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OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X Alpha Released!

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the copy-and-paste-how-do-you-break-that dept.

Software 251

An anonymous reader writes "Nearly 6 years after announcing a Mac port, OpenOffice.org has released the first release of OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X that can finally run without X11!! An alpha is available for download today, but a lot of help is still needed to make OpenOffice.org available for Mac OS X. The site is very blunt: 'WARNING: THIS SOFTWARE MAY CRASH AND MAY DESTROY YOUR DATA DO NOT USE THIS SOFTWARE FOR REAL WORK IN A PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT. This is an alpha test version so that developers and users can find out what works and not, and make comments on how to improve it.' Currently missing functionality includes printing, pdf export, copy/pasting, and multiple monitors. That said, if you're interested in participating you can visit the Mac team to figure out how you can help today."

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251 comments

please help (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19394853)

my mom has a myspace page....which is like soooo embarrassing!!!! please troll her into getting rid of it....thanks

        http://www.myspace.com/amandagrashel [myspace.com] [myspace.com]

alex

Re:please help (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19394893)

OMG!!! which is like so bad girl. Like how do you, like live with that?
Like you dont like know how bad it's like.. Shaa!

OMG! OMG! OMG! omg!

FP? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19394863)

pirst fost?

Re:FP? (-1, Offtopic)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 6 years ago | (#19394939)

You did get the first post. And based on the disclaimer, I assume you didn't write that post on OpenOffice using a Mac.

Good news (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#19394873)

That is good news. Although the 'normal' version works like a dream on the Mac, having it work without X11 is a bit handier. I wish I could run it on one of those new MacBook Pro's that came out just 2 minutes ago...

Re:Good news (2, Insightful)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 6 years ago | (#19394923)

> Although the 'normal' version works like a dream on the Mac,
> having it work without X11 is a bit handier.

Well maybe OOo/Mac/X11 itself works well. The problem is that Apple X11 implementation is crap. You actually need to do stuff from like early 90s Linux to make it work with non-US keyboard layout and this is pain. It can be done via some hacking (like editing cryptic text files and so on) but it disqualifies X11 apps on OSX to rest of the world (apart from geeks).

So native version of OOo is always welcomed. Also I would love to see better X11 from Apple.

Re:Good news (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395685)

So native version of OOo is always welcomed. Also I would love to see better X11 from Apple.

Your words are a law written in stone for me, milord! [rushes to improve X11]

Regards, Apple

Re:Good news (3, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396265)

The problem is that Apple X11 implementation is crap (...) it disqualifies X11 apps on OSX to rest of the world (apart from geeks).

And this is precisely what Apple wants. X11 on the Mac is for Geeks, not for "regular" users. The existing issues with X11 are intentional.

Exclamatory! (-1)

mushadv (909107) | more than 6 years ago | (#19394879)

Wow! Amazing!

Re:Exclamatory! (1)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395089)

Yeah, I saw the exclamation mark in the title and before even reading which editor posted it, I immediately guessed Zonk. He is exactly well-versed in proper journalistic practices, to put it kindly.

Used it on MacOSX - switching to google docs (0)

ringfinger (629332) | more than 6 years ago | (#19394891)

Having used openoffice, I've made the switch to google docs. I get 80% of the functions with 20% of the hassle. But I'd use open office over MS Office any day if I really needed all the functionality - http://30days.itious.com/ [itious.com]

Re:Used it on MacOSX - switching to google docs (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395087)

not to mention having every single thing you write indexed for public consumption and advertising goodness...

google...you seem to apologizing to you girlfriend.
would you like to

  1. order flowers
  2. seek counseling
  3. look up a local escort service

Re:Used it on MacOSX - switching to google docs (2, Funny)

NickFitz (5849) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396427)

Hey! That escort service has the same phone number as the girlfriend!

Re:Used it on MacOSX - switching to google docs (1)

wanorris (473323) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396079)

Having used openoffice, I've made the switch to google docs. I get 80% of the functions with 20% of the hassle.

I think you mean 20% of the functionality. I am frankly astounded by how few features Google Docs has.

Having said that, if it works for you, more power to you.

Re:Used it on MacOSX - switching to google docs (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396417)

What's funny is that there are so many people who will on the one hand say that Google Docs has few features, and on the other can't comprehend why someone would ever need anything other than plain text in an email.

I am one of those who likes to use limited formatting to make what I am writeing easier to read, whether that be in an email or a "document" per se. Google seems to get this. Gmail's formatting in emails is almost identical to google docs.

I'm curious what it is in MSWord that people find so essential, while at the same time curious why so many people in 2007 are happy to communicate without access to even the most basic formatting like bold, italic, indenting and lists when they would help make a cleaner and easier to read presentation.

