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Sun and Apple Team Up for StarOffice for Mac OS X

pudge posted more than 12 years ago | from the victory-is-within-our-grasp dept.

Apple 363

An anonymous reader writes, "CNET writes about Sun and Apple getting together to create StarOffice for the Mac OS X." Apparently, the Java-based OpenOffice app will be released before year's end (a developer release went out on Thursday), with a commercial StarOffice release sometime next year.

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Appleworks dead? (1)

Filarion (548689) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963737)

I guess that means that AppleWorks is being discontinued. But yay, StarOffice!

Re:Appleworks dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963778)

good, appleworks sucks... staroffice rules.

Re:Appleworks dead? (3, Insightful)

Blondie-Wan (559212) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963844)

I doubt it. AppleWorks is not only too good a product to discontinue (from the POV of users, which granted isn't necessarily Apple's), but also one Apple's supported for too long, and one that apparently continues to provide Apple with decent returns on its years of investment and development.

I could easily see Apple maintaining AppleWorks while simultaneously contributing to (or publishing under its own brand?) a Mac version of StarOffice/OpenOffice. Perhaps Apple could continue to bundle AppleWorks on its consumer systems while bundling StarOffice on its pro systems. Or perhaps it could license StarOffice from Sun and work with them to create its own, highly Mac-ified version and offer it as a higher-end alternative to the more consumer-oriented AppleWorks. Either of these could happen in much the same way they position iMovie and iDVD versus Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro for consumers and professionals, respectively.

Re:Appleworks dead? (1)

JPriest (547211) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963866)

This goes back to MSFT's claim that Apple was not pushing OSX hard enough, which is partly the reason for all the apple switch ads. AppleWorks is no going down (there is still IE too), but Apple is exploring other options in case MS pulls out.

Re:Appleworks dead? (2, Informative)

xidix (594440) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963923)

I think you are confusing AppleWorks and MS Office v.X. AppleWorks is made by Apple, and is a consumer-level productivity suite that competes (somewhat) with Office.

I think the idea that Apple might drop AppleWorks and try to replace it with the more robust StarOffice is definitely not without merit. Given the fact that StarOffice and OpenOffice share a common file format, and those suites together create a compatible document format across Solaris, Windows, and Linux (both x86 and PPC), Apple might be wise to join that group. If Apple and Sun create StarOffice for MacOS X, and Microsoft does pull the plug on Office for Mac, it will be Star/OpenOffice on five platforms versus MS Office on one. Star/OpenOffice would become the de facto choice for anyone not running Windows (or not wanting to spend $500 USD on a productivity suite).

If Apple decides to jump on the StarOffice bandwagon, I don't see them continuing to support AppleWorks. Everything I've seen about this indicates that StarOffice for MacOS X would be bundled for free with pro-level Macs (and most likely available for free or very little money for the consumer-level Macs). I don't see why anyone would choose AppleWorks if they could get StarOffice for less than AppleWorks or for free?

Re:Appleworks has to be free with iMachines (2)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963956)

iMac, iBook and eMac have always come with Appleworks and i think it would be a mistake to end that. the buyers of those machines really dig bundled software. that was why Apple always made pro users buy Appleworks or M$ Office or whatever theyw anted. the whole beauty of the iMac is that it comes with enough software to keep you going for quite a while. Appleworks, all the iApps and the internet software is most all people need for a while.
if anything i see this teaming up for the recently rumored "pro version" of Appleworks. i don't know if they will bundle it with the Pro machines or just sell it, or pack it with all machines. time and the economy will tell on that one. you figure Appleworks is good for home users and school kids. no reason to make then use the Pro software, and no reason to make the Pro software simple enough for a 1st grader to use. also if someone is in a dedicated M$ enviroment, then they will probably still use M$ Office (at least while one still exists).

Re:Appleworks dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964058)

"the idea that Apple might drop AppleWorks and try to replace it with the more robust StarOffice is definitely not without merit. "

You forget the US education market, Appleworks is not just a Mac OS program. Apple have developed and support, a windows version of AW primarily for sale to the US education market where mixed enviroments of windows/macs are common.

Apple can't drop AW without risking further deterioration in their education market share - so they won't. Anyway, what's wrong with AppleWorks? I like it!

frawst pawst! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963738)

hm... this really shouldn't be happening because the topic has been up for a minute... but i think i might have it still.

Java ?! (1)

Blue 1ce (218121) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963740)

"The partnership is expected to produce a Java-based version of OpenOffice by the end of the year, followed by a commercial StarOffice release sometime in 2003."

I really hope CNet got this wrong!

Re:Java ?! (5, Insightful)

stu_coates (156061) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963753)

CNet may be partially right... the article talks about Apple engineers having access to StarOffice source and working on moving the UI to Quartz... maybe just the UI work will be done in Java (which has the Quartz UI on MacOS X) with the core functionality being in C/C++ as per the other Star/Open Office platforms. Using JNI this would certainly be possible... as for performance, well, we'll have to wait and see.

Hmmm. (3, Interesting)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963883)

http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/roadmap.html [openoffice.org]
They seem to build a native C++ interface for the windowing system of OSX.
CNET probably confused this with the Java of OpenOffice support.

It's very unlikely that someone tries to build a GUI via Java. People are not that stupid.

