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OpenOffice 2.0 Criticized on Use of Java

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the right-tool-vs-right-tool dept.

Java 805

karvind writes "Yahoo is running a story on how OpenOffice 2.0 Faces Opposition over Its Use of Java. According the article: "The problem, according to some free software voices, is that OO.o relies too much on Sun Microsystems Inc.'s proprietary Java programming language in an open-source project. In particular, free software advocates are objecting to the use of Sun specific Java code for such OO.o 2.0 features as the new, Microsoft Access-like database management program, Base and Writer's (OO.o's word processor) document wizards." Linus Torvalds also moved to an open-source solution for software configuration management system."

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It's not GPL'ed either! (3, Insightful)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501480)

It's here, it's (basically) free. Why not use it?

Also, who is Linus Trolvalds?

Re:It's not GPL'ed either! (5, Insightful)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501513)

The Stallman viewpoint is here under The Java Trap. [newsforge.com] Interesting.

While I agree with him on his, "Everyone needs to be slowly dragged out of the not-free-as-in-beer arena, one finds it tough to imagine that rewriting these basic data-interaction Java classes is going to be easy to get done. The Access mirroring probably requires extensive use of this kind of API, and err.... Not the most glamorous of tasks... Since SUN's stuff is currently Free- As-In-Parking, one might think that getting people to do the redevelopment might be tough to motivate until really necessary.

A lot of parallels between this situation and the BitKeeper one, but rather than it being a third party tool it's a completely integrated API. One might think that this could be a problem in the future larger than the BitKeeper problem, were Sun to take a completely weird turn on things.... Suddenly needing to mirror an API's functionality - especially one as big as the entirety of the JVM's data-processing infrastructure.

So it seems Stallman has a very good point here. Can you imagine trying to, say, re-implement DirectX if Microsoft suddenly wasn't going to let you code using it? I don't know if this is a comparable task, but it's the only thing I can think of in my terms....

Re:It's not GPL'ed either! (5, Insightful)

yog (19073) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501720)

It's like saying that Linus is going to patent Linux and stop everyone from using it for free. That's simply not going to happen. I think we're pretty safe in going with Java, certainly safer and more cross-platform-compatible than the C#/DOTNET thing Microsoft is foisting on the world.

So Java's not open source; who cares. Out in the real world, no one cares whether Java is open source or not. Anyone can quickly obtain it with a couple of mouse clicks. If it enhances the functionality of OOo then why not use it?

The only worrisome thing is if Microsoft were to buy Sun and start slowly tightening the screws on Java. That would be awful and disastrous, but it's highly unlikely to occur given past history of anti-trust suits and such.

Now, what I'm really keen on is a version of OOo for PalmOS. That would be sweet. Why doesn't Sun cook that up while they're at it. Of course then they'll have to create a JVM for PalmOS as well. Also, we'll need Ghostscript, ghostview, xpdf, and a few other goodies to round out the Palm offerings. But with 600Mh processors, gigabyte-plus storage, and larger RAM, how hard can all this be to achieve?

Re:It's not GPL'ed either! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501540)

Also, who is Linus Trolvalds?

Probably some Linux zealot that likes to troll message boards.

Re:It's not GPL'ed either! (1)

Janitha (817744) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501544)

Haha, I think its a spelling mistake.. "Linus Torvalds"

Re:It's not GPL'ed either! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501560)



Captain Obvious to the rescue!!!

Re:It's not GPL'ed either! (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501623)

Speaking as Captain Obvious, I;d like to say, Well played sir!! You're response to the GPP could have been more... obvious? Hehehe. I love to give a good rugburn. ;P

Re:It's not GPL'ed either! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501562)

If you're going to be a spelling Nazi, you might not want to make a similar mistake yourself...

Reviewer wants quality software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501572)

I'm amazed that the reviewer wants quality software (Open Office) but does not want to base it on quality software development tools/languages.

The solution is for IBM and others to create a BSD licensed java or C# tools + vm so that there are no licensing issues.

Re:It's not GPL'ed either! (2, Funny)

pg110404 (836120) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501582)

Also, who is Linus Trolvalds?

He's an imposter! A bad one at that. This has got to be microsoft FUD designed to scare people away from free solutions and back to their lovely products......(Microsoft Access-like database management program?)

Don't believe any of it. MS fud machine must have been freshly greased just for this one.

AGHHHHHHHH! WHERE'S MY TINFOIL HAT?????

