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Sun Microsystems

Mac StarOffice in development 103

ChrisRijk writes "According to this MacWeek article Sun has started work on a port, though time-frame is currently unknown. After Sun made StarOffice freely downloadable for anyone (1.2M downloads so far) they got 6000 calls asking for a Mac port. They also mention that Sun has doubled the number of engineers working on StarOffice. Current StarOffice ports are Solaris (x86 and SPARC), Linux (x86 only), Windows and OS/2 in several languages. "
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Mac StarOffice in development

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  • This is A Good Thing. If StarOffice runs on all common platforms, it could compete with Office (not likely, but possible) to be the file format of choice. Competition is another Good Thing.

    I hope StarOffice makes a strong impact.
  • Different languages? Does this mean they have several versions for different langauges? Why not just support internationalization through gettext?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hopefully, if they're porting to MacOS, that means there will soon be a port to GNU/Linux on the PowerPC. I hate it when companies decide to port to only one Linux architecture(i386) and not to the other popular hardware architectures (like mine). Oh well.
  • is for the Sun engineers to show us what they are made of. now if they were worth their wieght in code they would un-bloat Star-Office a tad. There is no way that Star Office cant be optimized or reworked so that it can run faster, with a smaller resident memory size. You would think with 1.2 Million downloads in 3 months that Sun would do a little alchemy and turn their iron into gold.



    "The importance of using technology in the right way has never been more clear." [microsoft.com]
  • Sure, it's nice. Sure competition is good. But the somple fact is that I do not trust sun to do what is best for me.

    When they do something evil with the license (and I promis you they will) I'll be laughing a heartly laugh from my Koffice application (with source)

  • I hate it when companies decide to port to only one Linux architecture(i386) and not to the other popular hardware architectures

    As a long time Sparc Linux user, I couldn't agree more. It really bugs me when people say "we support Linux", when they actually mean "we support Linux/x86".

  • "1.2M downloads so far...."

    And Quake3DemoTest had over a million downloads within 3 days of release? Something's wrong here....


    Pablo Nevares, "the freshmaker".
  • Where did the Mac folk request their port? It seems to me that BeOS, since it's more of a desktop OS than the Unicies, would be very appropriate for a port. (Though I'm happy to see it on the Unicies as well. ;) Plus, I'm sure that Sun can spare the engineers, now that it's cozy with Be on the Java front.
  • by voop ( 33465 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @06:25AM (#1496852)

    Rip out their "desktop" - I have a desktop. I just want to start a plain word processor/spreadsheet/presentation program - not a new desktop

    Reduce the memory usage. How comes that just starting the StarOffice "desktop" takes 64MB? Even EMACS takes less memory with the usual modes loaded (GNUS, AUC-tex,....)

    Make their postscript-engine work with color on Unix. Yes, I had to make slides regularly this spring for teaching. On occation, StarOffice would drop colors on parts of my slides (no, it's not a memory problem in the printer). The routine of making slides in Linux, walking to a co-workers Windows-box and use the Windows version to generate valid postscript then walk back to Linux to print quickly got tireing. Ohh, and when it's working in Linux they may be able to patch the Solaris version too...I had the same problems with Sparc/Solaris

    Otherwise, I like StarOffice (well...I've mainly used their presentation-graphics proggie). It is a pretty decent program, doesn't crash and has a nice set of features. Fix the above and it's worth every $$.

  • Star Office is released under a license Sun claims is Open Source, correct? I am well aware that it does not really meet the standards of Open Source software, but in theory Sun is supposed to make the source code available under their own license, correct?

    So where is the source code? I use Linux on an Alpha platform and would like to run Star Office, if only to read the Word documents that people
    tend to like mailing out these days. If the source was out there, I think compiling it would be trivial. However, a scan of Sun's site does not show it up anywhere obvious.

    Anyone have an explanation?
  • Just my thoughts.

    1. Release Star Office in a gpl like license. (It will never be true GPL, to much politics) The license should allow it to be ported freely to any platform, and allow code be used for other projects, but at the same time, allowing SUN to have control of there "offical" source, to make releases and to provide "supported versions". It's already free for anybody to use, so code sharing and code ports aren't that bad, just not supported by SUN. (Big woop).

    2. Staroffice (as posted by another person) should have the fat trimmed. Makeing several indepent apps vs one whole big thing. Make it more like MS office, which allows you to run winword, or excel vs Office, in general. (But you could if you wanted to, run the Staroffice Shell, which I have fount great for X Workstations connected to the main server.)

