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Aqua OpenOffice.org v2.0 Cancelled

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the learn-to-like-X-like-everyone-else dept.

Software 689

Ant writes "According to MacSlash's story, a recent post on OpenOffice.org said no Mac OS X work has been done since 2003 and that there are no longer any plans for an Aqua version 'due to various licensing, political, and fundamental engineering difficulties'. :("

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Oh noes! (4, Funny)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380369)

Open Source fail it? That's unpossible?!

Re:Oh noes! (4, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380419)

Not at all. It's a strategic choice. Look at the reasons given in the text:

Regardless of the progress on native porting (or lack thereof), continued X11 development is crucial for the ongoing viability of OpenOffice.org on Mac OS X. There are a number of critical factors that make X11 more relevant then native porting:

X11 Will Always be Faster to Market.....

X11 Will Always be More Stable.....

X11 Will Always Look like Other Platforms.....

X11 is the Ultimate Testing Tool.....

So essentially, what they're saying is, X is their basic graphical platform, they want it to stay that way, and they don't want to divert efforts to do a native port for a machine that they consider a niche market.

They're just focusing on what they think will make the most users happy. Simple as that.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

bob beta (778094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380462)

In terms of Install Base, it would be suspicious to call X their 'basic graphical platform,' since I just installed and am using OpenOffice 1.1.4 on a Windows 2000 system. I didn't have to bring up eXceed to use it. . .

In terms of X11, I guess Windows is a 'nichey port' but one with a lot bigger base than the Macintosh 'nichey port' would have.

Re:Oh noes! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380599)

Yeah but openoffice on X11 basically sucks for an OSX desktop user familiar with the Macintosh interface.

On a 1.2 GHz G4 with plenty of RAM, it's noticeably slower to start than any other app, including the dominant commercial office suite, and things like cutting and pasting between applications don't work. Add to that, unfamiliarity of the interface and poor interoperability with the file formats your clients and partners are using (can you say microsoft monopoly?) and it's not worth the trouble.

Unfortunate, because, like it or not, OSX is a significant unix desktop userbase. I tried and failed to migrate a mac-centric client to open office, so I know from experience that users mostly just want to meet their deadlines. They don't care what the boss is spending for software, they don't care about vendor lockin, they don't care about philosophy, they don't even care much about stability. They care about ease-of-use (usually meaning familiarity) and interoperability.

What's the downside to using X11? (5, Interesting)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380371)

Forgive my ignorance, but doesn't OS X include an X11 server? Is there any major drawback to running OpenOffice as an X11 application rather than a native one?

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (3, Informative)

Mathiasdm (803983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380385)

I think it's not all that easy to install OpenOffice.org as X11 application.

It requires some work (according to what I heard).
In other words: it won't be popular for 'Joe Average'.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (5, Informative)

Zelet (515452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380393)

Yeah, I run OO under X11 on OS X - but it is as ugly as it is on Linux. Which is pretty damned ugly and slow.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380396)

While X11 can be considered native, (no slowdowns) the UI isn't totally native and it still doesn't look or behave like an OS X application

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380398)

Is there any major drawback to running OpenOffice as an X11 application rather than a native one?

It doesn't look native. Every program looks different in Windows, the odd program looks different on UNIX/X11, but such actions are not tolerated on the Mac.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (1)

Grant_Watson (312705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380662)

It doesn't look native. ...such actions are not tolerated on the Mac.

This is very true.

... Every program looks different in Windows, the odd program looks different on UNIX/X11....

Um... you must have a different standard for "different" on Unix. Programs all look different on Unix, unless you are in a Mac-user mood and confine yourself to programs that follow the Gnome HIG or something. By comparison with Unix, Windows interfaces are pretty standardized.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380402)

Yes. No. respectively

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380405)


Other than it's slower and looks like total crap?

Sorry, but X11 is something which should have died a quiet death circa 1994. Even with the newer WMs you can still spot an X11 app a mile away (although to be fair, that has a lot to do with all the crap GUIs designed for unix apps...I'm looking at you, Gimp.)

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (2, Insightful)

NSash (711724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380406)

It's slow and ugly, at least in comparison to native apps.

This news is really a pity.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (4, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380418)

The non-aqua version which uses the X server works fine... if your objective is to have something that works similar to Linux.
It works fine until you actually want to use the wealth of rich, high-quality fonts that comes with OS X. So I guess that makes the NeoOffice/J project ever more important.