Re:It's not GPL'ed either! (0)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501602)

Windows is there and basically free, and many people use it. But for open source people that's not enough. Likewise, for strict open source people (Debian) OOo is not free enough, because it depends on something that is under a very non-free license

Re:It's not GPL'ed either! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501706)

You misread, they are talking about Linus Trovalds, Not Linus Trolvalds.

Maybe, they would prefer to wait (3, Insightful)

willCode4Beer.com (783783) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501713)

Maybe they think that OOo 2.0 will get released too soon and would prefer to wait a few years for the developers to port, and test the code.

There's HypersonicSQL, that would have to be removed from its dev team, forked, and ported to a non java language. Then all of the code that uses it. I'm sure there's lots of other stuff.
So, we could add a year or more to the release and get the exact same features with the same performance, the same license (OOo license), and more bugs.

Yes, we could wait and get nothing except binaries that were made from source that was written in a language that has a different license.

Or maybe the crybabies, who think this is such a big deal, could take the open source java source code and port it too some other language (C#?) of their choosing and thank the original developers for devoting their time. I notice that Richard Stallman is calling for volunteers instead of just doing it. Typical.

Bill Gates has got to love this. The open source community builds a product to compete against his products. Then instead of unifying to make the project better, they split up to make a competing copy of the competing product. And this is over a language that there are open source tools to deal with.

Or, we could all give a word of thanks to the developers who dedicated so much time so that we all may benefit. Even MSOffice users will benefit as MS improves their product and lowers their prices to cope with new competition.

If you'll pardon my French (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501483)

Hey ASSHOLES, the current Java source code can be downloaded here [sun.com] , and the latest development version can be downloaded here [java.net] . And if that's not enough for you, your precious Kaffe [kaffe.org] , gcj [gnu.org] , GNU Classpath [gnu.org] , and other "Open Source" projects are working on reimplementing the JVM. I don't particularly care if you like Java or not, but I've had enough of this bullshit about Java being open or not. It's a God damn language/platform with thousands of successful Open Source projects under it, and has been opened up six ways to sunday. Comparing the issue to Linus's predicament is disingenuous at best, is not outright dishonest!

Not to mention that OpenOffice is Sun's baby. They PAID MONEY FOR IT. (I know that's a foreign concept here, since the entire fraking world is supposed to be FREE for the fraking taking.) If you don't like the direction OpenOffice has taken, then go play with KOffice. Oh wait, you alreay pissed them off too. Is there anyone you people won't make an enemy of in your Quixotic quests of stupidity?

Apologies for the abrasiveness of this post, but crap like this deserves it. You've been given a gift and all you can do is look it in the mouth.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501524)

A-FUCKING-MEN

Re:If you'll pardon my French (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501532)

StarOffice is Suns baby, OpenOffice maybe contributed by Sun but it was handed over from them long ago. Java is proprietry, thats a problem waiting to happen possibly, thats the issue. What if we find an issue with Java that blocks something on OO? We are dependant on Sun to fix it.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (1, Insightful)

FriedTurkey (761642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501647)


What if we find an issue with Java that blocks something on OO?

What if we find that using Java causes Cancer?

What if we find out that using Java will make you sterile?

What if we find out there is secret code to control your brain and make you buy really expensive Solaris servers?

What if we find that Java actually has code to format you hard drive if you press up, down, left, right, "A", "B", "Select", and then "Start"?

Re:If you'll pardon my French (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501673)

Java coffee does cause cancer of the stomach if taken in large amounts for long periods of time.

Solution, dont use as much Java :D

Nice evasion of the issue there.

Couldn't have said it better myself. (2, Interesting)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501543)

Agreed. Can't we stick with anti-FUD stories here?
And I think you're french is quite good.

Re:Couldn't have said it better myself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501651)

But "you're" English isn't, jackass! Repeat after me: "You're" stands for "you are", "your" means "belonging to you".

Re:Couldn't have said it better myself. (1, Funny)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501668)

Meanwhile, your English is piss-poor.

-Jesse

Re:If you'll pardon my French (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501552)

Amen my brother. It's silly when fanatics and obsessives get in the way of technology.

I think their real problem is it's not GPL'd. I fucking HATE that virus of a shitty licensing scheme.

So in the real world, Java is more free than GCC or many other GPL'd pieces of...code.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501557)

thank you for posting my exact thoughts

Re:If you'll pardon my French (2, Insightful)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501567)

Agreed. I am not a fan developing in Java myself, but appreciate the technology, being both a windows (work) and linux (home) user. People seem to complain about a language that makes alot of previously hard things easy.