Re:Hmmm. (2, Insightful)

rikkards (98006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963996)

People are not that stupid.
Do I have to pull the Java version of Wordperfect out of it's grave to remind you of what people are capable of doing? :)

ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964005)

I also tried to use the Java version of WordPerfect. I would not be bragging about it. It didn't work.

Re:Hmmm. (3, Funny)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964025)

No! Put it away! It burrrrrrrrrrrrns!

Re:Hmmm. (2)

larkost (79011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963997)

Actually, they are probably porting the GUI from SWING (where it is now) to Apple's Aqua through the Cocoa-Java version. This is an API that allows you to access basically the same API's as Obj-C Cocoa from Java. App-Kit (on of the API's in question) rocks!

Re:Java ?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963822)

I really doubt it. If you read the progress reports on the OpenOffice site you'll see that the X Window version for OSX works and lots of the backend work for the native OSX port is done but not enough to compile. I really think the reporter got it wrong and should have said X Window rather than Java.

Java is NOT the way to go (3, Insightful)

swissmonkey (535779) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963742)

Corel already tried and we all saw the result: slow and dismissed by the market.

Even though JVMs improved a lot in the meantime, there's no way a JVM is going to make an app such as OpenOffice as smooth to use as a native version.

They'd better work on a native version, instead of working on something which has not a single chance of attracting users.

Re:Java is NOT the way to go (1)

Blue 1ce (218121) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963764)

"The current release of OpenOffice for Mac OS X requires x11," Siress said. "I've got my Hamburg (Germany) team working on eliminating that requirement right now and using Java."

Using Java for graphics! - Can you think of something worse?

Which, of course, brings us to the question why apple has not integrated X into MacOS X... (pun intended)

Re:Java is NOT the way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963783)

Using Java for graphics! - Can you think of something worse?
COBOL - Dare and Do!

Re:Java is NOT the way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964045)

Which, of course, brings us to the question why apple has not integrated X into MacOS X... (pun intended)

I don't think you know what a pun is.

Re:Java is NOT the way to go (4, Informative)

znu (31198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963781)

It might not be as bad as it sounds. Cocoa can be programmed from Java. They talk about Quartz, which I don't think is accessible from pure-Java apps, so that's probably what they're doing. A Java/Cocoa app is totally indistinguishable from a "fully native" app (Objective-C/Cocoa). Except that it's a bit slower and uses more RAM, of course.

Re:Java is NOT the way to go (2, Insightful)

lurvdrum (456070) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963797)

You also have to remember that general computing power has incresed beyond all recognition in the last few years; by the time this software comes to fruition the performance penalty of using a language like Java (or even C#/.net for that matter) will be less noticeable.

Re:Java is NOT the way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963989)

what a great idea. let's just throw away our cpu cycles for the benefit of programming in one language rather than another.

Re:Java is NOT the way to go (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964034)

If you are so worried about CPU cycles, then only use programs written using an assembler instead of a compiler. There are a lot of those programs out there today... right? :-)

Open(Star)Office always had parts written in Java (2, Informative)

hargettp (74445) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963836)

On my Linux installation, there are several jars in /usr/local/OpenOffice.org1.0/classes. Enabling Java to interoperate with the Universal Network Object (UNO) model that sits at the core of OpenOffice was always a key part of their architecture.

So, the use of Java isn't really news, and any messaging around Java should just be seen as Marketing exploiting the fact that yes, indeed, parts are written in Java.

Java is the way to go (5, Insightful)

g4dget (579145) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963846)

Even though JVMs improved a lot in the meantime, there's no way a JVM is going to make an app such as OpenOffice as smooth to use as a native version.

Sure there is. Java is quite fast these days and it has gotten a lot more stable and robust. OpenOffice could actually become smaller and simpler if it is written in Java because much of the big and complex stuff in OpenOffice is already taken care of by the Java runtime.

Also, Sun finally needs to put the resources behind Java for client/desktop apps--that means developing large and complex client/desktop apps and fixing whatever problems remain in Java and the Java runtime.

Corel already tried and we all saw the result: slow and dismissed by the market.

Corel didn't know what they were doing and they didn't have the option of hacking the Java runtime much. Besides, there are an awful lot of bad or failed C and C++ applications--should we stop using C and C++ because of that as well?

Re:Java is the way to go (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964022)

Assuming you are willing to use 2 to 4 times more memory for the Java wordprocessor equivalent and take a 50% speed hit relative to C++, it certainly could be written in Java. (Java only matches C++ speed in benchmarks where objects are not created). But the word processor's GUI could not be written in Swing - it is far too slow. In my opinion Sun would be well served if they simply threw out Swing and started again. Ever try to debug a Swing problem? You often get stack traces that are more than 25 levels deep - all in Sun's Swing code. Temporary objects being created like there is no tomorrow. Any way you slice it, Swing is a horribly designed graphics toolkit. I bet Qt wrapped in a JNI wrapper would be much faster and more elegant than Swing.

Re:Java is NOT the way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963872)

You'd think they'd learn from the previous Java version of StarOffice that was a disaster.

Besides that, if you were going to buy an office suite for OS/X, why would you buy StarOffice and not MS Office? The value of StarOffice was clear when it was free and on platforms for which MS Office wasn't available. I don't see it making a splash on the mac.

