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At Long Last, NeoOffice/J 1.1 Released

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the now-you-may-take-a-vacation dept.

Software 336

VValdo writes "After nearly five years of development, NeoOffice/J has made it to its first stable release. NeoOffice/J 1.1 is a Mac OS X-integrated office suite based on OpenOffice.org 1.1.4 that includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and drawing applications. Key Macintosh features include a standard Mac OS X installer, a native Aqua menu bar, use of the native printing system, full clipboard support, drag-and-drop, Mac "command" key shortcuts, mouse scrolling, integration with major Mac email clients and native support for Mac fonts. The full announcement is here."

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336 comments

/.ed already (-1, Offtopic)

udderly (890305) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879788)

Well, that lasted...lets's see...about 30 seconds.

Re:/.ed already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879816)

Subscribers have been looking at that storuy for awhile - it lasted a lot longer than 30 seconds.

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879789)

First Post

all kidding aside... (-1, Offtopic)

udderly (890305) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879803)

> This document contains no data

All kidding aside, when people are making a major announcement of this sort and doing a press release, why don't they make sure that they have the bandwidth and server capacity to handle the traffic?

That's nice, but... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879806)

does it run on Linux?

Re:That's nice, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879898)

Some assorted other obligitory (Apple) posts/trolls:

Why is this "news"?

Why is this on the front page of Slashdot??

Must be a slow news day.

Come on editors, 163 Apple posts in one day? Is Steve Jobs paying for your kids' college tuition??

What's with the J? (0, Redundant)

ziggamon2.0 (796017) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879809)

What's with the J? Can anyone explain?

Re:What's with the J? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879825)

J stands for Java.

Re:What's with the J? (0, Redundant)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879827)

Stands for Java. Five guesses as to what the majority of NeoOfficeJ was written in. First 4 don't count.

Re:What's with the J? (1, Funny)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879864)

Stands for Java. Five guesses as to what the majority of NeoOfficeJ was written in. First 4 don't count.

C++, of course!

What do I win... ;-)

Re:What's with the J? (2, Informative)

thelamecamel (561865) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879869)

Actually most of it's written in C++ (IIRC, the FAQs are down), same as OpenOffice.org. Only the OS X specific bit's in Java.

Re:What's with the J? (4, Informative)

volsung (378) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879918)

The main issue with porting OpenOffice to the Mac (and NOT using X11) is how to interface with the Mac OS APIs to draw the GUI, handle the clipboard, etc. Apple offers C, Objective C and Java bindings to these APIs.

So, once upon a time there was a NeoOffice/C which used the C bindings, but for some reason it was very difficult to develop. The authors then abandoned it and used the Java bindings instead, producing NeoOffice/J. This was only feasible because OpenOffice makes heavy use of Java internally.

(One minor point of confusion for me: The NeoOffice FAQ claims that NeoOffice/C used the Cocoa API, but I thought that was only for Objective C and Java. I thought for pure C you had to go with the Carbon API.)

Re:What's with the J? (4, Informative)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880026)

Just as with C++, regular C code can be used in an Objective C program, but still be treated the same, so you can us C with Cocoa.

How much Java? (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879811)

I seem to remember reading the a large part of NeoOffice was done in Java. I can't check the wiki since it has been slashdotted, does anyonw know how much Java is in NeoOffice?

Re:How much Java? (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879961)

I can't check the wiki since it has been slashdotted, does anyonw know how much Java is in NeoOffice?

A LOT. NeoOffice/J more or less uses the core of OOo for opening/saving files, and rendering the GUI to a back-buffer. Everything else, such as the screen handling, clipboard, I/O, and anything else machine specific, is done through Java.

Just when they get if finished.... (4, Funny)

steveyT (664379) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879815)

Apple go and change the architecture they're running on :D

Re:Just when they get if finished.... (2, Interesting)

harvardslacker (881339) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879904)

Will that be a huge setback to the project, or will they just be able to check a box and recompile, as Steve Jobs suggested in his keynote? I guess it's probably the former, since they're probably not using XCode. Alas. I'd check the Wiki to see, but it's /.ed.

Greg

Re:Just when they get if finished.... (3, Informative)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879985)

Well seeing that this had a "J" in the title and it appears to have used enough Java in it to warrent that name, I would bet porting "may" be easier than you think. Easy being a relative term in all...

Now "if" it was totally written in Java, then I would say it would be very easy to port :-)

My gut feeling is that a significant portion of it was done in C, and thus it will take some time to get that part compiled and working again.

Re:Just when they get if finished.... (2, Insightful)

Shisha (145964) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880024)

You don't have to use XCode to be able to do that. In fact, if they wouldn't be bothered about producing fat binaries, they could probably just simply recompile it. Since OpenOffice is multiplatform and Java should be also, they're unlikely to run into problems because of differences in bit ordering (least significant first or most significant first?). I also don't suspect them of having produced too much PPC specific assembly code.

Re:Just when they get if finished.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12880048)

- OpenOffice runs with x86, so that part should not be a problem
- The parts that are done in Java should not be a problem, too (except if you write really, really ugly code)
- So leftover are parts that are written in C AND are not part of standart openoffice AND rely on big endianess. I'm pretty shure that should not be much.