Re:Used it on MacOSX - switching to google docs (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396253)

I'm with you, I'm quite happy with google docs. But I think I get 100% or more of the functionality of MSOffice rather than 80. Sure, 20% of the potentially useful things aren't there, but there are an additional 20+% to make up for it:
  • ability to see and edit my documents on anyone's machine without downloading or installing anything
  • ability to see all past revisions with incredible ease
  • ability to paste all or part of my document into email (gmail, of course), and have the recipient see the formatting exactly as I intended it (generally minor stuff like bold, italic, lists, and occasionally colors to highlight certain things like additions), and without hassling the recipient with attachments in a proprietary format
  • ability to put a document on the web so others can see it in about 3 seconds
  • ability to generate html that I can paste into a web page that will retain all formatting, since it is composed in html to begin with
  • real time collaboration without hassle


I like to use minor formatting in documents (and yes, some emails) to make them more pleasant to read, but generally they don't have to be perfect (or if they do have to look perfect, it is for web presentation), so google docs is perfect for me.

REALLY READ THAT WARNING MESSAGE (5, Informative)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 6 years ago | (#19394905)

While this is cool, make sure you really read that warning message. This is real alpha. You won't be able to print. You won't be able to cut+paste reliably. As this alpha has been approaching, I had a crash while saving, leaving me with a half-corrupted useless copy of my document.

So have a look, and help submit bug reports, but please don't try using this is your normal editor, or get annoyed it isn't in a full usable state yet, that's why it is called alpha :)

Re:REALLY READ THAT WARNING MESSAGE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395169)

PLEASE read the parent post throughly - note that you wont be able to print, or copy/paste reliably.

Re:REALLY READ THAT WARNING MESSAGE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395385)

PLEASE read the parent post throughly - note that you wont be able to print, or #$^$#!%$#$%!!.(***&(&!!!!

Re:REALLY READ THAT WARNING MESSAGE (4, Funny)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395333)

You won't be able to print. You won't be able to cut+paste reliably.

Finally! An office suite on OS X that works just like OpenOffice does on Linux! ;-)

Re:REALLY READ THAT WARNING MESSAGE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19396295)

Only funny because it is true...Coming from Windows/Mac, the amount of hate I have for cut/paste under X knows no bound.

Dead link, pre-Slashdot Slashdotting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19394909)

Download link is dead, .torrent file is 0 bytes. Hmmm... just could resist running OOo/OSX on their server. Could they?

Neooffice - differences? (3, Interesting)

cyman777 (631050) | more than 6 years ago | (#19394917)

OK, so I will start the obvious thread:

What are the differences to Neooffice?
Are they working together?

Besides the slow startup I feel Neooffice already has taken that niche, hasn't it?

Re:Neooffice - differences? (0)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395043)

not using Java to make it work on OS X. and from what I have been able to gather, nope they (as in the dev teams) still wont work together.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (3, Informative)

Creepy (93888) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395881)

They originally disagreed over licensing, now they claim it's much more efficient to just write mac code and not have to coordinate with other platforms - basically, they're saying its easier for them to maintain a fork than it is to coordinate with OOo. The bottom line, however, is NeoOffice code is all GPL, so there is no way for them to legally contribute any of their code to OOo without violating the GPL (unless the original writer submitted it). I don't think OOo is going to move to the GPL, so you've got an impasse.

the "6 year wait" is partly because OOo 1.x was incompatible with MacOS X because of the way symbol bindings were handled (I think it was basically a hack, anyway, exploiting a "feature" in most UNIX-based OSes), so the port really couldn't start until 2.0 (which was heavily rewritten). I was involved in another project when 2.0 came out (I believe STLport, which I think I actually got involved with due to OOo, but X.3 had all the STL features I needed, so I moved on), so I really didn't follow the split that started NeoOffice.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395063)

This is a genuine native port, NeoOffice uses a Java intermediate layer to present the UI to Mac OS X.

As I understand it, they're not working with the NeoOffice people, there's always been a little friction between the groups.

In time, this project is likely to overtake NeoOffice, simply because changes to OpenOffice.org will always be faster than those in NeoOffice, which is in a continual state of catch-up.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395227)

In time, this project is likely to overtake NeoOffice, simply because changes to OpenOffice.org will always be faster than those in NeoOffice, which is in a continual state of catch-up.

Not trying to troll here, and maybe you don't even ascribe to the mindset you imply with the above line, but how can you "overtake" a project that's "in a continual state of catch-up"? I'd have to say, Java or no Java, NeoOffice has held the top of the hill for a while now. It may fall behind now (or it may not), but to deny it was out front to this point is just Washington-level spin.

The OOo attitude sounds a lot like those commercials where they claim to be the first, but only by qualifying it with circular trademark references. "PolyCleen(tm) is the first toothpaste with Britenol(tm)." Uh, yeah, because nobody else would include that trademark, even if it's really just baking soda and peroxide.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (3, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395321)

Not trying to troll here, and maybe you don't even ascribe to the mindset you imply with the above line, but how can you "overtake" a project that's "in a continual state of catch-up"?

