Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×

171 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Not true! NeoOffice! (5, Informative)

wheatwilliams (605974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971291)

OpenOffice.org runs on Mac OS X under X11.
NeoOffice is an independently developed version of OpenOffice.org 2.1 which runs on Mac OS X natively and without the need for X11. I've been using it for years.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (-1, Troll)

jeandupont570 (1096949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971305)

Hello, I'd like to discuss this with you, you can join me on jean.dupont570@orange.fr!

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971325)

I think we can kiss NeoOffice goodbye now.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (3, Interesting)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971365)

maybe. What Im more hoping for is the NeoOffice guys and Sun will bury the hatchet and work together on this, since the point of contention between the teams is now moot.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971567)

If you've looked at the latest Mac builds from the OpenOffice native port team, you will see that there is no contest with NeoOffice. NeoOffice is using a bad approach. Adding another layer of indirection (through Java) was a bad idea from the start, and became an even worse idea when Apple deprecated the Java-Cocoa bridge. The native implementation (demoed at FOSDEM) is significantly faster, and will be much more maintainable since it does things the right way from the start. I occasionally fire up NeoOffice/J, and within five minutes I've remembered why I don't do it more often. The native port looks like something I might actually consider using.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

shelterpaw (959576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972041)

Well 2.1 seems fast enough for me. I have been working on a document that's over 50 pages long and contains tables, graphs and images. OpenOffice/J has been great and I haven't noticed any slow down. However, I'm on a Mac Pro with 3ghz processors. Maybe I'll try it on my PowerBook.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972973)

I find NeoOffice runs pretty well (for the light uses I've ever put it to -- mild word processing) on a current (lowest-end) MacBook; my mom finally decided to replace her iBook (6 years old and pokey) with a MacBook, and since I was around during the purchase, I helped migrate data and put on the needed-but-not-there apps like Firefox. (Safari's fine, I'm sure, I just don't like it as much.) I put on NeoOffice as well, and other than a slowish startup time, I think it's perfectly nifty.

timothy

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (3, Informative)

Movi (1005625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973069)

The UI is not Java anymore. Starting from version 2 its straight Objective C Cocoa.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (2, Informative)

Creepy (93888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971833)

the original dispute was over the license - see the faq and the license in dispute:
http://www.neooffice.org/neojava/en/faq.php [neooffice.org]
http://www.openoffice.org/licenses/sissl_license.h tml [openoffice.org]

I chatted with Ed a long time ago (email, I think) after several separate groups and individuals were all attempting to port OOo 1.0, including myself, which I believe was eventually abandoned due to data model incompatibility. I forget the exact details, but I think it was OSX's problem with weak binding (this is X.1 and X.2 we're talking about) and OOo using multiply defined symbols in their plugins and requiring dynamic weak binding. X didn't have that problem, so only the X version was released.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

m94mni (541438) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972497)

...OSX's problem with weak binding (this is X.1 and X.2 we're talking about) and OOo using multiply defined symbols in their plugins and requiring dynamic weak binding. X didn't have that problem, so only the X version was released.
Someone else has a naming issue...

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18971367)

> I think we can kiss NeoOffice goodbye now.

I see no reason to do that; I use it all the time to open up Word documents without having to resort to X11. Just because another solution's coming along doesn't mean there's a problem with NeoOffice.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (5, Insightful)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971387)

Have you tried the latest major release of NeoOffice? For an office suite, it's awesome. NeoOffice has matured through years of development, and unless Sun joins the NeoOffice effort it's going to take a long time before they produce something that rivals it, I imagine. Give the NeoOffice guys credit where it's due.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971453)

Yes, I use NeoOffice rather that the normal OO. Hopefully they can work together. I don't know how much of the NO interface could be merged back into OO.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

varcher75 (800974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973273)

One of the longstanding blocking points - for me - with NeoOffice was the spreadsheet. The 2.1 solved almost all of my problems with it.

I imagine Sun can do the same job, but I fail to see why they should. Alas, license problems have caused more than a fork for OS projects in the past, and I imagine it can do the same again.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (3, Informative)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971389)

Those guys (Ed and Patrick) are way ahead of the OOo port, so it's most likely going to be around for some time, Sun or not. Its a sad story, but its really too bad the Neo guys and OOo couldn't work together, but there's something political going on.

Here's some oblig. links:
NeoOffice: http://trinity.neooffice.org/ [neooffice.org]
OOo: http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/download/index.h tml [openoffice.org]

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (4, Funny)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971391)

I've been using it for years.
So have I. Hopefully it will have fully started up by the end of next month. Then I can get some word processing done. I need to allow another six months before the spreadsheet module will open, I think.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18971445)

NeoOffice has always run very fast for me. I have a lot of fonts loaded, and because of the way stupid MS Office loads, it chokes on them, taking forever to load even on a G5, but NeoOffice (like every single other non-MS App on my system) loads very fast and works very well in every aspect as far as I can tell.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (2, Interesting)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971605)

You're lucky then. Mine regularly takes a minute or more to start up, and over 30 seconds to save a simple, small document. Not to mention the lags in the spreadsheet - I can easily enter 3-4 cels worth of data before it's finished showing the entry for the first cel. If I get too much futher ahead of it, it starts to lose data.