Re:Just when they get if finished.... (2, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880051)

I would guess actually the latter. The major issues are - does it compile with the Apple supported tools (my understand is, yes, it uses GCC etc, it just doesn't access them via the XTools GUI), and will it require modifications to deal with endianisms etc (my guess is almost certainly no, because it's based upon the already architecture independent OpenOffice.org, with some additional code written in Java.)

So for the most part, even if generating a univeral binary is "hard" (and I doubt it will be, I don't have access to Tiger so can't use the latest XCode but I'd be surprised if it's not just the old NEXTSTEP "one binary per architecture in a certain directory, with all the shared files in Resources as usual" thing, generating a binary that'll work on "the other architecture" will be a simple matter of compiling it there.

Re:Just when they get if finished.... (4, Insightful)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880127)

Will that be a huge setback to the project, or will they just be able to check a box and recompile, as Steve Jobs suggested in his keynote?

Sounds like it'll 'simply' (heh) involve porting to GCC4 [neooffice.org] ...

What they really need is (a) more programmers with some highly esoteric combinations of skills, (b) a Mac-Intel box or two, and (c) monetary donations! :-)

Re:Just when they get if finished.... (1)

Jungle guy (567570) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879909)

The architecture change made me postpone the acquisition of a Mac Mini. The change might be beneficial in the long run, but on the short term we will have lack of software available for the "Mactel" platform.

I hope Apple at least send a Mactel workstation for the NeoOffice J team for free. These guys have been working for free, to the benefit of the community of users of the Macintosh. I hope Apple acknowledges the effort, and that, in the day the Apple Intel computer is released, the port of NeoOffice J is finished.

Re:Just when they get if finished.... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879967)

on the short term we will have lack of software available for the "Mactel" platform.

Guess again.

First of all, Rosetta runs PPC apps really fast, and secondly, recompiling Mac OS X apps to include native Intel code is something that every developer can do by the time Apple ships a Mac with an Intel CPU.

-jcr

Re:Just when they get if finished.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879958)

Perhaps Apple's use of Transitive's product will alleviate the problem :-p

Cached on mirrordot (2, Informative)

bandrzej (688764) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879821)

At least mirrordot was able to save a cache:

http://www.mirrordot.com/stories/56f602610d944ff 78 9b6ec7a2075940c/index.html

Looks like their news page died at 17,000 hits after 12:17 today. Very sad.

They recommend MS Office :) (3, Funny)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879824)

The NeoOffice/J 1.1 release is now available for download. Warning: all NeoOffice/J development and testing is done by volunteers so there are always some missing features and bugs. So if you expect software to be absolutely perfect before you install it, we recommend that you purchase a commercially supported office suite like Microsoft Office. (emphasis mine)

Hrm - maybe Office on the Mac is much better than the Windows version. I've been hearing that for awhile, but it's still from Microsoft, and will still have some of the same issues that people have on the Windows version, or it'd have compatibility problems (key commands, etc).

Still, I thought that comment about something being 'absolutely perfect' then recommending Office was pretty funny.

Re:They recommend MS Office :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879844)

And it says long about NeoOffice/J too..

Re:They recommend MS Office :) (2, Informative)

macshome (818789) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879885)

Hrm - maybe Office on the Mac is much better than the Windows version. I've been hearing that for awhile, but it's still from Microsoft,

It's far from perfect on the Mac, but I'm always astounded at how much it is better on the Mac than on Windows.

Re:They recommend MS Office :) (1)

Hercynium (237328) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879888)

Worse yet, my experience with MS-Offixe/OS X has been terrible. Maybe it's because my mac is dreadfully under-spec, but MS Office's stability was lamentable, even for a M$ product. Luckily it was a copy I bummed off my parents. I'm quite happy with OOO (which I bought at the apple store), and will give NeoOffice a try. Heck, if the integration is good enough, and it proves to be stable enough, I'll try to convince the 'rents to switch!

Re:They recommend MS Office :) (1)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879964)

Worse yet, my experience with MS-Offixe/OS X has been terrible. Maybe it's because my mac is dreadfully under-spec, but MS Office's stability was lamentable, even for a M$ product.

And OpenOffice totally blows as well. Takes over two hours to load. Maybe it's because I'm trying to run it on my Coleco Adam, but hey.

Re:They recommend MS Office :) (3, Funny)

k96822 (838564) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880122)

Microsoft Office for Mac OS X is to Microsoft Office for Windows as Chevy is to Ford. No matter which you use, you should have bought a Toyota.

5 years! (1)

fatted (777789) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879826)

After nearly five years of development, NeoOffice/J has made it to its first stable release. NeoOffice/J 1.1 is a Mac OS X-integrated office suite based on OpenOffice.org 1.1.4
I didn't realise openoffice 1.1.4 had been out for 5 years!

Valid reason for BitTorrent (4, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879830)

I'll keep my client running today. Will you? http://play.aelitis.com/torrents/NeoOfficeJ-1.1.dm g.torrent [aelitis.com]

Fantastic! (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879834)

My sister needs a laptop for work and I have been steering her towards a G4 mac. MS office adds $AUD300 to the price, which offends me, mainly because of the huge profit microsoft make out of it.

