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NeoOffice 2.0 Alpha 3 Released

timothy posted about 8 years ago | from the opening-offices dept.

96

ndansmith writes "NeoOffice, the port of OpenOffice.org to Mac OS X, has made their 2.0 Alpha 3 release available for download. From NeoOffice's site: 'This release is based on the OpenOffice.org 2.0.2 code and includes all of the new OpenOffice.org 2.0.2 features,' including the utilization of Open Document formats. Currently only the PowerPC version of the software is available publicly, but users can download the Intel version by purchasing a membership."

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96 comments

really? (3, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | about 8 years ago | (#15541418)

Normally I hate the people who complain that a new version of some random piece of software isn't really news, but come on. It's a new alpha release.

Re:really? (1)

moranar (632206) | about 8 years ago | (#15541438)

Think it'll stop anyone? So was Vista until recently. Hell, Vista and MS have completely subverted what "alpha" and "beta" used to mean...

Re:really? (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | about 8 years ago | (#15541539)

Google is pretty bad at keep stuff in perpetual beta. I think GMail is still a beta. Its been 'in the wild' for two years.

Re:really? (1)

plazman30 (531348) | about 8 years ago | (#15541631)

I think Google does that on purpose so they can make major changes at will, and when people complain, they can say "Hey, it is a beta after all!"

Isn't that as it should be? (1)

brokeninside (34168) | about 8 years ago | (#15542001)

When the API is stable, then it is time to talk about a proper release.

Some of us like it that way. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 8 years ago | (#15551361)

Personally, if you're going to possibly make major changes to an application or service, I think it's proper to keep it as "beta," even if the result is it sitting there for a long time.

I would prefer that people only release '1.0' software that is both stable in terms of bug-free-ness and stable in terms of proposed changes to the API/ABI/file-format/protocol/etc.

When someone releases something as version 1.0, and then completely rewrites it six months later and calls it 1.0.1, that drives me a little nuts. Why not just have kept the "1.0" version as a beta, and not released it if you knew you were going to rewrite the damn thing?

But hey, feel free to call me a curmudgeon; I run Debian Stable after all. :)

Re:really? (1)

moranar (632206) | about 8 years ago | (#15541695)

Them, too. I'm not trying to pick on MS in particular. Everyone now does it, and the worst beta-offender is Google.

Re:really? (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | about 8 years ago | (#15541858)

Google betas end when the product is ready to *SELL*. Google search is non-beta because its available in the google search utility, a rackable document indexing doohickey.

Re:really? (1)

Pirogoeth (662083) | about 8 years ago | (#15542028)

Thanks to Google, Alpha is the new Beta...

Re:really? (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | about 8 years ago | (#15605460)

"Think it'll stop anyone? So was Vista until recently. Hell, Vista and MS have completely subverted what "alpha" and "beta" used to mean..."


In other words, "release version" is Microsoft talk for alpha, and "service pack 1" means beta!

Re:really? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 8 years ago | (#15541868)

There are some stories I read, moderate or comment on and some I don't. Personally, I find this bit of news quite useful. My wife runs MacOSX in Japanese and that's the Office Software I have set up for her. It's good to know there's a newer release coming soon and that this testing release is available for use.

If you don't care about it, don't read the story... and it certainly doesn't need to be commented on.

News to me (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 years ago | (#15542050)

Actually I've been waiting for some time for Neooffice 2.0 and didn't know there had been even previous alpha versions, so I was pretty happy to see this story.

First Postage! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15541420)

w00t.

Alpha, but usable (2, Insightful)

fak3r (917687) | about 8 years ago | (#15541578)

This is an Alpha release yes, but if you've used OOo 2.0.2 you know what features you're getting, and that's huge, plus I've only had the last Alpha crash twice on me, and it's far/far more useable than my old Office X. Really, with this and OOo out for OS X I can't see any reason that a normal user would need to buy a 300$ office suite (and I think that's a 'good thing')

Re:Alpha, but usable (3, Informative)

Oopsz (127422) | about 8 years ago | (#15543206)

Neooffice is unusably slow on my G3 iBook. Office X runs very well, and Office 2004 is fast enough to be usable. At this point, $300 (More like $150) for Office X is well worth it, compared to ~$1200 for a new laptop.

And Apeture is unusably slow on a G4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15547266)

So some commercial software works better than something that's free and you decided to proclaim this revelation to the world. There's a reason for minimum recommendations. I can't run Final Cut Pro acceptably on my 8600, but I don't complain. I buy a better computer. Do us a favor and go suck a donkey. Report expected by noon.

Speed increase? (2, Insightful)

multiOSfreak (551711) | about 8 years ago | (#15541592)

It's great to see a new version of NeoOffice coming out, but what I really want to know is if the latest release is any faster than the previous versions. The older versions work great but are painfully sluggish.

Intel binaries (1, Troll)

ploppowaffles (977289) | about 8 years ago | (#15541606)

I know the GPL allows you to charge for distribution costs, but I still don't like how NeoOffice requires you to pay for some kind of subscription to download their GPL'd binaries for one platform and not another. Seems pretty arbitrary. Some people should pool together for a membership and then distribute torrents of the Intel builds. Personally I'll just keep using OpenOffice.org with X11.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

yoasif (969247) | about 8 years ago | (#15541693)

I hope someone posts a .torrent link for the intel binaries...

Re:Intel binaries (3, Interesting)

Trillan (597339) | about 8 years ago | (#15541755)

The subscription stuff is a very small window. According to their site, the release will be free starting July 1st. That's only two weeks away.