When you start off behind in some areas, but not in others, and in the "others" you can only ever be ahead of the rest. OpenOffice.org's Mac port is at an early stage at the moment, so it implements all of the latest version of OpenOffice.org (by definition) but not all of the Mac native subsystem. NeoOffice includes a complete Mac native subsystem, but not all of the features of the latest version of OpenOffice.org. As time goes by, because making OpenOffice.org native is a discrete, completable, task, OpenOffice.org will catch up with the part of NeoOffice it currently lags behind, but NeoOffice cannot catch up with OpenOffice.org (unless OpenOffice.org ceases to update.)

Does that make sense to you?

Re:Neooffice - differences? (2, Insightful)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395403)

You misunderstood what the GP was saying. He acknowledges NeoOffice is currently more popular than OpenOffice.org for Mac but NeoOffice is always playing catch-up due to the fact it is a port of OpenOffice.org and they have to wait for changes to the original before converting them over.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (1)

LordSchnitzel (677741) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395567)

He means that NeoOffice is a fork. The developers began with a snapshot of the source and started modifying it, so updates and fixes to the original have to be incorperated by hand. OO.o OSX is a part of the OO.o project so gets that sort of stuff automatically. Whether or not that makes a difference will depend on how much the core changes, and how often the NeoOffice team update. I get the impression that the core to OpenOffice is pretty good, but the integration with OSX is not, which makes this less of a big deal.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395711)

Not trying to troll here, and maybe you don't even ascribe to the mindset you imply with the above line, but how can you "overtake" a project that's "in a continual state of catch-up"?

Simple. NeoOfffice is a port of OpenOffice to run against the OS X (Aqua) libraries. Keyword, "port". A port is by it's very definition "in a continual state of catch-up". If the original project starts to support the target of the port, the port will become superfluous.

It may fall behind now (or it may not), but to deny it was out front to this point is just Washington-level spin.

It never was in front. Period. It was (and is) a *port* of OpenOffice. NeoOffice has never developed any new office features, and it has allways lagged behind OOo running on X on the Mac. Mind you, I'm an avid NeoOffice user. But I'm glad that OpenOffice has decided to add OS X/Aqua as a supported platform. No more waiting for 2 guys to port the changes of hundreds of guys.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (1)

mezzin (578393) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395997)

Not trying to troll here, and maybe you don't even ascribe to the mindset you imply with the above line, but how can you "overtake" a project that's "in a continual state of catch-up"? I'd have to say, Java or no Java, NeoOffice has held the top of the hill for a while now. It may fall behind now (or it may not), but to deny it was out front to this point is just Washington-level spin
Easy Neoffice works without X11 so OpenOffice needs to catch on with that first and also 100% intergration with osx would be nice like neooffice has (cut and paste with apple keys. als 100% font support like neooiffice. Neooffice is for now the best choice if you want to use openoffice on a mac. But time will tell if OpenOffice will be better.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (1)

zandarthemagnifcent (1089503) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396263)

perhaps, but Neooffice WORKS. Plus it's zippy, something that really surprised me. Comsidering on how many machines OO refuses to do much more than write half a window for me, I won't be changing anytime soon.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (2, Interesting)

jj13 (974374) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395165)

The main difference is that neooffice apparently runs through java on the mac, which is why it takes forever to load and can be very slow on occasion. neooffice is at best a substitute, until a native version is released (which is what is being announced today).

Let me point out something I noticed on the site. I'm a budding mac developer, and in reading the dev FAQ I saw that openoffice is being ported using the Carbon API. This is the old API that apple introduced for developers to more easily port their old OS 9 apps to the "new and shiny" OS X, back when it was actually new and shiny in 2001. Carbon does NOT allow you to take full advantage of OS X features, and it's use is frowned upon for new projects by apple and the dev community.

I'm guessing most of openoffice is written in C++ (never actually looked at the source yet), and Carbon is based in C++ so I'm also guessing they didn't want to rewrite everything in objective-c in order to use Cocoa (the "new" API that is like....7 years old now?). In any case, I'm disappointed that the team isn't going for a more thorough port that will let openoffice shine against the competition. Maybe I should put my keyboard where my mouth is and learn the intricacies of mac porting, hehehe.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (4, Informative)

AttilaSz (707951) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395383)

You're wrong. "Carbon" is the collective name for all native Mac OS X APIs, see http://developer.apple.com/carbon/ [apple.com] . Quartz, Core Data, Code Audio, etc. are all parts of the umbrella technology set called "Carbon". "Cocoa" OTOH is a handy Objective-C object-oriented abstraction layer atop of that, which is supposed to make development of applications easier. In Windows terms, Cocoa is to Carbon as MFC was to Win32 - an OO encapsulation of the API with convenience goodies. But you can program directly for Carbon if you wish, in the end you have the same capabilities available to your code, it just usually takes less time and lines of code to use Cocoa than Carbon directly. Therefore, it is a perfect solution for you app that you build from scratch. If you're however porting an existing app and it's not trivial to sneak in Objective-C into it, you'd probably go the Carbon route. Nothing to frown upon :-) The misunderstanding comes from Apple's advertized "carbonization" of OS 9 apps ("you need to use Carbon to have your apps run on Mac OS X"). What it really meant was - replace QuickDraw calls with Quartz calls in your source code etc. Carbon is *THE* Mac OS X API, not some transitional support layer for OS 9 migration.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (4, Informative)

larkost (79011) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395723)

You have this almost right...