Having this available could make it a much easier decision for her to buy the macintosh.

Re:Fantastic! (1)

DenDave (700621) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879912)

Go ahead and get the mac. Neoffice works quite well, has done for some time. Only if your work is centered on MS VB stuff or really heavy duty excel sheets are you in a pickle. Don't forget that if word compatibilty is your main issue then you can also go for Abiword [abisource.com]

Re:Fantastic! (1)

BioCS.Nerd (847372) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880065)

I'm at work so I can't try NO/j at the moment, but if your sister is a student (or teacher) she may qualify for Microsoft's Office Student Edition which has all the goodies anyone could ask for at a reasonable price (I think I paid ~$80 CAD for an old version of Office vX and then upgraded to the new version for free :). There's also a trial version on their website [microsoft.com] .

I know many /nerds may have their quibbles with MS, but IMHO MS Office for OS X is pretty darn good, if not better than it's Window's counterpart. Your sister might like it. Give it a go.

Seems the better then regular OpenOffice... (2, Insightful)

afd8856 (700296) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879835)

Looking at the integration features, it seems better then either Windows or *nix versions of OpenOffice.

Re:Seems the better then regular OpenOffice... (0)

Moderator (189749) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880006)

Except that the Windows and *nix versions are only weeks away from hitting 2.0.

Apple "Numbers?" (0, Redundant)

Unworthy Advocate (767730) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879836)

The other day I read an article stating that Apple trademarked the word "Numbers." One could logically assume that this is the name of their much needed forthcoming Excel clone. I wonder how Apple's iWork suite will fare with a little free competition?

I'm SOOOO ready to dump Office X that ANY alternative seems great.

What if it were written in Java? (4, Interesting)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879838)

I have begun to think that most, if not all, free software applications ought to be written in Java or a reasonable facsimile. Ideally, a common language and runtime that all free software could target would be available that would allow immediate porting to take place.

To some extent we have this now with Linux as a standard OS, but even with it there is a lack of common binary compatibility. Java takes care of that such that the same binary application on one platform works on another, only relying on the base runtime to be ported.

How much quicker could we have had NeoOffice on MacOS if it were written in an easily-ported language like Java?

Are there any plans for such a common language runtime to which applications can target themselves in the free software ecosystem?

Re:What if it were written in Java? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879883)

It would be quicker to develop, yes. Unfortunately, Java still looks like ass on most every platform and I don't care what people say to the contrary, Java still isn't half as 'snappy' as a native app. It's really quite bad in most cases.

Re:What if it were written in Java? (2, Interesting)

ssj_195 (827847) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879993)

GCJ can compile a lot of Java apps to native code (and possibly toolkits...?). There are compiled versions of Eclipse (and maybe Azureus, too) floating around somewhere.

Re:What if it were written in Java? (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879889)

Are there any plans for such a common language runtime to which applications can target themselves in the free software ecosystem?

Yes, it already exists. It's called Java. There's also a knock-off of it called .NET or C# or Mono.

Re:What if it were written in Java? (1)

insert cool name (889389) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879905)

I have begun to think that most, if not all, free software applications ought to be written in Java or a reasonable facsimile. Ideally, a common language and runtime that all free software could target would be available that would allow immediate porting to take place.

Currently java would not be such a good choice for that due to the lack of a full free (as in freedom) implementation of the api.

See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/java-trap.html [gnu.org]

A Java GUI app is also a big turn off for anyone with an older machine.

Personally I have begun to think that most, if not all, free software ought to be written in the language most appropriate for the job it's doing.

Re:What if it were written in Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12880091)

Personally I have begun to think that most, if not all, free software ought to be written in the language most appropriate for the job it's doing.
That's really a very sweet sentiment, but frankly there are no objective metrics by which to determine how well suited a language is for any given task.

Re:What if it were written in Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879945)

How much quicker could we have had NeoOffice on MacOS if it were written in an easily-ported language like Java?

Some things would be faster, but Mac applications do not function like Windows applications. As such, two different interfaces have to be written anyway (or have a program that doesn't function properly on the other platform).

Re:What if it were written in Java? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879947)

Ideally, a common language and runtime that all free software could target would be available that would allow immediate porting to take place.

Having it be a language that doesn't suck dirty swamp water through used oil filters would be a pleasant bonus, but that doesn't seem to be an option.

Re:What if it were written in Java? (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880012)

It's incredibly tempting to instinctively reply with an incoherent rant, but I'll try not to.

One problem that I see is that languages are still evolving, and will continue to do so. Should we have left things well-enough alone at C, and not invented or rewritten algorithms in Java? Are Perl/Ruby/Python insignificant enough that nobody should have spent effort programming in them?

Languages ARE improving, and by putting a stake in the ground, you're guaranteeing that at some point the "unified standard" would move to a new, improved language.

So there will be two langauages everyone uses. And then three.

So, in a practical sense, you're suggesting we use as few hardware, VM, and language platforms as possible. So Perl should have been written, but Python and Ruby are rubbish, and nobody should spend time coding for them?

