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Early alpha of Aqua for OS X

updated 04:45 am EDT, Tue June 5, 2007 Aqua alpha

Following Sun's commitment to develop a native version of OpenOffice for the Mac, the project has released an early development version of Aqua project for Mac OS X. Billed as an alternative to commercial productivity suites such as Microsoft Office, is an open-source, multiplatform and multilingual office suite. Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute. While previous versions required the installation of the X11 windowing system, the new version works natively within Mac OS X. Though planned for many years, the new native software is still in early development stages and the developers warn about using it in a production environment. The project says it will continue with releases of the X11 version, while it finishes the Aqua OpenOffice port: "Once OpenOffice Aqua is released, the team will focus on making OpenOffice adhere to the Apple HCI guidelines."

The early development version has notable issues, including the inability to print, problems with copy & paste functions, starting from a shared folder, and crashes after quitting.

The recent activity on the native Mac port and early alpha release came after Sun in early May offered support for the Mac port with two full-time developers, noting the increase of Mac usage and awareness.

"If you look around at conferences and airport lounges, you will notice that more and more people are using Apple notebooks these days. Apple has a significant market share in the desktop space," one of the lead developers wrote.

"We are supporting this port because of the interest and activity of the community wanting this port. The new invigorated effort in Mac/Aqua-porting (basically since CWS aquavcl01) is an obvious indicator. I think this is the right way to go to make OOo on Mac as good as or even better than the other ports. Add in the growing Mac community as a whole and suddenly from Sun's point of view Mac has a higher value since our strategy is to be multi-platform capable."

by MacNN Staff





  1. coldfusion1970

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Looking forward

    As someone who doesnt have Microsoft Office on their computer, i'm definitely looking forward to a Aqua version of OpenOffice.

    At the moment i mainly use the free TextWrangler for my text editing needs.

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    neo office?

    how will this be different from neo office?

  1. lardlad

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Not sure what the difference is, but if you haven't tried NeoOffice lately, it's come a long way. The last couple of updates have made huge improvements.

  1. Nivag

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'll second how it has improved in recent months - it even opened a corrupt Excel document and re-saved it so it worked again back on Excel - fantastic!!

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: neo-office....

    think of Neo Office to OpenOffice kind of like Camino to Firefox_

    Neo Office is NOT an official release from the Open Office team_ Independent developers are using the open source A"base" of Open Office to develop Neo Office using specifically Mac Only coding_

    Read the first paragraph on their front page_

    This is awesome news_ I switched over to Open Office at work many moons ago and have been waiting for an OS X version [for the house]_

    Way Cool_

  1. OtisWild

    Joined: Dec 1969


    NeoOffice Java?

    I thought NeoOffice was Java-based? The Java env on OS X has been seemingly deprecated from release to release...

  1. discotronic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    NeoOffice is slow

    Even on my MacPro it is slow. On my G5 1.8GHz it was almost unusable. I use it because I don't need to purchase MS Office.

    I am grateful that the developers are doing amazing work but the app just gets slower with every release.

  1. nerd

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Anyone having problems downloading it? When I double click the torrent (Sun provided one) Xtorrent opens but never adds the torrent.

  1. VValdo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm using the latest neooffice 2.1 patch 5 on my Tibook 667 w/768MB. It's a bit sluggish but still usable.


  1. Clive

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Neo/X11 OpenOffice

    I've tried NeoOffice in the past, I've found it to be unusable due to the speed it runs at. On the other hand the X11 version is quite fast, and ok if you can get used to the interface quirks.

    Looking forward to a full, native Aqua version.

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