Many of the sub-systems, especially in things like drawing and sound, often have the more robust API written in Carbon, and then some of the Cocoa API's call those APIs while running. But generalizing like you do that Cocoa is built on Carbon is a mistake, there are many sections of Cocoa that have no Carbon at all underneath them.

A better concept of the major MacOS X API's are that at the root of things you have a layer called CoreFoundation that is written in C. This sits next to the APIs taken from FreeBSD (and the latter dangles down into the Kernel space as well). The primitives from Carbon are often found here, but that is not to say that these belong to Carbon. The primitives found in Cocoa are all built around these, and are often interchangeable with them in some regards.

On top of this you have the "Foundation" layer. This one is mostly written in C or a sub-set of C++ (basically the stuff that does not conflict with Obj-C). Many of the "core" services at the heart of the OS are built here, and at the top of this things start to blur with the bottom of the Carbon layer. Services such as Quartz (but not QuickDraw... which sort-of sits on top of Quartz... but that is messy) sit on this layer.

On top of this layer comes Carbon and Cocoa proper. There is quite a bit of messiness with the two of them calling back and forth, and there are some areas (like Quicktime) that have been very slow to get full implementations in "pure" Cocoa. And a lot more that have had real speed penalties for calling from Cocoa.

Carbon's roots go a little deeper (but less so every new version of MacOS X), but Cocoa and Carbon are philosophically on the same level.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (1)

theAtomicFireball (532233) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395799)

You're wrong. "Carbon" is the collective name for all native Mac OS X APIs, see http://developer.apple.com/carbon/ [apple.com] . Quartz, Core Data, Code Audio, etc. are all parts of the umbrella technology set called "Carbon".
No, no. Actually, you're wrong. Your statement is patently not true. Try this: http://developer.apple.com/macosx/architecture/ind ex.html [apple.com] Cocoa and Carbon are both application frameworks that sit on top of the core foundation, which includes Quartz, Core Data, Core Audio, and Core Video. It's a combination of the old Core Foundation classes from NextSTEP and some ports and rewrites of libraries from the classic mac (e.g. Quicktime), plus a smattering of new OS-X native technologies (e.g. Quartz, Core Video, Core Image). Cocoa is the application building toolset from NextSTEP. Carbon is a re-implementation of the application building toolset that was used under the classic Mac OS. Both are "native", in that neither runs under emulation or using an interpreter, but they are fundamentally different approaches. Both have advantages over the other, although by and large, the consensus is that Cocoa is a much better choice for projects being started from scratch. Cocoa, however, is written in Objective-C, which is a language without as much cross-platform support as C and C++, so projects that came from the classic mac, or those that have been around for some time, can sometimes get running faster using Carbon because they don't have to re-write as much of their legacy C++ code. One commonly misunderstood thing, however, is that these frameworks are not mutually exclusive. Almost all Cocoa applications call Carbon functions; some of the newer Cocoa classes are actually wrappers around Carbon functions. It's much more complicated, but it is actully possible to use Objective-C objects from Carbon, and the CF classes that many Cocoa objects wrap around can always be used from C, just without the benefits of dynamic messaging and weak typing.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (1)

MurrayTodd (92102) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395423)

Your description of the Carbon API is partially accurate but in many ways wrong. Carbon WAS created as the migration path for old OS 9 apps (which it did brilliantly) but as the only C++ programming option, it is the de facto standard for anyone who is developing and maintaining ANY cross-platform app, whether it be a Windows/Mac app or Linux/Mac (as is OpenOffice). Adobe uses Carbon for its CS3 suite. Microsoft uses Carbon for Office. Game developers (EA) use Carbon.

And Carbon is updated on a regular basis to reflect new OS features. True, cool APIs like "Core Data" and (I think) Core Animation are Cocoa-only, but some of the newer libraries and technologies coming in Leopard have Carbon interfaces as well. Myself, I would use Cocoa when writing an app but I'd be writing Mac-only applications. If I did want to develop something that was cross-platform, I would probably use Carbon as well.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (3, Informative)

spud603 (832173) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395613)

Adobe uses Carbon for its CS3 suite. Microsoft uses Carbon for Office. Game developers (EA) use Carbon
And apple uses Carbon for Finder [wikipedia.org] , a fact that annoys the hell out of me on a daily basis.
Two things off the top of my head that are implemented in Cocoa apps but not Carbon apps: emacs-style text navigation (ctrl-F,ctrl-B, etc) and on-the-fly word definitions (ctrl-cmd-D while cursor is over a word). There are other differences, too, but I only notice them when they don't work in Finder or in Camino (or Photoshop!).
That said, it's a hell of a lot more integrated than Java!

