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OpenOffice 2.0 Preview Release 517

gmuslera writes "A preview release of OpenOffice.org 2.0 was released, which has new features like better MS-Office compatibility, an Access-like program and a more. Here is a review of it with screenshots and how it performs. It's work in progress, maybe not recomended for production sites, but it is a good sample of what is coming."
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OpenOffice 2.0 Preview Release

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  • by dan dan the dna man ( 461768 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:18PM (#11138004) Homepage Journal
    Or The Inquirer! :)
  • OS X (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cratermoon ( 765155 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:19PM (#11138016) Homepage
    But when will they ever have native OS X support?
    • Re:OS X (Score:3, Informative)

      the OS X support is coming now, but they need help.
    • Re:OS X (Score:4, Informative)

      by pbailey ( 225135 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:33PM (#11138151)
      They are looking for people to help on the project that is going to create the OS X native support. Head on over there if you want to help out. Should be an interesting project.
    • Re:OS X (Score:5, Funny)

      by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:42PM (#11138244) Journal
      But when will they ever have native OS X support?

      When the enthalpy of Satan's domain is reduced to the point where dihydrogen oxide becomes solid, perhaps?

      Seriously, I don't know. But do you really think that asking a subset of Slashdot is going to be any more informative than the officially maintained FAQs?
      • Re:OS X (Score:3, Funny)

        by Vengie ( 533896 )
        Do you mean DHMO? [dhmo.org] That shit is *NASTY*.....
    • by soullessbastard ( 596494 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @01:34PM (#11138764) Homepage Journal
      Disclaimer: I am one of the community members of the Mac OS X OOo "team" and founder of the NeoOffice [neooffice.org] project

      It will probably be a while before you can even see X11 support for 2.0. Eric just got the 2.0 X11 based code to *compile* for the first time yesterday and it won't even run as setup crashes.

      Part of the problem is that OpenOffice.org really isn't a "team"...it's primarily Sun Microsystems. Sun has four priorities: Linux x86, Windows, Solaris, and Solaris x86. Sun pays no one to work on Mac OS X support. Since it isn't one of their priorities, they frequently code without keeping the special needs of Mac OS X in mind, doing stupid things like hard-coding shared library extensions to only be ".dll" or ".so", neither of which are used by Mac OS X. They can't claim ignorance since folks have been trying to write Mac OS X code for over three years now, but yet they still don't even keep simple compatibility needs like that in mind.

      Getting true native support for OOo without X11 on Mac OS X is most likely not going to happen within the OpenOffice.org project. All of our native work has been going on in the NeoOffice/J [neooffice.org] project. It uses a mixture of Carbon and Java to run using ATSUI for native fonts and Quartz for native drawing and printing. We also use full GPL licensing so we can incorporate the good work of contributors who can't get their translations and patches into OOo due to licensing and politics.

      The process of giving it Aqua widgets has already begun. The latest 1.1 Alpha patches use native Mac OS X menubars. Aquafication is slow, though, because our first priority is to make it functional first, then make it pretty second. It doesn't matter if it looks pretty if it crashes after 5 minutes!

      For what it's worth, it's already taken over two years just to get NeoOffice/J to the point where the native Mac OS X support is functional. By functional I mean that it can copy and paste both formatted text and images with other Mac OS X applications, has correct fonts and font layouts, functions with most all of the Mac OS X printer drivers, launches properly from the finder, works with the scrollwheel on those funky mice some Mac users have, has an integrated WordPerfect filter, uses the Apple Installer, has automatic upgrade notification, automatically translates the interface based upon your preferred language in the System Preferences language pane, etc.

      OpenOffice.org 2.0 X11 has no native non-X11 support in it, much less the level of integration with Mac that we've achieved with NeoOffice/J. It's taken two years of some really dedicated engineers (namely, Patrick) to get NeoJ up to that stage. Replicating all of that work within OOo will probably take nearly that long and perhaps longer if the experts aren't there to help.