I'll admit, I recently d/led the newest version at work, and it does seem to be an improvement. Still not as fast as a normal app, but not head-bangingly slow.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (4, Insightful)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972023)

You're lucky then. Mine regularly takes a minute or more to start up, and over 30 seconds to save a simple, small document. Not to mention the lags in the spreadsheet - I can easily enter 3-4 cels worth of data before it's finished showing the entry for the first cel. If I get too much futher ahead of it, it starts to lose data.


I must be doing something wrong, since my NeoOffice (2.1 patch 3) takes about 10 seconds to start.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (2, Interesting)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973521)

I have NeoOffice 2.1 on my Dual 2.0 Ghz G5 with 1 GB RAM.

I just timed it with a stopwatch, with nothing else running.

On initial launch, it took 42 seconds to get a usable word processor up on the screen.

However, on repeat launches, it takes only 12 seconds.

Photoshop takes 14 seconds. MS Word takes 6 seconds. 42 is embarrassing, (although at least it's the answer to the ultimate question of Life, The Universe, and Everything, so it gets some credit there.) 12 seconds isn't so bad. This machine isn't exactly brand-spanking new, but Apple's had a lot of huge speed increases lately. You jump back to G4 machines that aren't all that old, like my Mom's eMac and my girlfriend's G4 iBook, and I wouldn't even want to install NeoOffice, the speed must just be painful.

Also, while the UI is largely a direct copy of Office, some of the places where it deviates constitute the most inane violations of UI design I've ever seen.

All that said, most of the painful slowness is in startup; I've found word processing and spreadsheet to be reasonably snappy once they're open, and the thing is feature competitive with MS Office, with a Cocoa interface, for FREE. All in all it's an amazing bargain and I'm very happy it's around. Still, I wouldn't complain about a Sun developed native build with more snappy, either.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972475)

Noe Office runs fine, loads fast on my Duel G5 Powermac, of course complex DNA simulation software would too. Loading it on one of my 1st generation Mac Mini's is analogous to hitting it with a sledge hammer.

Go sun , I would love native OO.org on my Mac's

Cheers
   

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971473)

Well, you made me smile, but that is a little harsh, I think the recent versions of NeoOffice launch substantially faster. I've just tried, following a machine restart and v 2.1 launched in about 15 seconds. This is on a 2Ghz Core 2 Duo though. I agree start-up used to be tedious, especially on my old G4.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

Teilo (91279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972361)

And that is precisely the problem. Your increase in speed has absolutely nothing to do with the latest NeoOffice build, and everything to do with your Intel Mac. In 100% of the cases that I have heard NeoOffice users claiming that NeoOffice has improved, it is because they upgraded to an Intel Mac. Hello?! (And by the way, gasoline must really have improved recently, because I can suddenly drive a lot faster after I upgraded my '84 Honda Civic to a '07 T-bird).

That's great for you. I envy you. But there are a ton of G4's out there that cannot use NeoOffice. Even on my 1.6Ghz G4 (note: the fastest G4 available), NeoOffice is barely usable. Not only does it start slow, the whole interface is a slug. I can run Office 2000 via VirtualPC faster than I can run NeoOffice natively. I am not kidding. I tested it.

The newest Java-Cocoa version of NeoOffice is no faster than the older Java-Carbon versions. It just looks prettier. (Oh, and it has docx and VBA support, ripped from other projects, which will soon be in the trunk anyway. Please.) If the OOo port had reliable font and printer support (and no, the fondue kludge is nowhere near reliable) I would gladly use it's ugly X11 interface for all my work. For word processing, though, I gave up and bought Mellel [redlers.com] .

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972523)

Ah, but if you have an Intel Mac then Microsoft Office uses Rosetta. So relatively speaking, NeoOffice is far better on a MacBook than it every could be on an iBook.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

ricosalomar (630386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973495)

Ver 1.2.2. On my ppc dual 1Ghz w/ 1G ram. 29sec to start. It's slow to start, but it does great once it's open.

NeoOffice is not 'native' in a sense... (2, Interesting)

wesley96 (934306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971467)

...that it's a Java application. Sun is pushing for a non-Java, non-X11 native solution. I like NeoOffice as well and it has replaced Office 2004 for quite some time for me, but it would be nice to get the Java part out of the mix.

Re:NeoOffice is not 'native' in a sense... (5, Insightful)

tb3 (313150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971787)

Sun is pushing for a non-Java, non-X11 native solution.
I hope you appreciate the irony of that statement.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (4, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971493)

OpenOffice.org runs on Mac OS X under X11. NeoOffice is an independently developed version of OpenOffice.org 2.1 which runs on Mac OS X natively and without the need for X11. I've been using it for years.

Given its heavy use of Java I think the 'native' qualification is debatable. Some aspects are native (e.g. font management), which is certainly a major plus.

Unfortunately, though, this application gives new meaning to the words 'slow' and 'bloated'. The author has also chosen to make its license (GPL) incompatible with OO.o's (LGPL) so that his porting efforts cannot be contributed back to the main project. That makes NeoOffice a very hostile fork. What's more, he is trying (against the terms of the GPL/LGPL) to limit free distribution [neooffice.org] by using the trademark loophole.