Re:Intel binaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15541802)

no, you apparently don't know squat. the gpl allows you not only to sell for distribution cost. it allows the outright selling of software. it just requires to ship on request the source. and the buyer can give away the source etc for free.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

Trillan (597339) | about 8 years ago | (#15541836)

You don't read well. The post you're replying to never questioned the legality (either the letter or the spirit) of the situation, and even acknowledged that it was legal. He only questioned the taste, which is fair enough.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

Kelson (129150) | about 8 years ago | (#15541855)

It's not really that arbitrary, since they've been focusing on the PowerPC platform for the last however-many years. (Though I don't know how much native code there is in the project, since they're using Java to get at the Mac APIs.)

I don't mind it so much for an alpha release -- this may simply be a way of ensuring they have enough funding to do the port -- as long as they don't force you to pay+subscribe to get at the final release.

Re:Intel binaries (1, Flamebait)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#15541885)

I still don't like how NeoOffice requires you to pay for some kind of subscription to download their GPL'd binaries for one platform and not another. Seems pretty arbitrary.

Don't be an ass. The NeoOffice programmers have put in thousands of hours of work into a complex port of the OOo GUI to make it integrate with the Mac OS X Operating System. The work they've done is incredible, and I don't begrudge them any money they make off it.

If you have an absolute need for the bleeding edge software while they tool up and complete testing, then pay the fee, compile it yourself, or wait the expected two weeks until they're done.

Re:Intel binaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15542502)

Don't be an ass. The NeoOffice programmers have put in thousands of hours of work into a complex port of the OOo GUI to make it integrate with the Mac OS X Operating System. The work they've done is incredible, and I don't begrudge them any money they make off it.

You should begrudge them. They knew what they were getting into when they started; they have no right to charge for what should otherwise be free software.

So what if its hard as hell to make a GUI workable on OSX? It's always been like this.

If anyone, Apple should be paying them for making their platform more viable now that they have an alternative word processor. And all they've done is put a new UI on a very powerful engine-- the engine programmers, now they're the ones who should be getting any and all money for this.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

LihTox (754597) | about 8 years ago | (#15542816)

they have no right to charge for what should otherwise be free software.

Free as in speech, not free as in beer. Anyone has the right to charge anything they like for GPL software. What they can't do is prevent other people (including you) from giving it away for free. Since NeoOffice is such a large program, it's reasonable that they try to recoup some of their bandwidth costs (if nothing else) by charging money, and while you could always pool your money with other people and only buy one copy, most people who are interested in the Intel alpha would pay for a license themselves, assuming it's not too expensive, because it's most convenient that way. (Like the online music industry is now, except that the GPL model makes free distribution legal.)

Re:Intel binaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544192)

Free as in speech, not free as in beer.

I'm sick of these "free as in" analogies; so many people use them inappropriately... because, unless I have you wrong, the program(beer) was free, but now I have to paid some whore a gratuity or I don't get it; all along while its all being advertised as free.

In the true spirit of GPL and OSS software, they should be willing to pay the price themselves for the bandwidth! If not, why is it that noone else seems to have a problem giving away GPL and OSS software without charge?

most people who are interested in the Intel alpha would pay for a license themselves, assuming it's not too expensive, because it's most convenient that way

For crying out loud, you're missing the point:

You don't need to buy the license in the first place!

But as they say, a fool and his money will soon be parted.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

rgravina (520410) | about 8 years ago | (#15544827)

- the engine programmers, now they're the ones who should be getting any and all money for this.

I agree. I know someone who donated to NeoOffice, not really realising that it's the OpenOffice team that develops all the functionality, while the NeoOffice team (and I believe it's just two guys) just integrates it nicely with the Mac OS X GUI.

Of course the NeoOffice team do clearly point this out, but most non-technical users place far to much importance on the GUI. Sure, it's important, but so are all the other pieces of OOo that make it great. Or any piece of software for that matter... grrrr.. it's just a pet peeve I have.

Re:Intel binaries (2, Informative)

Uncle Asad (894147) | about 8 years ago | (#15546958)

The vast majority of OS-independent OOo code (and most of the Windows and X11-specific code, too) is written by a small-company-sized contingent of Sun employess in Hamburg, by small groups of employees of Novell and other Linux vendors, and so forth, who are paid by their employers specifically to work on OOo as their full-time job. So the "engine programmers" most certainly are getting paid for their work. :-)

If you want to help offset some of Sun's costs or to support the other community developers who also contribute their time, skills, and code to OOo, please do so! If you appreciate having a native, more Mac-like version of OOo, please also contribute to NeoOffice, because unlike the "engine programmers", these 2 developers are not paid by large companies to bring you NeoOffice and the work required to bring you Mac OS X integration, while not as large as writing an entire office suite, is still quite significant in its own right.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

rgravina (520410) | about 8 years ago | (#15547053)

I stand corrected :) I didn't realise the core OOo developers are paid to do their work, and I do appreciate what the NeoOffice developers are doing. Of course, not even knowing what's involved in integrating OpenOffice with with Mac OS X, I probably shouldn't be claiming it is easy! Thanks for the info.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

ploppowaffles (977289) | about 8 years ago | (#15542511)

The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to make sure the software is free for all its users. This General Public License applies to most of the Free Software Foundation's software and to any other program whose authors commit to using it. (Some other Free Software Foundation software is covered by the GNU Lesser General Public License instead.) You can apply it to your programs, too. When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs; and that you know you can do these things. To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights. These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it. For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights. etc etc..

Re:Intel binaries (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#15542717)

Excuse me, but what in the hell are you babbling about? The GPL allows for charging for software (which they're not doing) and RMS has even encouraged providing services centered around Free Software (which *is* what they're doing). Don't like it? Talk to RMS.

*bleeping* bunch of ungrateful *bleeps*

Re:Intel binaries (1)

ploppowaffles (977289) | about 8 years ago | (#15542775)

That was a verbatim quote from the preamble to the GPL. Don't like it? Talk to RMS. He wrote it, not me. ;) What are they doing if not charging for software? You have to pay them money, to be able to download it. To me, that sounds like charging for GPL'd software. Which I pointed out in my original post, IS TOTALLY LEGAL. But the GPL also says that after one person buys/subscribes/whatever and then obtains the software, they have all of the rights that are guaranteed under the GPL, including freely redistributing it, hence my call for a torrent link. Get over yourself.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#15542971)

That was a verbatim quote from the preamble to the GPL.