I don't know. Obviously there is overhead in maintaining multiple separate languages, VMs, hardware chipsets, glibc versions, etc. But to some extent, individual developers choose to spend more time on learning new languages, or not. It's currently up to them how much time they want to "waste" porting things, and that seems like how it should be.

Re:What if it were written in Java? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880190)

Well, here's the thing: even if you do use Java it still takes time to port to Mac because Swing Java is not the same as Cocoa Java. And believe me -- Swing apps do NOT cut it on Mac OS.

Java (1)

ahmetaa (519568) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879848)

NeoJ, the J at the end represents Java. complete GUI layer (and posibly more) is designed with Java. It is a shame poster did not mention that.

Very much a Mac Application (5, Informative)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879851)

Before anyone complains about the lack of Aqua widgets and the continuing Windows 95-like appearance of the program, from experience that's probably the last remaining area to be completed.

Everything else is great, and infinitely superior to the old port of OpenOffice.org to the Mac's X11 - for instance, copy-and-paste works fully (styled text is no problem whatsoever); file associations work correctly; native printing, fonts, anti-aliased line art are just fine. Even more recent, esoteric stuff like Spotlight searches are fine - when I installed Tiger, all my documents got neatly indexed without me lifting a finger.

It's in an application bundle, it stores its settings in ~/Library/ - apart from those grey, rectangular buttons and controls, it's a complete, modern Mac application.

Honestly, don't judge it on first appearances or screenshots (I've found numerous Mac 'ports' of software which seem to concentrate too much on cosmetics rather than functionality) - it's truly wonderful. For anyone looking for a free office suite on their Mac, here it is!

First impression (1)

mariox19 (632969) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879978)

I'm glad you beat me to my post, because I was going to say something about the appearance.

I hope that you're right and the developer team is planning on improving the appearance. This sort of thing is important to Macintosh users. (I say this even though I know I risk the flames of Macintosh critics about "superficiality.")

The responsiveness of the windows is impressive, and overall it does look good. The icon especially is superb. Other than a slight delay when first typing text, the application seems quick enough, and quicker than many Java apps.

By the way, I'm using an iMac G4 at 800MHz with 512MB of RAM running Panther -- not exactly a speed demon machine.

This is a good first release. I look forward to improvements, but it's ready to go now.

Re:First impression (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880068)

I hope that you're right and the developer team is planning on improving the appearance. This sort of thing is important to Macintosh users.

I gather that this is a very big issue to them - I've found the future development plans [neooffice.org] from the main developers (Patrick Luby, 'pluby', and Edward Peterlin, 'OPENSTEP'):
Implement Aqua widgets and file dialogs - This has been our goal for a long time and I would like to get this done while the OpenOffice.org volunteers are working out all of the bugs in the OpenOffice.org 2.0 X11 code.

There's other interesting reading in there as well, including the plans to port to MacOS X-on-Intel, which sound potentially fraught but mainly involve porting OpenOffice.org to GCC4, which will affect other platforms sooner or later too...

Re:First impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12880197)

First comes stability, then beautification :)

There's a plan underway to redo the GUI icons [neooffice.org] , and eventually we hope to force OOo to realize that the UI matters and more than just swapping icons and buttons are needed....

Re:Very much a Mac Application (3, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880086)

I'd rather download Microsoft Office for OSX. They've released it for free now on BitTorrent, apparently. At least, I see it available all the time there, so it must be. You have to really appreciate that kind of gesture from Microsoft. Not only do they innovate, but they share with the competitor's customers!

More importantly, no amount of money could be placed on the quality and reliability of a corporately-developed product like this. After all, would you rather drive a car built by Ford or a car built by some acne-riddled kid down the street?

I for one only want expensive corporate products in my environment. Otherwise I wouldn't have spent all that money on a Mac. I suppose a program like this does have its place, though. Maybe among all of those poor people who can't afford robust Microsoft or Apple systems and have to settle for the third-rate world of open-source software and Linux operating systems.

I'm also eagerly awaiting Avalanche, which Microsoft assures will be a revolutionary no offering that will make free programs like Bit Torrent seem childish. Just another example of how pay-for software will always rival cheap stuff made by poor people in their basement for use by other poor people who can't afford stuff like PowerBooks and iMacs and iPods and WindowsXP and bread and rent and tennis shoes.

Good news (2, Informative)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879854)

This is good news (tm). I've been using the X11 version for a while. Works great. Yes, it's X11, but it truly works fine. Downloading NeoOfficeJ right now. It is a good thing to have a choice. It might not be native but hey, we'll get there eventually.

In terms of competition, there's KOffice for MacOS X I kept my eyes on, see http://kde.opendarwin.org/ [opendarwin.org] . Still pre-alpha however.

I use and love iWorks. Keynote is simply *great*. But it is not free (forget open source). And iWorks, for the moment, lacks a spreedsheet, which OOO doesn't. Thanks to OOO and NeoOfficeJ developpers! :-)

Question: (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879877)

["...] mouse scrolling, integration with major Mac email clients and native support for Mac fonts. The full announcement is here."