I have lots of issues with java myself (antiquated JVMs on old platforms) and the speed of a heavy gui app written in java, however, there are tons of GREAT oss projects written in java. And i think thats great.

To me, the fact that sun paid for OO.o seems irrelevant. To me its just another OSS project that uses java. So what?

Re:If you'll pardon my French (2, Informative)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501577)

1. It's under a very restrictive license. The license isn't so restrictive by the standards of applications or operating systems, but by the standards of languages it's very strict.

2. RTFA, the major problem is that they're using undocumented sun-only features, almost as if they're deliberately breaking it on Kaffe etc.

I do leave it alone and use KOffice, and I try and encourage others to do the same. One way to do so is tell people about the problems with OpenOffice. Because make no mistake, these are problems.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501666)

"I do leave it alone and use KOffice, and I try and encourage others to do the same"

How's that effort going?

Yeah, thought so...

Re:If you'll pardon my French (0, Flamebait)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501712)

1. It's under a very restrictive license. The license isn't so restrictive by the standards of applications or operating systems, but by the standards of languages it's very strict.

Yeah. Whatever. I don't see IBM giving out their Smalltalk compiler for others to fork.

Java is just as open as any other language, with the exception that the OSS fanatics can't seem to hire sufficient expertise to replicate a high-quality JVM. That's not Sun's problem.

2. RTFA, the major problem is that they're using undocumented sun-only features, almost as if they're deliberately breaking it on Kaffe etc.

You show me where that's stated, and I'll show you a pack of lies.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (4, Insightful)

radish (98371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501723)

RTFA, the major problem is that they're using undocumented sun-only features, almost as if they're deliberately breaking it on Kaffe etc

I did RTFA, and it mentions NOTHING about "undocumented sun-only features". It DOES mention that there were problems running it on GCJ, because GCJ doesn't yet support the full spec. Well, I'm sorry, but that's a problem for GCJ not Sun. Stallman even says as much in his document "The Java Trap" - he uses the words "sun only feature" to mean things which the free implementations don't yet support.

Really - there's no conspiracy here. The only significant stuff that the source isn't available for from Sun is the JVM itself and stuff under sun.* packages. The JVM is a free spec which others are welcome to implement (s.g. GCJ etc al), and no app in it's right mind should be directly calling sun.*, for obvious reasons. If you find code in OO which does, then maybe there will be cause for complaint.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501598)

Couldn't have said better myself, although I would have used much better swear words.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501631)

My kingdom for mod points for you.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (3, Insightful)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501655)

Double agreed. The 1.x versions of OO use Blackdown IIRC? *BLACKDOWN SUCKS*. Yes its good to have an open source java platform. Is it good that its an order og magnitude slower than Suns java? *NO*. Open Office 1 was soo slow it was *unusable* on my athlon 1700 w/ 512mb. The OO 2 beta is downright *speedy* on the same system.

End of story. Would it be nice if it was based on an open source stuff? Yes. Is the open source stuff up to par in this case? no.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (3, Interesting)

natrius (642724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501657)

From the article:
The most visible evidence of that is that the FSF (Free Software Foundation) is "is looking for volunteers to maintain a version of OpenOffice that doesn't require a non-free Java platform."
This isn't about having something against Java as a language or being mad at Sun for implementing new features in Java. I think they should use whichever tools allow them to work most efficiently. All this is about is ensuring that all these new features can be utilized without Sun's JVM, since most distros can't ship it. This means people have to provide patches that deal with the incompleteness of the free JVMs. If the patches don't make it upstream, someone still needs to maintain them.

There's nothing wrong with wanting a completely free software stack, and I think there's generally less animosity out there than people are making it seem.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501684)

trolling?
It doesn't matter that java is free beer or that Sun had to pay for OO.org. You are missing the point. The complaints are because it will be detrimental to the OO.org progress to use a dependency on a non-free (as in speech) application. Its use in OO.org makes it impossible to redistribute a fully functional officesuite since java cannot be freely distributed. And kaffe and gcj cannot (yet) handle all the new java stuff in OO.org, although projects are underway to address this. In addition, it's possible that OO.org will only partly work on platforms for which no complient java exists (Currently Sun as no 1.4.x jre for my ibook running linux, although perhaps OO.org will run using IBM's jre).

