers' site, and the tools come on the OS X CD. Much better than when you had to spend $500 on CodeWarrior, $200 on Inside the Mac OS, a few years ago.

"What are we going to do tonight, Bill?"

Re:There's a lot of work to be done (2)

tb3 (313150) | about 13 years ago | (#87177)

There's at least couple of NeXT word processors out there: WriteUp and CedarWord. WriteUp is being ported to OS X.

Microsoft should at least release a free PowerPoint viewer for OS X, as they have for Windows, but I agree that PowerPoint is a tool to make uncreative people think they're creative.

And Access isn't the worst database ever; I guess you never had to use Paradox :)

"What are we going to do tonight, Bill?"

Re:Audience --- Spreading this Message (2)

tb3 (313150) | about 13 years ago | (#87178)

The mac community is really fast about these things, the same article was on MacSlash [macslash.com] yesterday.

There are some interesting comments over there, too.

"What are we going to do tonight, Bill?"

There's a lot of work to be done (5)

tb3 (313150) | about 13 years ago | (#87179)

Sun has released the project to the community (which I intrepret as dis-owning it) with a lot left unfinished. 42 of 89 modules don't compile, there is no UNICODE support, no printer support, no sound support , no drag-and-drop support, and the Windowing code is X-11.

They're recommending using C++ and C to call the OS X Windowing APIs, which doesn't sound like a good idea, since the GUI could be built much quicker with Objective-C and AppBuilder.

It almost seems that building a MacOffice from scratch would be easier than this port, but I'm no expert in porting projects.

"What are we going to do tonight, Bill?"

It *IS* about being first to market (2)

why-is-it (318134) | about 13 years ago | (#87180)

"You want to be best to market, not first to market."

That all depends. If your sole motive is to make the *Best* product, then being first is not that important. If you are after market share and want a return on your investment, then being first is critical.

If you look at the software industry over the past few years, the "first to market" strategy is clearly being followed.

Look at micro$oft. IIRC ever 1.0 version of software they have ever shipped has been crap. (IE, 16-bit windows, first version of NT, and so on). Eventually the patches and bug fixes are released and the product is usable. (OK, maybe in the case of M$ that is a bit of an overstatement, but grant the point for the time being).

There are tons of games that ship and you need to download megabytes of patches to make it playable. I think in the case of Half Life, I had to download a 25MB patch. Should it have shipped if it needed that much work? Probably not, but if they did not ship it when it did, their sales opportunities might have suffered.

The point is, if you can get to market, first, people will purchase it, regardless of the quality. Once they have it, these same people will stick to that product and are not likely to replace it with an alternative.

To coin a phrase, being first isn't everything, it's the only thing.

What about.. (1)

gvsu_snow_lord (318176) | about 13 years ago | (#87181)

Ok sure I know why OpenOffice is getting play on slashdot... but this same story appeared on may Mac related sites a day ago.

It seems to me 'We' Mac OS X users see the WP world as two camps Office and AppleWorks. Well I would like to point out a great app from Nisus [nisus.com] . Nisus Writer was one of the first WP for the Mac and it is insanly great. Right now they are in the process of porting the sucker over to OS X.

Sure OpenOffice is an open source project and is free (and more dev. working on a mac port is fine), but most home users use a WP more than Excel or PowerPoint. I don't think OpenOffice is something that will have little effect in slowing MS domiance under OS X.

Two last things.
1.) Why not just get a java version of OpenOffice so less porting is needed?
2.) Mozilla now has nightly OS X build Yea :) !!!

Re:There's a lot of work to be done (1)

melatonin (443194) | about 13 years ago | (#87185)

They're recommending using C++ and C to call the OS X Windowing APIs, which doesn't sound like a good idea, since the GUI could be built much quicker with Objective-C and AppBuilder.

Actually, Interface Builder supports making nib files for Carbon applications (C and C++) now. If OpenOffice is written using C++, it would be too hard to use Objective-C because you can't call C++ code from Obj-C and vice versa (the Objective-C++ compiler is too old).

...did you pay for Office? (2)

damien champagne (447284) | about 13 years ago | (#87186)

Okay, so there are a area a lot of Mac people who use Microsoft Word out there. And they have very talented Mac programmers that make pretty good applications - I would go as far to say that their Mac apps are greatly superior to their PC apps. But raise your hand if you actually bought it instead of copying it from a friend. The reason this project is so important is that, as a community, we should have an option to not have to buy Office X. Or Appleworks, either. As a community, we can create our own applications. And StarOffice sounds like a good start. (And for those complaining about the OS X IE: All the alternatives, OmniWeb, iCab and my favorite, Opera, are much better. All browsers for OS X are still in beta, so pick another one to use.)

Re:Good luck (1)

bartle (447377) | about 13 years ago | (#87187)

Two: Apple has changed its relationship with the developer community. You no longer have to cough up megabucks for the documentation or tools; they're free for the asking from the Apple Developers' site, and the tools come on the OS X CD.

The problem with Apple isn't so much that's it's a closed system. It WAS their problem, it was the reason they lost to the IBM clones, but we're all beyond that now. The problem is that they're currently trying to emulate existing computer models rather than trying something different. Opening up their systems to open source is a good move, better late than never. But it isn't going to save them, between Microsoft and the Unix derivatives there isn't much room to manuever. Apple's best hope is the home market.

Computers are still alot more difficult to use than they should be. The home market would love a simple box to surf and check their email with but they're not going to buy them unless they can expect that they won't need to be replaced anytime soon. Apple is in the best place to do this, but they need to be able to guarantee the software on their boxes as well as the hardware. They seem to have a reluctance to write their own software if they can help it, probably for the reason you mentioned.