Do current relses of OpenOffice.org and other software have native support for Linux fonts? I ask this because I find that fonts on Linux are a bit "blurry"...that is, they are not as clear/crisp as their those on their windows counterparts. Even when anti-aliasing is turned off, fonts on Linux do not look that good. This is one reason in my opinion, why some slashdotters have written to say that Linux is ugly! Is it because there is lack of the so called native support for Linux fonts?

Re:Question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879891)

That is a patent issue. The code is implemented to fix the problem, and when you pay the patent holder for the rights to use it, you may then enable it.

Allegedly this is a patent issue... (3, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879921)

fonts on Linux are a bit "blurry"...that is, they are not as clear/crisp as their those on their windows counterparts.

According to this [ffii.org] it's a patent issue. I think there's something deeply wrong with patents on operations required to render fonts correctly, above and beyond the already troubling issue of software patents in general. Remember that in the US fonts are explicitly not copyrightable to prevent even the potential of copyright being used to prevent free speech. Shouldn't this easement be extended to any communication or presentation technology.

Re:Allegedly this is a patent issue... (3, Informative)

timster (32400) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880023)

Whoa, you're not a lawyer for sure. Nor am I.

Fonts -- meaning that file (or files) of computer data that represent a particular typeface -- are absolutely copyrightable. That's why Linux distributors cannot distribute the fonts from Microsoft or Apple (though an end-user can download some fonts from Microsoft's web site, or use the fonts from their own Windows installation).

It is the typeface itself that cannot be copyrighted. But that's the way the characters look, not the data that represents them to a computer. So I'm free to clone the Arial typeface by developing my own font that represents it, but I can't just copy Microsoft's font.

Developing a good font from a typeface is a lot of hard work, I hear.

Re:Allegedly this is a patent issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12880170)

That is fine, and the copyright is being applied as it should be... The patent issue however is completely different.

The methods for anti-aliasing font edges when rendering them are patented, and this is why cleartype (or anything that looks equally good) cannot be used in OSS.

Re:Question: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879997)

You are surely trolling? My fonts on Debian are crystal clear and far better than what I get from OS X - regardless of what antialiasing setting I use on the Powerbook. In fact, the slightly fuzzy fonts on the Apple were particular disappointing having gotten used to nice sharp gliphs on Debian.

Re:Question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12880060)

I find that fonts on Linux are a bit "blurry"...

It's called anti-aliasing, and is usually done by dropping an old 14" screen on the floor :-) but it has recently become popular to do it in software. It is possible to turn off however, and make the text readable again.

I disliked anti-aliasing just as much as you, when some upgrade introduced it on my system. I had just gotten my work monitor replaced because it had become blurry, and then some moron decides to make fonts blurry by default.

Windows can anti-alias fonts too, but it doesn't do it by default.

Re:Question: (3, Insightful)

zborgerd (871324) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880195)

I find Linux font rendering to be very nice; better than Windows and even on par with OS X, but a lot of it is largely due to configuration and the videocard/monitor being used. This is a pretty lengthy reply, but I'd like to help people debunk the myth that Linux has "bad" font rendering. It's just that most distributions don't provide fonts and font renderers that function in the way many users might expect.

By default, all distributions (except for Debian, I believe) use the Autohinter instead of the Bytecode Interpreter, due to potential patent issues. They render in very different ways. The Autohinter looks pretty good on LCD displays, with its subpixel hinting (producing fonts that are better in my opinion than Windows Cleartype), but I prefer the Bytecode Interpreter on CRTs.

I'm not sure what you mean by "native" support for Linux fonts. All of the font rendering is handled through Libfreetype. You can compile Freetype to use either rendering method, but it defaults to the Autohinter. Freetype supports more than 11 different font formats. This includes standard scalable formats such as Truetype and Type 1 fonts.

For example...
With the Bytecode Interpreter:
http://www.borgerding.org/dropline/zborgerd/screen shots/2.10_1.png [borgerding.org]
http://www.borgerding.org/dropline/zborgerd/screen shots/2.10_2.png [borgerding.org]
http://www.dropline.net/gnome/optical/2.10_4.png [dropline.net]
http://dlgwiki.dot42.org/uploads/katana.jpg [dot42.org]
http://dlgwiki.dot42.org/uploads/katana2.jpg [dot42.org]

With the Autohinter:
http://www.dropline.net/gnome/optical/dropline-11. png [dropline.net]
http://www.dropline.net/gnome/optical/dropline-9.p ng [dropline.net]
http://www.dropline.net/gnome/optical/dropline-5.p ng [dropline.net]

Additionally, configuration can cause fonts to look bad. Some people don't like much antialiasing. They prefer the method that Windows uses to antialias only fonts greater than 12 points in size. A combination of the Bytecode Interpreter and disabling antialiasing for small fonts can produce font rendering that is similar to the rendering that most Windows users are familiar with.

If you disable antialiasing while using the Autohinter, you'll find that fonts look terribly uneven and jagged.... They're pretty ugly. If you want to disable antialiasing, you probably should do it only with the Bytecode Interpreter being used as the renderer. This will produce the results that you may be looking for if you prefer Windows-like font rendering.

