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Open Office 2.0 Beta Candidate Released 415

JPyObjC Dude writes "The OpenOffice.org 2.0 beta candidate has been released. You can find the feature guide that covers the wide array of improvements over the current 1.1 release. There are a bunch of problematic UI quirks in 1.1 that have been fixed in 2.0." Feature categories include increased interoperability with Microsoft Office, Asian Language Features, Developer-Specific Features, and new Internet based features. Commentary and an interview with Colm Smyth available at NewsForge.com.
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Open Office 2.0 Beta Candidate Released

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  • by bburton ( 778244 ) * on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:20PM (#11816531)
    Feature categories include increased interoperability with Microsoft Office...
    Hopefully the OpenOffice team has incorperated support for Clippy (finally!!). It's the one thing that's been keeping me from leaving MS Office. I just love that little guy. He's so helpful.

    I just don't know what I would do without all the incredibly useful toolbars in MS Office! Publishing my documents to the web, imbedding oh-so useful macros into all my documents. I like to turn them all on at the same time. I think there might even be an FTP client in there somewhere. You know what else I like about MS Office? I totally love th

    • by Gadgetfreak ( 97865 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:25PM (#11816602)
      Our company just upgraded (I use the term loosely) to MS Office 2003, which got rid of the standard Office Toolbar. I thought it was rubbish anyways, and didn't use it. Programs are easy enough to find on the start menu, IMO.

      But you would not believe how many people came to me asking how to get their Office Toolbar to show up again. They just piled everything into it, and ignored the start menu altogether.

      I was so disappointed to find out just how many people really like those toolbars...

      • I don't use the office toolbar per se, but here at work I use multiple applications - the Quick Launch toolbar is perhaps the handiest thing I've got. Screw the Start menu, that's slow. Once you've memorised the shortcuts for other handy things like "calc" and "freecell", you don't need much else!!

        Back to the topic... I'd be keen to find out how OO.o handles .xlt files - the MS Office viewers bite, and buying licences for Office is a waste when we only need it for test stations that don't need anything but

    • hey, they have a clippy, only that it looks like a star or sun if you prefer. when you type something and it auto corrects, you see the little guy on the lower right. equally irritating as the clippy.
    • It is funny to bring up the most obvious mistake, which realy is an emblem of the disconnect between MS and the average user.

      But seriously OO.org has a chance to compete because MS has not done much useful in MS Office in about 10 years. The only interesting thing they did was gut Foxpro, put a cheesy GUI on the Rushmore engine, and say look ma we can make one of them new fangle databases.

      So as soon as OO.org makes it to fully to Office 95, and has a cheesy database GUI, then I will be happy. Hopefull

  • Native Widgets! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr. Sketch ( 111112 ) * <mister.sketch@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:20PM (#11816534)
    It's about time!
    (From TFA)

    Native system theme integration (native widget rendering)

    To enhance integration of OpenOffice.org with the underlying operating system, all user interface elements (such as buttons and scrollbars) will have the same look as those used in most other 'native' applications for that platform. OpenOffice.org will react on-the-fly to changes of the desktop theme, so when the user changes the desktop colors or theme, OpenOffice.org will adjust its own appearance to match.

    Native system theme integration will be available for Gnome (version 2.4 or higher), Microsoft (R) Windows (including XP and future versions), and KDE (version 3.2 and higher) desktop environments. On Windows XP the 'Windows XP Style' must be chosen under Settings - Control Panel - Display - Appearance to achieve the correct look.

    Theme integration will be the default for desktop environments that support it (listed above). Systems (for example, Windows 98/ME/2000, CDE) that do not support it will see no visual change in OpenOffice.org. On supported systems OpenOffice.org will always adopt the theme of the system and cannot choose not to do so.
    • Re:Native Widgets! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mccalli ( 323026 )
      Theme integration will be the default for desktop environments that support it (listed above). Systems (for example, Windows 98/ME/2000, CDE) that do not support it will see no visual change in OpenOffice.org. On supported systems OpenOffice.org will always adopt the theme of the system and cannot choose not to do so.

      Interesting - no mention of OS X. I know the OS X port has now essentially been left to the excellent NeoOffice [neooffice.org] - I wonder if a beta 2.0 of that is now on the cards?