Yes, I recognized it. Which was why I asked what you were babbling about. NOTHING in there says that they can't do what they're doing. Which you just agreed with me on. (???)

But the GPL also says that after one person buys/subscribes/whatever and then obtains the software, they have all of the rights that are guaranteed under the GPL, including freely redistributing it, hence my call for a torrent link.

I didn't call you an ass because you asked for a torrent link. I called you an ass for your ungrateful attitude toward an organization that has spent thousands of hours of work on a fine product, only to have couch critics like yourself call into question their integrity for trying to keep themselves afloat. What have you done for the OOo project that gives you such standing to call their actions into question?

Act like an ass, get called an ass. That's all there is to it.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

ploppowaffles (977289) | about 8 years ago | (#15543215)

I never once said they violated the GPL. Read much? Read my original post. I started by saying "I know this is legal, but doesn't it seem sketchy.." and I stand by that. So I'm an ass for suggesting that people exercise their rights under the GPL and get builds of this open source software out into the community? How is that ungrateful? Oh it's nice to have the GPL written down somewhere.. but to feel that it should be used to the advantage of the community is ungrateful? To me, personally, asking for donations seems like a better solution to the NeoOffice funding problems. BTW you like to say ass a lot.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#15543464)

I never once said they violated the GPL. Read much?

Apparently, a lot better than you. Because I didn't suggest that you did. I suggested that you were acting like an ass. I stand by that.

I started by saying "I know this is legal, but doesn't it seem sketchy.."

Exactly. You called into question the integrity of honest people who have spent THOUSANDS OF HOURS working on the OOo project (in tandem with the main developers, mind you), who are working hard to get your ungrateful rear end a copy of the Intel version, and are merely asking for a nominal fee for anyone who wants access to the work-in-progress binaries. They do not have to provide those binaries to anyone. (Least of all, sorry excuses for freeloaders like yourself.) But they decided to use the distribution of them to help finance the project while they do their work. They haven't asked for any special protection on these binaries above and beyond what the GPL offers.

But according to you, that's "sketchy" behavior. You sir, are an ass. Even worse, you seem to be proud of acting like an ass. Which makes you even more of an ass. And on top of everything, you're an ungrateful ass.

"Whaa! NeoOffice didn't give me the pre-alpha binaries! Whaa! What sketchy behavior! Whaa! I don't like it! Whaa! Lets cut off their funding so they can't afford the project! Whaa!"

People like you are the reason why wonderful projects like NeoOffice stop being maintained. Absolutely disgusting.

BTW you like to say ass a lot.

Oh, I'm sorry. I'll use a different adjective. You sir, are ungrateful, slimey, lowlife pond scum that should return to the sewer from whence you and your pathetic attitude towards the hard work of others came.

Feel better now?

Re:Intel binaries (0)

ploppowaffles (977289) | about 8 years ago | (#15544085)

Know what else is sketchy? That the NeoOffice people felt the need to trademark NeoOffice and copyright their logo, so that they have legal control over the distribution of their oh-so-generous-only-$25 binary builds of 95% OOo code. Good tactic to remember for people trying to profit from F/OSS. Yeah, the jist of my whole post was that it's sketchy. I call into question the integrity of all the steps the NeoOffice people have made towards collecting money for their generous contributions towards a GPL project. You finally figured out what I initially wrote! Good job.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#15544281)

You finally figured out what I initially wrote!

Amazing. Simply amazing. I've been arguing exactly ONE thing the entire time: your piss-poor attitude toward hardworking folk. Now that you've gotten that through your thick skull, you try to accuse me of being thick?

Amazing.

Though not very surprising, I suppose. A fool thinks himself wise in his own eyes.

Re:Intel binaries (0)

ploppowaffles (977289) | about 8 years ago | (#15544347)

But they decided to use the distribution of them to help finance the project while they do their work. They haven't asked for any special protection on these binaries above and beyond what the GPL offers.
Except for trademark and copyright on their name and logo. So that they have ultimate control of their binaries above and beyond what the GPL offers. Dork.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

Oopsz (127422) | about 8 years ago | (#15544988)

Yeah, it's not like we've ever seen that [wikipedia.org] before.. Feel free to download the source, strip out the trademarked logos, change the name, compile and release it. You're well within your rights to. You can even set up a website and a governing organization, and promote your project in the OSS community. If that's too much work.. well, seriously, put up or shut up.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#15545437)

I wouldn't worry about him. In one sentence, he managed to reverse his previous position, as well as prove that he knows nothing about intellectual property law. He's a fool, plain and simple.

Re:Intel binaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15550656)

now what else is sketchy? That the NeoOffice people felt the need to trademark NeoOffice and copyright their logo, so that they have legal control over the distribution of their oh-so-generous-only-$25 binary builds of 95% OOo code.

That prevents people from doing anything in the name of NeoOffice, like releasing binaries that are incompatible with thier patches or even much worse stuff. OpenOffice.org® is trademarked too, as well as just about any serious open-source project.

Good tactic to remember for people trying to profit from F/OSS.

Thery're not trying to make profit ... but save their project which is seriously in need of money because people like you don't understand that it costs $$$ to host the binaries on their servers and to develop full time, living only on skimpy donations and revenues originating from their wives' salaries.

I call into question the integrity of all the steps the NeoOffice people have made towards collecting money for their generous contributions towards a GPL project.

Is it OpenOffice.org that you're calling a GPL project ? Becuase it's not. In fact, OpenOffice is LGPL, which allows Sun to release their own proprietary version of OOo, Star Office. And if you think that's sketchy, well, you'd better realize that although the community has made a tremendous work to make OpneOffice what it is now, most of the development is still done by Sun employees.

