Category Archives: OpenOffice

First OpenOffice.org Aqua snapshot released

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.

Carbon Apps produce preference files without developers doing anything

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).

New macport OpenOffice.org meta user

At today’s Mac Port meeting, Eric Bachard created a new meta user, macport, on the OpenOffice.org web site.

This meta user is to be used for all unassigned issues relating to the Mac Port of OpenOffice.org. It is now the default owner of Mac Port issues. This means that the default owner for issues is no longer ericb, the project lead.

See all the open issues assigned to the user macport.

If there is anyone doing QA or issue triage, and you come across a Mac OS X specific issue, please assign it to the new user macport. Once a developer has started working on the issue, they should re-assign the issue to themselves.

If you would like to keep track of all issues by this meta user, please edit your OpenOffice.org Issue Tracker preferences. Log in to the OpenOffice.org web site, then head to the Edit prefs -> Email settings page. On this page you can set the “Users to watch” to include macport in the comma separated list. If you do this, you will now get an email as per your email preferences whenever an issue assigned to macport is created or changed.

This is another piece of evidence that the Mac Port is active and moving faster than before.

OpenOffice.org Aqua screenshots

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.

From OpenOffice.or…

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.

From OpenOffice.or…

Acceptability of applications to Mac users

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.

Example articles:
Why VRML Failed and What That Means for OpenOffice
All I want for Christmas…

OpenOffice.org Language Pack Revamp

As sent out to some of the OpenOffice.org mailing lists:

At the moment there are a number of issues with the current language packs for OpenOffice.org. Some platforms such as Mac OS X don’t have language packs, instead they only have full installsets. The language packs currently have to be built on each platform individually. This means extra compilation time and extra storage on the mirror network since essentially the same localisation data is packaged into a different package for every platform.

I have a proposal for dramatically improving the current situation.

Let’s have cross-platform language packs. This will mean that the language packs will be built once, and can then be used on ANY platform. This will save build time, especially when a builder can just use their fastest machine, instead of having to do it once per platform. This will free up developer and builder time, as well as space on the mirror network.

With this change I’m looking at implementing a simple user installation of language packs, similar to what has just been added to OpenOffice.org 2.2 for extensions. This would enable platform integration for the language pack installation. We could possibly go as far as Firefox and deploy language packs in a very similar way to extensions. We could even have the option to install language packs just for one user or for all users of the installation. If the platform supports it, a server deployed location for the language packs should be possible.

This is just an idea, it needs more development before implementation. No implementation testing has been done yet. An initial idea check for daftness has been completed, which is why this mail is going out. I’m looking to see if there are any foreseeable problems with this proposal, and whether there is backing from the whole OpenOffice.org community.

Comments are more than welcome.