    4. If StarOffice was more free to do things with the source (less restrictive) then some good hacks would work on it, port it, tweak it, make it faster, and possibly make it a very good product. (Ties in with 1)

    E. Port it to Qt/KDE libs? Or am I dreaming?
  • Hear hear! We don't need another desktop. It should be optional, ideally not there at all. I also am pretty annoyed by the MDI interface. StarOffice also needs to be a bit leaner and faster...

    Anyone have any technical info on StarOffice, like what language it is written in, and more importantly, does it use some sort of porting kit to make it cross platform (this might explain its bloat)?
    ----------

  • As a long time Sparc Linux user, I couldn't agree more. It really bugs me when people say "we support Linux", when they actually mean "we support Linux/x86".

    here, here... as a Linux/Alpha user, I agree, although I do have a few x86 boxes I use (mainly for Quake and booting into NT for 3d studio)

    By the way, you moderators fucking blow today. Offtopic??? His post was COMPLETELY on topic! It was a post about not having a port of StarOffice for Linux/PPC when the story is about a new port of StarOffice! How much more on-topic can you get?

    And don't moderate me down as off-topic, since the first part of this message is on-topic and this is just an afterthought.

    *click* Score: -1, Offtopic. Bitch.

    "Software is like sex- the best is for free"
    -Linus Torvalds
  • Wasn't there a Mac version before, back in 5.0, when Stardivision was doing it? And is Sun still working on the Java client version?

    They shouldn't have to do too much work to port that thing, just clean up whatever they did from 5.0 to 5.1...
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • <SARCASM>
    No I want more features instead, why would I want a small, compact usfull program, when I can have a wordprocessor with built in file system. How about "Now with embeded Linux kernel!" You could use your star office desktop as a virtual machine upon which to launch many other copies of other operating systems
    </SARCASM>
    I've got a feeling that the developers will want to add more features to compete with MS office, rather than reduce the code size.
    People need to change their focus from features to solid code. Thats what Linux has got a good balance of. Maybe open source (proper open source, not the SCSL) would help, maybe it wouldn't. I'm sure that star office is more complicated than Mozila.
    I think that open source would help, evenutally, maybe they could just release the source code now, and then carry on developing their version. Why not? I bet they want to concentrate on the star portloo anyway, so why not do that.
  • Hey, who says you have to trust anyone?
    Moreover, what are you doing expecting others to do what is best for you? That is 100% your job!

    Having competition in the marketplace will assuredly make that job easier, if there are more choices monopoly power cannot be exercised, and you'll have more options to employ in that quest to do what is best for you.

    I believe Sun porting Star Office to the mac platform to be a great thing, even if I don't end up using it.

    Like the mac os or not, isn't this a further implication that the mac platform isn't as dead as everyone has said it was? And again, like the mac or not, isn't that a good thing? Anytime we're given only one choice (or some small number) doesn't it reduce the motivation for improvement and customer care/service?

    That's why I really like this development. It shows that there is more life to the home computer industry than just that which one software and one hardware vendor (microsoft/intel) contribute.

    With more choices come more options, and more opportunities for us to decide what is best for ourselves...isn't that the idea that echoes through most of the slashdot/linux/opensource world? If you don't like it one way, do it another.

  • ...that one day, soon, I will be able to work in an environment free from Microsoft products.

    When I chose my OS, I looked at Windows, Mac and Linux. Windows was flawed in so many ways, and "Linux is only free if your time is worth nothing", so naturally I chose the Mac. When it came to choosing applications, Wordperfect seemed reasonable, but now they haven't updated Wordperfect for Mac in almost 2 years, and to maintain compatibility with others, I was forced to use MS Word. When it comes to spreadsheets, I never even had a choice. Excel has 95% marketshare on the Mac, and nobody wants to challenge that.

    When Sun's new Office suite comes out, I will be the first on my block to install and use it. If it holds up after a month or so, I will comfortably remove the last remaining traces of MS from my hard drive, and what a glorious day that will be.
  • > Why not just support internationalization through gettext?

    Because GNU gettext is under GPL, so... :-)

    But then, there is a more serious issue than that: actually, the framework they are using doesn't do any layout on dialogs, so it's likely that longer strings on labels/buttons/etc. would be displayed only partially.