So, I would say that while a port exists, it's both low quality and under bad management, and I welcome this new effort to do it properly.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971803)

Doesn't standard Open Office use a lot of Java too? I thought it was heavily Java based.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971979)

OpenOffice.org uses Java a lot for things like plugins. This is so you can write an OO.o plugin and have it run on Solaris (x86 and SPARC) Linux, *BSD, or Windows without a recompile. NeoOffice/J uses Java for a lot more, including drawing the UI. It does this using the (now deprecated) Java/Cocoa bridge, which is much slower than using the Carbon or Cocoa calls directly, both from the overhead of Java and the overhead of the extra layer of indirection.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18972069)

It does this using the (now deprecated) Java/Cocoa bridge
Wrong. NeoOffice uses Apple's Java (which itself uses Cocoa), but not the deprecated CocoaJava.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973125)

All right, I think someone's confused. Java doesn't use any native GUI toolkits, except in AWT. (Not counting basic stuff like drawing windows.) And first of all, I'm pretty sure that Apple's implementation of AWT is based on Carbon, not Cocoa; second, nobody in their right mind uses AWT anymore. It's been unofficially deprecated ever since Swing came out. I'd be very surprised if NeoOffice used AWT for anything.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (2, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971837)

The author has also chosen to make its license (GPL) incompatible with OO.o's (LGPL) so that his porting efforts cannot be contributed back to the main project. That makes NeoOffice a very hostile fork. What's more, he is trying (against the terms of the GPL/LGPL) to limit free distribution by using the trademark loophole.
Yes and no, I would consier the GPL to be the preferable license to use over the LGPL, regardless of what OOo does. Also, he "limits" free distribution by charging for free binararies of NEW releases. He still provides the source for free and he still provides the binaries for free download after they've been tested. My personally, I've already donated once to NeoOffice so I'm happy to wait for new releases now.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (5, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972195)

Unfortunately, though, this application gives new meaning to the words 'slow' and 'bloated'.

Well, it's not snappy, but it's certainly better than the "nothing" that OpenOffice has been offering in terms of native OSX ports.

The author has also chosen to make its license (GPL) incompatible with OO.o's (LGPL) so that his porting efforts cannot be contributed back to the main project. That makes NeoOffice a very hostile fork.

I'd probably be hostile, too. IIRC, the backstory with NeoOffice was that they were trying to work with OOo on a native OSX port, and not only did Sun refuse to help, but they basically sabotaged their efforts. Rather than give up, these guys split off and started their own project, and because of that, OSX users have had a very functional free office suite for OSX for a couple years now.

What's more, he is trying (against the terms of the GPL/LGPL) to limit free distribution by using the trademark loophole.

Protecting your trademark is not a "loophole". All sorts of projects, whether they're commercial (Redhat) or not (Mozilla), protect their trademarks. Worst case scenario?-- you take the source and strip out trademarked graphics/names, recompile, and then you're free to distribute the results however you want (under the GPL).

I don't want to be misunderstood: I'm happy that Sun is finally porting OpenOffice to OSX. The result may very well be superior to NeoOffice, and if so I'll use Sun's version. However, they've been taking their sweet damn time, and in the mean time, the NeoOffice team has made a very useful bit of software. I don't think we should be belittling the NeoOffice team and their terrific efforts simply because they don't have the resources to perfect their port. They've been doing a lot with very little while OOo has been doing practically nothing with their bounty.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971565)

not true == false?

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (0, Troll)

myspys (204685) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971581)

I would LOVE to use NeoOffice, but the fact that it SUCKS remains I'm afraid.

I have tried and tried to use it, but it's crap at converting/reading Word documents (might be OOo, not the actual port) but the biggest problem i have with NeoOffice is the start-up time.

On my Intel MacBook Pro it takes well over a minute to start(!)

(call me flamebait!)

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (2, Insightful)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971795)

On Linux, I've been using OO for years. The single biggest problem I have converting MS documents is copyrighted fonts. By default, Microsoft seems to encourage you to use fonts that they own, and no one else can duplicate them legally. The substituted fonts all work fine, but pagination and such change. I think it's Windows users who will have to change long-term... to using open fonts.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971591)

But that is a 'fork', so to speak. Its not 'official'.

Its all about semantics.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971841)

NeoOffice is an independently developed version of OpenOffice.org 2.1 which runs on Mac OS X natively and without the need for X11. I've been using it for years.

And it's buggy as hell. I've been using it to write reports for end-of-term papers due recently. The only reason I was even able to stand it is its remarkable recovery features for when it crashes... and oh, does it ever crash. Version 2.0 wouldn't let me save or quit; I'd simply force-quit it and recover every document I ever wrote every time I restarted it. Version 2.1 fixes this issue, but freezes out keyboard and mouse input into the program whenever you do a find/replace.