The NeoOffice/J team has done a fantastic job of gradually Aquafying OpenOffice without anywhere near the same resources.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (5, Informative)

JayDiggity (70168) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380422)

Functionally, there is little difference except that is certainly slower than running it natively. Where the big problem lies is that Mac users (and I'm one of them) expect coherence and integration in their UI. A Mac version of OpenOffice that runs using X11 will not provide this.
Also, think of anyone who's switched over from Windows with a sour taste in their mouth - they want to avoid Microsoft at all costs, including MS Office. They've heard great things about OpenOffice, but when they go to try it, it's slow and kludgy. Not a very good impression at all.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380511)

If you are talking about "functionally", things like a working clipboard are essential. Especially for Mac users which historically have had nearly no integration problems (drag-n-drop and rich clipboard always Just Worked unless you still X11 into the mix)

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (0)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380556)

Personally, I am inclined to blame Apple for the lack of integration with X11. They try to give X11 just enough support to be functional, but they still want to be different enough to warrant a complete rewrite of code for their platform to be fully useful.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (1)

Durandal64 (658649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380644)

Oh give me a fucking break. Aqua is one window server; X11 is another. When developers write for either, they use different APIs. If you can think of an easy way to bridge the two completely toll-free so that no code modification is required, I'd love to hear it.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (4, Insightful)

dn15 (735502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380439)

OOo works fine under X11, but...
- Most people don't have X11 installed - it's optional.
- It doesn't have the key combos people are used to.
- It may never be made to *look* native if it remains X11-only.
- Menubar is in the "wrong" place for a Mac app.
- It doesn't have a standard Dock icon of its own.

Those are the primary issues, and none of them are necessarily deal-breakers for you or me. But they they severely hamper usability for inexperienced users who don't know what X11 is and won't understand why the app looks and behaves the way it does.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (4, Insightful)

lakeland (218447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380442)

Yes, it is ugly. It integrates very badly into the rest of the system (e.g. you can't alt-tab to it properly). Copy-Paste doesn't work between other apps well. The whole UI feels like a unix application.

I guess it would be like running a windows app on linux and having the whole thing feel like a windows app. Sure, it runs and it is better than nothing, but compared to a true linux app it is awful.

A native (carbonised) OOo would be suitable for giving to people running OSX that ask for a word processor. An X11 OOo is suitable for linux users who also have a mac.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (4, Interesting)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380449)

As a linux user before i got my mac i was wondering the same damn thing... but then i got my mac. First of all, the X11 applications don't conform to apple's UI guidelines. It just doesn't fit in at all. It's goofy and awkward. Secondly, you gotta load up an x11 environment and then the application. You thought it took long enough to load up already? Luckily X11 doesn't take up too much memory though x11 applications feel less responsive for stuff like menu systems. It draws really fast, but doesn't respond too quickly.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (5, Informative)

Dr_LHA (30754) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380479)

It just doesn't work very well. It's interface runs slowly (on my 1Ghz G4 Powerbook) and it doesn't fit in well with the rest of the operating system. Also the Powerpoint clone doesn't actually work properly as I was unable to get it to run the slideshow full screen, which makes it effectively useless for anything other than composing presentations.

I use OpenOffice all the time on Linux, but for my Mac I went out and bought MS Office as I needed Office software. OpenOffice on X11 just doesn't work well enough for it to be any use.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (2, Informative)

J. J. Ramsey (658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380485)

"Is there any major drawback to running OpenOffice as an X11 application rather than a native one?"

IMHO, the biggest drawback is that the fonts are awful. The antialiasing in OpenOffice X11 isn't too wonderful.

Pity Apple didn't compile in the TrueType bytecode interpreter into the FreeType library bundled with X11. Then OpenOffice could leave the antialiasing turned off, and the fonts would be readily readable.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (5, Informative)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380601)

Forgive my ignorance, but doesn't OS X include an X11 server?

Ignorance forgiven :).

Mac OS X Panther (10.3) does indeed come with an X11 server. However, there are two caveats to this:

  • It isn't installed by default, so if the user didn't select it for installation, it won't be on their system,
  • Apple doesn't include the X11 server on systems with OS X preloaded (which is all of them). (It is included on the CDs/DVDs you get with the system, however),
  • Installation of X11 after OS X is installed typically requires the user to reboot their system with their OS X install disc, and then install the X11 support atop their existing OS X installation.

Not a major problem for power users who need X11 support (this was virtually the first thing I did when I took posession of my first PowerBook last year), but hardly something you can expect your average user to do.

Is there any major drawback to running OpenOffice as an X11 application rather than a native one?

Yes, there are multitudes of such problems, including:

  • Unlike every other OS X application, OOo has an in-frame menu bar, and doesn't use the system menu bar (perhaps worse, as X11 does provide a menu bar, you wind up with two menu bars that have some duplication -- for example, both the X11 server and OOo's frame have an "Edit" menu, which can be confusing to a user),
  • The installation and program launching routine isn't terribly user friendly,
  • Apple's excellent font subsystem isn't integrated into OOo, thus you don't get good anti-aliases text,
  • No Aqua look and feel -- everything in it looks quite a bit different from every other application. No nice Aqua scroll bars, for example. Or list boxes. Or other standard controls.
  • No desktop integration. The icon in the title bar can't be dragged (in most OS X apps, the icon in the title bar actually represents the document or data being worked on, and you can drag and drop it as if it were the applications icon in the finder, allowing you to do stuff such as e-mail a document by dragging it's title bar icon and droppinng it into the Mail applications icon in the Dock), no text drag-and-drop with the rest of the system, can't use any of the Mac OS X services (like summarization, or text-to-speech), etc.
  • Doesn't even use the standard OS X mouse pointers. Even the plain old black arrow pointer is different as soon as you mouse over OOo,
  • Doesn't use the standard OS X printing subsystem controls (which is too bad, as the standard OS X print dialog makes it easy to print, fax, or save to PDF all within a single dialog),
  • In fact, all of the dialogs are non-standard. File load/save dialogs are another area where this is readily apparant.