Office X? (1)

httpamphibio.us (579491) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963745)

After so much fanfare and puffery by Microsoft, this seems like something they aren't going to be too pleased about. The Microsoft Office Homepage [microsoft.com] doesn't seem to have any reference to Office X at all. Of course, there is Office X info elsewhere, but not on the home page. How interesting... WTG Apple!

Re:Office X? (1)

xidix (594440) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963935)

You won't find information about any Mac product on Microsoft's home page. They hide all of their Mac stuff at http://www.microsoft.com/mac [microsoft.com] so none of their Windows users see it.

Competition for Apple? (1)

MiTEG (234467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963746)

I don't know if this is still true or what, but in the past wasn't a lot of the "office suite" type software for Macintosh done in-house by Claris or Apple? Maybe that all changed when Microsoft dumped a boat load of cash into the company. Either Apple really is as different from Microsoft as they could possibly be and supports competition, or Claris/AppleSoft is effectively dead.

Re:Competition for Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963840)

http://www.apple.com/appleworks/

is this the Appleworks pro rumor sites spoke of? (2)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963940)

yes, Apple/Claris make the home user version of office. over the years it was called either ClarisWorks or AppleWorks (Claris/Apple is the same thing). i'm sure somebody else knows better, but the Mac SE my sister got in 1988 came with Claris Write, Claris Draw etc back before it was really packed together. they have been working on that for years. i think the current Appleworks for OS X is just a carbonized version of the most recent Appleworks. i would think they will keep bundling Appleworks (unless they rename it someday) and sell somehting to the Pro users. in the past (and today even) pro users had to buy Appleworks. it's kind of strange, but Apple decided somewhere that Pro users were going to want M$ Office anyway. maybe it was part of the deal with Microsoft. if pro users had a free app, then they were less likely to buy one. if they bought one they were more likely to buy the high end app? i dunno. there were a lot of strange concessions in that deal. i'm glad it's over.
there have been rumors of some sort of "pro" Appleworks for a while now.... Appleworks itself, if you have never ised it, couls be thought of as iOffice or something. it's bundled with the iBook, iMac (new and old) and the eMac. i don't remember if they started bundling it with the pro models (there was talk of it). it's good enough for home users, but i guess not quite up to corporate use. the recent versions have good translation from and into M$ Office formats, so in some situations when you need to translate documents you will be fine. if you were at work and constantly exchanging documents though you might still want M$ Office itself.

OpenOffice is not javabased (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963747)

They already got a OS/X version, and this isn't javabased either.
A have seen confusion with this before, probably just C-net and Slashdot that are wrong.

S.L.A.S.H.D.O.T.: Synthetic Lifelike Android Skilled in Hazardous Destruction and Online Troubleshooting

Re:OpenOffice is not javabased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963787)

Here... [brunching.com]

Re:OpenOffice is not javabased (1)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963852)

I don't have a Mac but you cannot install OpenOffice.org onto Linux or Windoze without Java on your system. The good news for M$ users is that it needs Java not the MVM poor copy.

Re:OpenOffice is not javabased (1)

eggsovereasy (573119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963919)

I installed Open Office without java installed... I got an error message saying I don't have java when I ran setup, but the progam works fine.

Re:OpenOffice is not javabased (0, Redundant)

Morky (577776) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964018)

Same here. Star/OpenOffice works without the JDE.

Re:OpenOffice is not javabased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963967)

You need to read the article. It plainly states that the current version is X-based (which is true, you have to install X to run OOo on OSX), but that Sun and Apple are considering using a Java-based interface so that everyone won't be required to install X (and someone else pointed out that Java on OSX uses Aqua UI elements).

Penis Stench (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963751)

Is your penis smelly?

YES, YES IT IS. N/T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963897)

See subject.

There is a native version (1, Interesting)

scoot baloo (596451) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963757)

There is a native version of OpenOffice for MAC.

See
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/2637 1.html

Is the reference to "Java Based" a mistake ?

Re:There is a native version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963877)

I have said this before. Having to install XFree86 XonX to run Openoffice is NOT NATIVE. If I have to do that I might as well remote-X11 it from a linux box.

Re:There is a native version (3, Informative)

ZigMonty (524212) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963907)

I would hardly call a version that requires XFree86 "native" for Mac OS X. It looks like a cheap port of the Linux version and the X Windows stuff it needs isn't found on a stock Mac OS X install.

I mean no disrespect to the OpenOffice people but that build is not a 1.0 release.

Apple Convert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963758)

I've been thinking about this for a while now, currently I use my home x86 boxen for web development (php, mysql), with KDE/Qt for C++ development (and some Java).

I haven't had the time to look into it a lot at the moment, but if anyone could reply with some insight (with my above requirements), would I run into problems if I say wished to use/purchase an iBook (or iMac)? I'm really getting sick of x86, and would love to run Linux on a mac and use OS X and PPC :)

Re:Apple Convert (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963878)

Unfortunately you would run into problems. A requirement of using Crapple computers is homosexuality. You see, if you aren't a HOMO, then you can't use OS X. Of course, since you're using Lunix, you probably already qualify.

Also confused about Java (2)

theolein (316044) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963759)

I cannot imagine Java being of much use for StarOffice on OSX, given that the visual side of Java, AWT and Swing are very slow under OSX compared to Linux and XP.