On the other hand, I have a legal license of M$ office but for some reason it wont let me enter in my license code because of the trial version pre-installed on my Mac. No matter how many times I install it, it references the hidden preferences file (which I haven't had time to locate) and determines that it's the now-expired trial version. So I guess you can take your pick of the problems.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972127)

On the other hand, I have a legal license of M$ office but for some reason it wont let me enter in my license code because of the trial version pre-installed on my Mac. No matter how many times I install it, it references the hidden preferences file (which I haven't had time to locate) and determines that it's the now-expired trial version. So I guess you can take your pick of the problems.


When you uninstalled the trial version, did you just drag and drop the app to the trash or did you run the Office uninstaller? You have to uninstall by using the "Remove Office" app; drag and drop won't work in this case (which is quite disappointing, really).

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972801)

I know I'll get flamed for this, but I'll post anyway. I always use LaTeX for school assignments. Since I turn in hard copies, it doesn't matter what file format I use. And I can't bring myself to care about the formatting standards for assignments, so it is very useful to be able to import the MLA or APA packages and get on with the typing. LaTeX isn't just for math papers.

Since you have obviously had a lot of trouble with word processors, it is probably worth your time to download TeXShop and try it out.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973209)

If you don't need compatibility with Word, there are better word processors available for Mac such as NissusWriter.

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

midtoad (18044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971879)

I've found that NeoOffice is virtually unusable because it crashes so often, whereas OpenOffice, though uglier than NeoOffice, has been rock-steady on my Mac. As a result, I don't use NeoOffice any more.

nagware, opens browser windows to author homepage (1, Troll)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972245)

NeoOffice is an independently developed version of OpenOffice.org 2.1 which runs on Mac OS X natively and without the need for X11. I've been using it for years.

It was useable until it started opening Safari on launch and close- loading a page nagging me to give them money.

The unprofessionalism of that is absolutely staggering. The only other application I know of that does this is Acquisition- probably the most nag-laden software ever written.

Re:nagware, opens browser windows to author homepa (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972671)

Wow, I'm downloading NeoOffice right now. Well, I was. Now I'm not. Guess I'll just put normal OO.o on that thing.

Re:nagware, opens browser windows to author homepa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18973123)

<pedantry>
"Professionalism" implies that payment for services is expected. A professional is trained and certified to deliver services in exchange for financial compensation. From my perspective, the technical skills required to almost single-handedly port a multi-million-line codebase to run on a platform that it was not designed to support--a codebase so large and complex that it takes 48 hours to build--imply a high degree of knowledge and training. In such an instance, requesting payment is the essence of professionalism. Your statement should say, "The professionalism of that is absolutely staggering."

It appears you are expecting "amateturism," which implies something is done for love of the activity and without any expectation of financial compensation. You expect the NeoOffice program to exit quietly without making a request for financial compensation. If that were the case, you certainly would be entitled to say, "The unprofessionalism of that is absolutely staggering." You could also substitute this phrase: "The amateturism of that is absolutely staggering."
</pedantry>

<snarkiness>
Many of the core OpenOffice developers are paid, presumably quite well, by Sun. Their work on OpenOffice allows them to put food on their table. The NeoOffice developers, by contrast, aren't employed by Sun. Presumably they have no less of a need to put food on their table than Sun employees. Yet food costs money, and they aren't getting any for their work on NeoOffice--at least, not from Sun. So how do they get money to put food on their table? Well, a simple request (which you call a "nag screen") is one way to do it. The nag request doesn't cripple the program in any way, it simply asks the users of the product to support the developers in their work! And you express resentment of this? Unbelievable. Would you rather that they crippled NeoOffice unless you coughed up $20 for a serial number? That's a much more *effective* way to earn income from software development (it works for the apps I develop)!
</snarkiness>

<bluntspeak>
Ya know, you don't have to pay them a dime, asshat. The program works without you coughing up anything. But if you're too cheap to throw them a tip for their hard work--or at least to say "thank you for the gift of this Free Software and free software"--at least have the decency to SHUT THE FUCK UP!
</bluntspeak>

Re:nagware, opens browser windows to author homepa (3, Informative)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973461)

Err, that's rubbish. NeoOffice opens the default browser when there's an update. The update page happens to have a donation message on it, but the main thing is to inform you that an update is available!

Re:Not true! NeoOffice! (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973181)

Years, right. That's the amount of time NeoOffice takes to load.

I can't wait to see a Mac version that's fast enough so as not to have a framerate you can count in binary on one finger! And doesn't require me to either a)jump through hoops to get running and integrated or b)grab an Office2004 install on BitTorrent.

No X11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18973861)

Yay for WYSIWYG word processing in ASCII art!

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18971311)

But. But. But...

I like Microsoft Office on my Mac! :(

Why would Apple do this when they have their own software that does this? (Keynote, etc.)

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18971361)

I like Microsoft Office on my Mac! :(

By all means keep using it, then.

Why would Apple do this when they have their own software that does this? (Keynote, etc.)

Apple has nothing to do with this. Read the article. Heck, just read the summary.

Re:But... (3, Funny)

miro f (944325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971843)

Apple has nothing to do with this. Read the article. Heck, just read the summary.


Huh? Read the summary? This guy didn't even read the title!

