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Sun Microsystems

StarOffice 6.0 Beta Available 465

Lumpish Scholar and 753 other people wrote in to let us know that Sun has released its beta of Star Office 6. CNET has a blurb about the release as well. I was hoping that Sun's site might be unclogged enough to try it out myself, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards today.
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StarOffice 6.0 Beta Available

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  • SO (Score:2, Informative)

    by crumbz ( 41803 ) <<remove_spam>jus ... o spam>gmail.com> on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @02:57PM (#2379479) Homepage
    StarOffice kicks ass apart from some file interoperability problems. But that just might be me. I think I'll wait awhile before I try 6.0.
  • by dafoomie ( 521507 ) <dafoomie&hotmail,com> on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:00PM (#2379500) Homepage
    Well, the problems faced by many is the ability to read/write to Word 2000/XP format. Some companies tried to make the switch but couldn't share documents very well with other departments/companies. Best they did in StarOffice 5 was Word 97. It would be a lot more successful if it could do that. It's not Word or Office by a longshot but is Office really worth $400 when you can get this for nothing? It's still pretty good.
  • Re:Office XP (Score:4, Informative)

    by dsb3 ( 129585 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:03PM (#2379532) Homepage Journal
    Whatever happened to it having been released open source?

    See OpenOffice.org [openoffice.org] for that one.

  • Re:My first question (Score:2, Informative)

    by DebianDog ( 472284 ) <danNO@SPAMdanslagle.com> on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:03PM (#2379533) Homepage
    YES! It is gone thank God. I always hated that desktop too!
  • Re:Double Standards (Score:2, Informative)

    by RichiP ( 18379 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:05PM (#2379553) Homepage
    Personally, (aside from MS's other immoral and unfair practices) I have no problem with MS giving IE away from free ... it's BUNDLING it with the OS. Most people wouldn't take the time to download other browsers because IE's already there.
  • Mirror up (Score:4, Informative)

    by rveety ( 223650 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:05PM (#2379555) Homepage
    Here it is:
    Star office 6.0 beta, linux x86, english [pioneeris.net]
  • Re:Office XP (Score:5, Informative)

    by Steve Luzynski ( 3615 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:05PM (#2379562)
    Scant amounts of ram?

    Someone mod this +1, Funny, please.

    I'm running Office XP right now. Outlook is currently using 23M of RAM. Word is using 28M. (Windows 2000 + Office XP)

    Word doesn't even have a file open, not even a blank file.

    I don't count that as 'scant amounts'.

    And it loads quick because that "Microsoft Office" icon in your startup menu preloads most of the thing during your boot/login process where you think it's normal for your disk to be thrashing itself apart.
  • by ceswiedler ( 165311 ) <chris@swiedler.org> on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:06PM (#2379566)
    Because Microsoft uses incredibly proprietary formats. These days, it's not even a file format you could call as such, is a serialized COM stream. That means it's dependent on the processor type, OS, etc., and therefore extremely difficult to reverse-engineer.
  • Re:My first question (Score:5, Informative)

    by corky6921 ( 240602 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:12PM (#2379616) Homepage

    Have they gotten rid of that "integrated desktop"?

    Yes. I think that was everyone's single biggest complaint about StarOffice. They have also gotten rid of the "memory hog" problem with 5.2, which was that it loaded all five applications into memory and used up about 64MB of physical RAM whenever you wanted to load it.

    Their big new feature is using an open XML format for documents. I also believe they have killed the problem where StarOffice took over all of your email clients, other text editors, etc.

    I think this version of StarOffice is honestly the first one that will be a real competitor to MS Office, but I think it will really only be used by small businesses and individuals. Large corporations are already dependent on Outlook/Exchange/macros to do their work, and I don't see any large corporations switching off of those anytime soon (especially since there is no real groupware solution that Sun offers that compares with Exchange.)

  • Re:Office XP (Score:2, Informative)

    by Trelane ( 16124 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:12PM (#2379621) Journal
    Really? Interesting.