To survive they need to write their own browser, email program, Office compliant word processor, etc. No other company is going to give them what they need, neither will some well meaning ronin programmers. If they don't figure this out they'll just continue the slide towards becomming another generic PC manufacture and I'll never be able to buy my parents a computer they can easily use.

Re:Good luck (1)

bartle (447377) | about 13 years ago | (#87188)

Omniweb's taking care of the browser, the email app is written already (and called Mail), and they are likely to have MS-Office itself for the forseeable future.

The problem is that these are all 3rd party software. In order to design a truly user friendly machine, I mean a whole lot simpler than the PCs that are available today, you can't rely on a bunch of different pieces of software. Not only do they need to be preinstalled on the machine and easily accessible, they need nearly identical user interfaces. Essentially Apple (or somebody else, Microsoft isn't doing it) needs to provide a single, unified user interface that a trained monkey could figure out. Any machine should of course be expandable but the essential design should be very, very simple. One click internet and all that. There is a definate market here, but it is evidently beyond Apple's grasp.

How much good will this really do? (1)

adam613 (449819) | about 13 years ago | (#87189)

The problem is that Microsoft isn't going to allow a free product to dominate over Office, under any circumstances. We know that. What will be really interesting to see is how they manage to stop it in an environment that they don't have absolute control over, ie OSX.

Audience --- Spreading this Message (1)

idonotexist (450877) | about 13 years ago | (#87190)

I am not a mac user or developer, but perhaps this article should be distributed on sites which may have an audience likely to undertake such a project. Surely there are popular mac or open source for mac sites on the web? Maybe even posting this article to a BSD site would cater to interested users in an effort to drum-up support for Mac OpenOffice?

Re:How much good will this really do? (1)

Genoaschild (452944) | about 13 years ago | (#87191)

But does Microsoft have a choice. Even though Microsoft is this big bad wolf that tries to blow down the pigs houses that everybody portrays it as, it still can't prevent free software from entering the market. They are already got their hand slapped for violating the Sherman act, do they really want to get their face slapped too. I don't think so. Their not as powerful as we think they are. Their are still a company and follow the same basic rules. Do you think the USSR willfully allowed Kazakistan to leave, I think not. They couldn't stop it. A mouse can only steal cheese off a trap so many times before it goes off. Microsoft is in the same boat as the mouse. It stole the cheese many many times without getting caught. How many times can it steal the cheese before it gets caught? 20, 30, 50? They can't stop something forever and this is just another test of that.
----

Re:OpenOffice for OS X was doomed from the beginni (1)

Genoaschild (452944) | about 13 years ago | (#87192)

I have one quote for you, "Chaos is the Spice of Life and Order is its Nemesis, How May I Assist Your Quest?"

I didn't pull this one out of the blue. If you know where this one came from, well, you probably played too many computer games.

Anyways, a little variety and custom interfaces never hurt anybody and will help people get used to something more then they the limited they have developed or pictured in their mind. Not saying Mac users still won't use it, I'm saying is if it is just an interface their not used too, that is no reason for not using something. A learning curve never hurt anybody.
----

IBM Works (1)

trash eighty (457611) | about 13 years ago | (#87194)

hey someone else remembers it!

it was quite a nice program, though apple already have something similar for OSX. having Works for other unices would be nice.

remember the old days when there were loads of different business applications in every category? why did we let it slip away...

Re:Enough With The Monopoly (1)

trash eighty (457611) | about 13 years ago | (#87195)

the latest IE for OSX fixes this probem with stuffit i think. anyway you can tell it to open the right stuffit in preferences.

OmniWeb is nice, but slow. and doesn't render the webpage i use most. which is a shame.

Sucking even more is not the solution (5)

sjonke (457707) | about 13 years ago | (#87197)

Trying to transparently support all Microsoft Office features and file formats is doomed to failure. It's not that Microsoft Office is better or not, it's that they are the standard and when Microsoft adds a new feature (and they always do, whether or not it is actually a good thing) all the software trying to be 100% compatible is instantly behind the curve. You can never do better than remain behind. I.e suck even more. Sucking even more is not the path to success last I checked.

The only way to go is to create an open file format for documents and then get enough companies/groups on as many OSs as possible to create much better applications than what Microsoft so pathetically offers. This does not mean, as Microsoft believes, piling on the features whether or not they are actually a good thing nor whether or not they are implemented well. It means doing the basics the best and innovating intelligently. We need to put them behind the curve, and in an open source, widely available, very easy to use way. That and perform a whole heck of a lot of human sacrifices.

Microsoft dominates without justification, as always, but I believe it is possible to topple them. Everyone gave up on being better a long time ago and instead tried to emulate. Now it's time to bring back real advances.

Re:Wanted: Free Help (1)

Derkec (463377) | about 13 years ago | (#87202)

Not to pick on you, but everyone here is giving Sun hell for this. Their main markets are workstation and server hardware as well as developement tools. Where does developing office applications for the Mac fall in? Seems to me, Sun did a decent thing in bringing StarOffice into respectable shape and largely opening it up. It's not like Sun is asking for devel help and then intends to charge $200 for the product.

On another note, I'm surprised that there hasn't been more OSX support here. It's guts are fairly open, and it is an unix based OS which is in competition with Windows. It even brings an easy to use, pretty ui to unix. Sounds pretty darn good. Not to be flamebait, but is there some bitterness from the Linux community that Apple brought Unix to the common man first? It's not free, but it works. Anyways, I'll sit and wait for the -1.

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