I think this is either a mistake or else they'll be using Java for some system glue or something I imagine.

Re:Also confused about Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964000)

Sure, using Java would be a bad idea.

But if you turn on Java hw acceleration, AWT and Swing feel much faster under OSX compared to Linux. You have to turn it on manually, read the release notes.

Here's an example for PB:
java -Dcom.apple.hwaccellistATIRadeon_33554432

Re:Also confused about Java (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964013)

StarOffice wouldn't be using AWT or Swing. Apple's Java includes a version of the Cocoa API (Cocoa is the API derived from NextStep), which presumably hooks in at a fairly high level so the most intensive aspects are all in native PowerPC code within the OS itself.

This is, IMO, a good idea. It'd be an even greater thing if GNUstep [gnustep.org] could have Java hooks too, then this fairly respected GUI API could have much wider use.

Summary (5, Informative)

Dr. JJJ (325391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963769)

The main points of the article are:

1) The relationship between Apple and Microsoft has been strained by the lackluster sales of Office v.X. Apple supports the porting of StarOffice because it doesn't want MacOS X to be cutoff from the ability to interact with the ever-important Microsoft dominated office file formats should Microsoft decide to abandon the platform.

2) Development hurdles that Sun must overcome are removing and redesigning X11 protocol specific code to work with Quartz 2D -- Apple's windowing API -- and redesigning the user interface such that it conforms to the Apple Aqua guidlines. (That's a tall order, especially considering that much of the Aqua guidlines are incomplete and still being formed.) Currently, StarOffice uses its own interface toolkit, built from the ground up.

3) The ever-pressing issue of how to make money by selling an essentially open-source product. Sun plans to do this not by merely offering support, but also adding special enticements to a commercial distribution that wouldn't be available in an open-source distribution. (An example is the bundling of commercial quality fonts with the software).

OOo already themable. (1)

Moritz Moeller - Her (3704) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963809)

Apple's windowing API -- and redesigning the user interface such that it conforms to the Apple Aqua guidlines. (That's a tall order, especially considering that much of the Aqua guidlines are incomplete and still being formed.) Currently, StarOffice uses its own interface toolkit, built from the ground up.
I don't think supporting an aqua Look'nFeel would be too hard. OOo already is themable to MacOs9 look (and Windows, OS/2 and XWindows). Look at Tools->Options->OpenOffice.org->View.

Probably all it would take would be a new "theme" for the Toolkit OOo uses. Maybe they would have to extend the theming capablitities of the toolkit a little, but that can't be too hard.

Re:OOo already themable. (2, Insightful)

King of the World (212739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963820)

I'd take it the other way... after all the themes over the years that try to ripoff OSX, not a one has got close. The proportions are wrong. The font-rendering is screwy. The software, well... black and white minstrels.

Re:Summary (1)

g4dget (579145) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963855)

Development hurdles that Sun must overcome are removing and redesigning X11 protocol specific code to work with Quartz 2D -- Apple's windowing API -- and redesigning the user interface such that it conforms to the Apple Aqua guidlines.

Rather than addressing this for each application over and over again, Apple should really just improve X11 support on OSX and ship an X11 server with every Macintosh. X11 is quite small compared to other software these days, and to many new Mac users, good X11 support is essential.

Supporting Apple's look-and-feel and guidelines is a separate issue and doesn't depend on whether the low-level graphics is based on X11 of Quartz.

he ever-pressing issue of how to make money by selling an essentially open-source product. Sun plans to do this not by merely offering support,

Sun should be happy if they get a significant user community for OpenOffice at all because that makes their hardware and software more viable. Trying to make money off it at the same time is killing the goose.

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963994)

Yuck... One of the reasons I own an Mac is the Clean working GUI... X11 Yuck

A Useable GUI is why Apple has the Lion share of the UNIX market.

Re:Summary (1)

Morky (577776) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964048)

The plan is to make it an Aqua app. The X11 version is just to get it running on the platform.

preparing for the time after MS Office for Mac? (4, Insightful)

karm13 (538402) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963774)

to me, that sounds like apple is preparing for a time when MS decides -- for valid reasons, of course -- to discontinue their office product line for the mac.
btw, any new rumors about OS X for x86 out there?

Re:preparing for the time after MS Office for Mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963806)

Right, OS X for x86. You've just made it apparent to everyone that you're a fucking moron. Thanks, move along now.

Re:preparing for the time after MS Office for Mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963912)

Uh, no you're the fucking moron. If you would pull your head out of your ass, you would have heard Steve Jobs himself say that he would consider moving OS X to x86 [osnews.com] in the future. Now don't you feel smarter? Dumbass.

No OSx86 for the same reason as NO Office Mac (2)

crovira (10242) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964042)

There's no money in it on either side.

For M$, too low ROI. Two orders of magniture to low. First order is sheer sales market. There's one tenths as many machines. Second order is market resistance. Apple owners have a deep and abiding hatred for M$ that makes Linux people look tame. And they vote with their wallets. Look for universal acceptance of StarOffice as fast as Sun & Apple can ship the CD-ROMs.

For Apple, they make hardware, they use Aqua to sell it. Giving away the crown jewels would be slitting their hardware revenue throats while M$ could drop-kick their OS sales revenues just like they did to NetScape (And fuck the DOJ.)

