OpenOffice Update: Not Ready for Prime-Time . . . Yet

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Date: Wednesday, June 26th, 2002, 10:43
Category: Archive


So you’ve been convinced by David Pogue’s story in the New York Times or by our own Bob Snow today, and you want to dump Microsoft and go open source with the free, Office-compatible OpenOffice. Here’s the bad news: OpenOffice is in early alpha developer releases, so there’s not a version that’s usable yet. The good news is, the developers are making astounding progress, after a gloomy picture last winter after Sun dropped StarOffice for X. For anyone who underestimated the open source community, though, they have absolutely taken the lead on getting us an OS X Open Office, so if you’re an end user, the future is bright, and if you’re a developer, by all means, start playing with the code now!

As of June 13, the Mac porting effort has resulted in a successful Quartz build; the 638c build requires the X11 windowing interface from XFree86.org. Thanks to Quartz, OpenOffice can now happily run alongside other native OS X apps. The developers are working hard to catch up with the stable 1.0 release for Linux (including PPC Linux), Windows, and Solaris. An Aqua interface is also further down the road, so don’t be scared now when you see the extremely Windows-like screenshots of this build. The OS X team has an ambitious roadmap that’s a worthwhile read (as is their FAQ). (Hey, developer readers — go for it! Join the list! Add your thoughts! Add your code!) And here on the PowerPage, we’ll keep you informed about this project and its real-world potential.

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