Re:Neooffice - differences? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395633)

Not really. Mac Swing was different from other implementations of swing in that it was done in a more "native" way and in c or c++. I doubt any speed issues that NeoOffice felt had much to do with it using the Swing interface. Frankly Swing on the Mac was Java done right IMHO. From what I have heard and I may be wrong Apple isn't putting a lot of effort into Java on the Mac anymore. Which is really too bad.
BTW Carbon and Cocoa are both the "New Api" for OS/X Carbon is the c++ verson and Cocoa is the Objective C version. While I use C++ I have to say that I don't love C++. I have not learned Objective C because currently the only system that really supports it well is OS/X. Bindings for GTK and QT are not mainstream or even exist. Part of the problem is that there isn't a single compiler that does C++ and Objective C so QT bindings are very difficult. GTK would be easier since it is written in c but it is still no walk in the park.
You are kind of correct. If you are going to write code that ONLY runs on a Mac then yes Cocoa is the way to go. If you are going to make it work across multiable platforms or if you are going to leverage existing libraries then you will probably write it in C++ and Carbon. I could be wrong but I think Safari is written in C++ and Carbon.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (2, Informative)

jj13 (974374) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395761)

Getting a LITTLE off topic, but thanks to both of the posts clarifying the relationship of Carbon and Cocoa! As I said, I'm the new guy! But a little more quick research finds that a significant enough part of the community has a hard time with the differences as well. A few informative bits here:

http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/mac/2001/05/23/coc oa_vs_carbon.html [oreillynet.com]
http://blogs.msdn.com/rick_schaut/archive/2004/02/ 10/70789.aspx [msdn.com]
http://daringfireball.net/2006/10/some_assembly_re quired [daringfireball.net]
http://wilshipley.com/blog/2006/10/pimp-my-code-pa rt-12-frozen-in.html [wilshipley.com]

I have much to learn!

Re:Neooffice - differences? (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396357)

This was probably not your intention, but your post comes off as a bit of a flamebait. Carbon is here to stay, and large parts of Cocoa rely on it. Carbon does allow you to take full advantage of OS X, and in fact, you can even mix Cocoa and Carbon. Nobody (maybe except NeXT fanboys) frowns upon using Carbon.

License (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395275)

Besides the technical differences (Java/Carbon), a big difference is the licenses: OpenOffice.org is LGPL, NeoOffice is GPL. That means that code can flow from OpenOffice to NeoOffice, but not vice versa since the NeoOffice devs don't want anything less than GPL for their code. (I think both the NeoOffice devs used to work for Sun and maybe they got stomped on one too many times - end result, they don't want Sun re-licensing their code and making commercial cash off their work.)

NeoOffice works. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395649)

There are other differences that I'm sure others will point out, but for now, NeoOffice works and is reasonably stable, although dog-slow -- but what do you expect from OpenOffice?

The native OpenOffice port, from what they are telling me, is very much alpha quality right now.

Re:Neooffice - differences? (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395687)

When I first tried it, on a Mac Mini G4, NeoOffice was a bit of a dog.

However, on a decently powerful machine (e.g. Mac Pro) NeoOffice is eminently usable - haven't done any timings (pointless unless you reboot between each test), but I'd say it feels faster than the "release" Mac Oo running under Apple X11. Main issue is that Neo tends to be a point release or two behind Oo so you get a slightly different bugset - and the Neo people are disinclined to waste valuable porting time patching known bugs in the Oo codebase (very sensible, but still annoying if you are being bugged by one of them).

Re:Neooffice - differences? (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395783)

I'll agree with that. On my work machine (an Intel iMac less than a year old) NeoOffice is actually usable, and no slower than Word.

On my 5-year-old eMac, though, it is positively painful. I hate using it, but Appleworks just doesn't have enough functionality for anything I can't do in TextEdit anyway. I'd put off installing it on my work machine because of its performance at home, but when I finally did (b/c my installation of Office has some strange problems and I can't get the IT guys to reinstall it) I was pleasantly surprised.

Wow! (2, Funny)

sirindex (1111327) | more than 6 years ago | (#19394919)

Bill Gates was right! Open source software does destroy your data! I'm going back to being sodomized with clippy in my comfort zone now! Goodbye!

Good stuff! (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 6 years ago | (#19394927)

My wife had to switch to **brrrr** Microsoft Office on her powerbook because OO.org on the Mac just didn't work for her, being unstable and what have you.

Re:Good stuff! (1, Redundant)

charlie (1328) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395133)

If you need stability, Neooffice [neooffice.org] is pretty solid. (It's based on the OOo codebase but using OS/X's Java to provide the UI; it's nicer than the X11 version on OS/X, but relatively slow on pre-intel kit. I've written -- and sold -- a couple of novels using NeoOffice, although I'm currently Switching to Linux (again) ...)

Re:Good stuff! (1)

DoctorPepper (92269) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395239)

My wife uses NeoOffice on her MacBook Pro, and I use it on my old 800 MHz iMac (the little I use the iMac anyway). It is an acceptable alternative to MS Office for the Mac, but not as good IMHO as the native version of OOo I run on my Linux and Windows computers.

I will download and play around with the native port of OOo on my iMac, but I'll leave the wife using NeoOffice until OOo gets out of Alpha status.

Neo Office (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19394935)

http://www.neooffice.org/ [neooffice.org]

A port of OpenOffice to Mac OS X that uses Java as a compatibility layer.

It _is_ production ready (I use it every day).
Why the OpenOffice people are hostile to this project is something I've stopped
wondering about... today's announcement of the "first" port of OOO to Mac not
using X11 just shows how badly a project hurts itself when it refuses to work
with others

Re:Neo Office (2, Interesting)

GauteL (29207) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395493)

"Why the OpenOffice people are hostile to this project is something I've stopped
wondering about... today's announcement of the "first" port of OOO to Mac not
using X11 just shows how badly a project hurts itself when it refuses to work
with others "

Licensing. NeoOffice code can not be reused in OpenOffice.org due to their relicensing to GPL from the original LGPL. This is done on purpose from NeoOffice, and the relationship between OpenOffice.org and NeoOffice is that of host and parasite, rather than a symbiotic one.

Re:Neo Office (5, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396201)

Licensing. NeoOffice code can not be reused in OpenOffice.org due to their relicensing to GPL from the original LGPL.

This is incorrect. The problem isn't GPL vs LGPL, the problem is that Sun requires the copyright for all significant contributions to OpenOffice.org to be assigned to Sun, so they can sell StarOffice as proprietary code. The NeoOffice developers don't want their code sold as proprietary, and don't want to assign their copyrights to Sun.

neo office is not quite release quality (1)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395667)

I've only used it once, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to unfreeze panes in their Excel clone. It doesn't seem to be in any of the menues. In addition, the word "freeze" does not even appear in their documentation. I was able to do this very routine task in OpenOffice (via x11) without much trouble.

Re:neo office is not quite release quality (1)

constantnormal (512494) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396095)

Uh... try the Window:Freeze menu item. It's been there from Day 1, and has always worked -- at least in my experience.

NeoOffice is is of EXCELLENT release quality.

Re:Neo Office (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395883)

Why the OpenOffice people are hostile to this project is something I've stopped wondering about... today's announcement of the "first" port of OOO to Mac not using X11 just shows how badly a project hurts itself when it refuses to work with others

They're "hostile" because NeoOffice uses an incompatible licence (GPL only, not LGPL) meaning none of the Neo work can be incorporated back into OpenOffice. So if you want to blame someone, blame the NeoOffice folks. They've shut themselves out, not the other way around.

I think NeoOffice is a decent port, but I've never thought it felt native. Sure some of the widgets look native but the whole thing feels off in some way. Sluggish. If the reason for that is a Java layer then I'd gladly take something that uses native widgets.

OpenOffice itself is no speed demon but NeoOffice seems even slower.

Re:Neo Office (2, Insightful)

constantnormal (512494) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396245)

Try the current 2.1 version.

Much faster, although since NeoOffice is code on top of OpenOffice, it's never going to be faster than OpenOffice.

And the extensive use of Java as a wrapper around OpenOffice was only the original version 1. The current NeoOffice has much more Cocoa than Java. I suspect that's where most of the speed improvements have come from.

The best thing to hope for is that as OpenOffice itself becomes more OSX-friendly, NeoOffice will be able to leverage their experience in providing OSX-to-OpenOffice integration on top of a better-performing OpenOffice -- unless the approach Sun is taking in making OpenOffice more OSX-friendly is to wrap the C++ core in java, in which case NeoOffice should hang back with the OO 2.0.4 release and blow the doors off the "OSX-friendly" official version of OpenOffice.

The NeoOffice guys have already travelled that road, and speaking as a user, I wouldn't want to revisit it.

Re:Neo Office (1, Insightful)

cunamara (937584) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396343)

Why the OpenOffice people are hostile to this project is something I've stopped wondering about... today's announcement of the "first" port of OOO to Mac not using X11 just shows how badly a project hurts itself when it refuses to work with others

I use NeoOffice every day for hours each day. It's a polished and effective port of OpenOffice. The reason the OpenOffice.org folks aren't working with the NeoOffice folks is twofold: (1)Not Invented Here and (2) the NeoOffice folks keep finding broken stuff and major limitations in OpenOffice.

A Massive Waste Of Resources (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19394961)

OpenOffice can easily be run under either BootCamp or Parallels. Going through the massive hassle of making a custom native version of OO just for the tiny Mac platform is just plain dumb. With more and more companies looking at phasing out their native Mac applications this is complete waste.

There is no reason to bother writing native OS X apps anymore.

Released? (4, Informative)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19394971)

You know, "released" when applied to software commonly means software which is considered (rightly or wrongly) to be 'production' material.

This however is apparently an 'alpha' which is commonly an early development version, not fit for general consumption and the type of thing you might get from CVS or a daily tarball.

Some developers use the term 'alpha release' as they assume others will know it's just a packaged up development snapshot, then some muppet takes it and runs to press with it.

Klingon software releases (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395591)

You know, "released" when applied to software commonly means software which is considered (rightly or wrongly) to be 'production' material.
What is this talk of 'release'? Klingons do not make software 'releases'. Our software escapes, leaving a bloody trail of designers and quality assurance people in its wake!

Re:Released? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395665)

Public alpha?

NeoOffice (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19394975)

Meanwhile, if you want a fully functioning, free, office suite, just use NeoOffice [neooffice.org] (an OpenOffice.org fork).

Only missing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395017)

Printing, PDF export and Copy/Pase.

Is it just me? or what is it good for?

Warning! (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395025)

'WARNING: This software may crash and may destroy your data Do not use this software for real work in a production environment.
Do not taunt Happy Fun Software.

Re:Warning! (5, Funny)

CockroachMan (1104387) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395095)

'WARNING: This software may crash and may destroy your data Do not use this software for real work in a production environment.
Windows should have one of those in the box..

Slashdot.org for truthiness released! (1, Funny)

subreality (157447) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395073)

Nearly 10 years after announcing spysat pixels for sale, Slashdot.org has released the first release of Slashdot with unbiased truth that can finally run without slant! An alpha is available for viewing [foxnews.com] today, but a lot of help is still needed to make Slashdot more truthy. The site is very blunt: 'WARNING: THIS SITE MAY CONFUSE THE MEANING OF ALPHA AND RELEASE. DO NOT READ THIS SITE IF YOUR BRAIN IS USED FOR REAL WORK IN A PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT. This is an alpha test version so that Linux fanboys and OSX users can get way too excited and blow things entirely out of proportion, and make comments on how to improve profit.' Currently missing functionality includes critical thinking, peer review, spellcheck, and multiple opinions. That said, if you're interested in participating you can sign up for an account [slashdot.org] to figure out how you can start trolling today.

Re:Slashdot.org for truthiness released! (1, Insightful)

subreality (157447) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395141)

With apologies to no one, some comic relief was needed after that much excitement over an early alpha. Seriously, editors, please try to get some perspective. The unending slant gets old.

How does it perform? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395079)

I wonder whether this Mac version is any better at loading. Versions for Windows and especially Linux get a failing grade on this issue. Sadly, very few folks see this as an important issue.

Least of Their Worries (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395083)

Currently missing functionality includes printing, pdf export, copy/pasting...

If someone uses the alpha, with these limitations, in a production environment, then crashing will be the least of their worries...

Still, I'm damn glad to see the (real) Mac version is finally moving forward. It'll be nice to switch when it's out of testing.

is this news? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395123)

the fact that mac software sucks it news? it's the norm from what i've seen.

Don't worry about that (1)

matt me (850665) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395185)

I'm sure we can count on Slashdot readers to submit reliable bug reports.. Like bugzilla.mozilla doesn't drop requests with slashdot.org as referer.

Re:Don't worry about that (1)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396209)

Like bugzilla.mozilla doesn't drop requests with slashdot.org as referer.

They don't do that because of poor quality bug reports from Slashdot users. They block requests with slashdot.org as the referer to discourage Slashdot contributers from posting direct links to bugzilla pages, which would crash the server.

They shouldn't have announced this yet. (1)

Slashcrap (869349) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395187)

Because I bet that 98% of Mac OO users have already switched to this Alpha version. The fact that it can't print, can't copy & paste and will certainly crash and destroy their work is surely secondary to the fact that it looks better than the standard version.

OMFG!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395221)

It's like the end of the world!!!!

Stupid Title! (1)

NPN_Transistor (844657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395247)

IMO, the title of this article is very misleading.

OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X Released!

To me, this implies that a version of OpenOffice that I could actually use for work has been released for OSX. Hell, the whole reason I read this article is because I thought it was, and that this would have been a breakthrough of sorts. An alpha version that should not be used for "real work in a production environment" isn't what I had in mind. According to the web site, you can't even print or copy and paste! This is merely a small step forward for OpenOffice being ported to OSX since the only significant change is the removal of the need to have an X server installed to run.

warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395273)

Warning: this software may crash and may destroy your data do not use this software for real work in a production environment.
ooh sounds cool. Just like my ms office. I'd probably be confy right away when using this.

Finally! (1)

coleopterana (932651) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395417)

We dug all the MS office products (and 'test drive' nonsense) out of the Mac mini we got for my grandmother but the X11 requirement for OO is a problem if she accidentally closes it. This was my first major experience with a Mac since middle school and honestly, things are just not as simple as they want you to think they will be, especially if you have the Intel processors.

sensational (1)

gwoodrow (753388) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395433)

As in... sensationalistic, no? "OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X Released! OMG! LOL! WTF?" Except that it barely works yet. "It only displays words in binary or wingdings... no actual text yet. Also, it may give you dysentery." These slashdot headlines sure are knee-jerk excited over the smallest things.

And just to go ahead and respond to the obligatory joke: no, I am not new here. I just have a really, really bad memory. :)

Not Alpha (4, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395461)

"Alpha" testing is testing by people who participated in the design and/or implementation. Any testing by people not in those teams is, by definition, "Beta" testing.

Alpha/Beta/Release is not a measure of quality or maturity. It just tells who is testing, and their relationship to the software.

Re:Not Alpha (3, Informative)

shawnce (146129) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395967)

Actually in many schools of thought those levels have everything to do with quality and completeness.

Alpha = feature incomplete software with bugs, Beta = feature complete software with bugs, Release = feature complete software with ideally very few bugs.

Still needs X11 (2, Interesting)

AttilaSz (707951) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395559)

http://porting.openoffice.org/mac [openoffice.org] page says:

In order to run the OpenOffice.org you need to have X11 installed.
Okay, so it allegedly doesn't use X11, but you still need to have it installed? I can see how this is a cheap way of getting around crashes because they forgot to remove some X11 dependency, and it's actually acceptable for alpha software, but it's still really, truly far from elegant...

No outliner. No reliability. Lame (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395599)

Seriously, people are expected to use this?

Huh wha? (1)

j0nkatz (315168) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395683)

There are a number of things that do not work in this version including, but not limited to:

        * You cannot print
        * PDF export does not properly work as thetext won't show on the page right
        * Starting OpenOffice.org from a shared folder does not work
        * Copy and paste does not fully work
        * OpenOffice.org will crash after quitting
        * Some text is not drawn in places like Impress
        * Impress will not recognise multiple monitors

HAHAHAHA
I'd be better of using pico and terminal!

Re:Huh wha? (2, Funny)

xtal (49134) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395729)

Latex might provide better rendering results than terminal. Pico away, however! ;)

ahem... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395739)

I know the boys have been busy and all, but can someone at least inform them that Apple dropped the word 'Computer' from their name recently?

And no, I'm not going to offer to help - I tried that back in 2000, and they couldn't find their collective asses without directions...

Not exactly 'released' (1)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395797)

While a native OS X version of OpenOffice.org is a great thing, the title of TFA is a bit misleading. This software hasn't exactly been 'released' in the normal sense of the word. It would have been more accurate to say 'Alpha build of OpenOffice.org for OS X released!' (Yes, technically the exclamation point is not inaccurate, so I left it in.) Being an alpha build it has a number of odd qualities, including but not limited to the following:

  • It can't print
  • It can't export to PDF properly
  • It can't always do that fancy 'copy and paste' thing
  • It will crash when closing

Again: good, but alpha.

Why? (1, Flamebait)

edesjardins (844303) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395817)

Look, I know I don't even have any karma to burn and this may start some flames, but... Why? What's the point of this? The Microsoft Office Student/Teacher edition can be purchased readily from Apple's online store for $149 for the full version of Office. If you can't afford $149 for your productivity either:

A) Your time isn't worth any money and you should reconsider what you're using it for
B) You can't afford it, so how can you afford the computer that you're using
C) You just have no desire to pay for software and/or hate Microsoft for XYZ reasons.

Obviously all of those items are problems, but for the price and how good Office is for the Mac, I think it's quite a value. Besides, "free" is relative, this is alpha software that's 5 years AT BEST behind Microsoft Office. I think that Google's Apps are much more promising as a Microsoft competitor than a buggy copy-cat of what you can already get for a relatively low cost.

Flame on.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19395939)

I believe the Student/Teacher edition has some restrictions on what you can do with what you produce (i.e. you can't make any money off it). So if you want to do anything other than turn in homework you're stuck paying the full price for Office. *That* is part of why this is a big deal. The other part is that Open Office is just good software and it will be nice to have a native OS X version.

Re:Why? (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#19395977)

Not everyone can buy the student/teacher version though, can they? I thought it required proof of being a student/teacher. The normal price of Office Mac is around $300, which is expensive enough to make people look elsewhere - it's half the price of a budget Mac, after all.

i'd love to test this software. (1)

lone bear (67361) | more than 6 years ago | (#19396093)

However, having it only available on the torrent networks is not useful. There are some places of work, mine included, that do not allow any torrents.

spon6e (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19396191)

contaminated while 'You see, even PriMa donnas, and

Good news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19396321)

...for the world's 13,731 Mac users!
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