Re:But... (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971555)

Even if Apple were doing this (which they aren't), they don't have a spreadsheet yet. Appleworks had one, but it was pretty crappy compared to Excel or OOo. Personally, a spreadsheet for iWork is EXACTLY what I'm waiting for - I've been waiting on buying it specifically because I don't want to have to pay for it again, and I'll definitely want the spreadsheet when they finally release it.

Re:But... (1)

ironring2006 (968941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972793)

Just like Apple secretly was developing OS X from the beginning on Intel processors, I think its reasonable to assume that Apple has a contingency plan in place. They do have agreements with Microsoft for continued development for their platform, so they will at least have some warning if they do get cut off. This will give them enough time to leverage a secret full office suite development into full fledged distribution if need be. It may come in the next iWork, but that's anyone else's guess. It would be great if they took their iTunes approach, where they implemented AAC, and implemented the ODF spec for the rest of their "Office" apps.

Re:But... (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973455)

Secretly? Mach and BSD are designed to run and scale on anything from a wristwatch to a Google datacenter.

As for developing a full Office suite, how hard is that exactly? It's not like they don't know how to produce quality software (usable, stable, cute, slightly lacking in customization). So that should not take that many years.

Oh, and, I seem to remember that Office2k4 was the last version and that the continued develoment agreement is coning to an end now. Is that right?

More fuel to the fire (1)

kworthington (678559) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971319)

This will likely spark the rumors of a Sun and Apple merger again.

How do you see that? (1)

avronius (689343) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972025)

This is an application that runs on an OS. It's as likely as saying that because Adobe was working on a "native" version of Photoshop for the Intel Macs, that they were planning a merger with Apple.

Unless you are smoking some banned substance or another, I can't imagine how this would fuel any speculation about an Apple / Sun merger.

Simple solution: email Steve (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18971385)

The OpenOffice developers doing the porting should send an email [slashdot.org] to Steve Jobs asking him to help end this outrageous and inexcusable incompatibility issue. It worked for Greenpeace and J. Maynard Gelinas!

Re:Simple solution: email Steve (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971593)

The native port guys are getting some unofficial help from Apple already, although I believe it is more in the form of advice than code. And not the 'we recommend you don't bother' kind of advice; the Apple people helped put together the porting strategy, in the same way they have done for several commercial applications wishing to release a Mac version.

Re:Simple solution: email Steve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18973097)

You damn fool! There is no reason to e-mail Steve with things like this. He knows you're going to send the e-mail before you do. That funny itch you feel on the back of your neck from time to time, that is Steve telekinetically reminding you that he's out there.

Amazing (4, Interesting)

Praxxus (19048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971459)

First we get news that Microsoft was recently acting all Mac Happy, and now Sun is acting Mac Happy. My, my, my, but these coincidences of timing in the software world never cease to boggle the mind!

Re:Amazing (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971569)

these coincidences of timing in the software world never cease to boggle the mind!
Coincidence? No, it's obviously an orcestrated effort by Steve Jobs to take over the world. Now that they have Microsoft and Sun eating out of their palms, it's only a matter of time. Watch out Google, the Macs are coming for you!

Will they unarchive? (5, Interesting)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971481)

Sun already owns the rights to Lighthouse Design [wikipedia.org] 's application suite. Since these were originally developed for NeXTstep/OpenStep, they should be relatively easy to migrate to Cocoa. I'd sure like to see an Improv/Quantrix like spreadsheet tool put a stake through the heart of Excel!

Improv (3, Interesting)

jefu (53450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971613)

Having Improv back would be wonderful. The best spreadsheet I've ever used - using Improv made using Excel or other grid based spreadsheets painful.

But then too, there was also this oddball thing called (I think, its been some years) "Advance", I only had a couple weeks to play with a test copy. Very powerful, rather strange. I'd like to have that back to play with too.

Re:Will they unarchive? (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971631)

Mod parent up! I would absolutely love to see Sun open source Quantrix. Given the age of the program, I would imagine it would also be possible to use GNUstep to run it on *NIX, although neither GNUstep nor OS X support the old nib file format, making the port a little bit of effort.

Re:Will they unarchive? (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971951)

You mean this [quantrix.com] one [wikipedia.org] ? It's no longer owned by Sun.

Best intentions, but still... (4, Informative)

realinvalidname (529939) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971507)

From the blog:

MacOSX and Aqua are quite new to me, so please bear with me as I learn about this (for me) exciting new platform at first. Certainly I will have many questions for my fellow Mac porters. However I can contribute ~10 years experience with vcl which I think the port can benefit from.

The problem has always been that OO.o makes assumptions about GUI development that are well-suited to X11 and Windows, and not well-suited to Aqua. The question is, can someone who's learning Mac development as he goes push changes back to OO.o to make it more suitable for Aqua and other GUI toolkits? Can he do it before Sun changes their mind and de-funds the Mac port? Sun has a habit of funding things for about six months and then getting cold feet.