    Yes, it's definively a bad idea, but this is a trick to obtain more refresh speed, and AFAIK it's quite common in the Windows world, where geometry recalculation is done once, or none at all, and this is also the reason why UNIX toolkits seem slower. Actually, toolkit like GTK, or Motif, or Qt manage the layout by default (and the fixed-width/fixed position buttons are the exceptions, not the rule).

    Last, StarOffice comes with a nice spellchecker, and that has to be made up for every single language (simply checking single words is definitively not enough in some languages like italian).
  • NONE of this would be an issue if Sun would just go truly open source. I use StarOffice because it is the best I can get right now, but I sincerely hope it takes no steam from KOffice or from the GNOME office suite folks. Choice is good. Open source choice is better. Two solid free (in the GPL sense) office suites and one solid commercial one (StarOffice, for open-source shy commercial users) that interoperate at least at the file-format level would kick some serious heiney.

    There'd be PPC and Alpha versions of StarOffice in short order if it were tuly free and not Sun's "Community Source" license. The SCSL keeps it all their property. They can take it away any time and while you can modify, those modifications become the property of Sun. There really is a difference in open-source licenses. There's room for all of them, but caveat emptor...

  • by Get Behind the Mule ( 61986 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @06:48AM (#1496864)
    I don't care, I'll take it. I'll pay money for it. I'll let them screw me with the license. I'll tolerate the bloat. I'll let them fill up my RAM until it chokes. I don't care. I run MacOS and LinuxPPC, and I am desperate. I have to have a program, any program, that will satisfy the endless, arrogant and incessant demands for Word-compatible documents to which I am constantly subjected.

    I got an old version of ClarisWorks pre-installed on the MacOS side, and it's perfectly fine with me, because I Just Don't Care (TM) about all the feature bloat that most Office suites supply. Once in a while, I need to cut a letter to the utility company or some damn thing. I want to type it up, print it, and stuff it an envelope. Cheap, ratty software is all I need for that.

    But when I want to send someone a document electronically, or they want to send one to me, almost everyone expects MICROSOFT WORD !!! People treat me like a circus freak when I tell them I don't have it (and don't want it). I've met people who literally cannot conceive of a computer that doesn't have MS Office anywhere on it. I try to use RTF translators, or use the built-in filters in ClarisWorks to read the .docs they send me, but the results look like sheep dip.

    Of course, the ideal solution to this nonsense would be to end these proprietary formats and establish industry norms for document exchange. You know, like they've had in normal industries for decades. But then, that would mean that the software industry would have to become normal. Oh well.

    So beat me, whip me, feature-bloat me, take my money, exhaust my RAM, and license me into slavery, but just gimme StarOffice for the Mac and make the pain go away.
  • I hate to say it, but that other office program runs a lot faster on the same machine (I ignore the loading time, since that comparison is unfair; the evil competition has all its libraries loaded from the OS at boot-time). The menus react very sluggishly if the machine is under some load (playing MP3s and with several Netscapes/xterms open). This is not the case with ApplixWare and other programs, so if the bloat is stripped from StarOffice, we could end up with the slick app we are all waiting for.
    Of course StarOffice is the most complete office package for Linux. Nobody wants to lose that advantage... and everybody wants to keep the features that are *important* (such as a window manager within a window manager, an extra desktop, taskbar, a reload button etc.) ;-)
  • >I use Linux on an Alpha platform and would like to run Star Office, if only to read the Word documents that people tend to like mailing out these days.

    I thought that too, but the Sparc/Solaris version doesn't do that wonderful a job of reading MS files.
  • BeOS is not Unix. It is a unique OS that supports most if not all of the POSIX standard.
  • There actually was a StarOffice port for MacOS, but that was a long time ago.

    If you got one of the very first Power Macs, actually, the System Software CD came with a bunch of software demos. One of these was for StarOffice, which (incidentally) was the first PowerPC-native word processor (you only got StarWriter; I don't know what happened to the rest of it).

    It was fully payware on the Mac side, unfortunately; no "free for non-commercial use." And the word processor alone was $200. And I suppose I should point out that it was never all that stable, and the interface wasn't that great. That's probably why it never caught on with Macs. In the end, StarDivision stopped developing their MacOS port (after version 3.0 if I'm not mistaken). It's good to see them coming back to the Mac again. Though I'd be happier if there were a LinuxPPC port too.
  • I hope it can read/ write other file formats properly.. then I'll switch.