The end is near... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963776)

I think competition is good for the market. But if Apple is laying the groundwork for getting out of the MS Office relationship, they they are signing their own bankruptcy papers. This really marks the beginning of the end for Apple. You might like StarOffice to fiddle with in your cube or home office, but the bread-and-butter user isn't going to go for a swtich away from MS Office. It's not so much a matter of features (although that become an issues when you talk about spreadsheets with lots of macros, for example) as it a matter of quick and easy document exchange. Like it or not, MS Office has become the standard for sharing documents. When a vendor sends me a spreadsheet, she sends it to me in Excel or Word. Send me the same quote is some other format...and you're probably not going to get the sale.

Now, put all of this together: Apple is asking Mac users who are comfortable with Finder from OS 6 to 9 to (a) swtich to a new interface, (b) run an OS that is still in beta -- really, look at all the compatibility issues...it's a beta, (c) may not run the software we have purchased, and (d) now suffer without MS Office. I don't think this is going to work. (And note that I'm setting aside the issue of OS licensing where Apple *used* to have a competetive advantage over MS, but now is squandering that selling point.)

Private to Apple: The #1 Selling point to "switchers" is that they can still use MS Office applications. Screw up that fact, and your product is dead in the water.

Re:The end is near... (1)

Morky (577776) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964063)

I agree that the default document format has to be .doc and .exe; there's no way around that for now. However, the compatibility with Word and Excel in StarOffice is excellent, except for macros. I think one point being missed here is that Microsoft's pricing schemes are making the corporate world take a long hard look at StarOffice. In my company, the CIO would not have considered making this kind of switch until Microsoft's latest stab at extortion. Now we're evaluating it in a serious way. If StarOffice becomes popular in the corporate environment, its influence could spread. IT managers and CEOs are starting to wake up and say, "Why are we spending this kind of money for a word processor and a spreadsheet app?" It could get interesting.

Java ? /me cries (0, Troll)

unixmaster (573907) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963777)

Java is exactly like interpreted C++ .
And what I mean by this sentence ?
C++ is designed to be a compiled language not for run time interpretation like perl/python .
When Java developers ripped C++ I think they forgot about that
Now you know why Java is so bloated....

Re:Java ? /me cries (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963837)

Idiot.

Re:Java ? /me cries (1)

g4dget (579145) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963875)

Java is exactly like interpreted C++ .

Java is not interpreted. It's compiled to native code, with optimizations and features that C++ compilers simply can't do (e.g., inlining of functions and methods from dynamically loaded code).

Re:Java ? /me cries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964057)

What have you been smoking? Java is compiled to byte code, which then, if you have a JIT installed as part of your virtual machine, *might* be compiled to native code at execution time.

I wonder.. (1)

wallsaroundme (582721) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963790)

I remember Apple wanting to please MS to keep Office available for Mac users, but this would sort of ease that tension, possibly allowing things to go on that never could before. The funny thing is that Apple seems to really have a lack if trust/interest in open software, Star Office has been out for a while and now that you can only get it by paying, people unfortunatly seem to take it more seriously. Apple doesn't seem to really appreciate Ogg either, but loves AAC.

Sun's grammar (0, Offtopic)

markrages (310959) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963813)

Sun's spokesman Siress needs to learn the difference between an adjective and an adverb:

"I think you can see OpenOffice running solid on OS X by the end of this calendar year"

"Microsoft is mad, and Apple's coming at them hardcore."

Re:Sun's grammar (2, Funny)

Abstrakt (86571) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963933)

Don't you just love those hip marketing folks? A few years down the line, we'll probably see official statements resembling this:

"We are going to represent old-school," Siress said. "Apple and Sun be homies now," he added.

Cheers.

Re:Sun's grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964032)

Yes, but he's working with Apple and their equally corrupt "Think Differnt!" mentality.

Ignorance is, apparently, contagious.

Re:Sun's grammar (1)

Morky (577776) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964067)

Yes, it should be "Apple's coming at them hardcorely."

Java ? (5, Interesting)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963831)

First I'd like to say that I like Java very much, but I think that this must be a mistake. Let's see. OS X is unix-based, and does support X11. StarOffice (and OpenOffice) runs just fine on X11. Basically their problem is to port the GUI from X11 to Quartz
Porting StarOffice (once the biggest open source project) to Java would be an absolutly huge task. This rules out a full port. It leaves the option of using Java as the GUI. World+dog (including me) agree that Java's GUI is so-so, even if it is better on OS X than anywhere else. Anyway, what would be the point of using Java to interface between C/C++/Objective-C apps? None.

CNET just got it wrong one more time.

Re:Java ? (2)

jilles (20976) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963862)

An alternative theory might be that the port is going to rely on Java for some of the platform specific stuff. Java is well integrated into Mac OS X and OOo needs stuff like printing, file dialogs, fonts, etc. OOo already has a Java API so using Java to implement some of the platform specific stuff seems not a bad idea. This way sun can also avoid the duplicate effort of implementing platform specific stuff again since this already has been done for the Java port.

However, I'm theorizing here. Maybe someone from Open Office could post something about this.

Re:Java ? (1)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963954)

This is a good point, but there is a catch: in this area (printing, file dialogs, fonts...) , the Java APIs are really really bad. Everybody knows that FileDialog is broken. Printing in Java is extremely hard... So OK they could do that, but I think that a native port of those features would take less time.