I think the people who are complaining are doing a good thing. It is not productive at all to have such dependencies on a closed language, its much worse as what linus did. You at least didn't need to install bitkeeper to use all the features of your kernel.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (4, Insightful)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501696)


The problem is not that it uses Java, the problem is that it uses a bunch of classes that in the com.sun hierarchy - classes that are NOT part of the standard Java library, and that bind it explicitely to Sun's proprietary (source code available does not make it Free - many people have the source code for Windows) JVM. The developers have made zero effort to try to make it possible for Kaffe, GCJ, or the upcoming Harmony to be used for OpenOffice.

And yes, this is their right. If they wanted to drop everything but the Windows version, that would be their right too. If they wanted to stop development all together, or decide that future versions would be entirely proprietary, that would be their right too.

But you know what, it is perfectly reasonable to try to bring up that this is a glaring problem in the presentation of OpenOffice as a non-prorietary open office suite. The people who do so are not whining, or demanding, and they aren't being rude ASSHOLES (that would be you). They are simply putting light on a rather crucial issue.

Re:If you'll pardon my French (1)

narsiman (67024) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501724)

Good god Batman. You are on a roll today. Crossed your humpday too early. BTW - amen to your comments.

Covered before (2, Interesting)

Quixote (154172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501485)

As I pointed out to the editors (OK, laugh at that), this has been covered before [slashdot.org] . Though, I don't understand the need to throw in Linus's name. Maybe that's to rile up the crowd? :-)

Re:Covered before (4, Insightful)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501757)

We need the ability to moderate the articles themselves. Myself, I'd give the article a -1, Redundant (covered before, as you mention), -1, Troll (for trying to get people unnecessarily spun up), and -1, Flamebait (for name dropping Linus in a conversation that has nothing to do with him).

Linus? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501491)

ROFL. You make me laugh for choosing Linus moving to an OSS software configuration mangement system. Of all examples you choose that. Just hillarious.

foist powst (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501492)

he he he he

Use of Java (2, Insightful)

Zardus (464755) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501498)

Its a programming language... As long as the code is open source, then why not use it?

At a future point in time, there could very well be complete open source java implementations. But even if there aren't, the code is still open source.

Re:Use of Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501565)

Apache Java, the spec is still proprietry, what if somebody doesnt like what sun includes and Apache doesnt support a feature, we have fragmented the Java runtimes.

Re:Use of Java (5, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501645)

Because it depends on undocumented "features" that are only available in the sun JRE, which is THE PROBLEM THE ARTICLE IS ABOUT. Wasn't this exactly what sun (quite rightly) criticised MS for doing with java?

Re:Use of Java (4, Informative)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501759)

Its a programming language... As long as the code is open source, then why not use it?

It doesn't do any good to have open source software if it requires a closed source VM to run. You're still at the mercy of whoever controls the VM. If they decide to pull your license (as Sun did to FreeBSD [slashdot.org] ) then you're no longer allowed to use your own software. You can't build Free Software on a non-Free foundation.

Why mention Linus? (-1, Redundant)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501503)

and misspell his name...

Please ignore that last sentence (2, Insightful)

frankie (91710) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501504)

Let's try and keep this discussion focused on Sun, Java, and OO.org, but not the Bitkeeper flamewar, mmmkay?

Umm... (4, Insightful)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501508)

Really, what the heck does the kernel development move have to do with this? Linus didn't move off of BK because it was non-free, it's because the no-charge use license was revoked by BM.

If someone could explain how this relates to OO.o's use of Java, I'd appreciate it :P Otherwise I'll just assume the submitter is trying to be a little more sensational about things.

Re:Umm... (2, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501559)

Well it is pretty damn simple really, Sun can do the same and pull free java any time it wants. Depending on non free sofware places you in a vulnerable position that is totally unecessary.

Re:Umm... (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501637)

"Depending on non free sofware places you in a vulnerable position that is totally unecessary."

And the sky might fall, but I'll be sitting around a pool drinking a beer while you hole up in a bunker. Please... java cannot be pulled without a HUGE industry lashback.

Re:Umm... (5, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501581)

" Really, what the heck does the kernel development move have to do with this?"

Nothing. Someone hates Java for reason X, and is throwing a fit like a 2 year old.

I agree...sort of. (4, Insightful)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501509)

Java works, and works well. However, I can see the point about OpenOffice being totally *free.* However, Since OpenOffice is essentially StarOffice, which, if I am not mistaken, comes from SUN, why not use it?

Re:I agree...sort of. (1)

j0e_average (611151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501612)

Totally agree...in fact, if it weren't for SUN releasing so much of the Star Office code, would Open Office be anywhere near where it is today.