    I think the world needs a universal word processing file format (html doesn't count niether does pdf). That way the wp programs could stand on their own merit, not just compatability with .doc .

    Every office from time to time needs to read others documents and that seems why Word does so well. PDF is a major player on the web because the reader is free.

    A good universal presentation/spreadsheet/ database format would be usefull too.

    Wasn't XML supposed to solve this?

  • by ChrisRijk ( 1818 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @07:02AM (#1496871)
    You may be interested to know that they (Sun) are working to make StarOffice's file format use XML. It doesn't have 100% "Word" file support (because Microsoft doesn't give out enough info - hint hint to DoJ) but they're working on it...
  • There should be a choice for the desktop office software on the Mac. Without office software, Apple loses another niche market (corporate marketroids). Even if there is choice, there won't be any *competition*. It's a money sinkhole for Sun, and Microsoft would rather write for its own OS. They will quickly try to find ways of getting their respective users onto different platforms they have already ported to. Don't expect either company to bend over backwards making the Mac version much better.

    ................................................ ..............
    I'm surprised Sun didn't do this before -- they always like to try stepping on Microsoft toes (then whine when they get beaten up).
  • AFAIK, StarOffice is written in C++ to the StarView toolkit. The latter is Stardivision's own cross-platform toolkit which has enabled them to port the software to several platforms without too much trouble. Unleash objdump and nm on the StarOffice libraries to get some insight in the internals of StarView.
  • Reread his comment, and tell me, where exactly did he say that the BeOS is based on Unix?

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews (http://www.velocinews.com [velocinews.com])
  • There are a lot of very stupid dependencies [linuxcare.com] on undocumented "features" in Star Office. If they worked on getting rid of those they would do wonders to improve their stability and portability...

    Regards,
    Ben
  • Since you mention ClarisWorks, I'd like to point out some of its advanatages. I have ClarisWorks 3.0 which came with my computer. It has a very small footprint and uses very little ram, yet it gives me most everything I need in a word processor. The only thing I would really like added to it is support for wordperfect and word file formats, just the basic stuff, none of that fancy crap that fills up my hard drive and consumes every bit of my ram. The rest of the industry should take some lessons from this little suite.

    Everyone seems to complain about the size of these office suites and their ravenous ram requirements. Why isn't the industry listening?

  • Rip out their "desktop" - I have a desktop. I just want to start a plain word processor/spreadsheet/presentation program - not a new desktop

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do this! I can't stand the fact that it has a Start button. It's supposed to be an application, not a wannabe desktop.

  • Given Sun's message of "write once, run anywhere", it seems odd that they need to port StarOffice at all! Wasn't this one of the main objectives of Java? It seems that a company that's touting this strength should be living by their own mantra.

  • This development, on top of the recent success of the iMac, G3 and G4, would seem to indicate that MacOS usage is beginning to rise, quite significantly. I'm wondering whether Apple haven't managed to catch the Internet wave and ride it to a serious resurgence of Apple on the desktop.

    We've all been talking about M$ vs. Linux, SGI and BeOS, but maybe we should be looking at Apple as well.

    I wonder what would happen if they ported MacOS to IA-64, or produced a MacOS emulator for Linux.

    D.

  • StarPortal will have a Java client, but that software's not even in beta yet...
  • My school just got a brand new G3 lab
    [UCSD AP&M basement, next to UAPE, for my fellow students]
    I'm not sure which version, but StarOffice is installed on every one of the new machines. The interface isn't completely Mac-ified, but it's elegant in a number of ways and fairly intuitive.

    As far as the linux version is concerned, if they're not going to release the source, I wish Sun would precompile SO for all those other architectures (ppc, alpha, etc.)
  • I've found a MacOS runtime app for BeOS and linux PPC which can be found at SheepShaver.com [sheepshaver.com]. The linux version is in beta, and you should take it up with them to port it to linux x86. You can read all about it at their site.
  • sorry, this only works if you have a PPC box as it allows a copy of the MacOS to run natively as a process. It will probably never be available for x86.
  • Er... they could write it to the Carbon APIs, which would allow it to run on both MacOS 9.x _and_ OS X client while taking advantage of the fully buzzword-compliant OS X.
  • These are exactly the problems I see as well (with the addition of their poor MDI). PLEASE, PLEASE, before anything else, get rid of that start menu. A normal drop-down menu is much more sensible -- maybe they just need someone to show them how interfaces should work -- Microsoft is not a good place to look.
  • Right, and according to the article, SUN will have a beta ready before the end of the year. That's quite a good development speed they are keeping up there. I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact they are developing in Java.
  • That's why SCSL is BS. Users of Linux on non-i386 platforms (PPC, Sparc, Alpha, and the like) knows what is the real value of GPL. It's not only the freedom to choose your software, but also to choose your hardware.