Here's hoping.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963832)

we don't see 1000 posts talking about how a) This will be the end of MS or b) Apple's efforts are always futile.

me run star office on OS X cuz Mac easy to use (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963838)

Seems like a prank (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963849)

Java-based?
OpenOffice uses X-11?

I don't think so, Tim.

Which language(s) is (Open|Star)Office written in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963857)

I have Staroffice on CD I purchased a few years ago (5 or so) at a computer show for $10. At that time, I had a Cyrix 6x86-233 w/ 32MB of memory and a 2MB Trident video card. I've got to say that is was painfully slow. I believe this was because it was a Java application (CD came with Sun's JVM). Once I loaded an application and started using it for a few seconds, it ran with a barely acceptable speed. If I had to do something else, like pull down a menu or something, it would run too slow. Then after I got rid of that and started typing again, it was OK. Probably running out of memory or something.
Well at any rate, a couple weeks ago I needed to open a MS Word file that a CVS'd kword was having some problems with -- viewable but tables goofed up. So since I read that that Openoffice released a ver1.0, I thought I'd apt-get it. Wow, was it horribly slow to load, my god. I have an Athlon 750, 256MB ram, ATA-33 30GB (~31MB/s transfer rate as reported by hdparm). Nothing else was using the drive at the time that was even moderately I/O intestive when I started it. It took about 30sec to load and loaded up in the spread sheet for some reason (just ran 'openoffice'). Then when I told it to open up the MS Word file, it took another 10sec or so to switch to the wordprocessor and then about another 5-10sec to load the document (which is only 1 page and has 1 table with 2 columns and 5 rows). So the total time was about a minute before I was viewing the document. And the best part of all, it didn't do any better job than KWord did. :)
It looks like, and from other peoples comments here, that Openoffice is a Java/C++ jumbalia. I can't imaging having to use Openoffice on a regular basis. I'd say fuck it, I'll pay for the Codeweavers Office WINE and purchase Office 97 off of ebay. Hopefully Apple can do something about the god awful slowness of it.

Re:Which language(s) is (Open|Star)Office written (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963893)

I have a Celeron 800 with 128 megs of RAM. Open Office only takes about 25 seconds to load. Seriously why do you complain about how long an office suite takes to load? MS Office takes about the same time to load and I never hear anyone complain about that. Office suites are inherently slow. It's really not surprising that they take so long when you take into account that they try to offer loads of features that people will never use. One thing I have noticed though is that if you use native OOo files on Open Office it will load faster than native MS files on MS Office. So I suggest you quit insisting on using MS's proprietary file formats.

OS X is eye-candy for candy pants faggots! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963867)

Please respond to this post. I like seeing proof that Mac users are defensive, hippy fags.
Do you even know what the chipset for your mainboard is? Can you tell me what kind of SCSI drive you have? Do you have IEEE1394 or IEEE1394a? Do you even know what that last one is?
Can you even define commandline you tree-hugging
technophobe?

Oh, and by the way OS X is not UNIX! Thats like saying DOS 3.2 is UNIX because of the "cd" command. Yes, I know all about the rootless console, PC have always had it, it's called a DOS prompt you limp-wristed wastes of oxygen.

Reply to the MS fanboy troll above (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963945)

Don't feed the trolls but here goes:

Take a look at Mac OS X's official announcement. [apple.com] From the press release:
At the core of Mac OS X is Darwin, Apple's advanced operating system kernel. Darwin is Linux-like, featuring the same Free BSD Unix support and open-source model. Darwin brings an entirely new foundation to the Mac OS, offering Mac users true memory protection for higher reliability, preemptive multitasking for smoother operation among multiple applications and fully Internet-standard TCP/IP networking. As a result, Mac OS X is the most reliable and robust Apple operating system ever.
By the way I don't even own a Mac. I use Windows XP and Linux. All the different OSen are great. There's no reason to be a fanboy of one or the other.

I'm a GEOS fanboy bitch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963965)

I'm writing this post on Commodore Colt running the GeoWorks OS you stupid fuck!

The Java Connection (2, Insightful)

Genady (27988) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963916)

Hasn't anyone here actually played with project builder? Apple lets people develop in project builder in either ObjC, *OR* Java. I'll bet this is what they're doing. There's probably nothing happening with Swing or any of the Java UI crap. What they're probably doing is writing the underlying code in java and allowing it to compile with either the new apple front end, or swing on other platforms. This sounds much more like a Sun strategy since they're so hip on Java in the first place, and cross platform apps secondly.

{Star,Open}Office preinstalled on Windows (5, Interesting)

oever (233119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963917)

Sun has been looking for hardware allies in its long-running quest to popularize StarOffice, which competes against Microsoft Office. To date, no major PC makers have pledged to heavily promote StarOffice.

To me, it's incredible that no hardware vendor such as IBM or HP is offering StarOffice or OpenOffice preinstalled on personal computers. I see no reason for them to not install it.

...and Perl as well (1)

bubbha (61990) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963937)

...I mean why script the OS with anything else?

Re:{Star,Open}Office preinstalled on Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963973)


The big guys probably have contracts with Microsoft that prevent them from installing competing office suites on the systems that they sell.