That's just a sampling of issues off the top of my head.

The one thing they did at least do was to integrate OOo with OS X's clipboard support directly, making cut and paste between applications work as expected. But that appears to be the extent of OS X support.

I'm rather disappointed in the attitude of OOo in this regard, because OS X really should have a native port of OpenOffice. The only way OpenOffice can take on Microsoft is to not only build a better office suite, but to make sure it's available virtually everywhere in versions that integrate well with whatever operating system it's being used on.

Anyone other than me remember when StarOffice's target operating system was IBM's OS/2?

Yaz.

Re:What's the downside to using X11? (1, Flamebait)

Megane (129182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380649)

Installation of X11 after OS X is installed typically requires the user to reboot their system with their OS X install disc, and then install the X11 support atop their existing OS X installation.

Wrong. You should be able to just insert the install disc, find the appropriate .PKG files, and double-click on them to run the installer.

I guess everybody's just too busy constantly recompiling their Linux packages from source to mess with an OS X port. Must be the same problem with the MESS emulator, which hasn't been upgraded since 2003 either.

GNAA first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380372)

first post you filthy jews

and fuck you michael sims, you jew fucker

Thundercats (-1, Offtopic)

thundercatslair (809424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380375)

thunder thunder thunder thundercats HO!!!!

Version 2.0 of Open Office? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380383)

That must be at least 50 years away

My first first post.. (-1, Redundant)

chipset (639011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380386)

Well... An aqua version would be cool. But, I never used OO.org much on the Mac... so, it's sad in a way, but I get the feeling there's a lot of people like me out there..

Re:My first first post.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380404)

neooffice does it very well

macintrash (1)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380387)

*hugs his pc*

FAilLED it LOl (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380390)

LOL i don't even know what the article is but i want fp lol im a fucking idiot hahahaha

Odd (0, Flamebait)

MrP- (45616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380392)

Anyone find this a little bit odd since apple recently announced iWork?

I smell a conspiracy.. or maybe that was juts the beans i ate for lunch... hmmm

Re:Odd (-1, Offtopic)

MrP- (45616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380545)

Hey moderator, check your mouse.. you must have clicked the wheel when you meant to moderate me +Funny, it rolled to Flamebait.. no problem, im sure other moderators with a better mouse will fix the problem.

Thanks

So? Use Neooffice (5, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380394)

Neooffice [neooffice.org] is coming along nicely, it's finally in Beta. It's got an Aqua interface, Openoffice core, and doesn't require X11.

Re:So? Use Neooffice (2, Interesting)

VAXGeek (3443) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380409)

I second this, this is the project to watch for OpenOffice on MacOS. Everyone should donate to this project, they are really getting work done.

Re:So? Use Neooffice (2, Interesting)

patdabiker (710704) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380514)

NeoOffice/J, the current version, is Java based (from the wiki [sixthcrusade.com] . I'd like to see a version of OpenOffice using native Aqua and Quartz.

Re:So? Use Neooffice (3, Interesting)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380578)

I haven't tried out neoffice but I must admit MS office for mac is damn impressive. When MS is forced to omit OS-level integration and install only 4 apps, none of that other crud, it works out quite nicely. In fact, the UI hit the sweet spot, it loads fast, it's very nice, and it's not bloated at all. The install is nice and snappy too because all you gotta do is copy a folder and stick the cd key in.

I still prefer to use latex for writeups but when i need to use office, MS office for Mac is pretty damn good. There is a reason why office for mac consistently gets better reviews than its windows counterpart.

Re:So? Use Neooffice (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380582)

Well maybe that's why none of the apple developers were working on OO.o Aqua... They're all working on Neoofice!

Re:So? Use Neooffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380663)

NeoOffice/J is a fork. Nothing else...

Apple or the Apple community should support developers who are willed to contribute into an alternative on Mac OS/X and who like to spend time and work into developing a native Aqua port.
There are just few developers who worked on the port to Mac OS/X and there were just a few developers who worked on porting the native widget set to look alike Aqua in NeoOffice/J but they did a failure when defining the port as fork by licensing NeoOffice/J differently than OpenOffice.org.

Please support Ed and the others by helping them to port OpenOffice.org. Otherwise free software development on Mac OS/X won't be as complete as on Windows or on Linux and the other Unices.

Apple could help by licensing byte hinting to all applications freely that run on Mac OS/X. Unfortunately this is Apple patented technology that allows Apple to have font rendering that looks different than within X11 when using the freetype library

X11 Aqua? (4, Insightful)

ghettoboy22 (723339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380395)

FTA as a reason not to do Quartz or Aqua "X11 Will Always Look like Other Platforms: Many people deploying OpenOffice.org count the identical look and feel on all supported platforms as a major benefit. It helps them reduce training and, in many cases, implement a single multi-platform solution using OpenOffice.org as middleware (such as extendedPDF). Any native work that changes the interface would remove this as a critical selling point for OpenOffice.org for these users."

Umm, I have yet to hear one negative comment regarding Aqua interfaces (done right). This comment appears to be nothing but pure FUD. If anything, an Aqua UI would make an OOo suite EASIER to use on an OS X system.

But, again, whatever. I can't wait to get ahold of Pages. Apple seems to have finally woken up and realized they need their own (updated) office/productivity suite. OOo is great and all, but if their team seems to have the attitude "one platform, one UI" is better, I'll pass.

Besides, there's always NeoOffice/J to root for! ;)

Re:X11 Aqua? (1)

steve_l (109732) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380496)


remember, OOo is very much sun backed, the company who believe that a native java UI (Swing) is better than tight integration with the base OS.

Its interesting that the windows version doesnt have a native X11 version (obviously) and the standalone download does look different from star office. So consistency in look and feel isnt that high.

Re:X11 Aqua? (1)

lederhosen (612610) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380517)

> Umm, I have yet to hear one negative comment
> regarding Aqua interfaces (done right).

Icons on the red, green and yellow buttons are first
seen when you have the mouse pointer over them.

I belive this is *negative*.

At least there's still NeoOffice (4, Informative)

dn15 (735502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380401)

It's disappointing news, but at least there's still the NeoOffice [neooffice.org] project. Its was originally intended to be a place for experimenting with the issues involved in a native OS X port, but if the office OOo project won't be doing it hopefully NeoOffice will get more support as the primary (er, only) Aqua version.

Re:At least there's still NeoOffice (1)

dn15 (735502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380474)

er, make that "the official OOo project"

Heh (4, Informative)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380408)

Except for that in the first paragraph of the article it says that a port is being released by NeoOffice. Did anyone even rtfa?

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380434)


NeoOffice isn't part of the OpenOffice group. It's a fork, meaning it will not always been in line with the "main" OO.

The more interesting part of this article is that the OO folks stopped development on an Aqua version 2 years ago, and for 2 years have been lying to everyone that it was still going to come out. How many people donated money to the cause hoping it would speed things along only to find out they got screwed?

Re:Heh (4, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380455)

Looks like the NeoOffice guys got off their butts and decided to do it rather than stay put and wait for others to do it for them... Nice one guys... More power to your fingers. The others who were expecting it to be done for them by the OOo team should hang their heads in shame... First rule of Opensource... if you want it, then get on and do it... otherwise you could find yourself waiting forever...

Re:Heh (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380468)

No, remember it's slashdot

What is X11 vs. native vs. NeoOffice.org??? (1)

solafide (845228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380415)

Forgive my ignorance, but what is special about native? What is Aqua and Quartz? Why is x11 bad?

Thank you. Billy

Re:What is X11 vs. native vs. NeoOffice.org??? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380443)

Go away you annoying 8xx.xxx Slashdroid...

Re:What is X11 vs. native vs. NeoOffice.org??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380567)

no dude, the idea is to troll [slashdot.org] the slashdroids :>

Re:What is X11 vs. native vs. NeoOffice.org??? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380509)

native is special because it runs faster and blends in with other native apps

aqua and quartz are bad because they are made by apple

x11 is good because it is produced by the good folks over at X.org [x.org]

Re:What is X11 vs. native vs. NeoOffice.org??? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380591)

dude your homepage is scary

WiApple now getting into the office suite arena... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380416)

With Apple now getting into the office suite arena, I'm far more inclined to buy it then get the free Open Office anyways.

Yes, I'm willing to pay for superior alternatives.

Qt version (4, Interesting)

rxmd (205533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380417)

It's possible to compile OpenOffice using Qt for the interface (e.g. in OpenOffice/KDE). Since Qt is available with an Aqua frontend, why not use that?

It wouldn't provide overly tight integration with the MacOS X user interface, but it would be way better than today's X11-based OpenOffice.

Because QT looks like ass on Mac (4, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380543)

That's why. It's not native to Aqua and it shows. Mac people like polished apps, and Qt apps simply look like they've been poorly ported from Windows.

Neo Officej (1)

Cow007 (735705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380425)

I like Neo Office just fine. All the grit and power of x11 with the nice aqua wrapper and menus.

Major setback? (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380426)

I'm not too familiar with the office products for a Mac, but doesn't Microsoft offer an Office product for it?

If open source hopes to compete with Microsoft, they are going to just have to offer support for THE open office standard.

Re:Major setback? (1)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380534)

Yes, because Mac users are Microsoft's biggest customer base. Face it, most Mac users are fervently anti-MS.

Re:Major setback? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380637)

Hahaha..
Really, here we got an advertising campaign from Apple who only shows an apple computer, and was written "use Word, Excel, Powerpoint".
Really, looks at this thread: people are going to (or pretend to) pay for MSO just for the sake of not running AppleX11..

iWork Killed It (1, Insightful)

the pickle (261584) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380428)

Honestly, how many Mac users would bother with the perpetually vapourware Aqua OOo when they could get iWork? Free software (both senses) is great, but there are some times when it's worth it to pay. Once iWork adds a spreadsheet component, there won't be much reason to think about using OpenOffice stuff on a Mac.

p

Re:iWork Killed It (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380538)

I am one. Pages won't access the hundreds of files I have stored in OO.o file format.

Yep Apple could even bother to implenet import and export for an Open Document spec.

Re:iWork Killed It (1)

scottking (674292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380597)

You really think that Apple will make a Spreadsheet app for iWork?

Seems unlikely to me. If there is one place Microsoft truly dominates it's in that market. Excel is a pretty decent tool, and I can't see a lot of users switching out of it considering how much time and effort most companies have put in learning it and building with it.

But hey, I could be wrong... The "Distortion Field" is powerful. I was at Macworld, and I had to muster all my will to not run out of the Expo and buy an iPod shuffle I really have no use for.

Yes! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380430)

One more point to bring up when people ask my why on earth I'm running linux on my ibook. :-D

Seriously, that's bad. I knew that there weren't many people involved in porting it and I expected it to take longer than planed, but I never imagined it would simply be canceled.
Does somebody know what those political and licensing issues were in particultar?

Maybe cause of good work on Neooffice/J ? (2, Insightful)

markk (35828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380446)

The story isn't very informative, but since the Neooffice people seem to have a good port underway for OS/X, there isn't a lot of reason to go after pure aqua anyway. If this brings more resources to the Neooffice folks, then I don't see this as a bad thing at all.

Just a happy Neo Office user who loaded in a bunch of Excel sheets annd got a lot of work done.

And there was much... yawning (4, Informative)

UTRules (134670) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380448)

Other than being free, I don't see what OpenOffice has to offer on the OS X platform. KeyNote works great, version 2.0 looks even better, and for those who care (and I'm one of them), the file format is xml-based and completely transparent. The OS X paradigm of encapsulating applications and documents in a directory instead of some gigantic kludgy single file means you can go into a .key file and see all the images and movies you've added to the presentation, as well as a single "presentation.apxl" file that contains the presentation itself in a completely obvious xml format.

The new word processing program for the Mac announced at this year's MacWorld, called Pages, was written by the same team that wrote KeyNote and presumably uses the same open file formats.

And these programs together are $79; even less if you can get the .edu discount.

There's no Apple spreadsheet program (yet)...

AbiWord's new port (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380450)

This makes AbiWord's [abisource.com] introduction of a Cocoa port even more newsworthy, in my opinion. Yes, I know it's not as robust an offering (I'm not sure how it could be with drastically different methods of development), but being able to read documents across the three major platforms in the same native format is a huge plus for me. YMMV, though.

FREE MAC MINIS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380453)

Re:FREE MAC MINIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380515)

it's a scam
it's a scam
it's a scam

The way such free offers work is, they recruit you to spam all your friends (or slashdot as the case may be) and in the process of collecting referrals, start selling off your contact info and email address to companies. Intelligent spammers at work.

Re:FREE MAC MINIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380602)

thank you captain obvious.

WTF?! (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380478)

Ant writes "According to MacSlash's story, a recent post on OpenOffice.org said no MacOS X work has been done since 2003 and that there are no longer any plans for an Aqua version 'due to various licensing, political, and fundamental engineering difficulties'. :("

It says nothing of the kind. From the link:

Due to various licensing, political, and fundamental engineering difficulties it is likely, for the near future, that native Aqua porting work will be based off of the NeoOffice.org project and not under the direct aegis of OpenOffice.org.

and

For the last year and a half all engineering work focusing on a native Mac OS X OpenOffice.org version has been concentrated in the NeoOffice/J project, using a combination of Java and Carbon technologies to replace X11.

What it looks like is that they have recognised that NEOoffice is a valid port, and any Aqua port by themselves would be a duplication of effort. The Slashdot story blurb makes it sound like they just gave up because it was too hard. They call this journalism now?

Mod parent down! (1)

fname (199759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380608)

Mod parent down! No one has ever claimed Slashdot is any way related to journalism. Geeze, talk about building up a strawman just to knock it down. :)

(Actually, mod it up. Pretty informative.)

Setback in Establishing PowerPC as Workstation (1)

reporter (666905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380484)

The continued development of OpenOffice on Macintosh would have helped to establish Macintosh as the premier engineering workstation. Macintosh already has 2 of the 3 key ingredients: awesome processor (PowerPC) and a variant of UNIX. The Mac still needs ECC memory.

