Monday, January 17, 2005

Aqua OpenOffice.org 2.0 CANCELLED!

From OO.org source itself (porting.openoffice.org/mac),


It's been over a year and a half since this page was last updated, and as of recent memory, all engineering for OpenOffice.org Mac OS X has been focused on X11 graphics, that is, OpenOffice.org Mac OS X (X11). Without significant contributions of time and talent this will most likely remain the case.

No engineering work has been performed on Quartz or Aqua development within the OpenOffice.org project since mid 2003. For the last year and a half all engineering work focusing on a native Mac OS X OpenOffice.org version has been concentrated in the NeoOffice/J project, using a combination of Java and Carbon technologies to replace X11.

OO.org does give some reasons to stick with X11 version on the Mac (well, OS X is BSD actually. Apple has its own X11 implementation for OS X. The current version of OO.org is running fine on my OS X). Listing here:

  • X11 Will Always be Faster to Market
  • X11 Will Always be More Stable
  • X11 Will Always Look like Other Platforms
  • X11 is the Ultimate Testing Tool

Given so many differences between Mac OS X API (be it Carbon or Cocoa) and X11, OO.org decision to stick with X11 might not be a wrong decision. Also, I would guess that OO.org do not have many people working on native-Aqua port as they do with Windows port. Porting to the Mac could be pretty difficult, given the complexities of OO.org. (This is not a port of a little tool, it is one of the largest open source software around).

It would be really nice, if they can make X11 version of OO.org 2.0 for Mac to be as nice as Windows version though. (I only tried Windows preview version, haven't tried the Linux version yet).

For those who needs native-Aqua office suite, look for iWork. No, it's not free, neither as in free speech nor beer. But pricing at $79, it's not bad at all. It does not have spreadsheet program though.

Oh, last time I tried NeoOffice ... quite promising, but given the performance of Java VM on Mac, I'll give it a pass. (I don't need a spreadsheet program anyway).

By the way, make sure to read Slashdot discussion thread about this topic.