      NeoOffice/J is in fact OpenOffice.org 1.1.2, and is 97% identical on a source code level. It's even got bug fixes that aren't in the OOo GM (such as functional JDBC support). This week we're going to be taking NeoOffice/J to 1.1 Beta after all known crashing and deadlocks have been fixed. And...

      NeoOffice/J 1.1 Beta will be based off of OpenOffice.org 1.1.3, which isn't even available for Mac OS X X11!

      Just keep up to date on the latest Mac OS X porting news on trinity [neooffice.org] instead of the infrequently updated OOo pages. RSS feeds are available too.

      And don't let all of the politics and scare tactics [openoffice.org] of the OpenOffice.org denziens scare you either. NeoOffice really is the 'official' place for Mac OS X native OpenOffice.org and is where all of us core developers work (Patrick, Dan, and Ed).

      ed
      • I'm not sure what politics and scare tactics you're referring to, but that thread seems to imply that they can't fold your patches back because of licensing concerns which is totally reasonable. They also said you'd forked the project, which also appears to be correct from reading your website.

        What politics are you talking about?

        • Read further along for great comments like the disinformation in this [openoffice.org] which omits our 2.0 plans. There's other ones like this [openoffice.org] where the project is described as "harmful and destractive" to OpenOffice.org. And this was all in response to a user just saying he enjoyed NeoJ.

          If responses like those are not politics and scare tactics, I don't know what is.

          (and yes, we do have patches that we've relicensed and submitted that do not get committed back into OOo, such as UTF8 filename support).

          ed
          • OK, look I want you to understand that I'm not doing your efforts down - it's great that you're actually writing code instead of whinging like so many others - but I read those emails and I have to admit I agree (for once) with Sander.

            For starters, let's look at the so called "disinformation" spread here. I'm not sure what your 2.0 plans are, because neither of your websites (confusingly there are two, which look the same but aren't) seem to mention any on the front page or FAQ. So I don't know what your

            • Well, he's not got any plans for 2.0 Mac OS X either and there are certainly no paid engineers working on native OS X support for OpenOffice.org. It's a shame when folks have to start talking smack citing their own vaporware, and this is even free software ;)

              As to "do the work all over again", Neo/J isn't engineered that way. It's actually only over a meg tarball in size. It's so small that the source is actually included in the installer dimages. The way it works is that Neo/J first automatically do
      • by JPyObjC Dude ( 772176 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:18PM (#11142292)
        Ed,

        The one thing I find depressing here is that Apple has not put some resources at this one. The benefit that Apple will get from having Native OOO is astronomical. The number of users who would be available to switch to OSX is much higher than people imagine.

        Picture all those users who:
        -- Don't want to pay for crazy Win32 OS prices
        -- Don't want to pay for M$ Office prices
        -- Are not sys admins (or capable of) and as such cannot, and should not, use linux
        -- Who, rightly so, have an moral aversion to installing M$ software on a OSX box
        -- Want stable enterprise quality office apps running on a stable system (OOO on OSX)

        I know that the number of users that are above are in the millions globally. If OOO was native, all of the above could selling features of Mac OSX. I am not even thinking of the corporate possibilities here.

        I know that many argue that M$ Office is available but it's way too unstable and the interface bites. Also programmability is poor.

        Another argument against OOO on OSX is that apple has AppleWorks. But, apple has never and will never come close to the features programmability of OOO. Personally, I still consider AppleWorks a toy product not worthy of true enterprise Office hacking.

        I am sure that Sun is aware of the benefits that Apple will gain by an native version and this is why they don't care to pay anybody to do the work.

        Sad state of affairs :[

        I am very glad that you have put in all the work so far and I will be glad to assist in the future in any of your 'forks' to get OOO 2.0 on OSX.

        Keep up the good work!