    It is especially frustrating because with glibc 2.1, it's pretty easy to recompile an application for another architecture, given that the original code does not assume byte ordering and int values.

    And even then, once it's compiled for (let's say) Sparc, the code is ready to be built for ia64, Alpha and PowerPC!

    Of course, drivers is another thing ...
  • I've been a staroffice user since the 4.X versions. I still have the ability to boot windows NT in vmware and run MSOffice, but staroffice and xlHtml and wvHtml pretty much take care of my basic needs to decrypt email attachments.

    Sun needs to fix the following issues with staroffice IMHO:

    1) release the stardivision windows -> unix/win/os2 porting kit under GPL. It could have been used by so many projects already to bring more windows software to unix. I believe it's only used for StarOffice currently, and Sun wants to re-do staroffice as a portal... Sun PLEASE GIVE THIS BACK TO THE COMMUNITY AS GPL. Give it to WINE!

    2) make staroffice a true multiuser app. Ever try to install SO on an nfs server and have a few dozen people access it? Too hard. SO should *automatically* create a .staroffice dir under ~ if it doesn't exist. There shouldn't be a need for running "setup /net" for multiuser install. Make staroffice understand symlinks.

    3) make staroffice able to import powerpoint 95 and excel spreadsheets generated from excel 95 with Excel 97 compat patch installed.

    4) release frequently. Re-build binaries when necessary to support newer kernels. Build for lots of different platforms.

    5) make the "staroffice takes over your unix desktop and makes it look like win95" an option that is not enabled by default

    6) make it possible to do a non-graphical install.

    7) prove your committment to the unix community by making staroffice a true competitor to MSOffice, not just "the only game in town"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've seen a couple of people mention 'stability' as a feature of Staroffice. I don't know if I can agree. I made a big hoo-hoo with my roomies of moving our docs to StarOffice, touting how it's long been a WP app/suite for Linux, was free, etc etc...and then on every machine/dos partition I install it on, it crashes.

    Regularly.

    Like every 5-15 minutes. One roomie is using his machine to write a book, edit another, and I just need to write simple business letters. StarOffice is driving him insane, and it's only by will alone that he is resisting going back to Word.

    Frankly, I'm now moving back to Wordperfect for both the linux and windows machines, and more than happy to pay for the priveledge.

    As for Mac users, I suggest Nisus Writer. I don't know how perfect thier .doc filters are, but at least it never crashed when I used it.

  • A GPL solution running on PPC:
    http://www.ibrium.se/linux/mac_on_linux.html
  • {Sp0ng} By the way, you moderators fucking blow today.

    What a remarkably braindead thing to say! If a person driving a blue Ford Taurus cuts you off in traffic, do you say "You Ford Taurus drivers are rude today"? If you get into an argument with a woman, do you say "Women are pissy today"? Of course not. One moderator did something you don't like -- not all moderators. Your "logic" is the same kind of thinking which is used to justify racism, sexism, and all sorts of other major social ills: "One Jew cost me my job, therefore Jews as a whole are out to ruin the economy"; "One man mistreated me, therefore all men are rapists", and so forth down the litany of braindead prejudices.

    Consider also that it's overall pretty silly to complain about "you moderators" when there are dozens, possibly hundreds, of active moderators at present. If you are right, then one of them will no doubt see the post and moderate it back up -- and you will look like a fool for making a fuss.
  • What? AppleWorks wasn't enough for you?
  • Don't forget there's a quick way to read those dirty MS word documents instantly from the command line:

    strings documentname.doc | less

    or direct it into a file into your favorite editor or word processor:

    strings documentname.doc > newdocumentname.txt

    Its great for reading resumes and cover letters too, since word documents often include previous junk from a memory scratch buffer during quicksaves. What this means is that previous revisions that the author had not intended might unintentionaly show up for your viewing in the final.
  • I'm curious to see how Sun handles the interface issue on the Mac. They can't use MDI. The Mac's windowing system doesn't even support it. They'd have to hack something together themselves. If they do a direct port keeping the Linux interface in tact, no Mac users will go near it, especially since, unlike Linux, Mac OS has MS Office.