Moreover, the binary distibution is $25 now, will be $10 on June 19, and $0 on July 1 ...

Re:Intel binaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15550037)

Oh it's nice to have the GPL written down somewhere.. but to feel that it should be used to the advantage of the community is ungrateful?

I wonder how getting funds away from the developers will benefit the community in the long run, since the developers, if they can't find a way to finance NeoOffice (actually, the part they can't fund with their own money - the same money with which they buy food for their children, too) will have to give up. Then, Mac users will be left with a semi-integrated X11 version (ok for some, but not for all) and a fully-native Cocoa version that won't be in any stable/usable state before a few years. And of course MS Office, but that one's both expensive and proprietary ...

If you don't want to pay for NeoOffice for Intel then you have three options : using a torrent to redistribute it to the community (and risk to destroy the entire NeoOffice project), get the source and build it yourself, or wait until June 1, where it will be available for $0. Are you so desperate to use OOo 2.0's features that you can't even wait two weeks ? And even if you were, you could always use the X11 version until then and download NeoOffice when it no longer costs a penny.

To me, personally, asking for donations seems like a better solution to the NeoOffice funding problems.

Oh my god, they haven't thought of that ! But of course they ask for donations, they've always done so ! Simply, donations do not cover the costs of developing NeoOffice and pay for the bandwidth costs generated by all their users. The early access program isn't a new fun way to make money, it's a last resort solution to keep the project alive. Before someone came up with the idea of the EAP, the developers were thinking of giving up. Think about this : the main developer codes and builds NeoOffice on a 450 Mhz G4 machine, and managed to afford a single Core Solo Mac mini to make Intel development possible.

If you have an Intel-based Mac, then you probably paid at least $599 to get it; what's $25 (soon just $10, and you can get a global membership - for Alpha, Beta, RC and Final, both PPC & Intel releases - for $80) in comparison ?

If you want. go ahead and set up a torrent - but beware that it could cause the project to collapse, and so people would be stuck with Alpha or Beta software (and its X11 and proprietary alternatives). If I were you I would think twice before doing this (but obviously I'm not).

Re:Intel binaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15542008)

OpenOffice.org with X11 is great unless you need to use special fonts (like I did as a Greek major). NeoOffice also utilizes the OS X native menus which is nice.

Re:Intel binaries (4, Insightful)

static0verdrive (776495) | about 8 years ago | (#15542088)

Way to subvert their attempt at coming up with funding for development. This project is maintained by a only few people, and developed mostly by only one person, who does it full-time. The actual release will be free to download, but they do the "Early Access Subscription" program to attempt to raise funds because they have over 2 million downloads a year and are still losing money just keeping the website up. This project needs our help to keep going, and it is a great project. Installing X11 and using OOo is acceptable for some, but the NeoOffice suite is all about being native - fully standardized Mac Aqua menus and no need for X11. The way to go for grandma and other mac-only users and/or newbies.

If you don't want to support the project, that's your choice, but recommending ways to circumvent their request for donations (for the alpha alone, no less) makes you look greedy, and is precisely why the main developer may not be able to continue development full-time if he can't afford to. I pay the linux distributions I use and like to show my support, and I fund open source projects I use frequently with donations of anywhere from $25-$50 to help them out, considering all they do for us.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 years ago | (#15542661)

The actual release will be free to download, but they do the "Early Access Subscription" program to attempt to raise funds because they have over 2 million downloads a year and are still losing money just keeping the website up.

or you know, they could shift to bittorrent for all downloads, or at least make it a big PITA to download through other methods, or only allow bittorrent from official and let people mirror it if they want.

Not to say that asking for money isn't a valid method, but maybe they should be taking steps to cut costs as well.

Re:Intel binaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544015)

You say that they are charging for the early access to pay for their bandwidth usage. How then is mirroring the downloads (and lowering their bandwidth usage) hurting them?

Re:Intel binaries (1)

CynicTheHedgehog (261139) | about 8 years ago | (#15542570)

From what I can see, it seems that the subscriptions are for early access to the Intel build. From the Early Access page:


When can I download NeoOffice 2.0 Alpha Intel for free?

Starting on 1 July 2006, you will be able to download NeoOffice 2.0 Alpha Intel for free.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

sciencecneisc (980820) | about 8 years ago | (#15544921)

I don't care enough to chip in for a torrent membership deal but you're right. I thought of downloading this to replace AbiWord on my ICBM (iMac intel) because AbiWord and Rosetta is like molasses. OpenOffice with X11 is OK but takes time as well. It's a shame I have to use TextEdit and have no real choice.

Re:Intel binaries (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#15545619)

Um, the PowerPC version should run until the Intel binary is completed. Perhaps not quite as fast, but then again, NeoOffice was never a speed demon to begin with. :)

Re:Intel binaries (1)

Uncle Asad (894147) | about 8 years ago | (#15546888)

Heh, that's one of Apple's dirty little secrets: there are certain classes of application that Rosetta will not translate, and NeoOffice falls into one of those classes (apps which embed a JVM). See http://developer.apple.com/documentation/MacOSX/Co nceptual/universal_binary/universal_binary_tips/ch apter_5_section_16.html [apple.com] and http://developer.apple.com/qa/qa2005/qa1295.html [apple.com] for more info from Apple.

Fortunately, the NeoOffice Intel code is already in CVS, the Intel binary is currently available in Early Access, and the Intel binary will be publicly available in a few weeks.

Not sure why alpha 3 is news exactly, but... (5, Informative)

VValdo (10446) | about 8 years ago | (#15541941)

I think when NeoOffice goes beta, THAT will be news. Why? Because the current plan for beta includes an aquified version.

Take a look at how this is progressing here [neooffice.org] . Pretty amazing, especially when you consider that NeoOffice has two developers. TWO. And they aren't even full-time.