        JsD

        [Looking forward to hacking python/javascript/... apps on top of OOO 2.0]
        • Are not sys admins (or capable of) and as such cannot, and should not, use linux

          Linux is just a kernel. There are some software distributions that utilize Linux which are difficult for non-sysadmins to use. There are also some which are nearly idiot proof today. (moreso than Windows, almost as good as OSX) Don't make silly generalizations about who should and should not use Linux.
      • > Sun pays no one to work on Mac OS X support.

        look, I know this is obvious and all, but since when has is it been one non-free OS company's job to support another non-free OS's software - even with the spirit of RMS blessing them (or not)

        I'm sure you're doing a great job, but how's Apple's work on paying people to work on Dtrace?

        Sun are doing a great job with the 4 (!) archs/kernels that you mention above. Maybe Apple could move some dev. time from, I dunno, fskcing widget extensions for OSX10.5.1.2.
  • Native Widgets? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by user9918277462 ( 834092 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:19PM (#11138018) Journal
    Does this contain the native widget work that Ximian (and others) have been working on?

    This is key, IMO, to desktop integration and widespread adoption in at least the corporate desktop sector.
    • Re:Native Widgets? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pjrc ( 134994 ) <paul@pjrc.com> on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:58PM (#11138364) Homepage Journal
      If you follow the link and read the list of new features or just to a search for "native" (yeah, RTFA... I must be new here):

      Native System Theme Integration (Native Widget Rendering)

      To enhance integration of OpenOffice.org with the underlying operating system, all user interface elements (such as buttons and scrollbars) will have the same look as those used in most other "native" applications for that platform. OpenOffice.org will react on-the-fly to changes of the desktop theme, so that when the user changes the desktop colors or theme, OpenOffice.org will adjust its own appearance to match.

      Native system theme integration will be available for Gnome (version 2.4 or higher), Microsoft Windows (including XP and future versions), and KDE (version 3.2 and higher) desktop environments. On Windows XP the "Windows XP Style" must be chosen under Settings->Control Panel->Display->Appearance to achieve the correct look.

      Theme integration will be the default for desktop environments that support it (listed above). Systems that do not support it (e.g., Windows 98/ME/2000, CDE) will see no visual change in OpenOffice.org. On supported systems OpenOffice.org will always adopt the theme of the system and cannot choose not to do so.

  • Murphys Law (Score:5, Funny)

    by doublem ( 118724 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:19PM (#11138022) Homepage Journal
    30 minutes after upgrading to Open Office 1.1.3...

    Guess I'll try and update Thunderbird so the next release hits the servers this afternoon.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Make sure you have java installed. Looks good, although the new database tool crashed a lot for me.
  • by VAXGeek ( 3443 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:26PM (#11138087) Homepage
    Don't use this build! I downloaded it, instantly all my programs were segfaulting. I got bus errors all over the place, my RAID arrays are failing, and my ethernet device will only work in half-duplex now. I advise everyone to wait until the final release, unless you want to have ECC errors with your RAM, like I do now.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      that's ok , my usb mouse now works backwards, the Cd burner now burns DVD's and the installer overclocked my P-III 500 to a P4 3.6ghz and upgraded my ram from sdram to DDR2 and tripled it to 3 gigabytes.

      Oh and it scratched all my CD's and put dirty socks on my table!

      the horror!
  • by h_jurvanen ( 161929 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:28PM (#11138106)
    an Access-like program

    I remember when those were called "databases."
    • by EvanED ( 569694 ) <evaned@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:33PM (#11138155)
      "Access-like" is more specific. If they had just said "database" it could have been a wider range of applications. "Access-like" specifies that it's used like access.

      MySQL is a database, yet I hardly think you'd call it "access-like".
    • Access isn't always used as a database. In many places, it just just a front-end GUI which talks to MS SQL, Oracle, or some other Database server. Access makes interfaces to the database fairly quick to put togeather. Usually much faster than writing a web/java based one.

      We never use the actual Access database here. We just use it as a front-end. I'm glad to see an 'access-like' program in OpenOffice. We could use a nice free front-end to talk with a 'real' database server. Not just some lightweigh

    • I disagree with you pretty strongly.

      I have worked in fairly high level management for some years now. Where I work, I am the only relatively tech-savvy person, and that includes our IT department (AS/400 without DB2. go figure).