    --
  • AppleWorks 5 can export to all kinds of different platforms including microsoft word for windows or macintosh. I don't even have a Macintosh, but I use AppleWorks as my main word processor in windows because it is small, compact, and doesnt have a lot of features I will never use. I haven't yet tried Star Office (although I have the zip files for both the windows and linux version sitting on my hard drive). :) (I have an extra copy of AppleWorks 5 sitting around if you want to buy it from me for cheap. It is a legal licensed copy [Apple sent me three copies in the mail even though I only ordered one]. I should probably sell it on ebay..)
  • I wonder how StarOffice will compete with AppleWorks 6, which is already in development and has a large feature set. In fact, looks like the thing is fully Carbon-compliant and is portable between 9.x and X. Check out the new features (although I dislike some of the MS Office-like "enhancements"):

    AppleInsider article on upcoming AppleWorks 6.0 suite [appleinsider.com]


    -----
    Linux user: if (nt == unstable) { switchTo.linux() }
  • It must gall you that they support Solaris/Sparc, and Linux/x86, but not Linux/Sparc.

    Then again, do they support Solaris/x86?

    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • Apple Works 5 does .doc format IIRC. $99. Quick and painless too. It's a nice Office Suite.

    OR

    Give them the doc in .pdf. everyone has an Acrobat Reader. Except you poor linux folks. Someone should go down to Adobe HQ and beat them over the head with a stuffed penguin.



    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • i>Rip out their "desktop" - I have a desktop. I just want to start a plain word processor/spreadsheet/presentation program - not a new desktop

    Exactly. My one and only complaint about StarOffice.

    Well, actually, I hate the "Windowsizing" it does inside of there as well. I have my "close window" button on the left in KDE. It makes much more sense to me, even though I have never used a Mac in my life.

    I can live with it though. StarOffice is an extremely well-polished office package.

    Just let the WM do the WM work, and I'll be very happy.
  • But when I want to send someone a document electronically, or they want to send one to me, almost everyone expects MICROSOFT WORD !!! People treat me like a circus freak when I tell them I don't have it (and don't want it). I've met people who literally cannot conceive of a computer that doesn't have MS Office anywhere on it.

    Hehhe, I get the biggest kick out of the HR departments hiring for 'UNIX PROGRAMERS' who insist on Word Documents for resumes. When you tell them you know not of this microsoft thing.. they look are YOU funny (are you sure you want a UNIX programmer? You do know there is no MS word for your particular flavour of unix don't you?)

  • iirc sheepshaver does that 'native emulation' bit that i think wine does. i don't think the concept would hold very well under an x86 platform :)
  • Apple Works 5 does .doc format IIRC. $99. Quick and painless too. It's a nice Office Suite.

    A lot of people have recommended AppleWorks so far, and I suppose it may be the solution. Or maybe one of the other conversion techniques that have been mentioned. I'm just skeptical, I guess, because I've seen so many other word processing programs that don't manage the conversion to the MS-Word very well. No doubt that Microsoft deliberately creates this problem by constantly changing the format. I guess I ought to be skeptical of StarOffice for the same reason, but it is free (as in beer), so at least I won't feel ripped off.

    OR ... Give them the doc in .pdf.

    Doesn't help if they give it to me as .doc.
  • Now the question is, will StarOffice for the Mac take advantage of the Carbon libraries? I would love to use it on OS X next year, and if they are going to do a port they might as well get Carbonation out of the way now.

    If they don't, I wouldn't be surprised if StarOffice quickly becomes ignored by Mac users who want to take advatage of the features Carbon offers and decide use AppleWorks 6 instead.
  • To be honest, I don't see any improvement over 5.

    A new "frames" tab on the tool pallette... just what I need: more mouse activity and a new concept for something that was utterly transparent in 5 (and, for that matter, in the first version I used, 1.4).

    Steve Jobs has done a great job, but ditching the whole interface design group was a Bad Idea which will more than outweigh the current boom. I quite seriously think he should be kicked out.
  • This has been my experience as well. My girlfriend was (at first) happy to have a non-MS office suite; she even preferred StarOffice's word processor to Word. Unfortunately, it would crash regularly, and she lost work on more than one occasion. Until Sun increases the stability of StarOffice, she will be forced to use Word instead.