OpenOffice is one of those "business" applications that engineers need. Spreadsheets are used to draw graphs predicting the ascent of your own products and the demise of your competitor. Wordprocessors are needed to write engineering reports.

IBM has exited the PowerPC workstation market. Apple could be the de factor manufacturer of PowerPC workstations. A tieup between IBM and Apple would be a formidable force.

The workstation market is large enough for 2 major competing processors: AMD64 (and the Intel clone!) and PowerPC. (UltraSPARC is already dead.) Having two competitors is better than having monopoly (i.e. just AMD64), for competition spurs development and price reductions. The ultimate winner is the consumer.

Re:Setback in Establishing PowerPC as Workstation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380532)

Um, Microsoft Office? Also, the XServe has ECC memory. So apparently the Mac has everything it needs to be the premier engineering workstation... (personally I think it has a ways to go before it can claim that spot)

Re:Setback in Establishing PowerPC as Workstation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380558)

You seem to be unaware that the XServe is not a workstation.

Re:Setback in Establishing PowerPC as Workstation (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380647)

ECC memory? Do most PC's used as workstations in businesses have ECC memory? No, of course not. Most business takes place at sea level anyway where ECC memory is largely irrelevant given that the atmosphere has filtered out most of the cosmic radiation at that altitude.

ECC memory is only a requirement for server clusters, not workstations. Stop spreading FUD.

Re:Setback in Establishing PowerPC as Workstation (1)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380659)

Well, if you're shopping for a workstation you can probably afford MS Office, or if you don't need a spreadsheet, iWork.

Of course they won't (-1, Flamebait)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380491)

Of course they won't port it to Aqua. Otherwise Apple will sue OOo to death. Why, you ask? Just because they can.

Re:Of course they won't (1)

sebFlyte (844277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380573)

Why on earth would Apple sue OpenOffice.org to death? I don't buy the 'just because they can' argument, since it simply doesn't make business sense.

If Microsoft has so far restrained itself from suing the OOo developers (though, from what I've heard they've come close), why would Apple do it?

In my view, what Apple should have done is included support for the open standards that OOo, StarOffice (and, i'd guess NeoOffice.org, but i don't know) in iWork. I can understand why they left out spreadsheet functionality -- they realise that it is important to keep MS producing Office for the mac, as it's going to be a long time before there is serious enterprise takeup of open standards, and even those who work in macs core industries (print, design, etc.) need to have office functionality for it to make business sense.

Wow, what sensationalism (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380499)

First of all, this is NOT related to Apple announcing iWork. At all. No, there's no conspiracy.

Second, this is OLD news. Anyone who's even remotely followed OpenOffice.org Mac OS X porting work knew any potential Aqua port was on the back burner. Way on the back burner. With the stove unplugged.

Third, the X11 port will ALWAYS continue to exist.

Fourth, there is a Mac OS X graphical port, albeit via Java, in the form of NeoOffice (1 [neooffice.org] , 2 [planamesa.com] ). This project has come a LONG way since its relatively recent inception, and is an impressive work melding OpenOffice with the Mac OS X look and feel. There's more work to be done, but the latest 1.1 development release is impressive.

Fifth, there are gargantuan technical hurdles to maintaining a full Aqua port of OpenOffice without greater engineering support (perhaps from the likes of Sun, who has shown zero interest in maintaining OpenOffice for Mac OS X, much less maintaining a commercial StarOffice for Mac OS X). These are all detailed here [openoffice.org] , incidentally by one of NeoOffice's chief representatives.

So calm down. This isn't an Apple conspiracy, or the end of OpenOffice for Mac OS X. OpenOffice will continue, in X11 form AND in the likes of things such as NeoOffice. If anyone is to blame for the official OpenOffice.org Aqua port going by the wayside, frankly, it's a lot closer to Sun than anyone else.

Re:Wow, what sensationalism (0)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380547)

Are you an official Apple rep? You speak like it and perhaps you should identify yourself when astroturing.

Also, please reply directly to people's posts rather than blatently attempting to karmawhore a root level early post to the top of the page.

Re:Wow, what sensationalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380616)

Thanks mom for looking out for us...

no big loss (4, Interesting)

dankelley (573611) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380500)

Even if there were an OO port to the standard OSX gui, would it matter?

The x11 port works as well as it does on other platforms, i.e. it's great unless you want ms-office compatibilityl. The OSX port would add eye candy and a more conventional OSX "feel." I suppose it would also support fonts (which mac users have in massive numbers). But would these things be enough to make users switch? I think not.

Folks who want full ms-office compatibility will use ms-office or, perhaps, the upcoming iWork. nd folks who can live with something that is not ms-office compatible (and I stipulate that OO is not) will probably be just as happy to use the existing x11 interface.