"Don't bite the hand that feeds"... or is it "No good deed ever goes unpunished"?

Re:I agree...sort of. (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501619)

I recon a better reason to complain is the slow as shit load times and the clunky non responsive ui... I mean, that's already a gripe about OOo - the sloppy load times.

I know Java has come a long way since Swing, but I still find stuff like Netbeans and Zend PHP Studio still kinda sluggish and resource intensive. That's JMO of course...

Re:I agree...sort of. (2, Insightful)

Soko (17987) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501749)

It's a matter of control.

Sun still ultimately controls Java, and how Java is licensed. They also have a history of viewing colleagues _solely_ as competitors - something to be destroyed, not a person to share ideas with. This makes some in the OSS community nervous, since we can't guarantee that any Java components will remain Free Software in perpetuity.

Sun may actually want to play nice with the OSS community (I'm beginning to think that they do, but I'm still not sure), but I think they have a problem with the fact that they are joining the community, it's no longer the community joining them. Ergo, they need to play by the communities rules until such a time as they've earned a respected place in that community, and can set directions and agendas.

It isn't 1999 any more.

Soko

Don't like it? Fork it! (2, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501512)

The objections seem to be emanating from rms.

While some OO.o supporters claim that the opposition is primarily the result of misinformed free-software zealots, Microsoft, or astroturfing (the use of paid shills to create the impression of a popular movement) by OO.o opponents, there does seem to be some concrete opposition to OO.o by the free software community.

The most visible evidence of that is that the FSF (Free Software Foundation) is "is looking for volunteers to maintain a version of OpenOffice that doesn't require a non-free Java platform."

Volunteers to lead this project are requested to contact the FSF's founder, Richard M. Stallman

Re:Don't like it? Fork it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501550)

How is forking an implementation of Java going to make Java the Language less proprietary?

Re:Don't like it? Fork it! (1)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501605)

Volunteers to lead this project are requested to contact the FSF's founder, Richard M. Stallman

Does this mean I'd have to, like... TALK to him?

Nevermind then.

Re:Don't like it? Fork it! (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501707)

Or join KOffice. It works, it performs better, the codebase is smaller and arguably friendlier, it's (at least from the CVS version, and it will be in the next release) using the same open format, and it's been going longer than OOo. But it could always use more developers.

Who are these people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501528)

Still others have suggested that instead of using an open-source Java, these components be rewritten in an entirely different language such as Ruby or Python.

Did they just look at every Java story on Slashdot as a source?

Critics need to get a life (0, Redundant)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501531)

Having Open Office not contain Java is like buying a car without tires.

Sure, people could buy cars without tires and then hunt around for the tires, and then put them on and load balance them.

But not including tires - inflated and properly fitted ones - in the basic car package - is insane.

It's like cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. MJ tried that and now he's on trial down in SoCal ...

Re:Critics need to get a life (1)

Gaewyn L Knight (16566) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501653)

But that is just the point... They can't distribute java WITH the installer... so hence people do have to hunt around and find the tires. If they happen to already have a set (a prior JVM) it just better be new enough... or you start the hunt again.

If Sun would allow distribution of the JVM with OOo I think most of the complaints would disappear...

Re:Critics need to get a life (0)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501732)

Yeah. Because it's completely impossible to write an office suite that isn't in java, and completely impossible to have an office suite work without java. MS Office must just be a figment of our collective imagination, ditto for every other office suite ever. Of course

SHUT UP (0, Flamebait)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501538)

Wah, it uses Java. Its portable and its available in source form. Would you rather they use .net?

Re:SHUT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501604)

Yes, its ISO standard and totally open unlike Sun Java which is like VB, proprietry and closed. VB6 is dead, what happens if Java dies, its not open, nobody can legally take it over. Standards are maintained independantly like .Net, feel free to submit proposals to the ISO commitee for changes, you can, un cant for Java.

Code is still open, though, right? (2, Informative)

Stibidor (874526) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501545)

I admittedly don't know much about OpenOffice, but it seems to me that the Java source code would at least be open, right? As long as the source code is still available (whether it's written in Java or Pascal), what's the big deal? If you don't like Java just because the implementation is proprietary, you could always find the offensive Java code and port it to something you like more. Am I way off here?

GNU Freaks - Linux Worst Nightmare (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501549)

Bill Gates only dreams of being able to hold back Linux the way the GNU crazies are.

SCO??? Kidstuff compared to the un-showered, bearded GNU freaks are doing to the rise of Linux.