Re:{Star,Open}Office preinstalled on Windows (5, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963995)

The Findings of Fact in the Microsoft trial gives an answer to that. Back in 1995, IBM did ship PCs with Windows/Lotus Suite bundles, as well as OS/2 equivalents. Microsoft told IBM if they didn't stop bundling OS/2 or Lotus with their PCs they would not be licenced to offer Windows 95 IBM didn't back down until the last moment, which lead to a situation where IBM didn't even get a copy of the final version to test with their hardware until the hour before Windows 95 was released.

Result: IBM, knowing a PC manufacturer who didn't support Win95 at that particular point in time, would sell virtually no PCs, stopped bundling both the Lotus software and OS/2 from that point on, affectively killing the commercial chances of both.

I doubt any PC manufacturer is going to consider shipping a rival office suite for many years to come unless either they're so small they cannot expect decent treatment from MS anyway, or else the penalties levelled against Microsoft actually have some effect.

Re:{Star,Open}Office preinstalled on Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964041)

Doesn't Sony bundle WordPerfect's suite on their retail PCs?

I would have thought that both IBM and Sony would have recognised the "my enemy's enemy is my friend" truth and supported Star/Open office and adopted the, separately open-sourced file format, in their own apps (IBM?)

http://xml.openoffice.org

Java based OpenOffice app (2, Informative)

MiniChaz (163137) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963924)

Errr... No.

OpenOffice includes support for Java but it is most certainly _not_ Java based.

Anyone who has not used OpenOffice really should take a look. IMHO is is a viable replacement to Microsoft Office at home while Star Office (based on OpenOffice) is a viable replacement for Microsoft Office at work.

Wish good luck to the OpenOffice guys and take a bit of time to wish Sun good luck with Star Office too.

Thanks.

Re:Java based OpenOffice app (1)

DepoeEng (465957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964016)

Working in a small store, using my own computer as a hobby (employer/owner is computer-terrified) I use a Linux box with Mandrake 8.1 and StarOffice, with OpenOffice loaded, printing drawings, spreadsheets, and text to an HP OfficeJet600. All files over 2 months old were created in SO on a Windows box. Going to Linux/SO has worked ok, except every time I start the computer it throws the HP into an error mode, requiring re-power and reset time/date. Linux/OO requires addtional step of choosing which file system, SO or OO to save in. SO has more fonts and on-screen helps than does OO. If I had started in OO on the Windows machine, my perceptions may have been reversed, but for now going from Windows to Linux is easier when staying with SO and SO offers more to the user. Further info: Had to manually change file permissions upon loading old files into Linux, Printing needs manually allowing "anonymous user" in xpp. I am just half a notch above a JoeSixpack in computer literacy

Mirror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963939)

Blah...... It's been slashdot'ed and all. So, where's the mirror people?

See Mozlla run. Run, Mozlla, run! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963947)

compatibility, speed, cost (3, Insightful)

dankelley (573611) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963951)

  1. In my tests staroffice was much slower than office. Unless launch time is under 200 ms (human reaction time), users will select the faster product, all other things being equal.
  2. Users in an office environment will need full compatibility with office (for document sharing). How can that be accomplished, when Microsoft can change file formats at a whim, knowing that users will update like lemmings to get the new "features" provide along with the thwarting format changes?
  3. Folks won't choose because of cost because cost is not a big issue. In an office environment, it makes sense to pay a day's salary (on tools), to save 10 days of work. In a home environment, people use (cheap) bundled Microsoft products or they steal them.
PS: all of the above applied to Corel, too.

Re:compatibility, speed, cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963987)


1. Launch time:
MS Office loads itself into memory when Windows starts, giving the illusion of fast launch time. A simialar feature can be enabled in Open Office, which gives similar load times. Of course if you use Linux, than MS office does not load at all.

2. File formats:
MS cannot change file formats with impunity without breaking compatibility with previous versions of Office. If they do make a change, they must allow users to save in the older file format ... problem solved.

4. Cost:
All other things being equal most people will choose the low cost solution, espicially if you are deploying on a large network. For 90% of people Open Office already has all they features they will every need (and more). So when it comes to shelling out $$ for MS Office vs downloading Open Office, a well informed consumer will choose Open Office

Re:compatibility, speed, cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964014)

1. slower .. this is a simple matter of loading more of it before the user clicks (a la Quickstarter) -- Microsoft Office uses the OSA9.exe app for the same purpose..

2. full compatibility -- hmm.. why? I have noticed that 100% of the files I currently use in MS Office open fine under StarOffice .. I am going to venture that as Star/Open office gains popularity, if compatibility isn't acceptable, there will be third party tools to assist in this area.

3. I agree there is a cost/benefit analysis .. However, your forgetting that Microsoft is the company that is considering (doing?) subscription based apps, forcing companies to upgrade to each release (or be forced to pay full price if they skip versions), creating an office suite that is only available on two platforms, etc..etc..etc..

ps - as far as your 'lemmings' analogy, from what I have seen, most companies are not upgrading office as often as you think . .I still know of a LOT of companies using Office 95 and 97 .. So if microsoft tries forcing them to upgrade on a regular basis, these companies will look for alternatives.