      As such, it falls to me to do any form of knowledge generation and decision support based on figures. So, I have been using access for several years now. While I truly hate it, I must admit that it strikes a pretty sweet spot in terms of features.

      It is a database. A very poor one,
  • In XP theme ?... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gopal.V ( 532678 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:28PM (#11138107) Homepage Journal
    Couldn't they pick a less Window'ish theme for this thing ?. After all I don't use XP or any MSFT Os at home... How's performance on linux-x86 (redraw stuff) and what will it show if I'm running fluxbox (instead of gnome/kde interfaces).

    And YTF is "StarOffice 8" == "OpenOffice 2.0" .. Managers do have this version madness you know (guess which sounds better ;)

    The Writer screenshot looks better than MS word but how about editing. I've had problems with fonts in RTF output (which is what I use by choice).

    That's it I'm switching this weekend !! :)
    • by EvanED ( 569694 ) <evaned@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:35PM (#11138181)
      It looks like they took the screenshots in Windows, so maybe in Linux they will look different.

      Frankly, at least if they change it for Linux, I think a more Windowsish theme will help it's acceptance; it's closer to what people know and use now.
    • Version History (Score:4, Informative)

      by managementboy ( 223451 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:38PM (#11138212) Homepage
      Pretty easy, Sun bought StarDivision a German company a few years back. That company had an Office like Suite called StarOffice, at that time in version 6.1

      A few months after buying StarDivision, Sun opensources the commercial application under the brand OpenOffice.org (notice the .org) and keeps a supported, shrinkwraped version with the same sourcebase as StarOffice. The two applications start in Sun's world as StarOffice 7 and OpenOffice.org 1.0 respectively.

      Now it is logical that the StarOffice versioning keeps keeping pace with OpenOffice, as it is basicaly the same application minus templates and support. From a marketing point of view keeping two brands makes sense.

      There is much more history to StarDivision than this, but that is another story.

      Cheers!
  • by tji ( 74570 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:29PM (#11138112)
    I don't see any MacOS X packages on their site, or any mention of improvements in that area.

    Anyone have news on this? Or is Open Office effectively dead on the Mac?
    • Hopefully Apple will adopt this lost child and popularize the world's first open standard for office documents a la USB, FireWire, Rendezvous
      • open GUI standard (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jeif1k ( 809151 )
        Perhaps Apple should first embrace open GUI standards and integrate X11 into Aqua rather than treating it like a leper. Integrating X11 into Aqua would be far easier than what they did with Carbon, which is just as foreign to Aqua as X11 is.

        Of course, Apple doesn't want to integreate X11 because they know full well that if they provided decent X11 support, 90% of the OS X applications would be X11 based, and that's not in their interest.

        But, frankly, it's not clear that Apple wants OOo on their platform
    • I don't see any MacOS X packages on their site, or any mention of improvements in that area. Anyone have news on this?

      Also curious....because the OpenOffice team said OS X support was "never going to happen" in 1.x, not worth their time, wasted effort since 2.0 is around the corner, blah blah..."wait until 2.0".

      MacOS X has been the most prevalent Unix desktop for a while now, and Apple's developer documentation is first class. Can we please get support for OS X? Pretty please?

      • by Wordsmith ( 183749 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @01:14PM (#11138544) Homepage
        FRom what I've seen poking around the site, native Aqua/OSX support didn't quite pan out for 2.0 the way it was supposed to. It looks like it still requires an X server, and still uses its own toolkit instead of aqua or a smart approximation.

        Neooffice/J was the proof of concept to bring OO 1.x to the Aqua system. It looks like they made some progress - using Aqua widgets and controls in some places, but only a few, and doing away with the need for an X server. But it doesn't look like they've gotten much farther than that, or readied 2.0 to be aqua-native. That's a shame.
        • by soullessbastard ( 596494 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @02:26PM (#11139280) Homepage Journal
          Disclaimer: I am a member of the OOo Mac OS X "team" and a founder of the project [neooffice.org].