Lastly, OpenOffice.org's builds have typically included internal Freetype libraries that don't particularly look pretty. There are some workarounds for this. I mention it in the following FAQ:

http://www.dropline.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=825 [dropline.net]

It's quite outdated, but may provide you with the information that you need to get the font rendering that you prefer. You may also want to try tracking down a package of the Microsoft Core Webfonts. They are legal to distribute as long as they are provided in the original EXE, which may be extract with cabextract. As an alternative, you may be able to find a custom build of OpenOffice.org for your favorite distribution, that links against your system's own freetype libraries instead of the internal OO.o Freetype libraries.

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group _id=34153&release_id=105355 [sourceforge.net]

Here's some more info that might better explain it as well:
http://mailman.linux-thinkpad.org/pipermail/linux- thinkpad/2004-July/018645.html [linux-thinkpad.org]
http://www.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=04/10/08/1 916222 [newsforge.com]

It's all a matter of preference though. Some people really like the Bytecode Interpreter, while others prefer the Autohinter (really, the Autohinter looks exceptional on LCDs and even some high quality CRTs). It's unfortunate that there is no easier way to go about it, but it's just one of those things that users might have to tweak a bit to get just right.

I think this shows that (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879878)

NeoOffice isn't the one.

and that quite possibly
there is no server.

open office fork? (1)

lethe1001 (606836) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879881)

I know that open office once had a port to OSX, which had the goal of attaining native widgets and what-not.

So my question is, what is this NeoOffice stuff? A fork of the open office port? why are there two projects to bring open office to OSX? What is the difference between the two projects? Why didn't the NeoOffice developers just work on the OOo port?

Re:open office fork? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12880141)

The OpenOffice port to OS X only works under X11 for OS X, and does not support native widgets or look and feel. OOo has announced they have no intention of making these things work.

NeoOffice/J does support native widgets and look and feel.

I hope that helps.

A story by Apple Computer Inc: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879902)


Enabling Bonjour Service Discovery by Apple Computer Inc

Bonjour service discovery is always enabled. You can't disable the use of Bonjour to discover network services.

the end

For the Mac but not Mac like. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879919)

While I salute the NeoOffice team for getting Open Office to work nativly on the Mac, there are still things that need to be done. Primarly clean the interface. The interface is good for Windows user and Linux users who are use to sucky interfaces and which solves the problem by adding more buttons and icons to it. Mac People are more use to the cleaner Interface and most are more willing to access the features threw the menus, and hotkeys. And having buttons for the most commonly used features. Microsoft realized this when they made Office X. While it is still Office the interface was redesigned to look good on the Mac, they still went crazy with the buttons but no where as abusive as Open Office is.

Re:For the Mac but not Mac like. (2, Interesting)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 8 years ago | (#12879969)

Mac People

UI standards aside, it's interesting to note that this phrase "Mac People" now also means "BSD-UNIX users of Intel-based computers... ~with~ two-button mice."

Linux: The bleeding edge of user interface (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879976)

The interface is good for Windows user and Linux users who are use to sucky interfaces

What are you talking about ? Stop it ! Take Eterm and those kewl patterns man, they are just so cool and fresh. Apple doesn't stand a chance.

Linux is the king of GUIs. After all it comes with about twelve different ones installed.

oil (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879939)