Which reminds me: I should throw some money at Ed and Patrick for their continued work on NeoOffice [neooffice.org] , which uses Java as a GUI adapter (!) to get OO.o tolerable on the Mac

Re:Best intentions, but still... (-1, Flamebait)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971889)

The problem has always been that OO.o makes assumptions about GUI development that are well-suited to X11 and Windows, and not well-suited to Aqua. The question is, can someone who's learning Mac development as he goes push changes back to OO.o to make it more suitable for Aqua and other GUI toolkits? Can he do it before Sun changes their mind and de-funds the Mac port? Sun has a habit of funding things for about six months and then getting cold feet.

Or rather OS X tosses away all conventional assumptions about GUI development and expects developers to write their front-end UI handling in Objective C and define the GUI in .nib files. I expect trying to reconcile that world with the conventional world enjoyed by Windows, Unix, or even Carbon on OS X might be a bit tough. Carbon might be the easiest route they can go in, and that in itself might cause other issues.

Re:Best intentions, but still... (1)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972615)

Hopefully this means he'll be approaching the project with an open mind -- better he should say he's learning than that he knows how it all works, I suppose.

Ideally, though, we'll see some substantial changes in the interface, as OOo could honestly use some work in that department.

OO has been on OS X since 10.0 (2, Informative)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971557)

I use to have a dual G4 machine 5 or so years ago when OS 10 came out and it ran Open Office. I think the big problem is that it used the X interface instead of Aqua, so maybe that's what they're concerned about. But from a user perspective I had no problem using just the plain ol' X11R6 version. Think it was via Fink.

Re:OO has been on OS X since 10.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18971687)

Hence why they are making it NATIVE. Go read up on that term and come back to us.

Re:OO has been on OS X since 10.0 (2, Insightful)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971901)

From my understanding of the term native, it refers to a program that is compiled for the host hardware and bound to host libraries and not requiring any kind of emulation or abstract translation layer. X is native to OS X, so I think it still stands. It might not be as pretty as Aqua but it's not like you're using Virtual PC or Parallels to run a Windows version.

Re:OO has been on OS X since 10.0 (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972083)

You are correct, but people are using "native" in a different context here. The "native" GUI for OSX is Aqua. Many Mac users shy away from X11 because it feels too different... even I run it in "full screen mode" (i.e. not rootless) because too many apps ignore the Dock.

Re:OO has been on OS X since 10.0 (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972203)

I agree, guess my point was moot. I agree a Aquafied version of OO would be nice to fit into the system better and look prettier. Guess my main point was, if you (like me) didn't want to dish out a ton of money for MS Office and needed to use .doc and .xls then OO was at least a good and free option before. Anyway I'm glad to see the announcement.

Re:OO has been on OS X since 10.0 (2, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972527)

Many Mac users shy away from X11 because it feels too different...

I'd say many mac users shy away from X11 applications, not because they are different, but because X11 applications tend to be very much inferior. They break numerous UI conventions of Aqua programs and are missing a lot of what is considered "standard" functionality, like key bindings, spellchecking, and integration with other applications and the OS. When I see X11, it tells me the program was a quick and dirty port, not a serious effort at making a mac application.

I use X11 applications, but usually not the same way as most OS X users. I've had a better experience running X11 applications under Kubuntu in a VM on top of OS X than I have running them "natively" on OS X. Some of them are even faster that way.

Re:OO has been on OS X since 10.0 (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973445)

There are more GUI-native programs today in 2007, but a few years ago the X11 GUI was a real godsend. For instance, XChat was what I used for IRC because there was really no Aqua rival. Until NeoOffice, there was no free Office suite at all for Aqua. Even today, I occasionally find myself using Inkscape, Gimp, or Cinepaint in X11... there are no free alternatives that I know of which use Aqua. And since the place where I contract for uses a Solaris development environment, I use X11 to remotely log in to get at some of the tools.

Since you don't seem to like the Apple X11 implementation, I feel like I should point out that you can use any window manager you like - you aren't stuck with Apple's.

native (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972261)

Your understanding of the term "native" is rather limited, as used today it tends to imply the use of the libraries and/or environments most closely associated to the platform.

In general, people would not refer to Cygwin binaries as MS Windows native, nor .exe files running under Linux with Wine.

Re:OO has been on OS X since 10.0 (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972443)

That's one meaning of the word "native". Often, when Macintosh users are talking about an application being "native", they mean using the native OSX GUI (Aqua). For some people, the word goes as far as to suggest that the application Cocoa and all native widgets. Some consider Camino to be "native" while Firefox is not.

You might wonder, "Why do people care?" Well, some of it is visual. Native applications tend to "fit" better with the other applications you're using. Some of it is consistency. Non-native applications will behave differently. Finally, some of it is functional. Apple provides many hooks into their operating system and into other applications provided they're all using the same framework. (the various "Core" technologies, spell-checking, etc.)

Re:OO has been on OS X since 10.0 (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972079)

IME, the OSX X11 version of OO.o was pretty nasty: slow, ugly and out of place on an OSX desktop, as it didn't use any of the standard dialogs.

Re:OO has been on OS X since 10.0 (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972395)

It's not Mac compatible. It's X11 compatible. X11 is ugly, doesn't use my fonts, and is hard to print from. Saying something that runs in X11 is "Mac compatible" is like saying something that runs in Cygwin is "Windows compatible."