          NeoOffice/J isn't a prototype anymore. It got so good and stable that we decided to make it an official project. We just haven't changed the slogans and copy yet. NeoOffice/J 1.1 [neooffice.org] is going to be going beta this week, based off of OpenOffice.org 1.1.3 (not even available for Mac OS X X11). It will contain Aqua menus, too.

          After we work out all the bugs and get NeoOffice/J 1.1 to final release, we're going to plow ahead with scrollbars and buttons and whathaveyou for a 1.5 release. We'll also be starting on the native work for 2.0 sometime next year, but that will take some effort, considering OOo 2.0 isn't finalized yet.

          Our goal is to put out a final NeoOffice/J that is stable, well tested, polished, but most importantly, fully functional. It's generally our opinion that it's more important to be bug-free then pretty. It doesn't matter if it's got pretty blue buttons if it crashes after typing 5 words, and there are definitely testers and users who agree ;)

          ed
    • by soullessbastard ( 596494 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @01:54PM (#11138956) Homepage Journal
      Disclaimer: I am one of the members of the Mac OS X OOo team and a founder of the NeoOffice [neooffice.org] project

      OpenOffice.org X11 on the mac is effectively dead because it is horrendously understaffed. There are less then 5 people actively working on it. Not good for an 8 million line + application.

      While Apple's developer documentation may be first class, OpenOffice.org X11 is not built using Apple-specific technologies. It is built from the command line and is using X11 with its own internal widget toolkit. Oh yeah, and takes 9 hours to compile on a dual G5 2GHz. That hurdle is a bit too high for just someone to stroll on in and casually check out the project.

      OpenOffice.org is a large and thorny Unix application. There are very few Mac OS X programmers that actually have X11 and Unix skills and the patience to deal with something of its size. Most developers come to the project and are like "can I build it in XCode" or "can I use InterfaceBuilder", find out they can't and then leave. The lack of a sufficiently large pool of skilled volunteer programming experts effectively killed OOo on the Mac from the start.

      The native work has effectively moved to the NeoOffice/J [neooffice.org] project, which is 95% code identical to OpenOffice.org and uses Carbon and Java instead of X11. It still doesn't use Apple development tools directly, but it does have two of the original developers of OOo Mac OS X working on it continuously.

      ed
  • by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:29PM (#11138113) Homepage Journal
    A look at the new features page doesn't mention it. This is my major criticism of OO. It's frustratingly slow to open documents. With email attachments, it's a major PITA. I'll stick with abiword and gnumeric.
    • From the article:

      Load speed is one area worth noting because of the improvements over previous releases. Launching the Office Suite installed on winXP Home SP2, with the program's "Quick Starter" feature disabled, produced the following results: OpenOffice Writer loaded in 10 seconds. The Spreadsheet (OO Calc) in 11 seconds. The Powerpoint-like presentations module (Impress): 9 seconds. OO Base (a new database program): 5 seconds. With Quick Starter enabled: OO Write: 3 seconds. OO Calc: 7.5 seconds. OO I
  • I tried it... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DamienMcKenna ( 181101 ) <damien&mc-kenna,com> on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:30PM (#11138125)
    I tried and and really, really..

    * Liked the new installer, much easier to use and less klunky (on Winders).

    * Loved the new interface, it is very clean and much more pleasant to use than v1.

    * Loved the new features - the media gallery, etc.

    * Hated how it wouldn't save embedded images. I spend half an hour working on documentation with embedded images, saved, reloaded, no images. Back to v1 for me.

    I do plan on testing the heck out of the pre-releases (and sending it on CDs to all my friends), but once burned, twice shy for me.

    One thing I would personally really like to see is a command line utility to automatically resave v1 files (or indeed any other format) in the v2 format. Run that over a directory of your files and never (in theory) have file problems again.

    Damien
  • Compatibility (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wordsmith ( 183749 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:30PM (#11138129) Homepage
    Here's my completely subjective, indicitive-of-nothing compatibility test.