Dear Reader,
Civilization as we know it is coming to an end soon. This is
not the wacky proclamation of a doomsday cult, apocalypse
bible prophecy sect, or conspiracy theory society. Rather, it
is the scientific conclusion of the most widely-respected
geologists, physicists, and investment bankers in the world.
These are rational, professional, conservative individuals
who are absolutely terrified by a phenomenon known as
global "Peak Oil."
"Are We 'Running Out'? I Thought There Was 40
Years of the Stuff Left"
Oil will not just "run out" because all oil production
follows a curve. This is true whether we're talking about an
individual oil field, a country, or on the planet as a whole.
Oil is increasingly plentiful on the upslope of the curve,
increasingly scarce and expensive on the down slope. The
peak of the curve coincides with the point at which 50
percent of the oil has been used. Once the peak is passed,
oil production begins to go down while cost begins to go
up.
In practical and considerably oversimplified terms, this
means that if 2000 was the year of global Peak Oil,
worldwide oil production in the year 2020 will be the
same as it was in 1980. However, the world's population
in 2020 will be both much larger (approximately double
1980) and much more industrialized (oil-dependent) than
it was in 1980. Consequently, worldwide demand for oil
will outpace worldwide production of oil by a significant
margin. As a result, the price will skyrocket, oil-dependant
economies will crumble, and resource wars will explode.
The issue is not one of "running out" so much as it is
not having enough to keep our economy running. In this
regard, the results of Peak Oil for our civilization are
similar to the implications of dehydration for the human
body. The human body is 70 percent water. The body of a
200 pound man thus holds 140 pounds of water. Because
water is so crucial to everything the human body does, the
man doesn't need to lose all 140 pounds of water weight
before collapsing due to dehydration. A loss of as little as
10-15 pounds of water may be enough.
In a similar sense, an oil-based economy such as ours
doesn't have to deplete its entire reserve of oil before it
begins to collapse. A shortfall between demand and supply
as little as 10-15 percent is enough to wholly shatter an oildependent
economy and reduce its citizenry to poverty.
The effects of even a small drop in production can be
devastating. For instance, during the 1970s oil shocks,
shortfalls in production as small as 5% caused the price
of oil to nearly quadruple. The same thing happened in
California a few years ago with natural gas: a production
drop of less than 5% caused prices to skyrocket by 400%.
The coming oil shocks won't be so short-lived. They
represent the onset of a new, permanent condition. Once
the decline gets under way, production will drop by 3% at
least per year, every year.
That estimate comes from numerous sources, not the least
of which is Vice President Dick Cheney himself. In a 1999
speech he gave while still CEO of Halliburton, Cheney
stated: By some estimates, there will be an average of twopercent
annual growth in global oil demand over the years
ahead, along with, conservatively, a three-percent natural
decline in production from existing reserves.That means by
2010 we will need on the order of anadditional 50 million
barrels a day.
Cheney's assesement is supported by the estimates of
numerous non-political, retired, and working scientists,
many of whom believe global oil production will peak and
go into terminal decline within the next five years.
Some geologists expect 2005 to be the last year of the
cheap-oil bonanza, while estimates coming out of the
oil industry indicate "a seemingly unbridgeable supplydemand
gap opening up after 2007," which will lead to
major fuel shortages and increasingly severe blackouts
beginning around 2008-2012.
The long-term implications of Peak Oil on your way of life
are nothing short of mind blowing. As we slide down the
downslope of the global oil production curve, we may find
ourselves slipping into what some scientists are calling a
"post-industrial stone age."
Peak Oil is also called "Hubbert's Peak," named for the
Shell geologist Dr. Marion King Hubbert. In 1956, Hubbert
accurately predicted that US domestic oil production would
peak in 1970. He also predicted global production would
peak in 1995, which it would have had the politically
created oil shocks of the 1970s not delayed the peak for
about 10-15 years.
"Big deal. If prices get high, I'll just drive less. Why
should I give a damn?"
Because petrochemicals are key components to much more
than just the gas in your car. As geologist Dale Allen Pfeiffer
points out in his article entitled, "Eating Fossil Fuels,"
approximately 10 calories of fossil fuels are required to
produce every 1 calorie of food eaten in the US.
The size of this ratio stems from the fact that every step
of modern production is fossil fuel and petrochemical
powered:
1. Farming implements such as tractors and trailers are
constructed and powered using oil;
2. Food transport and storage systems such as
refrigerators are manufactured in oil-powered
plants, distributed across oil-powered transportation
networks.
3. In the US, the average piece of food is transported
almost 1,500 miles before it gets to your plate. In
Canada, the average piece of food is transported
5,000 miles from where it is produced to where it is
consumed.
4. Commercial fertilizers are made from ammonia,
which is made from natural gas, which will peak about
10 years after oil peaks;
5. Pesticides are made from oil;
It's not just transportation and agriculture that are entirely
dependent on abundant, cheap oil. Modern medicine, water
distribution, and national defense are each entirely powered
by oil and petroleum derived chemicals.
In addition to transportation, food, water, and modern
medicine, mass quantities of oil are required for all plastics,
all computers and all high-tech devices.
Some specific examples may help illustrate the degree to
which our technological base is dependent on fossil fuels:
1. The construction of an average car consumes the
energy equivalent of approximately 27 barrels (1,142
gallons) of oil. Ultimately, the construction of a car will
consume an amount of fossil fuels equivalent to twice
the car's final weight.
2. The production of one gram of microchips consumes
630 grams of fossil fuels. According to the American
Chemical Society, the construction of single 32
megabyte RAM chip requires 3.5 pounds of fossil fuels
in addition to 70.5 pounds of water.
3. The construction of the average desktop computer
consumes ten times its weight in fossil fuels.
4. The Environmental Literacy Council tells us that due
to the "purity and sophistication of materials (needed
for) a microchip, . . . the energy used in producing nine
or ten computers is enough to produce an automobile."
When considering the role of oil in the production of
modern technology, remember that most alternative
systems of energy -- including solar panels/solarnanotechnology,
windmills, hydrogen fuel cells, biodiesel
production facilities, nuclear power plants, etc. -- rely on
sophisticated technology.
In fact, all electrical devices make use of silver, copper,
and/or platinum, each of which is discovered, extracted,
transported, and fashioned using oil-powered machinery.
For instance, in his book, The Lean Years: Politics of
Scarcity, author Richard J. Barnet writes: To produce a
ton of copper requires the equivalent of 17.8 barrels of
oil. The energy cost component of aluminum is twenty
times higher.
Nuclear energy requires uranium, which is also discovered,
extracted, and transported using oil-powered machinery.
Most of the feedstock (soybeans, corn) for biofuels such
as biodiesel and ethanol are grown using the high-tech,
oil-powered industrial methods of agriculture described
above.
In short, the so called "alternatives" to oil are actually
"derivatives" of oil. Without an abundant and reliable
supply of oil, we have no way of making enough
alternatives to the degree necessary to power the modern
world.
"Is the Modern Banking System Entirely Dependent
on Cheap Oil?"
The global financial system is entirely dependent on a
constantly increasing supply of oil. Since as explained
above, all modern economic activity from transportation
to food production to manufacturing is dependent
on oil supplies, money is really just a symbol for oil.
Commentator Robert Wise observes: money equals
energy. Real, liquid wealth represents usable energy. Real
cost reflects the energy cost of doing something. Nearly
all the work done in the world economy -- all the
manufacturing, construction, and transportation -- is
done with energy derived from oil. The actual work done
by human muscle power is miniscule by comparison. And,
the lion's share of that fuel comes from oil and natural gas,
the primary sources of the world's wealth.
As Dr. Colin Campbell writes in "The Financial
Consequences of Peak Oil," the continued expansion
of this wealth is only possible so long as the oil supply
continues to grow: It is becoming evident that the financial
and investment community begins to accept the reality
of Peak Oil, which ends the First Half of the Age of Oil.
They accept that banks created capital during this epoch by
lending more than they had on deposit, being confident that
Tomorrow's Expansion, fueled by cheap oil-based energy,
was adequate collateral or Today's Debt.
The decline of oil, the principal driver of economic growth,
undermines the validity of that collateral which in turn
erodes the valuation of most companys quoted on Stock
Exchanges.
Consequently, a declining supply of oil must be
accompanied by either a declining supply of money or
by hyperinflation. In either case, the result for the global
banking system is the same: collapse.
This financial collapse will, in turn, further devastate our
ability to implement alternative systems of energy. Any
crash program to develop new sources of energy will
require a tremendous amount of capital, which is exactly
what will not be available once the global monetary system
has collapsed.
Start planning NOW. What you will do when the oil runs
out. There is no alternative.
PASS THIS ON