Me? For committee work (which demands ms-office compatibility), I'll use ms-office. For presentations I'll use keynote, unless I'm sharing it and therefore using PowerPoint. For my research writing I'll use latex. For my friends I'll use a fountain pen. Hm... OO doesn't fit in anywhere :-(

I feel I just have to say it..... (1, Insightful)

iwadasn (742362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380520)


"But C is portable, why are they having portability problems when C is sooooooo portable? Thank god they didn't do it in Java, because java isn't really portable, not like C, and it'd be slow if it was in java, even slower than it's already glacial performance, and it might use lots of RAM, more than that 100 MB it uses now. It'd also slow downt he probject, because C is easier to write than Java, everybody knows C, but there aren't any CS departments that base their courses on Java, who cares about java...."

Seriously, we really need a suite of JAVA tools, like word processors, spreadsheets, web browsers, etc... No more of this "well, it works on Windows, if you want it on Linux or Mac though we'll have to sit down and write it all over again, and probably introduce a ton of bugs....." stuff.

What good is a program that depends on exact versions of 50 libraries (yeah, like I'll be able to reinstall that in 5 years and have even an outside shot at it working) and only works on a couple platforms, if you're lucky. Portability isn't an advantage, it's a requirement. If you're portable spatially (to different platforms) today, then you'll probably be portable temporally (to different time periods) tomorrow. If you can't even get it to run on most of the platforms that exist TODAY, then what makes you think it'll run on the newfangled computer that is going to come out 5 years from now? You've just given you work a lifespan of only a couple years, why would you do such a thing. I know I don't get up in the morning and say to myself "I think I'll do something excruciatingly difficult, and I'll do it in such a way that I'm guaranteed to have to come back and do it again in a couple of years".

Let the C loving rants begin. I'm sure there will be several responders who say "But C is portable and fast" utterly ignoring the ponderous quantity (OOO, Mozilla, virtually every game ever made, etc..) of evidence indicating that the difficulty faced in porting is immense, and when you make your own custom hacked windowing system to speed the process (Mozilla), it ends up being a slow RAM hog, even more so than it would be if it was written in JAVA, or another portable language to begin with.

I really just wish lots more programmers would grow up, then there'd be more good toys to play with.

Re:I feel I just have to say it..... (2, Interesting)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380595)

Not as a rebuttal, but as an inquiry:

Is there a good compiler (open source or otherwise, but for the major platforms) that will turn Java into native code without requiring a virtual machine?

I don't see why one shouldn't exist, but I haven't heard much about one.

Java indeed (2)

barryvoeten (5508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380623)

The java-nised NeoOfficeJ [planamesa.com] is the project you're talking about. It runs in darwin and works. The official openoffice requires xdarwin and runs as good as your X.

More Mac Zealotry (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380529)

Apple is running a religion like the Scientologists -- if you're not willing to pay us the extra money for your experience, you're a heretic -- they're just as much of a monopoly as M$.

"OMG it has a different UI -- it's not Mac-like -- I can't use this, I'm too much of a one-trick pony to learn anything else!"

Apple Marketing is counting on that to push their overpriced equipment.

If you're too challeneged because you can only use one UI, you deserve to be separated from your money.

Re:More Mac Zealotry (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380577)

yeah, kind of reminds me of all those dumb linux users to worried about word processors to take a shower and go outside once in a while. fucking zealots

Re:More Mac Zealotry (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380585)

Why dont you shut up and continue to live in your beige infested trailer trash life style!

Re:More Mac Zealotry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380612)

STFU, at least i have my iLife with my ibook and my imac and my ipod and my iphoto and my ishuffle and my imac mini and my imovie and my itunes so fuck off go play with your "l33t nix boxen d00d"

This is why Open Source projects fail (5, Insightful)

sakusha (441986) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380530)

You can't ignore the largest Unix vendor in the world: Apple. You're just cutting your own throat if you ignore a huge segment of the market for your software. Projects succeed when people USE the software.

good (0, Troll)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380564)

Apple is not OSS friedly. Sure, there is that whole Darwin thing, but really, they take a lot and don't give much back. If companies aren't going to give back a little for as much as they have recieved, I say this is good.

Bad for apple (1)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380579)

I'm personally not very certain the bloated Office for Mac will continue forever. Not certain at all. Each time it looks like less and less of an effort was made.

OpenOffice is fast, pretty sleek, and pretty dang compatible. If Office SBE didn't come with my XP laptop, I would have just passed on it, and used OpenOffice. It's more than enough for most users.

This makes Apple depend more on Microsoft for it's remaining business market. This isn't good. AppleWorks/i{Product} isn't good enough for corporate use.

IMHO Apple would be wise to invest a bit to bring OpenOffice to the Mac. Even if it's not quite Aqua. Something simple to install, fast, and stable.

Apple needs a business suite. OpenOffice is currently the only non-microsoft product with potential to stand up against Office. It's got the necessary features, and compatibility.