    I have an old version of my resume I drafted in Word some time ago. It's not very complicated - just a few boxes of text and a table for the main content. It's been edited, exported to different formats, reimported and mucked up all over the place a few times over. The last version of it opens just fine in any version of Word, and looks good, but I can only imagine the leftover crud from several edits and imports/exports sitting around in the file.

    So far, I've yet to come across another office suite that renders the documents the same way word does - although late builds of OO 1.x have come close. I downloaded the 1.91 preview version, on a FC3 system with the msfonts installed, did an almost-perfect import. One line that sits at the bottom of the document in word gets pushed to the next page in OO 1.91. Other than that, it's a faithful reproductoin of the special characters (bullets and a few accent marks) and hand-adjusted spacing in the table. The fonts all match and the lines break in the same place.

    I think "opens Lou's resume pretty well" should be an advertised feature in any Word competitor.

    • Re:Compatibility (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BagOBones ( 574735 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:45PM (#11138270)
      I would say its more important that My resume created in OO renders exactly that same in word.

      Since you as the the resume author are the one with OO and your potential employer is the one most likely running MS office.

      I haven't grabbed the latest version of OO but I do know that all older versions do not render my resume the same way that MS Word does.
      • Re:Compatibility (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 )

        I would say its more important that My resume created in OO renders exactly that same in word.

        Why are you sending resumes in Word format instead of PDF or RTF?

        I have never had my resume available in Word format - and it's never caused me any problem.

        If they want it for printing or viewing, send a PDF; if a recruiter needs to massage it to their own format, they get the RTF or HTML version that they can import. (Send an RTF and most people won't even understand that it's not "Microsoft Word format".)

        • Re:Compatibility (Score:3, Interesting)

          by failedlogic ( 627314 )
          I've had an opposite experience to yours. When looking for a job last year, I forwarded my resume in PDF format to many different companies: high-tech, government, employment agencies, other businesses.

          Several HR people called and said "Sorry, I can't read your resume in that format. Please forward it as a Microsoft Word document." (Yes, they specifically "required" Microsoft Word. Having Word on my computer, I obliged. I was lucky they actually called. Several never called (I wonder if they were able to "
  • Is it faster? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs@a[ ]com ['js.' in gap]> on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:33PM (#11138152) Homepage Journal
    Site's a bit slow right now. Does anyone know if the new release is trimmed down at all? Initial startup times for me can range from 10 to 30 seconds, and perhaps I'm just spoiled, but even celestia (a program that plots the locations of millions of stars, galaxies and other celestial bodies and displays them using OpenGL) starts up faster than that!

    I like the feature-set of OOo, but I keep using Gnumeric and AbiWord for performance reasons. :-(
  • Very glad! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:33PM (#11138159) Homepage
    For those who follow my own line of comments, you already know that I've been pressing for the use of OSS in my company from day 1... well more like from month 2 or 3 but my sentiments were knowns since day 1. :) In any case, so far I have experienced little to no resistance and a lot of welcome applause for it. In this office, OpenOffice.org, Mozilla/Firefox and The GIMP have been deployed with good reception. We're not yet at 100% but that change is just around the corner.

    A little background: My company is REALLY unhappy with Microsoft after a BSA audit started after a disgruntled employee left here. We didn't have much in the way of compliance problems, but the nazi-like BSA left a really bad taste in their mouths.
    • Re:Very glad! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by killjoe ( 766577 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @01:22PM (#11138647)
      We really should encourage all ex employees to contact the BSA. I have never worked anywhere that didn't have at least one or two desktops with much stolen software.

      People who steal software must be punished. It's good for everybody. It's good for open source, it good for makers of proprietary software.
    • Re:Very glad! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      the BSA is the friend of disgruntled employees... just like OSHA.

  • Access clone.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EightBitHustler ( 840576 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:36PM (#11138184)

    The Access clone doesn't appear to open access mdb files. Hats off to OO for making the clone, but it's useless to companies that already have bunch of access stuff already.

    I'm in the process of rewriting an Access DB that grew out of control for a few years. Remodeling the database has been a nightmare. The new app will use MySQL or Oracle instead using all SQL92 syntax. We're using a java web MVC framework for the interface.