Could be fun. (1)

Kanuck (1096475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971643)

I'd use it - I use Mac at work for Photoshop compatibility, and I've wanted a true port of OpenOffice. I don't care too much for NeoOffice - I'll agree that it's a decent product/port, but for some reason I just want some OpenOffice. Go figure.

Ian, is that you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18971811)

Doest this smelleth of the hand of Ian Murdock? Yeah, he's the OS guy there now, but maybe this is a precursor to official OS X support on Sun hardware?

You read it ("it" being wild speculation) here first!

Mod me off topic... (1, Interesting)

Randall311 (866824) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971941)

But this native port of OpenOffice reminds me of a problem I'm having with the native OpenOffice build I have on Ubuntu (7.04 Feisty). The font rendering is hideous, and nothing - I mean nothing - I've done has helped solve this problem! I've tried tweaking settings, recompiling from source (takes forever btw), and even export LD_PRELOAD=/opt/openoffice.org2.1/program/filter/l ibfreetype.so.6.3.8 but none of this worked. Meanwhile the font rendering for the rest of my system is gorgeous, including AbiWord, which I am now using in place of OOo writer until I figure this mess out (I may never go back to OOo if I can't get good rendering out of it.) It's like having a layer of grease on the monitor.

Re:Mod me off topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18973571)

Yeah. Good luck with Abiword.

While it's a decent word processor, it's import/export is rather awful. You'd think they'd at least implement a usable RTF or OpenDocument filter.

Just don't get too much of your data locked up in the .abw files, you'll never get them to another format with proper formatting.

yey! (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972269)

I definitely welcome a native port of Open Office. While using X11 works, it still sucks big time. You can't use all of OSX key combinations, it's slow ect. I hate the fact that I have to use Office for it to be usable. Actually that shows how bad the situation is, Office sucks big time on Intel Mac's, and it's still far more usable then Open Office.

Re:yey! (1)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973651)

I also use MS Office 2004 on my Mac due to how bad OpenOffice and NeoOffice/J are, but why do you think MS Office on OS X is bad? It's interface is so much nicer than any version released for Windows. I've never encountered an issue with it, everything works as it should. No crashes, either.

I love the formatting pallet, it makes things much easier to deal with. Just take a look [photobucket.com] .

What's "Open Office"? (0, Troll)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972401)

What's "Open Office"? Is it related to OpenOffice.org?

Re:What's "Open Office"? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18972791)

Yes, retard.

Community development failed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18972413)

What does this say about community development? I mean, the Mac developer community failed to get this open-source project ported to Cocoa after several years of effort, but maybe now it can happen now with corporate sponsership.

I'm not making light of those who put the effort in. I'm just taking baby-steps learning to program at this point, and I saw posting from the group looking for community help earlier, but I knew the job was too big for me.

Do you think it's because the Mac community is one of software users, and not developers? I know there are professional Mac developers, independent or otherwise, but obviously their time is taken with their own jobs and projects. That leaves hobbyists; who still have jobs and limited free time, but added to that is (their/my) limited programming experience.

Are other OS communities different than this? Naturally one thinks of Linux, but most all the major figures in Linux developement enjoy full time paid positions devoted to furthering Linux development. There is large corporate sponsorship of Linux development. On the Windows side, I can't think of large open-source projects either. I mean, Open Office for Windows exists, but was ported by Sun long ago wasn't it? PostgreSQL came out with a Windows compatible version recently, but that organization also receives corporate sponsorship.

I appreciate that corporations will sponsor and share a code-base. It's great when it happens. Just seems like a lie that the user-base will rise up and create great tools for themselves. It doesn't seem to happen with really large projects.

Re:Community development failed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18974183)

I wish I could find a source for it, but I've heard before that most of OOo's continued development comes largely from Sun (and to a lesser extent) IBM employees. It's a myth that OOo is primarily a community supported product.

Port it all you want... (5, Interesting)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972421)

It still pales in comparison to MS Office.

Yes, I am complimenting Microsoft -- I am sure I'll be flamed for it. But frankly, they make the best office suite, and since theirs is the standard look and feel (although the new Office is a departure), the other guys have to play catchup.

I would love to use OpenOffice, I just hate the look and feel and have always been more comfortable in Microsoft Office.

Re:Port it all you want... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18972837)

Is that "standard look and feel" an ISO standard, or ANSI? If you use
"new office", do you mind that it is non-standard?

Or is your abuse of the word "standard" indicative that you are
a paid shill (along the lines of "cross-platform" meaning Vista
and xp)?