How open it is doesn't matter to me... (2, Interesting)

AmazingRuss (555076) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501553)

...but that abysmal load time makes me willing to pay $130 for MS office. OO loads up like...well...a big fat Java app.

Stupid... (2, Insightful)

jwthompson2 (749521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501563)

Stupid, stupid, stupid...Free Software people will keep grumbling as long as we aren't building everything from a completely "Free as in Free-as-long-as-you-play-by-OUR-rules" standpoint. And what the hell is that about Linus, he rolled his own solution because he needed to do more than any of the available FOSS solutions could, but what bearing that has on OOo is beyond me....


This is nonsense, there are some reasons, most highly contentious, not to rely heavily on Java but this argument isn't one of them...


Idiots!

Sun is dogfooding (4, Insightful)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501569)

Sun buys StarOffice, and spins up a free version of it for the "community." They decide to use some of their own technology (Java) in this program. So what?

Sun controls OpenOffice/StarOffice, and Sun controls Java. Both have been opened more than your typical commercial holding. What's the problem?

Re:Sun is dogfooding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501633)

Sun doesnt Own OpenOffice but they do contribute ALOT but they dont OWN it.

Cant OO stick OpenOffice on Sourceforge or would Sun not allow that?

please! where is the beef? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501576)

oh please, as much as i loathe java,
for an open source project it doesn't matter, surely?
for free software, on the other hand i see quote the fuss.

and if it bothers people FIX IT!!!!!!!!
its open source
stick your oar in.
if the y dont like that
fork!
stop moaning!

i dont care so i wont work on it!
[it uses java cause sun donated code from taheir star office surley there will ahve been in house java glue and code as theat is what they like to use.]

actually i will have a look!
and see what needs doing..

FYI i am one of those gpl free 'zealots'

when it comes to the gpl and free software i have unpopular views according to you nutty 'libertarians' on slashdot.
but when it comes to open source projects that are quite popular
i dont care what they do as long as it doesn't
A/ damage the community on a wider scale
and
B/the developers involved are happy.

so i dont see the beef

Java = write once, run everywhere = good for OOo (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501594)

well, assuming that Java _does_ run everywhere, which of course, we know it doesn't. Or doesn't run _well_... like on HP-UX.
But anyway...
What better language should they pick? VB? csh? Perl? Python? Mono? Java has relatively point-n-click installers for many popular OSes, has a remarkable amount of functionality, and will smooth their development wrinkles because of its universality. Remember, this is a desktop app, it needs to largely 'just work' from an installation perspective, you don't want Joe Windows User going to ActiveState and getting some Perl package, or needing some cygwin-esque environment to run Python or something else.

Linus Trovalds (1)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501614)

Linus Trovalds

Is that Linus's evil twin? Does he code closed source for Microsoft? ;)

Or, is he related to Linus Trollvalds....

(Watch, that nick will be a slashdot ID in less than an hour...)

Re:Linus Trovalds (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501648)

The whole article submission is a troll. Note the misspelling of Linus' name. Note the unnecessary, but flame-fest inducing, mention of BK....

Re:Linus Trovalds (1)

MrWim (760798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501729)

Too slow. Linus Trollvalds (173807) [slashdot.org]

Boycott open source windows software!! (same logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501616)

nuff said.

Straining at GNats (2, Interesting)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501621)

Whether OO.o is built using a Free language or just a free language is not important to me. The source code of the suite (in the [Ff]ree language) is available.

Having the source is all I really care about. Would it be better if Sun GPLd Java? Maybe. Would it be better if OO.o were developed using only Free tools? Maybe.

Would any of that change my ability, in the real world, to use Open Office instead of MS Office? Probably not.

Clearly the.... (1)

KingBahamut (615285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501629)

Trovalds comment doesnt validate the argument in anyway. Im really uncertain why it was put in there. Stupid Journalists, thats why.

Open is open regardless of the code used to do it in my opinion.

Technical Merits of Java (3, Insightful)

JBrow (668684) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501638)

According the article: "The problem, according to some free software voices..."
Stop right there. Name names that carry some weight, please. This is almost as bad as "Unidentified sources within the White House..." After drilling down to the cited NewsForge article http://software.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=05/03 /22/204244 [newsforge.com] , we get to the the real reasons. Java is very powerful, albeit coming from Sun and not from the OSS community. Until the OSS community can deliver, can anyone provide an alternate to using Sun's Java?

java on a free distro CD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501652)

wouldnt it solve the problem if sun modified their current java licensing to allow distribution maintainers to package java on their free iso's? I think suse is doing this now, also OO.o2 (beta) in their 9.3 release. How is novell accomplishing this anyway? I think this would shut all up but rms and the 2 other debian users who wont add "non-free" sources to their repositories.