    Although I have the Linux version on my own machine, I haven't used it enough to comment on how often it crashes. (Who needs a word processor when you have LaTex?)
  • Of course the poor Linux folks have Acrobat Reader, comes with a lot of distros and you can download it from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.htm l
    Ghostscript work too, of course.
    By the way, which moron designed the new Adobe website? This thing is beyond useless.
  • oops

    my bad.

    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • nope, not like wine at all. it's still simple hardware abstraction, but it doesn't re-implement APIs-- it just runs the mac os outright.

    if you're looking for an x86 equivilent, try VMWare, which as far as i can tell is exactly the same thing as sheepshaver.

    i, meanwhile, have great hopes for mac-on-linux and hope soon they'll get to the point where the macos can crash without crashing linux..
  • As reported at
    http://www.appleinsider.com/ [appleinsider.com], Apple is
    working on an incredible update to
    AppleWorks, called AppleWorks 6.0. This will
    be where my money goes - I don't need StarOffice
    (for all the reasons cited before and more, but
    my personal hates are its huge memory footprint
    and stupid desktop environment). There is a
    tremendous amount of power in AppleWorks, and
    it is IMHO the only suite you need for the Mac.
    To hell with Microsoft, to hell with Sun.
  • Ok, Sun needs to do the following:

    1) Release source and make it full GPL
    2) improve performance and memory footprint.
    3) add yours here

    But the one thing all of you missed (except one person that hinted at it when he suggested to kill the desktop, just didn't go far enough) is to MODULARIZE StarOffice (on all platforms).

    Part of SO's problem is it's this HUGE monolithic application. Kill the Desktop metaphor in StarOffice. Break out all the main programs into separate applications. Use Shared libs where possible. This alone will help StarOffice dramiatically.

    Then they need to improve file format compatability, add more formats, improve the overal product, optimize the heck out of it (really redo or get rid of the mail application. it sux) and more.
  • I get around this one by having an old copy of word 5.1a on a mac server (& on the mac side of my ppc at home) with the word 98 filter installed on it:

    http://www.microsoft.com/macoffice/productinfo/98d l/Word_97-98_Converter.hqx

    Double click on a word doc & it fires up the serverside copy, converts the stupid thing, & lets me save it as rtf or txt if I want to keep it.

    Not 100% dark side free, but 5.1 was small, stable, & doesn't install any extensions or other resource hoggers. Good enough.
  • Like the mac os or not, isn't this a further implication that the mac platform isn't as dead as everyone has said it was? And again, like the mac or not, isn't that a good thing? Anytime we're given only one choice (or some small number) doesn't it reduce the motivation for improvement and customer care/service?

    Absolutely! As it stands right now, even the most MS-loving IT folks have to at least ADMIT that there is one other operating system besides the four from Microsoft that everyone pretends is just one. As Linux grows in popularity, they'll soon have to admit that there are at least two other operating systems

    Imagine this rosy future scenario: Linux for all the servers and coders, Macs for the graphics/sound/video folks in creative departments, and crap from MS in all the departments that don't know any better! And IT people forced to support cross-platform standards.

  • Ghostview or gv should be available. Also try xpdf, at http://www.foolabs.com/xpdf. It's GPL, and it works pretty well. [foolabs.com]
  • What makes you so sure that Sun will do something evil with the license? Anyway, it's not about trusting Sun to do what is best for [you], it's about recognising that there is more than one way to license software and make it freely available at the same time.

    If you want to stick with KOffice, do so. If you want to use StarOffice and accept the SCSL like everybody else who uses it, do so. The SCSL is actually a very diplomatic and sensible one (yes, I do work for Sun, but I've been watching licensing of many types for 10 years). Yes, the source is coming, and yes, if you make changes and want them published you have to send them back to Sun. What is so difficult or non-transparent about that? It's actually very similar to the linux kernel system if you look at it for more than a second.
  • Lo I fear that StarOffice will not be the messiah for the lost tribes of Macintosh. Well, at least it won't be the cure to The Balloon Problem. The nature of software is that it clumps and gloms users into a sticky ball that's hard to unglue. Where is Microsoft's consumer Word Processor? Trapped in the body of Inspector Gadget.

    --------
    Yeah, I'm a Mac programmer. You got a problem with that?
  • Then again, do they support Solaris/x86?