Apple would be wise to put a few employees on OpenOffice and get some builds churning. Apple needs that security.

there's always Ragtime solo.. (5, Informative)

Wire3117 (787002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380596)

http://www.ragtime-online.com/ it beats Openoffice hands down. just my ,02

no native port = bad experienc (4, Insightful)

maryjanecapri (597594) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380629)

i've been a Linux user for about 10 years and a Mac user for about 2. when i went to install OpenOffice on my ibook i had to jump through hoops i hope to never have to jump through again.

So bad where these hoops that i've pretty much tossed OO (using X11) and am using NeoOfficeJ [planamesa.com] with fairly good success.

If the OO team wants Mac users to migrate from MS Office to OO it would probably be smart to focus some time and energy on a native port. Very few people are willing to take all the necessary steps to get OO running on OS X with X11. not only that but it's slow, doesn't have nearly as nice an interface, and DRINKS DOWN the memory.

Dumb mistake in the Mac market (4, Insightful)

mmarlett (520340) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380640)

X11 Will Always Look like Other Platforms: Many people deploying OpenOffice.org count the identical look and feel on all supported platforms as a major benefit. It helps them reduce training and, in many cases, implement a single multi-platform solution using OpenOffice.org as middleware (such as extendedPDF). Any native work that changes the interface would remove this as a critical selling point for OpenOffice.org for these users.

Ask Microsoft how well Word would be accepted if it didn't follow the basic UI outlines of the Mac OS. There used to be a time when Word (and all Microsoft products) made up their own key combos, their own look and feel and were generally willy nilly -- a lot like many X11 offerings now. Word was the same on Windows (albeit 3.11) and Mac (6 or 7) but it didn't play well with the other programs.

As a tech support, do you think you'd get more questions from people about why copy and paste doesn't use the same buttons on the Mac/PC/Linux versions or do you think users are more likely to not understand this one program that doesn't act anything like the other Mac programs? How many users are going to hop from machine to machine versus program to program? And then consider that it is just a word processor. Screw it. I wouldn't want those support calls.

This has been the downfall of many otherwise fine pieces of software on the Mac OS. It's users expect consistancy.

Too bad. (4, Informative)

ThousandStars (556222) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380642)

I'm sorry (but not surprised) to hear the formal announcement. It's particularly strange to see so soon after I wrote this [slashdot.org] post on /. alluding to the technical challenges. Anyway, if you want to see the larger reasons why the port isn't going to happen, look at Patrick Luby's post here [openoffice.org] . The highlights:
2. Event handling, fonts, and printing will take up most of your time Most of the postings that I have seen about Aquafication refer seem to focus solely on getting Aqua widgets on the screen. In other words, everyone gravitates to the "sexy" engineering work. Surprisingly, this is not the hard engineering work. The really hard engineering work is getting all the tedious details of event handling, font layout and rendering, and printing implemented correct. Essentially, VCL is a full-featured cross-platform GUI framework (similar to QT, Java AWT, etc.) so you need to reimplement almost all of that framework before OOo becomes even reasonably stable. When I first NeoOffice/J, getting native windows, buttons, lines, etc. to draw on the screen was finished rather quickly. But implementation slowed to a crawl when I implemented event handling and font rendering. Why? Because the native event handling and font rendering behavior is wildly different on Mac OS X than it is on X11 but your VCL framework implementation must ensure that this different behavior is properly mapped to VCL's platform independent behavior.

I looked at OOo with the thought of helping out with the native port, but recoiled when I actually looked at ths sheer size and complexity and skill necessary. Another important point in the linked post is that moving to Aqua will take "a couple thousand hours of developer time," which I actually think is being optimistic. Unless an experienced somebody or, more likely, team of sombodies is willing to put their nose to the project 40 hours a week, like it's a full time job, it's not going to happen. And even if it does happen, it will break compatibility with the rest of OOo.

OOo, I'm sorry to see you go. At this point it might be easier to start from AbiWord [abisource.com] and move out to develop a full office suite on the Mac. The tension between being "Mac-like" and coordination with the rest of OOo -- which isn't anywhere near as mature as MSO, yet, anyway -- is too great.

Need help w/ my Mac (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11380648)

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Mac fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a G5) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Safari will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even BBEdit Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 1.6 ghz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

Mac addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Apple needs to pick up the ball (1)

sydsavage (453743) | more than 9 years ago | (#11380654)

I'm as excited as anyone else about Pages, but I think having a native office suite that is a drop in replacement for MS Office is critical to wider adoption of the Mac. It's been obvious for a while that no one is going to do it for Apple. What I feel they need to do is take the OO code, and set their best and brightest on the task of making it a seamless native Mac application.

They could even outsource it to the good guys at The Omni Group, who seem to have a handle on making beautiful Aqua applications, and have experience porting applications to the Mac platform.

At any rate, they need to be prepared for the inevitable dropping of Mac support from MS Office. Internet Explorer was just a warning shot, but now that Apple is poised to step further into Microsoft's perceived territory, retaliatory strikes are simply a matter of when, not if.

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