Re:compatibility, speed, cost (3, Interesting)

Liet Hacksor (571538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964062)

In my tests staroffice was much slower than office. If you're referring to 5.x, yes. With 6.0, it's a different world. On Windows, MS Office 'preloads' a lot of itself to provide the illusion of speedy launch. StarOffice on Windows does the same thing (although it gives you the option to disable the QuickStarter if you so desire, which MS Office doesn't), and is pretty much equally speedy. I honestly wish a similar daemon existed on the Solaris & Linux versions, so my users would stop whining that their workstations are 'slower' than Windows. Unless launch time is under 200 ms (human reaction time), users will select the faster product, all other things being equal. Ah, but everything isn't equal. $75 != ~$400. If you're a home user, and you get it bundled free with your Mac/PC, you'll be happy to wait an extra second or two to keep cash in your pocket (Yes, Dell bundles MS Office, no it isn't 'free', it's a $199 upgrade from the Small Business version to the Professional version, and even more if you add it to a system that didn't have it at all). Also, this article is about MacOS-X.... if MS Office X goes away, what equality is there? Users in an office environment will need full compatibility with office (for document sharing). How can that be accomplished, when Microsoft can change file formats at a whim, knowing that users will update like lemmings to get the new "features" provide along with the thwarting format changes? As Microsoft changes formats, so will StarOffice update its filters for compatibility. It's a chicken-and-egg situation: Enough deployment of SO6 can shift the critical mass away from Microsoft. Folks won't choose because of cost because cost is not a big issue. In an office environment, it makes sense to pay a day's salary (on tools), to save 10 days of work. In a home environment, people use (cheap) bundled Microsoft products or they steal them. You make $400/day? Cool. Now how about a month's salary to cover the cost of administration and deployment. Management-wise, SO6 is a dream! Don't like the default settings & behaviours? Want to customise it for mass deployment? All of SO6's preferences are in text files that can easily be edited to make your deployment exactly the way your company needs it to be, without expen$ive deployments tools (MMC, etc). See my comment above about the 'cheap (bundled)' Microsoft products. Steal them? Well... I'm sure some people at the BSA would like to talk to you! Furthermore, I'd like to see you pirate OfficeXP. You'll be amused at the dialogue box that says "Sorry, but this copy has already been activated on another computer". So, you'll have to stick with pirating Office2000 (oops, that conflicts with your compatibility-forced-upgrade scenario, above) or Office X for Macs (until Microsoft either adds anti-piracy features equivalent to Windows' activation, or discontinues it altogether.) Even then, you don't really 'own' your data if it's in their proprietary file format, which you can only get at with software that you 'licence', not 'own'. If you're not going to move to SO6, at least do yourself a favour and save copies of all of your files in PDF. At least it's an open-standard format..... For what it's worth, I've moved an entire firm of ~60 people and tens of thousands of documents to StarOffice 6 & PDF, and management is VERY happy with the productivity increase, stability, data accessibility and cost savings.

sigh... (1, Troll)

kevin lyda (4803) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963988)

i really hate this. tech announcements that seem good, but then suck.

apple and sun team up. yeay! to port open office to os x. yeay! in java. oh fuck.

this is like the os x one. apple switches to unix. yeay! they'll be using the freebsd variant as a base. yeay! they're designing a proprietary gui. oh fuck. and in the end os x came out great, except that it was hard for the ***typical*** end user to gain access to *thousands* of x applications. think where we'd be if apple put their minds to improving x11.

what is with this urge to do things almost right, but to screw it up in a way that will hurt things in the end.

Re:sigh... (1)

Verizon Guy (585358) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964007)

I think Apple saw the light that X11 was a bloated, buggy piece of unnecessary client/server shit that needed to be replaced.

If it DIDN'T have the Mac-GUI, you might as well put YellowDog on the machine; no difference there.

I for one applaud Apple for finally doing the right thing. Linux needs to abandon X if they want to get some decent GUI apps.

Re:sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964023)

I would like to get rid of X11 as well ... it might be great for a lot of things (loggin in remotely, yada yada yada) but its simply too much bloat .. Linux needs a nice, fast, streamlined GUI..

StarOffice Development a 2-Fold Strategy (2)

Spencerian (465343) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963990)

We all know of the "spat," as Steve Jobs called it, with the sales of Office X for Mac OS X, and the Mac Business Unit's comment alluding to "reevaluating" the future development.

I don't feel that Microsoft would drop Office for Mac OS X because antitrust red flags (and lawsuits) would be dropping into the Federal courts, placing MS in another legal pickle.

Apple's public support of StarOffice is actually another bow to the power of open source software (of which OpenOffice is, I know, but not StarOffice--uh..kinda?). The problem that Apple might see is that the "radical" OSS community that shuns ALL things MS would not buy or cannot afford Office X. So, for these users (as part of an incentive to pull them to OS X from other *nixes), StarOffice would be available and in a condition that works natively and well in OS X. (I'm not trying to avoid discussing AppleWorks, but it is not as robust as either Office or StarOffice.)

And, should MS discontinue development of Office, Apple also has a strong backup productivity suite that may be less expensive.

Bill Gates Nightmare (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964012)

Welcome to Bill Gates Nightmare..

Steve Jobs and Bill Joy outflanking MS and Bill Gates on applicaitons on the Mac OSX platform..

Better keep watch on your wallet ..MS is asking for gov handout with the Pallidium initiave!
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