Runs fine, right? (1)

SeanDuggan (732224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501662)

Maybe I'm missing the point, but the software runs fine, right? And the basic idea of the code probably comes through. Essentially the only issue I see here is that some people won't be able to compile the code. *shrug* That's always the risk, particularly if you get people coding with modified compilers and the like.

OO (2, Insightful)

fishfish (139505) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501665)

All I know is that OO keeps getting better and faster, that it isn't costly like MS office, doesn't have a closed file format like MS office and that it has cross-platform versions. Sounds like the right stuff to me.

Fi8?st (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501669)

Correct me on Java please (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501674)

This is how I understand the current issues surrounding Java:

Java is a free language just like Adobe's PDF product is.

The only non free issue surrounding Java is SUN's implementation...which is patented. Right?

That's why we have projects like Kaffe, ClassPath, GCJ and the newly announced Harmony from the Apache group.

If this is the case, then I do not see any problem. We have software like Flash that run on Linux and we've had no problems whatsoever.

java == mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501689)

Perls many shortcomings were once again exposed yesterday on Slashdot.
Now it's time to review Java's shortcomings:
1) It's slow [debian.org]
2) It's a once overhyped relic of the 90s that's now considered outright violation of usability standards and it's use is deprecated outside of "back end" database work.
3) Sun. ('nuff said)

[ yeah, this a troll, but's it is the truth. try and handle it for once and respond critically without pounding on the mod button ]

And what would be better? (5, Interesting)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501690)

Python which is slow, has a much smaller user base and far less consistent and well-documented standard library?

Perl whose readability for many coders is next to nothing?

C++ because we all know that more buffer overflows and random craziness is what OpenOffice needs to compete with Microsoft Office?

C# since 93-95% of the desktop users out there use Windows, why bother with the minority of others? (I actually quite like C# and am hopeful about Mono)

Ruby because a language that most coders have never even seen before is clearly the best way for a fresh start?

Objective-C because when Steve Jobs takes over the world, we'll need to be on his good side?

C, since objects really are overrated for anything that normal developers might want to maintain?

So seriously, of all of the major language choices, which would be better?

Pronounciation (0, Offtopic)

kjeldor (146944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501695)

"Hello, this is Linus Torvalds, and I pronounce Torvalds as Trovalds!"

An interesting fact (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501697)

Sun IS Openoffice.
All but 4 of the main openoffice developers are paid by them.
Maybe paying some programmers would help much more for the direction of openoffice than complaining...

KOffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501700)

Most people find KOffice better/simpler then OOo or MS Office, still problem is import of .xls and .doc. Now, that both has same format (OASIS) there should be theoretically easy to moev MS-import component from OOo to KOffice. But it is only theory, in practice, people I talked to find even building OOo nightmare, let alone source-tree (dis)organisation. Moving this component to KOffice would make Linux part of OOo obsolete for 90% of people, including me.

Jesus people, get a grip (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501708)

Believe it or not, but OO2 relying so heavily on Java is a problem, as Java is not free software.

Now all the name calling that is currently going on here will not change this simple fact and all this "I don't give a f*** as long as it works" won't change the fact that java not being free software poses a problem.

Look for example at Debian, or Fedora, or Ubuntu, they all ship without Java because of licensing problems. Having one of the most important apps for desktop linux rely heavily on Java sure poses a problem for these distributions and their users.

That said, I get the feeling that something good will eventually come off this situation, as said distributions (and especiall RedHat) are now working even harder on providing a true free Java environment and make OO2 run with it.

As someone who prefers free software and someone who runs linux on non-x86 (ppc, therefor no current Java + firefox plugin available) I can only welcome this development.

OOo and java (1)

Eternal_Flame (822984) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501711)

I personally am against the rising use of Java in OOo, but the 2.0 beta is just too good to argue with (you can still compile OOo without Java support anyway if it bugs you that much).
The real dispute here is, "Should OOo push for faster development or to be completely FOSS?'. Sun, who basically paid for the whole project, should have the right to steer it in the direction of their own language if they please to do so. However, to maintain the project as FOSS, no essential parts of it should be JDK-specific.