Re:oil (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12880050)

dumbass I'll use nucular power

5 Years??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879971)

Key Macintosh features include a standard Mac OS X installer, a native Aqua menu bar, use of the native printing system, full clipboard support, drag-and-drop, Mac "command" key shortcuts, mouse scrolling, integration with major Mac email clients and native support for Mac fonts.

That took as long as 5 years? That's just sad. If they had outsourced that project to india or china they would made it in 5 months (I guess reading trivial patents made them lose so much time :-])

Ahh.. "trivial patents".. I live in europe and I'd already adapt to use them as an excuse for everything that goes slow or wrong.

Re:5 Years??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12880112)

Five years refers to the period of time since the first Mac OOo code was written. OOo on the Mac didn't even launch until 2002 and OOo 1.0.3 on the Mac wasn't released until 2003. Neo/J has really only been in development for two years, mainly by one programmer in his spare time.

http://neowiki.sixthcrusade.com/index.php/History_ of_NeoOffice_and_OpenOffice.org:_Introduction [sixthcrusade.com] (when the wiki comes back again)

I'd give NeoOffice/J a try but... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12879980)

Try as I might I can't seem to locate a crack anywhere on the internet.

keep 'em coming (1)

maryjanecapri (597594) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880016)

this is such a boon to Mac. when i bought my ibook (i use it for writing when i'm away from my desk) i couldn't believe how difficult it was to find a word processor that i not only liked to use but felt good about using.

after trying and trying i finally got the X11 port of openoffice installed but it was the most amazingly slow thing. eventually i found neooffice and found it to fit the bill perfectly.

i wish other softwares would follow their lead. sure you can try to install packages with fink but it's not terribly user friendly.

and, after 10 years of using Linux software, i'm not about to start paying for software i can use for free on my desktop!

Define Niche (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12880020)

A Java Office program (with dubious file format compatability) on a mac....

The big question: Is it made using XCode? (3, Interesting)

Mr. Cancelled (572486) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880041)

... And thus easy to make a universal binary from? Or will this be harder to port once the Intel switch begins?

Good app, but I hope it can move with the Mac as Apple transitions to Intel processors. Seems like kind of a waste of effort if it's tied to a specific architecture, in light of Apples recent announcements.

Runs way slow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12880174)

I was actually using NeoOffice yesterday, and it was painfully slow...

Cars and Computers (1)

amichalo (132545) | more than 8 years ago | (#12880194)

I don't know why people love comparing cars to computers so much. Mac users especailyl like to call Macs the BMW of Computers due to the small market share, high quality, and a heavy dose of style when compared to plane jane Dell (Chevy/Ford?) boxes.

Well I have an analogy for NeoOffice/J - It's the PT Cruiser of Software. Sure it's all new and shinny on the inside, but it's retro styling harkens back to Office98 or something. Lots of Grey and icons I certainly don't want to lick or drink.

Don't get me wrong, I like NeoOffice/J and have had it installed for several Beta release cycles now. But if they are gonna stay retro, I am gonna have to hold out for a Ford Mustang GT version, with retro racing stripes and an aqua GUI, before I leave the Chevy Camero that is MS Office for Mac in long term parking.

Three Cheers for the NeoOffice team!
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