Day: January 18, 2005

  • All Your OpenOffice Base are Belong to Us

    Speaking of, I recently checked out a pre-2.0 snapshot and was suprised to see something called “Base” show up in my OOo menu.

    After scratching my head for a few minutes, I concluded that Base 2.0 must be the Access workalike that will debut in OOo 2.0. Sure enough, it is. Reading though the Base 2.0 page is quite fasinating. It looks like there were some licensing issues at first, but I’m really glad to see HSQLDB powering an open source database for the masses.

    I’ve got to admit that I was completely unaware of Base 1.0. It looks like it is more of a database access library to be used within OOo than a standalone application. I’ve only poked around Base 2.0 a little bit, but from what I can tell it’s an ample Access workalike at the very least, and hopefully will be a platform that do much more. In the future I would love Base 2.0 to support other database backends, though the reasoning for going with HSQLDB makes sense.

    My hat is off to the team!

  • Why OS X Needs a Native OpenOffice Port

    MacMerc pointed to a status update on the native OSX port of

    It’s been over a year and a half since this page was last updated, and as of recent memory, all engineering for Mac OS X has been focused on X11 graphics, that is, Mac OS X (X11). Without significant contributions of time and talent this will most likely remain the case.

    No engineering work has been performed on Quartz or Aqua development within the project since mid 2003. For the last year and a half all engineering work focusing on a native Mac OS X version has been concentrated in the NeoOffice/J project, using a combination of Java and Carbon technologies to replace X11.

    This is a bit of a bummer for Mac OS X users. I can’t tell you how valuable it is to have a clean and solid office suite with good data interchange that runs on Win32, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, and Mac (using X11). The problem with requiring OS X users to have X11 installed is that most don’t. Of course the hardcore geeky OS X users know of Apple’s X11, XonX, and fink. Unfortunately the people that should really see this amazing suite: the non-technical masses, aren’t going to see it en masse until it’s a point and click native install.

    I totally understand the arcitectural decision for the mainstream OOo release to rely on X11. It’s solid, it’s standard, it’s tested, and it’s going to be around until the end of time. At the same time, Mac users really need a native, sexy port of their own. I’m hoping that NeoOffice/J, with its GPL license and associated political issues, can fill the void. They’re using Java and some other fancy bits to get around the need for an X server. They also seem to be very early in their release cycle, but I’m hoping that NeoOffice matures quickly and becomes that native free office suite that I know that OS X users need.

    Of course right now you’re thinking that with iWork who needs anything else? I guess that’s right as long as you don’t need a spreadsheet or if you don’t have $79 to shell out for iWork, or if you’d rather use an open source product.