      • Re:Native Widgets! (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Queer Boy ( 451309 ) *

        Interesting - no mention of OS X. I know the OS X port has now essentially been left to the excellent NeoOffice - I wonder if a beta 2.0 of that is now on the cards?

        Personally, I don't know how much interest there is in Open Office for Mac OS X period. The interface by Mac standards makes me want to claw my eyes out. Contrary to what I am sure most Windows users assume, Macintosh versions of PC software are usually different aesthetically (and typically have more functionality).

        I'm sure most Mac users

      • Re:Native Widgets! (Score:5, Informative)

        by moonbender ( 547943 ) <moonbenderNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @06:22PM (#11817289)

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

        Due to various licensing, political, and fundamental engineering difficulties it is likely, for the near future, that native Aqua porting work will be based off of the NeoOffice.org project and not under the direct aegis of OpenOffice.org.
        (from http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/timeline.html [openoffice.org])

        This was reported on Slashdot [slashdot.org] a couple of weeks ago.
      • by soullessbastard ( 596494 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:00PM (#11819039) Homepage Journal
        Disclaimer: I am a developer of OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X and a founder of the NeoOffice [neooffice.org] project.

        I don't mean to be a curmudgeon, but NeoOffice/J won't be available in a 2.0 beta anytime soon. There are a number of reasons:
        • 2.0 isn't finished yet on any platform! We've already got so much on our plate that we simply can't spend our time working on such a large codebase that hasn't even yet reached code-freeze.
        • Mac OS X (X11) build support and testing for 2.0 isn't finished yet! In fact, it's only just begun. Because NeoOffice/J is built on top of the X11 base, we need to have a solid X11 version running and compiling before we can isolate whether bugs are inherent to Mac OS X or whether they are unique to the GUI replacement layer.
        • We haven't even finished NeoOffice/J 1.1! We're still working on trying to iron out all the bugs in the 1.1 based product. Moving to 2.0 is obviously going to introduce new bugs, and we can't consciously shoot ourselves in the foot right before a final release.
        • Translation of 2.0 isn't complete. NeoOffice/J supports localizations in over 40 languages, and we definitely don't want to leave any languages behind. We won't be considering moving until all of our supported languages are available.
        • 2.0 is not the final 2.0.x release. This is just a matter of fact...2.0 will probably have bugs after it is introduced and will have another 2.0.1 release, a 2.0.2 release, etc. It's easy to get caught up in the hamster wheel of keeping up with the torrent of patches and point releases from Hamburg and we can't afford to lose focus and let native porting suffer.
        • Moving to 2.0 is going to be a lot of work. Definitely months worth of dedicated work, actually, perhaps even more than a year. Just going from 1.0 to 1.1 took Patrick over a year easy and we're still not finished with that jump yet.
        • There are higher priorites than moving to 2.0. While folks love to clamor for "feature parity", we have different priorities (well, I do, perhaps Patrick disagrees). I am more than happy to trade 2.0 features in exchange for working on and completing the equally complex Mac OS X specific tasks, including:
          • getting the first "Final" release of NeoOffice/J!
          • moving to Java 1.4/1.5...crucial for the long-term viability of Neo/J on Tiger and future operating system revisions. There's no sense in spending a year perfecting 2.0 only to find it won't run on the latest and greatest. We already have to work around crashing bugs in the 1.3.1 VM every time there's just a minor update (e.g. 10.3.7 -> 10.3.8), and there's gotta be only so many more updates for which we can find workarounds until the VM just plain no longer works.
          • implementing the NWF and other Aqua widgets
          • using native file dialogs
          • beginning to redesign the interface to adhere to Aqua HIG
        • We only have so much time available! Although Patrick is truly astounding, there really is only so much time available as we need to feed our families and pay the rent from time to time. With limited resources available and several large and very technical projects looming on the horizon, they need to get prioritized.

        We're intending to backport the major feature of 2.0 that is required...OpenDocument format support. There are plans for an OpenOffice.org 1.1.5 release on other platforms that provides OpenDocument support which we hope to incorporate.

        What's most likely going to happen is that we'll try doing a NeoOffice/J 1.5 release with Aqua widgets and other Mac-specific features and technical enhancements. Our #1 goal isn't to keep up with the most up to date OOo release, but rather, to make a great Mac OS X office suite. NeoOffice/J 1.1 is the most solid foundation upon which to build it since it's the most bug free.