    I guess, if it worked for IE, why not Office?

    Make your stuff *appear* to load faster, even though the slow part is at the beginning and consumes RAM even when inactive. Whee!
  • by aralin ( 107264 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:14PM (#2379638)
    Its pretty easy. Your are not allowed to reverse engineer the format by the EULA on MS Office license. You can try to do it from the documents since you do not sign any license for these, but then you don't get the whole format. You get just some features used in every document. And its binary and intentionally obfuscated format so its even way harder. I was doing some format conversions earlier and even with DOCUMENTED formats its extremly hard task.
  • yes (Score:2, Informative)

    by _damnit_ ( 1143 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:16PM (#2379656) Journal
    The integrated desktop was the first thing to go. You can read a lot about what has gone on with Star Office at openoffice.org [openoffice.org]. There you'll find the source, etc.
  • You want Evolution (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @03:28PM (#2379757)

    That product was designed to do everything that Outlook
    can do, from what I understand.

  • The newest versions of StarOffice/OpenOffice come with a small program the starts when your machine boots. This program preloads all the necessary DLLs into memory to decrease load time. You should see launch times similar to those of MS Office with it installed.
  • by Eslyjah ( 245320 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @04:06PM (#2380052)
    From the openoffice faq [openoffice.org]:

    The source code available at OpenOffice.org does not consist of all of the StarOffice code. Usually, the reason for this is that Sun pays to license third party code to include in StarOffice that which it does not have permission to make available in OpenOffice.org. Those things which are or will be present in StarOffice but are not available on OpenOffice.org include:
    • Spell checking
    • Certain fonts (including, especially, Asian language fonts)
    • Help
    • The database component (Adabas D)
    • Templates
    • Extensive Clip Art Gallery
    • Some sorting functionality (Asian versions)
    • Certain file filters

    Looks like Sun is giving away everything that doesn't cost them money to give away.
  • Re:MS support... (Score:3, Informative)

    by EisPick ( 29965 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @05:10PM (#2380197)
    Everyone is making a big deal at how it doesn't open Word Documents very well.... Well HECK, there isn't ANY support for opening WordPerfect documents.

    Before folks complain about what's missing or doesn't work well, it would pay to spend a few minutes actually installing the software and checking it out.

    I've only used StarOffice for about half an hour so far, but it appears that the import/export filters are actually quite extensive. There is ALL KINDS of support for opening WordPerfect documents from ver 4.1 to ver 7. No, there's no ver 8 filter, but considering the length of the filter list, I'm assuming it's just a matter of time before they write it (there are filters for Xywrite and Wordstar, ferchrissakes).

    Choose "Custom Install" or to to the setup app after installing and pick from their very extensive list of filters.

    As for Word support, Star Office opened a bunch of very complex (but macro-free) documents for me without a burp. I was even able to set Word (and Excel) as my default file types for saving.

    I say so far so good.
  • Re:mirrors (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @05:12PM (#2380210)
    I set one up at:
    http://borft.student.utwente.nl/openoffice/StarO f ice60/so-6_0-beta-bin-linux-en.bin
  • by cowbutt ( 21077 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @06:40PM (#2380729) Journal
    Why is it that Star/Open Office wants to be installed on a per user basis, instead of a system wide location where everyone can use it. I've never had any luck getting it to work unless I installed it in my home directory. Does anyone know of a way that I can make it available to everyone?

    RTFM. Basically, you run 'setup -net' as root and install under /opt or /usr/local or something, then as each user run setup from the installed tree, and it'll copy about 2MB of stuff into your home directory. It's all documented.

  • Re:Office XP (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @07:56PM (#2381160)
    Libraries which were once for Office have no been merged with the OS (and as each office had it's own UI it's about time, really). You won't see much of a change but it's there - and don't trust the task manager to appropriately report memory usage in XP - get Norton whatever to get some proper numbers :)

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous