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Native KOffice for Mac OS X 335

Posted by michael
from the microsoft-office-not-good-enough-for-you dept.
bsharitt writes "A preliminary version of KOffice has been built natively on Mac OS X. It looks like a lot of the hard part is over, and now a lot of cleaning up and bug fixes stand between Mac OS X and a free full featured office suite." There's also a story on the dot.
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Native KOffice for Mac OS X

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  • looks nice... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by alienhazard (660628) on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:05PM (#7863871)
    it looks nice but why would they use kde toolbar icons if they're porting it to OSX?
  • Opportunity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blackmonday (607916) * on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:08PM (#7863892) Homepage
    Perfect opportunity for Apple to do what they did with Safari and Darwin. Extend it, make it better, include it as an Apple branded product, and give the changes back to the community.

    I wonder how long it will be before Appleworks is nixed in favor of a kOffice - based product. Microsoft Office for the Mac is actually a really good product, and Appleworks doesn't touch it. Get to work Apple!

  • Koffice for OSX (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:09PM (#7863905)
    As a Mac user I like it that these apps don't require X-windows and that they already look quite a bit like native OSX applications.

    really, excellent work.

    A friend of mine has Openoffice running on his powerbook, indeed it "works" but since it doesn't look as slick as the native OSX apps, I am not that eager to try it.

    I hope that now a lot of other K-software will be ported!

    best regards, Tom
  • Re:OpenOffice.org (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ir0b0t (727703) <mjewell@openmissoul a . o rg> on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:10PM (#7863911) Homepage Journal
    OpenOffice [openoffice.org] is the best! I use it in my office every day to produce tons of heavily formatted documents. It saved me. I'm never going back to Microsoft Office. Koffice was not as useful as OpenOffice when I tried to switch before. Why not just concentrate on making OpenOffice better and better?
  • Re:OpenOffice.org (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Valegor (693552) * on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:12PM (#7863919)
    Unfortunately I posted that before reading the fine print on OpenOffice's website about having to load X Server. I admittingly have never tried to use openoffice on Mac. Ok, even more honestly I haven't been able to use a mac more than 10 minutes without wanting to throw it out a window. I am curious about OS X so it does bother me that I get so annoyed by it.
  • Re:OpenOffice.org (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aergern (127031) on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:16PM (#7863948)
    Well, since there is a project underway to develop a QT interface for OO then OO/QT will compile natively on OSX and all is well. KOffice never seemed to deal well with MS Office docs as far as saving them correctly but OO rocks..and with a QT UI for OO then QT/Mac will be the God sent for OSX users. :)
  • Re:Opportunity (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:20PM (#7863967)
    On the other hand, AppleWorks includes a database manager (flat file, though) whereas the Mac version of Office does not. MS Access is Windows only....
  • Re:OpenOffice.org (Score:5, Interesting)

    by j-pimp (177072) <zippy1981@gmai l . c om> on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:27PM (#7864011) Homepage Journal
    What annoys you about it? Granted, it took me a while to get used to my iBook, but I love it now. Sure its a little weird not having a differentiation between a maximized window and one thats just the size of the screen. However, once you embrace the Jobs way its useable.
  • by Kaypro (35263) on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:29PM (#7864021)
    This is a great milestone but...

    Trolltech needs desperately to update the OSX port of QT. The widget have a cumbersome appearance and need to be updated to Panther style. Text alignment is in need of some fixing up. This isn't a complaint... the OSX version is still in its infancy and I'm sure time will allow a more integrated look... I'm just anxious.. because QT really is a great toolkit / API.

    Good Job!
  • Re:OpenOffice.org (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WatertonMan (550706) on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:32PM (#7864034)
    I'm not sure what you mean by "KDE had to be hacked to run natively on OSX." So far as I know KDE doesn't run "natively" on OSX. Unless you mean the KDE that is part of Fink and runs under X11. I'm not sure what dependencies were there. I know Fink still doesn't have the latest version of Gnome running yet. (Although I believe DarwinPorts does) So I admittedly am not familiar with other low-level features.

    The port of Konquerer and KOffice is using the native QT/Mac port. This is great for two reasons. For one it helps find bugs and missing features in QT/Mac. That'll make porting future projects easier and make using QT/Mac for cross platform development better. Secondly it will enable a lot of fairly good programs to run native.

    I agree that KOffice isn't that great, although it holds promise. But having it native is a big deal. Open Office might be more powerful, but because it is an X11 app, it really doesn't have an Aqua look and feel. Further cutting and pasting of graphics or drag and drop don't work. That's a rather large failing with Open Office. (I also think Open Office is weak compared to MS Office and further Apple is expected by some to be releasing its office suite this winter or spring)

    I'd kind of like to have a native Konquerer, if only to deal with directories with lots of files. Something the Finder doesn't deal well with. Using it to organize my web directories would be very nice as well...

  • Re:I'm ignorant... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sugar and acid (88555) on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:41PM (#7864091)
    Yes there is an openoffice port for OS X, well sort off. As other people has said there is only a X11 dependent version of version 1.03. There is no plan to port version 1.1, instead they are working to get the necessary hooks into version 2.0 port for a native port, maybe by 2005 -2006. Till then it's a long wait.

    Now that porting KDE apps is seemingly straight forward it may be easier for the OS X porters to piggy back on the KDE intergration effort so things will shift along a bit faster.
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:45PM (#7864127)
    Yeah, and look how it 'devastated' the Mac community. :)
    I'd say MS needs Apple more than the other way around - I've heard the Mac business unit at MS is among the most profitable, compared to how much they spend on development. Probably a lot less piracy going on in Mac-land.
  • Re:OpenOffice.org (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JDWTopGuy (209256) on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:53PM (#7864172) Homepage Journal
    I'm not dissing KOffice/OpenOffice, nor QT/Mac, but I'd like to see a native (as in Cocoa) free word processor for OS X. I believe the AbiWord people are planning something like this, although I could be wrong.

    By the way, I think X11 on OS X rules, in fact I use rxvt instead of Terminal.app because Terminal.app makes a slug look fast. (I'm still on Jaguar, is it any better in Panther?)
  • Re:I'm ignorant... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hubertus (681027) on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:54PM (#7864180)
    This is not entirely true. You can grab 1.1 binaries (not 1.1-release though) from most of the ftp mirrors. They are in the same directory as the 1.0.3 build you are referring to. I use and outdated ooo1_1_mac_01-1 on a daily basis. It's stable, and installation is only a matter of running the setup script. The file is 80MB in size, which is still a lot but less than half of the 173MB for 1.0.3

    I'm running 10.3.2 on a tiny PB12" with X11 from Apple, and it's working just fine. Give it a try, report back and help it develop.
  • Re:OpenOffice.org (Score:5, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:58PM (#7864210) Homepage Journal
    While this version of KOffice does, indeed, not require X11, I hesitate to agree that it is a "native" port. A quick look at the buttons, scrollbars, etc, suggests that this version of KOffice does not use the OS X widgets. In other words, this is as native as, say, Mozilla, rather than, say, Camino.

    Which is odd because I thought the QT for Mac was supposed to use the OS X native widgets.

    I don't want to suggest this means it's useless. Obviously, having an application you can place anywhere in the file system, double click to run, associate with files (with a file, as the default for a type of file where the file isn't associated, and used for Open With...), etc, is infinitely better than an X11 version, but, well, I suspect most of those with MS Office or even AppleWorks will probably stick with their proprietary apps for now. Which is a shame.

  • by HeghmoH (13204) on Friday January 02, 2004 @07:59PM (#7864221) Homepage Journal
    It does. But it's optional, since none of the programs that an average user will ever see need it, and not installed by default. And even if it were acceptable to make the user dig out their OS CDs and install another piece of software just to use an office program, it's X11, which means it takes a certain amount of expertise to use it. Apple has made it as simple as possible, but in this case, when the unstoppable force met the immovable object, the immovable X server won the usability battle.

    As for the name (I'm hoping your post was sarcastic on that point, but you never know) X is the roman numeral for 10. Mac OS X came after Mac OS 9.
  • Re:OpenOffice.org (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ir0b0t (727703) <mjewell@openmissoul a . o rg> on Friday January 02, 2004 @08:03PM (#7864255) Homepage Journal
    There would be nothing wrong with how you altered the statement if MS Office were open source. Since MS isn't open source, non-programmer type folks who work daily with a word processor on heavily formatted documents have limited choices if they care about trying to implement open source in a professional office. OO is the sole open source application that currently stands up to the proprietary competition. It would be great if it could be improved further.
  • Re:I'm ignorant... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by j-pimp (177072) <zippy1981@gmai l . c om> on Friday January 02, 2004 @08:04PM (#7864263) Homepage Journal
    it's a far cry better than MSOffice in many ways and defecient in only unimportant features
    So your telling me that I can script openoffice documents in a high level language in an event driven and object based way. Sure I could leanr the schemas and write XML manipulating programs, but thats not as easy as a VB script.

    Yes for the 95% of us, VBA is unused, but in that 5% you have enterprises that thrive upon it, programmers that do it for a living and authors that have written books about it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 02, 2004 @08:17PM (#7864360)
    I've used KOffice, and Open Office and the Full Featured Free Office Suite that was installed the first time you turned your MAC on! Oh yeah and Apple Works runs natively. On OS9 too!

    It's great to port *nix apps to OS X. It is. It's great for many reasons, one being to make *nix heads more comfortable on a mac. Really though, is Apple Works that bad? I think it's far superior to MS Office for mac.
  • by plj (673710) on Friday January 02, 2004 @08:29PM (#7864426)
    Valid point, and there are other issues too, even, if you're no entirely anti-MS. For example, if you'd be willing to write right-to left languages like Hebrew or Arabic, you'd be completely out of luck.

    I have a bit similar issue, as it is currently impossible to get any native word processor for OS X with Finnish language tools (there are classic and X11 alternatives) - MS has them for Windows, but not for Mac. This make me unwilling to buy Office X, even though I like Excel, because I don't want to pay for word processor without support for my native language, and the sole Excel without other office programs would be more expensive for me than the whole suite, as there are no academic editions of the separate programs.

    Currently I'm running OOo 1.0.3 on top of X11, but now I'm looking forward for KOffice to replace it soon.
  • Re:Twirl this (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 02, 2004 @08:32PM (#7864439)
    Agree.

    However, remember that MS is somewhat in hot water about interoperability already. If Apple loses Word for Mac, I'd expect them to be first in line for file specs and what not when litigation comes about.
  • by eLoco (459203) on Friday January 02, 2004 @08:40PM (#7864486)

    I intend to give this suite a try regardless, but just curious: is there an automated system a la Mozilla to provide bug info back to the development team when an application crashes? I'd like to help further this development along, but this is about the extent of what I could provide right now.

  • by Rimbo (139781) <rimbosity AT sbcglobal DOT net> on Friday January 02, 2004 @08:53PM (#7864549) Homepage Journal
    How is it a company with 3% market share can get 80% of the fucking press?


    Because they're more interesting. They've had a hell of a year.

    Besides, Microsoft has been sitting on their laurels. Groklaw has an interesting bit [groklaw.net] where PJ notes that Investor's Business Daily made up their "Top Ten Tech Stories of the Year" list without mentioning Microsoft a single time in any context. This isn't because the "regular" PC world is losing relevance, but more just that there isn't much going on in the "regular" PC world.

    But... that's what happens when one company is in charge of most of what people do: Nothing. Why should they do anything? They've got 80% of the world using their stuff.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 02, 2004 @09:44PM (#7864768)
    In other words, this is as native as, say, Mozilla, rather than, say, Camino. Which is odd because I thought the QT for Mac was supposed to use the OS X native widgets.
    The Windows and Mac ports of Qt use the native theme engines to draw custom widgets.
  • Re:OpenOffice.org (Score:4, Interesting)

    by samdaone (736750) <samdaone@hotmail.com> on Friday January 02, 2004 @09:47PM (#7864792) Journal
    People also look at the price. For poor people like me price is still a big factor in what influences my decisions to run what software.
  • Depends on execution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kjd (41294) <(kdraper) (at) (swbell.net)> on Friday January 02, 2004 @09:51PM (#7864809)
    Bad: "embracing" an existing standard, extending it incompatibly behind closed doors, flooding the marketplace with incompatible software and claiming it supports the standard.

    Appropriating existing application software (not exactly standard in the same was as, say, TCP/IP), developing it thoroughly, and contributing the useful changes back to the original development teams is a bit different. It could be done badly, yes, but Apple doesn't seem to have a poor track record lately in this respect.
  • Where can I donate? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gryphon (28880) on Friday January 02, 2004 @10:19PM (#7864935)
    Where can I donate specifically to the team of programmers working to bring KOffice up to finished, final release quality on OS X?

    I would gladly pay to encourage their efforts.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 02, 2004 @11:15PM (#7865180)

    > Where can I donate specifically to the team of programmers working to bring KOffice up to finished, final release quality on OS X

    Since everything which arrives down at Mac OS X depends on what happens "upstream", use this:

    http://www.kde.org/support/donations.php [kde.org]

  • Re:OpenOffice.org (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 02, 2004 @11:48PM (#7865294)
    Native to me does not mean native widgets. Native to me means "if I download this, it will run smoothly without parts of another operating system installed for emulation (or X11)." Once this is running smoothly, it will satisfy my criteria for "native."
  • Re:OpenOffice.org (Score:3, Interesting)

    by asm0deu5 (637735) on Saturday January 03, 2004 @01:38AM (#7865657)
    I'm yet to see a Qt/Mac app that doesn't look like ass. Though I've only tried a couple (LyX, Psi, and some game), all the "native" widgets were bad emulations that fit in worse than a Java Swing application, and in some cases didn't really work.
  • by zpok (604055) on Saturday January 03, 2004 @02:39AM (#7865844) Homepage
    OK, I've done GUI's and am usually totally anal about compliance, but here I have to agree with the post: the hard part is over.

    You have here a free and native alternative for Office.

    No money. People will use it if it is reliable. Because it's free. That's great!

    Maybe, if the programmers want to have more people use it and everybody to stop bitching, yes, it would be a good - no, a great idea to make it more Mac-compliant, but they don't have to, really. They've already made it FREE.

    People will be plenty happy already when the bugs and kinks are worked out.

    So congratulations!

    BTW, now please give us a free and easy (meaning no coding) database program and we're in HEAVEN!

    xxx

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