Also, a new graphics, file icons, splash screen, etc. are in the works for 2.0 beta. Check out the forums [neooffice.org] .

And FWIW, I've had absolutely no problem with the alpha series so far.

W

All Your Base... (1)

frankie (91710) | about 8 years ago | (#15541990)

...are belong to NeoOffice, at last. I tried one of the earlier alphas and Base wasn't there, but supposedly it's working now.

If so, time to switch from OOo. Like most finicky Mac users I'd rather have lickable widgets and a screen-wide menu bar, but lack of features is a dealbreaker.

Just use the X11 Build, avoid NeoOffice (1, Troll)

Optic (6803) | about 8 years ago | (#15542019)

I don't like having my F/OSS software held hostage... I'm using the ACTUALLY FREE X11 build of OOo on my Intel mac, and it works great. There's no reason to use NeoOffice, really, or pay their ransom to have it work on your Intel Mac.

Same goes for the MacGimp.

NeoOffice is WAY superior to X11 OO.o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15542384)

I don't like having my F/OSS software held hostage... I'm using the ACTUALLY FREE X11 build of OOo on my Intel mac, and it works great. There's no reason to use NeoOffice, really, or pay their ransom to have it work on your Intel Mac.

Don't be a prick. They only have two developers and need to raise funds so they can continue to afford to develop. They charge a very nominal amount for ALPHA versions, and only for a short period (like 3-4 weeks). After the testing phase, they no longer charge anything.

So quit your whining. This is the only way Neooffice could feasibly continue as a project. And by the way, if you'd rather run X11, that's great. But not having to use X11 is only one of many reasons NO is better. For more, check out their wiki [sixthcrusade.com] .

One last thing-- although they charge their fee to participate in the alpha testing for a short while, you can always compile your own binary from CVS and it won't cost anything.

Source is Freely Available (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 8 years ago | (#15549537)

One last thing-- although they charge their fee to participate in the alpha testing for a short while, you can always compile your own binary from CVS and it won't cost anything.

I'm posting this to amplify your point with a new Subject header so other folks will see it.

I expect the guy you were replying to didn't read the FAQ. At first the charging reads like a GPL violation, which is probably what got his hackles up. Let's cut him a bit of slack since we do need folks to be ever vigilant about the GPL.

I've sent my PayPal to the NeoOffice guys, but folks, if you haven't already, please do so. They do a really good job and we don't want to see it go away.

Re:Just use the X11 Build, avoid NeoOffice (3, Insightful)

supremebob (574732) | about 8 years ago | (#15542433)

I'd like to agree with you, but:

* The X11 version of OpenOffice requires Apple X11 to be installed before it will launch. The install isn't horrible, but it is still far more difficult than the "drag and drop" installers that Apple users have come to expect.
* The launch time and overall performance of X11 OpenOffice is horrible compared to a native Macintosh app.
* Compared to a native Mac application, the X11 OpenOffice interface looks like crap and the integration with other applications leaves a lot to be desired.

Honestly, X11 OpenOffice isn't up to the standards that most people expect from well polished Apple software. It's not like F/OSS isn't up to the challenge, either... Just look at Firefox for the Mac.

Re:Just use the X11 Build, avoid NeoOffice (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | about 8 years ago | (#15543706)

The X11 installation is the exact same as any other .pkg installer. Continue, Continue, Agree, Continue, Continue, done. The problem lies in it being hidden on the DVD instead of available from the website like it was with Panther.

As to startup time, that is only if you are starting X11 from scratch. If it is already running, which mine always is, then the startup time is pretty good.

But I will agree on integration. Lack of 'email to', a Mac-style menu, and the Win9X theme all make it really hurt to use after getting used to the slick interface of other OS X apps.

I am going to continue using X11 + OOo until NeoOffice is ready (or until the /. effect ends, if its ready today).

Re:Just use the X11 Build, avoid NeoOffice (1)

Kelson (129150) | about 8 years ago | (#15544642)

...the standards that most people expect from well polished Apple software. It's not like F/OSS isn't up to the challenge, either... Just look at Firefox for the Mac.

Or better yet, Firefox's cousin, Camino [caminobrowser.org] . It's even more polished and integrated into the Mac UI than Firefox (one hazard of cross-platform applications is that they rarely feel 100% native on every platform), though that comes at the expense of not being able to run extensions.

Re:Just use the X11 Build, avoid NeoOffice (1)

n2art2 (945661) | about 8 years ago | (#15542483)

This is so freaking funny!!! Mod parent up for laugh effect.

Who knows why the OS community is having a harder time becoming mainstream? Is it because the technical skills of the developers isn't there?

A big resounding NO. It's because of greedy little tightwad people like the parent here.

Re:Just use the X11 Build, avoid NeoOffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15542720)

There's no reason to use NeoOffice, really, or pay their ransom to have it work on your Intel Mac.
Let me see ... How about: 1) X11 was never designed to support a GUI. 2) X11 sucks as a GUI, especially when compared to Aqua 3) NeoOffice's Java front end sucks a whole lot less than X11 (but it's still a step down from Aqua). 4) NeoOffice has some potential to be Aqua native, whereas the official OO.o will never be due to boneheaded design choices (monolithic codebase with ifdef's all over the place). 5) NeoOffice has some potential to be Aqua native, whereas the official OO.o relase will never be because the project leadership has been taken over by anti-M$, but still "stuck" using Windows fanatics that are very intolerant of any non-Windows specific code (even if it's standards compliant but breaks with M$'s compilers) causing them the least bit of headache and the Mac port maintainers are just going with the flow. 6) Charging a fee is perfectly legit according to the viral GPL (If you don't like it, take it up w/ RS) 7) The NeoOffice guys have to pay for hosting, etc. So, if you don't like it, put your money and effort where your foot is, buy a subscription, get the code, and host it all yourself.

Re:Just use the X11 Build, avoid NeoOffice (2, Informative)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | about 8 years ago | (#15543165)

NeoOffice is free, but for these early alpha builds of version 2.0 they're asking users to pay because they're short of funds. Either that or there may be no NeoOffice at all, so I think this is a reasonable request. If you don't want to pay, just wait until it's released. As for the X11 build of OpenOffice.org ... ick! Printing and fonts are a nightmare, not to mention the interface. And let's not even go into the steps a normal user would have to take to get it to work in the first place (install Apple X11, etc). Use it if you want (I use it sometimes, too), but don't complain when somebody tries to make something that's actually usable by a wider majority of people.

I realize you were mostly ranting about the cost, though, and that really won't be an issue later. They just needed some funds, so they decided to offer super-early alpa versions for a fee. That's all.

Re: Hostage? (1)

Macrat (638047) | about 8 years ago | (#15543355)

How is it being held hostage?

The EARLY ACCESS is for a fee.

After that early access period, the alpha is a FREE download.

Re: Hostage? (1)

Oopsz (127422) | about 8 years ago | (#15545101)

Let's be even more specific-- The EARLY ACCESS BINARIES are for a fee.

Sources are available for free, both the alpha tarball and the latest developments on CVS.

Re:Just use the X11 Build, avoid NeoOffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15543408)

You confuse free beer with free speech.

Don't post here again until you've actually read the GPL.

Re:Just use the X11 Build, avoid NeoOffice (2, Interesting)

Enrique1218 (603187) | about 8 years ago | (#15543487)

You don't know the mac community very well. We will pay for anything (sometimes more than Windows users) so long as it just works. $80 is small potatoes next to the $300 we already shell out for that other office suite. I certainly think it is reasonable to charge to support development. Even with the developers volunteering their time, new Intel Macs cost money and money don't grow on trees. From what I heard, this project isn't supported by the main open office project. The money is got to come from somewhere and if you are not contributing to the source code, you might as well shell out the cash. It is only fair if this project is important to you.

Re:Just use the X11 Build, avoid NeoOffice (1)

Oopsz (127422) | about 8 years ago | (#15545120)

One of the things that surprised me when I got an iBook.. Shareware is alive and kicking in the mac world! I haven't seen any windows shareware that I couldn't replace with a free alternative, but over in OSX-Land, you have to pay for every little utility, tweak, or applet..

Obligatory (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 8 years ago | (#15542027)

Wake up, NeoOffice. The Matrix has you.

hope this is great (4, Interesting)

ChristTrekker (91442) | about 8 years ago | (#15542069)

I broke down and bought MS Office (for the third time, once for every major architecture/OS combo of the Mac) a little over a year ago because nothing else on the Mac was quite "prime time" enough for my wife to use, and using Office98 in Classic was flaky. I was willing to go along with a few nonstandard UI decisions, or jump an extra hurdle of file incompatibility, or deal with X11, but inflicting any of those on her practically amounts to spousal abuse. After all, I'd just gotten her to "switch" from her slow/glitchy old PC, and just having things be in different locations was hard enough on her.

Now, I've heard good things about MS Office running with Rosetta, so maybe it won't be an issue at all whenever I upgrade to a x86 Mac (the 4th combo). But I really hope that NeoOffice 2 is sufficiently "prime time" by then so that I don't have to be reliant on proprietary packages. I'd prefer to use open standards.

In some ways I wonder if NeoOffice is really the best route to take with regards to porting OOo. It seems like an awful lot of work. I'm no expert in these matters, but wouldn't it make sense for OOo to use the wxWidgets framework? Compile against the platform-appropriate wx implementation (wxGTK, wxCocoa, etc.), and boom, you're done. Obviously, switching frameworks at all would be a big effort, but once it was done it would be easy for everyone going forward, and the Mac version wouldn't always be lagging behind.

Re:hope this is great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15542469)

I'm no expert in these matters, but wouldn't it make sense for OOo to use the wxWidgets framework? Compile against the platform-appropriate wx implementation (wxGTK, wxCocoa, etc.), and boom, you're done.

Obviously this would have been the one way to go, if OO.o were being designed today. But it's a very old and complex project, and it was not designed in a way that makes switching to wxWidgets feasible. For more on this, read the NeoOffice forums or the porting mailing list.

Because believe me, if it were that easy, they'd be doing it.

Re:hope this is great (2, Interesting)

ChristTrekker (91442) | about 8 years ago | (#15543537)

Obviously this would have been the one way to go, if OO.o were being designed today.

WxWidgets isn't exactly new. But I suppose it wasn't as mature when OOo started.

Because believe me, if it were that easy, they'd be doing it.

But if it's "easy enough" that two guys can "yank out" the standard GUI stuff, and hook in Mac-native GUI stuff, then it seems to be that OOo as a whole is pretty well abstracted/designed. The question is whether the developers see enough "long run" benefit to redoing that part in the core OOo, or not. If so, then porting is practially a non-issue. If not, then projects like NeoOffice will forever be redoing their work again and again, and they'll always be behind. Heck, if two guys can yank out the GUI bits and replace it with native Cocoa stuff, why couldn't two (or more) guys do the same and replace with wx stuff instead? Obviously I'm not a GUI developer or I'd understand better why this isn't a realistic option.

bumber (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 8 years ago | (#15542155)

Now mac users are going to be confused. OOo or o_Oo

Free as in Fiction (2, Insightful)

yoxi (894393) | about 8 years ago | (#15542379)

I have to say I find it just deeply infantile, people harrumphing because something they want isn't immediately available to them for free. When you say you want something for free, what you really mean is 'I want someone other than me to pay for it'. In opensource, someone (individual or collective) is always paying, in time, experience, and actual money in order that the wider user community doesn't have to. NeoOffice: 2 guys working hard to make a more OSX-friendly (and therefore more useable) version of OOo available are spending their time, experience, and money to do this. Now they're asking for help doing that, because it's a project worth keeping going, and it's not sustainable without help, some of which needs to be financial. If you want the Intel version of the Alpha 3 for free, wait 2-3 more weeks until it's available for free - the people who do choose to support the project by paying a little money to get the releases a little early (and therefore be the bug-testers) are contributing towards keeping this great project going. How would bittorrent piracy be contributing? If you want the release bad enough to want to pirate it, that ought to mean you appreciate it enough to see that the project that makes it possible needs supporting, not undermining. Grow up.