Re:Port it all you want... (3, Insightful)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973207)

As much as we /.-ers love to bash Microsoft, there comes a point when you just have to give them a bit of credit for their office suite. I've used Office, and I've used OO.o. They both get the job done. They both are usable for 75% of what needs to get done with an office suite. But MS Office just has more polish. For example:

- Keeping an informal "database" of crap in Excel or Calc - Both will sort the list by whatever column your highlighted cell is in if you hit one of the "A->Z" or "Z->A" buttons. But Calc will treat the column headings as data and sort them into the middle of the list! Excel knows that the first line is not data if it's a different text style from the rest of the list. Polish.
- Printing in Excel or Calc - Having a sheet loaded and trying to print will print the whole entire freaking spreadsheet, all sheets, all ranges in Calc. That's just stupid. Excel will (for obvious reasons) default to printing only the sheet you're on. More polish.
- Mail merging in Word or Writer - Trying to get Writer to realize that "mail merge" doesn't necessarily mean "i'm writing a form letter and want to import addresses" is like pulling teeth. Word has no problem with just binding whatever data to a form. Polish(x1). Also, Word doesn't force you (or confuse you) into creating an Access database when you just want to import an informal list of crap from Excel. Writer DOES try to get you to make a Base .odb file when you try to just pull data from a Calc sheet. MS Office Polish(x2). Then there's the lack of a data-bound preview... (or at least one that's as simple as Word's - a toggle button on a toolbar or a checked menu item).

Now, none of these are absolute deal-breakers, nor do they show that OO.o is somehow unworthy of attention. On the contrary, it shows that OO.o needs more attention, and from people who actually use the features they're coding. MS Office will only get better if there's pressure on MS to make it better, and OO.o is probably the best hope for applying that kind of pressure. I just think that MS really deserves some credit for making Office a decent app suite. They've done far more than most /.-ers want to acknowledge.

Just to clarify, none of this applies to the Windows vs. Linux debate. I want Windows to just go die in a fire. It really needs to be flushed like all the other turds.

It doesn't matter (1)

allenw (33234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972445)

Sun's history and reputation on the Mac with things not related to the JVM is pretty awful. This has as much of a chance of seeing the light of day in a usable format as their version of Watson [karelia.com] . Give it a year and by then Sun will have 'realigned their priorities' via reorg or a RIF will have wiped out the group that is working on this.

Exciting! Can't Wait! (5, Insightful)

ironring2006 (968941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972473)

As someone who has used OOo on Windows/Linux/OS X, I have to admit that the OS X X11 implementation feels like the biggest kludge. I've been attempting to move all my documents over to the ODF, but everytime I boot up OOo on my Mac, I get frustrated with so many things about it. As slow as Word is on OS X running under Rosetta, recently I've been finding myself using that much more. I haven't tried Neooffice yet, because I can't imagine using something slower. On the other hand, I've found OOo quite a good replacement under windows.

So I say, bring it on! I think that getting a good implementation of OOo running natively under Aqua is key in the cause of reducing reliance on Microsoft. People switching to Linux obviously are going to use OOo or some other open format, but still too many people switching to Mac are relying on Microsoft. It'll be curious to see whether they take Firefox's approach to have the interface be consistent across the board, or if they try and take advantage of OS X's toolkits and design guides to make it a true Mac application.

Won't (and shouldn't) happen (2, Interesting)

EricTheGreen (223110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972657)

I'm not optimistic about an OO port to native Mac, regardless of who is on board with it. Why should I be, given the legendary code cruft of OO, the lousy relationship relationship dynamics between the Mac- and non-Mac developer leads on OO, the well-intentioned-but-ghastly-performance object lesson of NeoOffice?

OO is very decent office suite on Linux and Windows. So leave it there, where it is working acceptably. I think any effort to take that code base and reconcile it to an acceptable UI and functional level on the Mac will be the definition of a trip down the rabbit hole, taking years to realize and resulting in a UI compromise that annoys users on all platforms.

Time to cut bait on this, accept that it never will be workable on the Mac, and free its development team to focus on improving it in the Lin/Win world. Better to spend development time and effort developing a Mac-specific office suite that uses the various Open*** file formats as its native storage, while providing a real Cocoa-based UI experience that actually integrates into OS X the way Mac users expect an application to. Not that Sun will come within a mile of such an initiative, but it's a great opportunity for frustrated Mac developers looking to solve a real practical problem...

Plan is to use Carbon, so why even bother? (1)

beetle496 (677137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973773)

How're you doing the port? Using Cocoa or Carbon? regards, Lars
Currently the plan is to use Carbon. [PhillippL]

MS Office is Carbonized, so right there you know you that route is lame! VoiceOver [apple.com] users [macvisionaries.com] are desperate for something they can use besides TextEdit. Accessibility comes for free with Cocoa [apple.com] ! It is a PITA for Carbon [apple.com] (so much so, that Apple only made iTunes accessible with the last 7.1.1 release).

Or is Carbon especially appropriate for legendary code cruft? (MS Office and iTunes are also a krufty mess.)

Fp mar3! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18972665)

move to Gtk+ (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973911)

With the upcoming Cairo-based version of Gtk+, Gtk+ is turning into an excellent cross-platform toolkit.

I think it would do OpenOffice a world of good to adopt Gtk+ as the standard toolkit and gradually phase out its own internal toolkit. By sharing the cross-platform development with Gtk+, both OpenOffice and Gtk+ would benefit.

develop an import/export for the apple writer/... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18974025)

spreadsheet app. I do not remember its name, but about 3 years ago, I was helping my neighbor move to a bunch of OOS on his mac. Tried to move him to OOfice and that was a nightmare. Neo did not cut it. More importantly, moving off of his old app was going to be copy and paste time. Wicked.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>