        Without substantial assistance (e.g. perfecting

    • Re:Native Widgets! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Vile Slime ( 638816 )
      > Systems (for example, Windows 98/ME/2000, CDE) that do not support it will see no visual change in OpenOffice.org

      Per my experience the theme is quite different on Windows 2000. Personally I don't like it. It reminds me of the psychodelic sixties, a lot of color that accomplishes nothing.

      Beyond that, the Impress presentation program seems to be a lot slower than the 1.1 version.

      It's so slow it's annoying to me. I just updated yesterday a 100+ page tutorial I'd written using 1.1 and it was torturou
    • The way the article words it, it sounds like the Windows widgets aren't really done by a theming engine, they just made a Luna Blue skin for OO.o. This would mean that people, like me, who use WindowBlinds will still not have a matching OO.o.

      I haven't tried the 2.0 betas, is this really the way it works?
    • I'd say the "integration" has gotten worse :/ I'm used to right-clicking on the systray icon and selecting "Open document". That's completely gone - or is there a setting that'll bring it back?

    • Re:Native Widgets! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Qwavel ( 733416 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:21PM (#11817924)

      My understanding is that it is NOT native widgets.

      Instead OOo did a lot of work to upgrade their own unique GUI framework to look and behave LIKE native widgets. This should guarantee longer load times, some unusual behaviors, and difficult integration. Most importantly though, this guarantees a duplication of effort as they maintain a completely seperate code base rather than contributing to one of the alternatives (eg. GTK+, wxWindows, SWT).

      As a C++ developer, I'm not going to work with the OOo code until they get their act together and start sharing code and work. Until then their code base is innaccesible to me.

      Please correct me if I'm wrong about what OOo is doing (I hope I am).
      • Re:Native Widgets! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cozziewozzie ( 344246 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @11:28PM (#11820228)
        Actually, I do think you are wrong.

        My understanding of their Native Widget Framework is that the VCL (the toolkit used by OO.o), in addition to drawing the widgets itself, can be used as a wrapper for Qt, GTK, MFC, or whatever else you are using on your system. So a little bit of overhead is there, but OpenOffice 2 should bring trully native look and feel.
  • How's the database? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RazorJ_2000 ( 164431 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:21PM (#11816545)
    I'm more interested in how the database is looking to be.
    • by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @06:33PM (#11817424) Homepage Journal
      The database is HSQLDB, which is a reasonable SQL database with the distinction of keeping the contents of the database in SQL scripts, and normally interacting with a file rather than with a service. It's essentially the right thing for cases where you want to have "your" database rather than "the" database. It's also easy to import on a database server, because you can just connect to the database and run the file as a script. It's quite a nice package, but it's not actually an OOo project at all.

      The OOo project is a front-end, and can access various SQL databases. They just include HSQLDB so that people who want to stick some information in a database in an ad hoc fashion don't have to set up a database service.
  • OO.o for OS X? (Score:2, Informative)

    by amichalo ( 132545 )
    Not to be off topic, but there was a great OO.o 1.1 based version native to OS X - cannot recall the name.

    Has this (yet to be remembered by me) group made any announcement on using the new 2.0 code in their OS X implementation?
    • The marketing page lists native widget support for Windows and Linux (KDE/GNOME), but no mention of OSX.
      • Disclaimer: I am a developer of OpenOffice.org Mac OS X and a founder of the NeoOffice [neooffice.org] project.

        There's no support for them in Mac OS X because OpenOffice.org itself still runs in X11 on Mac OS X. The Native Widget Framework doesn't actually use native widgets at all. The way the NWF works is by introducing a new abstraction layer (first pioneered by NeoOffice/C) that allows the OOo SFX/VCL based widgets to call a platform-specific function that essentially translates to "draw a button background here"
    • Re:OO.o for OS X? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Noksagt ( 69097 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:27PM (#11816615) Homepage
      The most native that I have seen is NeoOffice [neooffice.org]. Native look & feel through carbon and java.
    • I heard some time ago that the OO.o project had decided to drop support entirely for OSX.

      Which makes me beat my head against the wall. I'm stuck with using Abiword for when I need to open Word documents, or ...GASP... opening them on my PC with Office2k.

      I feel like I need to go to a free clinic every time I have to open an O2k app just out of sheer risk of Microsofection.