    Yes, they do.

    Adam
  • I would be very surprised if it didn't. Making an app Carbon-compatible mostly just means not using crufty pseudo-deprecated Mac OS API calls, so pretty much any new Mac program should be compliant. It would be really cool if they used Cocoa (aka Yellow Box aka OpenStep, a vastly superior API to the standard Mac or Windows API), but then it would only run on OS X. Fine with me, but people with older Macs would probably complain.
  • This is A Good Thing. If StarOffice runs on all common platforms, it could compete with Office (not likely, but possible) to be the file format of choice. Competition is another Good Thing.

    Perhaps a more realistic and better goal is that with increased popularity of StarOffice the marketing/nontechnial people realize that it's not a safe assumption that everyone is using MS Office, and therefore everyone reverts to something a bit more flexible like XML/XSL.

    In essence, the file format battle dies.

    - Scott

    ------
    Scott Stevenson
  • "1.2M downloads so far...."

    And Quake3DemoTest had over a million downloads within 3 days of release? Something's wrong here....


    You can't kill anyone with productivity software. Not even the paperclip guy.

    - Scott
    ------
    Scott Stevenson
  • I've found a MacOS runtime app for BeOS and linux PPC which can be found at SheepShaver.com. The linux version is in beta, and you should take it up with them to port it to linux x86. You can read all about it at their site.

    Aside form the inherent performance problems from attempting to emulate a different processor, there is another issue. Each Mac by definition has a Mac OS license and a Mac ROM (though that is changing), which is why SheepShaver is okay. x86 has neither.

    - Scott
    ------
    Scott Stevenson
  • I wonder what would happen if they ported MacOS to IA-64, or produced a MacOS emulator for Linux.

    The question should be, what conditions would have to be met for Mac OS to be ported to IA-64 or Linux. And the answer is, Steve Jobs would have to go insane.

    What in the world would be the benefit of this, anyway? Lord knows that architecture has enough OSs running on it. The market is extremely crowded, and during the transition, Apple loses a lot of the value proposition of the single, focused, computer architecture design.

    The only situation that might make sense, and perhaps this is what you were suggesting, is if Macs switched to IA-64 all at once. Although in that case, Apple loses AltiVec (aka Velocity Engine), and the stuff IBM is cooking up for the multi-core G5s (for want of a better name).

    Unfortunately, Motorola has released screwed things up in terms of clock speed, but the PowerPC archicture overall is, IMHO, superior to what I've seen from intel.

    - Scott
    ------
    Scott Stevenson
  • Betting on the odds, the UI for StartOffice is going to suck, it will be a horrible Mac application, and Mac users are going to reject it as a result.

    I can see how this makes sense from Sun's perspective -- create a multiplatform office environment to take back some control -- but I don't think they're very well equipped to tackle the Mac market. Sun is not exactly well-known for good UI or good Mac support (cough, cough, Java, cough).

    Apple's consumer models already ship with AppleWorks, which is a capable application suite. The professionals generally buy MS Office, which is actually pretty good. Sun coming out with a half-assed, ugly, straight Unix port will mean a close zero adoption rate.

    - Scott
    ------
    Scott Stevenson
  • In SO 4.0 for Mac, they just made a Mac Windows with anything drawn in it that looked like Star Office for UNIX. The menu bar had only Apple menu and File menu with the only Quit command.

    Indeed this was a real crappy port and I hope SUN won't do this again. Even M$-Office is better written on this point.

  • ClarisWorks have been renamed to AppleWorks a still exists.

    They alreay have trouble giving away file format specification (I'd really like to get AppleWorks file format), so I don't think there is even a chance to see an open source version of this.

  • Have you looked at Koffice? Even in its present state it is pretty good. Whether it will meet and surpass StarOffice is only a question of Sun's commitment. Koffice has gone from nothing to most of the features one would want in less than 18 months. Perhaps when you say "GNU" you are right, since GNU may be narrowly interpreted as "a project of the Free Software Foundation." In that case, I'd hold up the Gimp as an example of what the FSF can do. If you read it broadly as "software released under the GPL," I would add the Linux kernel to the list. And if you read it even more broadly to refer to so-called "open source" software, then I would hold up Apache, Samba, Linux, the Gimp, KDE, Gnome, and many others as examples of very high quality software.

    I thought even AC's had grown past such flamebait.

  • I misread it, sorry.

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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