Re:Free as in Fiction (2, Insightful)

ploppowaffles (977289) | about 8 years ago | (#15542451)

Three little letters: G. P. L. NeoOffice is 95% OpenOffice.org. Why should I have to pay to be a bug-tester on an open source (read GPL'd) project? Bittorrenting the builds would not be piracy, it would be 100% legal under the GPL. The NeoOffice guys have no right to control the distribution of GPL'd code, duh.

Re:Free as in Fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15542560)

This is one of the reasons F/OSS is seen as a lost cause to the industry bigshots. No one wants to pay for their software. None of you. Why open source a project if you don't get any money back for the work you put in? For the pleasure? Well, that don't pay the light bill.

Re:Free as in Read the "Early Access" FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15542587)

Three little letters: G. P. L. NeoOffice is 95% OpenOffice.org. Why should I have to pay to be a bug-tester on an open source (read GPL'd) project? Bittorrenting the builds would not be piracy, it would be 100% legal under the GPL. The NeoOffice guys have no right to control the distribution of GPL'd code, duh.

You're right, except...

* NeoOffice is GPL'd, but not because of OpenOffice.org. OO.o is released under the LGPL [openoffice.org] , not the GPL. NeoOffice, on the other hand, is fully GPLd.

* As long as you are passing along the source (when requested), you can sell and/or give away GPL'd software. But you may not, according to NeoOffice's trademark rules, market NeoOffice under the NeoOffice brand. You must strip out all references to NeoOffice and any logos/graphics that have been trademarked. The exceptions to this are laid out in NO's wiki [sixthcrusade.com] .

* Evey DURING the pay-for-the-alpha "early access" period (which only lasts a couple of weeks) anyone can download and compile from CVS themselves, no problem.

The Early Access FAQ [sixthcrusade.com] , as it lays this stuff out pretty clearly.

Re:Free as in Read the "Early Access" FAQ (1)

ploppowaffles (977289) | about 8 years ago | (#15542676)

The LGPL allows you to link LGPL'd code with a non-GPL program, as long as it isn't changed. This makes it convenient to use the GNU C Library in a commercial application, for instance. Any part of OpenOffice.org that they had to change during porting the entire UI to OS X, would have to be released back to the community. I imagine that the NeoOffice code is so intertwined with the OpenOffice.org code that they had no choice but to GPL the entire thing.

Re:Free as in Read the "Early Access" FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15542786)

. I imagine that the NeoOffice code is so intertwined with the OpenOffice.org code that they had no choice but to GPL the entire thing.

Nope. NeoOffice was GPL'd from day one, even when OO.o used the SISSL. The fact that NeoOffice was more free than OOo was a big issue in its early development and one reason that it was kept seperate from the main OO.o port to OS X.

Re:Free as in Fiction (1)

Toone_Town (612696) | about 8 years ago | (#15543622)

BitTorrenting the BINARIES wouldn't be piracy - but it would be violating the trademark [neooffice.org] . So you can't do it.

You can bittorent the source all you want - it *is* after all, open source...

Check out the forums, the wiki, and everything else on the neooffice page. If you don't want to pay for the early access build, BUILD IT YOURSELF! And you don't have to pay a cent.

The SOURCE is there for you.

BTW - don't build it yourself and then bittorent that either - that would also violate the trademark. Feel free to change the source and rename it something different though - it is, after all, OPEN SOURCE!

For more on the Open Source/Trademark/Free/Pay/Early Access/etc issue, please read this thread [neooffice.org] . Then, after you are more educated, come back and share your views.

Re:Free as in Fiction (1)

Oopsz (127422) | about 8 years ago | (#15544317)

All viable options-- look at what the CentOS guys did when the wanted to roll a free version of red hat. Perfectly legal under the GPL, and CentOS is an extremely popular distro-- that doesn't impune on Red Hat's trademarks.

Re:Free as in Fiction (2, Insightful)

Geurilla (759701) | about 8 years ago | (#15542584)

Grow up indeed.

If the developers are strapped for cash and need "donations" they should just ask for them instead of charging for their "free software". People are upset not because they are ungrateful and selfish, but because the developers, as contributors to FOSS and GPL code, have a moral obligation to uphold the principles of the community and are failing to do so. The developers are violating, if not the letter of the GPL, at least the spirit of the GPL, and so deserve any ill-will directed toward them. If they don't want to play the game then they should not participate, no matter how much time, effort, and money they have contributed to benefit the community.

We are perfectly capable of being grateful for their contribution while simultaneously censuring them for their moral failures.

Re:Free as in Fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15542709)

It is not an accident that the GPL doesn't forbid developers/distributers charging for GPL'd software; it is intentional.
If I wanted to I could start charging for copies of any GPL'd project, as long as I distribute the source and the license agreement.
The freedom to charge is not in violation of the GPL's words or spirit.

In the same vein, the freedom to redistribute is also part of the GPL.
If you don't think people should be charged for the alpha of NeoOffice, redistribute it yourself and don't charge.
The question is, if you do who is being the bigger dick: them for charging, or you for attempting to sabotage them?

Re:Free as in Fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15543026)

If the developers are strapped for cash and need "donations" they should just ask for them instead of charging for their "free software".

They are. In exchange, they'll give you early access to a compiled and packaged binary.

We are perfectly capable of being grateful for their contribution while simultaneously censuring them for their moral failures.