    • Re:Access clone.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @01:09PM (#11138483)
      The Access clone doesn't appear to open access mdb files.

      No, it doesn't open an mdb natively with all the forms & reports. But you can ODBC in, and CRUD all the tables, data, and queries.

      useless to companies that already have bunch of access stuff already.

      Those wishing to move their inhouse apps off Access can use this to create new OOo front ends, using their current data, in its current location in the MDB.
      Then, later, move the data out of Access, and retain the new, OOo based, frontend.

      Remodeling/rebuilding a database is only a nightmare if the first one was built shoddily. Neither OOo, Access, Oracle, MySQL, or any other db tool can prevent that.

  • by cuban321 ( 644777 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:39PM (#11138219) Homepage
    I wish OO Calc had the Format Painter feature Excel does. I love using it to clean up the format of a spreadsheet.
  • Broken record… (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shic ( 309152 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:40PM (#11138225)
    Any news about a grammar/style checking tool?

  • WordPerfect import (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jridley ( 9305 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:51PM (#11138312)
    PLEASE!!!
    My wife and our church both used WordPerfect for years, and have thousands of documents in that format. Existing conversion utilities, particularly free ones, really don't work well at all.
    At this point we'd be happy just preserving the text and the basic formatting. Having images and complex formatting import properly would be nice, but at this point we're really just looking for a way out of WP-land.
    It's kind of hard to believe that it's that hard to read a file format.
  • 64 bit? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scharkalvin ( 72228 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:53PM (#11138331) Homepage
    Now if they will only fix the source code so it
    will compile as a 64 bit application under
    AMD64 based Linux. The currrent source is VERY
    badly broken in 64 bit compatibility.
  • MS Access (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tacocat ( 527354 ) <tallison1.twmi@rr@com> on Monday December 20, 2004 @01:02PM (#11138402)

    I read from the article that they intend to have an application that mimics MS Access.

    I hope they do a really bad job at this. A full featured mimic of MS Access would introduce a variety of really bizarre errors, instabilities and WTfs into their feature set.

    Actually, I'm surprised they didn't just roll off something that ran on a database plug-in. And that plug-in would support MySQL or Postgresql. By supporting both you avoid the flame wars and by supporting a real database you get some real capabilities.

  • by civiltongue ( 830912 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @01:31PM (#11138733)
    I bought a cheap computer with WinXP but didn't feel like shelling out $hundreds for MS Office. So I happily installed OO and used it successfully for months.

    But then I found that in one of my not-very-complex spreadsheets one cell just did not get updated (worked fine in Excel). This is in a tax reporting format that must work correctly! And it was only a lucky break that I noticed it at all. To me this is a killer (and not in a good way) -- features are pointless if the answers aren't right.

    I pored over it for days, trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Then I found that this is a known bug in their bugtracker database. I submitted my spreadsheet as a repeatable example (they didn't have one before). But so far no bug fix.

    I'm hoping that it got fixed in 2.0 (but it's still in the bugtracker).

  • by jeif1k ( 809151 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @01:58PM (#11138994)
    It seems like the Java dependencies are becoming increasingly important. But if you have an open source office suite and it depends on a large, proprietary software product like Sun Java to function, then the freedoms you are supposed to get from using FOSS are not guaranteed anymore. Effectively, only the parts of OpenOffice that are usable without Sun Java are FOSS.

    Let's hope that FOSS Java-like implementations (Kaffe, RVM, etc.) will become a drop-in replacement for Sun Java for OpenOffice so that all of OpenOffice functionality will be FOSS.
  • outline processor (Score:3, Interesting)

    by samantha ( 68231 ) * on Monday December 20, 2004 @03:20PM (#11139883) Homepage
    I cannot write anything long than a page without a real outline processor to organize my thoughts/blatherings. Word has one built in. It will be a great day when OO has one too. And no, building one in myself is not in my line of expertise.

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? -- Charlie McCarthy

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