The release of OpenOffice.org 2.4 (X11 version) is a little behind the other platforms due to a lack of resources in the QA process, as many of the resources have been placed on the upcoming aqua version. It will be another few days to week before they are available on the mirrors and the Mac Port download pages will be updated at that point.
- Printing now uses an aqua native print dialog
- Various bugs, crashes, performance, and cosmetic improvements
- The native file picker should work now (though there are 2 unlabeled checkboxes)
- The QuickStarter is now supported on Mac OS X
- Copy and Paste now works in the Hyperlink dialog
- Icons are no longer shown in the menus by default on Mac OS X
- Extentions can now be installed through the GUI
- Improved scrolling when using a scroll wheel
- Real version number is shown in the Mac OS X Finder’s Get Info Window.
- The recent items list in the Apple menu is now populated
- Faster loading and saving of files
- New Start Centre
In Leopard, if the developer allows certain types of file to be opened, then you get a free iLife browser in the file open dialog. This applies to OpenOffice.org aqua on Leopard too. As the X11 version of OpenOffice.org doesn’t have a native filepicker, this won’t be available there.
Bruce has mentioned that he didn’t understand the files on the good-day server in a comment to a prior blog post.
- Printing now works, though it does not yet use an aqua print dialog
- PDF export now works
- Copy and Paste should now work fully
- OpenOffice.org no longer crashes after quiting
- Text and graphics are now drawn properly
- Windows and dialogs mostly now have an aqua theme
- Combo boxes now look a lot better
- Various bugs, crashes and performance improvements
- (QA only) testtool can be hacked to work properly
There are a number of things that do not work in this version. Please do not report anything in the following list, as reporting known issues, just wastes developers time. The known issues currently include:
- There is a black flash when opening new windows
- OpenOffice.org still has problems with Aqua’s device resolution indepence
- There is no Aqua file picker in this release. This is a known regression, the Aqua file picker will be back in a future build
- Opening a document to open in OpenOffice.org from another application, such as the Finder, Mail or Safari, will mean that OpenOffice.org will open with a blank document. You need to open all documents from within OpenOffice.org
- The print dialog is not the same as one in other Mac OS X Applications
- Starting OpenOffice.org from a shared/remote folder does not work
- Impress will not recognise multiple monitors for presentations
The first in depth review of OpenOffice.org Aqua that I have come across is by Greg Kefalas. This is a four part series starting today, so more information in the coming days. I’ll add links to the other parts of the review as they become available.
Part three Many of the problems mentioned are already fixed, or will be fixed for the next developer preview. Also the new chart, which is coming in OpenOffice.org 2.3 will be there too.
Part four Some of the issues raised have already been fixed and will be in the next developer snapshot. Having separate application for Writer, Calc, Impress etc. takes a lot of work to redesign the way ooo works otherwise it would have been implemented by now. The first steps in the project is to simply use native controls and get the most important features of Mac OS X implemented. We will then make a stable release. Thereafter we will look into other things like Applescript and re-organising the menus of OpenOffice.org into palettes. However if someone with a special passion for implementing Applescript support into applications comes along today and that’s all they want to do, we won’t stop them, if they are following our coding guidelines.
The first development snapshot of OpenOffice.org Aqua has been released into the wild. There is still a lot of work to do, and there has been some progress already since the snapshot was produced.
This snapshot can be downloaded from the OpenOffice.org Aqua Mac Download page
There are a number of things that still don’t work, including printing, exporting to a PDF, copy and paste, drag and drop, and multiple monitors.
There will be some more snapshots in the near future.
This evening I was speaking to Yvan Barthélemy (ybart on IRC) over IRC, when he pointed out something interesting about the preferences for the Aqua port.
Even so the aqua port hasn’t specifically done anything to do so, Mac OS X has created the preferences file org.openoffice.script.plist. This contains information such as the last used folder in file open dialogs, and any other Carbon components that have preferences associated with them.
The preferences filename comes from CFBundleIdentifier in the Info.plist file that is in every Application bundle. We came to the conclusion that this isn’t a good name for the aqua version. We thought that having a CFBundleIdentifier of org.openoffice would be appropriate since OpenOffice.org doesn’t have any other applications of the Mac. (Well as far as I know at the moment).
Today I thought I would give you a sneak peek at the upcoming OpenOffice.org Aqua. I have 2 quick screenshots for you.
First up is the OpenOffice.org Writer window after resizing, with a native Mac menu bar.
Second is a menu. You can currently use both cmd or ctrl to activate the menu command shortcuts. There is no native file picker yet, but it is a work in progress.
There has been some online commentary recently on the likely acceptability of applications on the Mac platform. It basically boils down to: all applications that are successful on the Mac are well designed. They all look and behave the same way. Mac users are very fussy about the way that applications look and run. If they are not happy then they will not use the application, they will find an alternative application.
This basically means that OpenOffice.org for the Mac will have to be different from the main OpenOffice.org in a number of respects. Some of these could be integrated as an option for other platform.
Examples that could be used across all platforms include:
- using palettes instead of dialog boxes for things like the paragraph and character dialogs
- using native colour chooser dialogs
- full document indexing/searching (partly implemented already)
- system address book access
- Mozilla plugin that doesn’t require a full OpenOffice.org installation to work
- quick view (in various incarnations)
Examples of integration specific to the Mac platform (I don’t know if these are available on other platforms):
- iLife integration
- .Mac integration
- Backup integration
- (Leopard only) iChat for collaboration with documents and sharing presentations
- (Leopard only) System-wide ToDo integration
If anyone has any other ideas or comments, please add your comments to this blog post.