Bullcrap. These guys are not violating the letter of the GPL in any way. If you want the alpha and can't wait 3 weeks, go to CVS and build it yourself. They are charging for a service, namely early access to the build. Read the FAQ [sixthcrusade.com] for more.

If you follow development of this project at ALL, you'd have learned how this was the ONLY way that development could continue. It is not a get-rich scheme, but a volunteer solution to keep the two developers from having to abandon the project entirely.

Again, if you can't wait the four weeks during the early access program and unwilling to pay the twenty bucks or so, then just build the binary yourself.

Oh, and if you personally aren't rebranding the software and making it available as a free download for others (got the bandwidth?), well, it seems you're a bit of a hypocrite.

I take your censure and raise it by three moral outrages.

Re:Free as in Fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15543217)

NeoOffice is not charging for the software. What they are charging for is an opportunity to participate in the Early Access program, which applies to every release. You aren't paying for the GPL'd software, you are paying for the opportunity to be on the bleeding edge of their development.

Re:Free as in Fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15543336)

Why should that cost anything on a free project? Won't the barrier to entry only slow development?

Re:Free as in Fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15546215)

1. You can download from CVS and help develop for free.

2. Free speech =/= free beer.

Re:Free as in Fiction (2, Insightful)

yoxi (894393) | about 8 years ago | (#15543423)

'Violating the spirit' - great rhetoric. But the pragmatics of the situation are in another universe: so you're someone with an intel mac, and you want to use NeoOffice, and you want it right now. What are your options?

Well, you can compile your own binary from the (always was, still is, always will be) freely available NeoOffice source code - the intel code is there right now, go for it. You don't want to do that? What are your options?

Well, if you can bear to wait a couple more weeks you can download a binary for free from the developers.
And why is it there in the first place? Because people have made sufficient financial contribution to make it actually possible for the 2 guys to spend 60-70 hours a week between them making the code work for you. You don't want to wait that long? What are your options?

well, you can pay $25 for a binary compiled on your behalf, thus along the way helping to make it possible in the future for there to actually be a beta release with better functionality, aquafied widgets and all that, and eventually a full release of the app.

These are all options. They're all GPL-friendly. It's completely your choice whether you compile now, make a financial contribution now, or bear a 2-4 week wait for something that wouldn't be there at all without some people's financial contributions. The developers tried 'voluntary donations' and it didn't work, that's the reality. This way, NeoOffice v2 for PPC and intel exists right now, that's the reality. Waah, waah, it's not fair, they're not playing by the rules... you want NeoOffice or not?

Re:Free as in Fiction (1)

gleffler (540281) | about 8 years ago | (#15546522)

Well, you can compile your own binary from the (always was, still is, always will be) freely available NeoOffice source code - the intel code is there right now, go for it. You don't want to do that? What are your options? Well, if you can bear to wait a couple more weeks you can download a binary for free from the developers.
As long as OO.o takes to compile, you might as well just wait for the binary, dude.

Re:Free as in Fiction (1)

yoxi (894393) | about 8 years ago | (#15546952)

Yeah, vout...

Sorry, sir, but I must say "You are an idiot" (1)

iendedi (687301) | about 8 years ago | (#15547455)

If the developers are strapped for cash and need "donations" they should just ask for them instead of charging for their "free software". People are upset not because they are ungrateful and selfish, but because the developers, as contributors to FOSS and GPL code, have a moral obligation to uphold the principles of the community and are failing to do so. The developers are violating, if not the letter of the GPL, at least the spirit of the GPL, and so deserve any ill-will directed toward them. If they don't want to play the game then they should not participate, no matter how much time, effort, and money they have contributed to benefit the community.
These guys are busting their asses to give the entire mac community a beautiful native port of OO, on their nickle and their clock and you say "they deserve any ill-will directed toward them" for requiring money for an early-access build? (btw, you can download the source and build it yourself today, knucklehead)

Only a completely selfish sociopathic moron would say such a thing. I don't care one iota if your ideals are offended because they don't slave away for free so you can have your toys. Fact is, they are providing a valuable service and are trying to figure out how to pay their bills while they do it. Would you prefer that they stop performing this service, since they aren't doing it in a way that impresses you?

Personally, I have this suggestion for them: When the new NeoOffice is ready (read: complete, not alpha or beta) and aquified, make a big announcement about it but do not release it. Don't distribute the source or the binaries. Instead, have a round of fund-raising through donations. Set a target such as $100,000 - The binaries and source to be released when the target is met. If the target isn't met, don't release it (DON'T DISTRIBUTE IT). This does not violate the GPL at all. Nobody can claim that they must release it. If they want, they can modify OO until it becomes HAL and if they don't distribute it, it's there business.

I would love to see those guys do such a thing. People will donate to get the thing released, the developers deserve to profit from their labors and people like the parent poster can shove it up their *ss.

Re:Free as in Fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15561012)

The developers are violating, if not the letter of the GPL, at least the spirit of the GPL, and so deserve any ill-will directed toward them.

You obviously know next to nothing about the GPL. Please learn a bit about the viral GPL before you shoot your mouth off.

Well... (1)

j0nkatz (315168) | about 8 years ago | (#15542389)

Who really cares about another shitty java program.
Wake me up when this thing is OS X native.

Old news? (1)

epo001 (558061) | about 8 years ago | (#15542517)

I might be missing something here but I downloaded this for my Powerbook back on May 23rd. There have been 2 subsequent patches.

Why is this story being posted today?

Ed

Re:Old news? (1)

BrianPan (786919) | about 8 years ago | (#15543560)

Because I didn't know about it. Today's my day for news.

Re:Old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15550099)

This story is about the Intel release, which was made available through the early access program on 06/19 ...

NeoOffice (1)

Neal Saferstein (982268) | about 8 years ago | (#15548216)

The Universal Version is desperately needsd. OFFICE is just aweful using Rosetta it takes up so much resources. Neal Saferstein
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