Yes it's true, OpenOffice.org has some Sun biases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501714)

OpenOffice.org is definately biased towards Sun. For example, there's good support for Solaris, but Mac support is... really horrible. Now there's Java being added. And it's not 100% pure Java either. When using Java, the only non-"pure" Java that could be acceptable are IBM's Java SWT widgets that make extensive use of JNI methods. It seems like Java is being tacked on because it's technology that Sun wants to promote rather than because it serves as an elegant solution to a particular problem.

It would be nice if the Open Source community start to steer away from OOO right about now. It has too much influence by Sun, and the software is already a bloated mess anyway. (Although I've seen worse Office applications, believe it or not.)

oh purlease... (1)

VirtualUK (121855) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501715)

It might not be "free" but its free (as in beer) and its the only serious competitor to M$ Office. You do the math, free vs $$$....sure, you can write it in crayon as long as its performs and its free! ;)

I'm glad it's using Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501716)

And here's why: Redhat is spending real money, paying a developer full-time to fix gcj enough so that OOo can use gcj instead of the Sun JRE. So OOo's Java commitment is resulting in real money being spent to improve gcj, a completely open-source GPLed JRE. That's great! The more committed OOo is to Java, the better! Java is easier for more developers to work with and it results in more stable applications. The more OOo transitions to Java the more stable and portable the end result is going to be, and also the better gcj will be.

Just because Sun isn't doing the right thing doesn't mean we should avoid Java. Au contraire, we should embrace Java for the wonderful platform that it is, and fix our open-source implementations to be competitive (if possible).

I predict... (2, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501725)

Since all responses so far have been very reasonable ("if you think it is a problem, do your own version then and don't bash Sun"), I predict the trolls will try to change the discussion to "I hate Java and it sucks compared to my favourite language X", or "Java vs Mono", with inflammatory posts.

Don't take the bait.

I want I want I want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501735)

Criticise away.

Unless you're actually paying money for the product, or contributing to its development then I'm not quite sure why the developers should listen to anyone. It's theur project. they can do what they want.

I gather they'll even let other people fork it and change it if they don't like it. Seems like this is good for everyone.

OO is slow, why would they want to COUNT on JAVA? (1)

dangermen (248354) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501746)

1. OO is slow, why would they want to COUNT on JAVA?
2. Explain why I am going to use this when the current release does not require Java?

BFD ... WTF do I care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12501753)

Their choice of language matters not. The product stinks. Its for people too cheap, or too stupid to get a good price on MSFT's Office.

I've tried pen Office on Fedora and a 2.8GHz Dell. It sucks because:
-- its slow
-- the interfaces are different ---> WTF should I have to accomodate myself to the program. This is bassackwards. You can't create a spreadsheet and make a chart without digging into help files because the interface is different than the tool its trying to replace .... if you still think Open Office will displace Office .... then you've just taken a bite from Sun's turd in a creampuff.

Scott & his boy toy Jonathan can crow about how great it is .... but they haven't done their homework. Like Gates or hate Gates, they own the office application market. Its a really a pity noone else is trying, in ways that count, to displace Gates. Shame on SUNW for not working smarter.

If it makes it more portable... (1)

mr_zorg (259994) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501763)

If it makes it more portable, I say go for it. As long as there's a JVM available for my platform, I don't care...

This doesn't sound like a problem. (4, Insightful)

lpangelrob2 (721920) | more than 9 years ago | (#12501768)

But the article doesn't cite a specific example.

-- from the article --

Still others have suggested that instead of using an open-source Java, these components be rewritten in an entirely different language such as Ruby or Python.

However, some programmers have just gone ahead and found fixes for OO.o, which enables it to run with GCJ.

Caolán McNamara, a programmer with Red Hat who specializes in word processing, has created one such set of fixes.

A source at Sun said, "OO.o 2 works OK with GCJ" and that "Red Hat has been tremendously helpful in the effort to make that so, filing bug reports etc."

In addition, while OO.o will run without a JVM (Java Virtual Machine), it will use one if it's available, and its performance has been found to be much better if Sun's 5.0 JVM is used.

But, as Scott Carr, OO.o's quality assurance project co-lead pointed out, "OO.o will run perfectly well without any JVM, but if there is a JVM then it has to do checks to make sure what features are supported in the JVM as well as run various functions. These are only run in the presence of a JVM."

-- end FTA --

So... if there is a JVM, [something] runs better/faster than if there wasn't. For starters, the app works without Java. Secondly, it's been fixed to compile with an open-source Java compiler. Thirdly, what kind of code runs this way? The article didn't specify.

How odd.

Regardless, this is still a big deal about nothing, as per usual.

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