      "Yes, doctor, I installed all the patches. Yes, I leave automatic updates on. Yes I have SP2 installed. No, I didn't notice that rash b
      • Re:OO.o for OS X? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by aldoman ( 670791 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @06:52PM (#11817633) Homepage
        The trouble is that porting GUI software to OSX is very hard. This is due to Apple/anyone not caring about porting GTK to OSX, to run outside of X. Why Apple doesn't fix this is beyond me, as they could enjoy a wealth of nearly native software. It would also finally give some sort of cross platform GUI development platform that the Mac can be part of.

        I think OSX is getting very marginilised, which is a real shame since it's a very nice OS. When Linux supports my _printer_ and I can set it up in 1 minute using the GNOME printer configurationg tools, but I can't do it whatsoever on a much more expensive Mac, I think there is a problem.

        This is only going to happen more often as Linux starts to become the de-facto OS for 'simple' tasks - a hell of a lot of businesses only need an OS which can run a web browser (Firefox), do email and print, thanks to the huge amount of web-based applications which are coming on board. I still think it's got a way to go before businesses will completely migrate to it (even though Novell Linux Desktop makes it so much easier than any other distro I have used), but I think we'll certainly see more and more hardware/software being supported first on Linux, then Mac, if at all.
  • OOo that uses GTK for widget drawing? Please?
  • Corel Suite (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeathFlame ( 839265 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:22PM (#11816571)
    The only thing keeping my small office from switching over to OpenOffice is compatability with the Corel Suite, specifically Word Perfect and Quattro Pro.

    It used to be what our officed used exclusivley, but several people have been having issues with them. I've slowly started a switch to Open Office, but opening old documents and spreadsheet is impossible with Open Office, if they are any of the Corel Formats.
    • Re:Corel Suite (Score:5, Informative)

      by wes33 ( 698200 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:28PM (#11816632)
      wordperfect import is supported via the libwpd project. This evidently still needs some work (although wpd2sxw does a good job for me). As the OO people acknowledge (in a linked document):

      "the filter needs continuous development to arrest bit-rot, and to improve it's capabilities. Many such developments have already taken place, but are not merged/proposed due to the voracious demands of bureaucratic process, and the commensurate stifling of the will-to-live."

      I know the feeling ...
    • Re:Corel Suite (Score:2, Informative)

      by Daravon ( 848487 )
      I can't find the link offhand, but my company (which does support work for other local businesses) was able to find a filter for OpenOffice that allowed you to open Corel documents and save them into other formats. The filter wouldn't allow you to save back into the Corel format, but if you're wanting to convert, then you can save the old documents to MS or OOo formatting.
    • Re:Corel Suite (Score:3, Informative)

      by mopslik ( 688435 )

      I've slowly started a switch to Open Office, but opening old documents and spreadsheet is impossible with Open Office, if they are any of the Corel Formats.

      While conversion might take a good few days, have you tried using Corel's own (slightly older) conversion tool [corel.com]? Would a simple WP -> Word -> OO.o conversion work? Of course, this wouldn't help you with the Quattro files.

      After the initial conversion pains, you should be good to go in OO.o's sxw format.

    • Re:Corel Suite (Score:5, Informative)

      by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:43PM (#11816814) Homepage
      Well, you simply have not run into the other big OO gremlin yet.

      Not a single vector graphics import format works properly.

      The ones that barely work (Autocad for example) lose colors and most of the formatting. So if you want to draw a half decent diagram using DIA and import it into an OO presentation you might as well forget it. Your only chance is to export it as a raster image and import it in OO. The result is horrible by all means. Horrible size, horrible visually, horrible in a print form and horrible to edit.

      And OO 2.0 does not fix a single one of this issues. Instead of that we get visual candy - KDE widget support. Excuse me, but can we actually get the basic functionality fixed first before we get into Clippy land.
      • OOo 1.1 had TERRIBLE problems with workstation / all user installs. It relied on files being placed in a user's local home directory which is not good when you have computers in a lab-like setting. Workstation installs required user input (unless you scripted it otherwise - but then you'd lose the ability to set OOo defaults), and putting it on a Windows server running Terminal Services was buggy as hell.

        By default, OOo 2.0 now installs an 'all users' install, meaning that there are no more issues with OOo
  • by Raindance ( 680694 ) * <johnsonmx&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:24PM (#11816589) Homepage Journal
    Can someone on the inside of OO.org give a quick rundown on what to expect from this beta RC in terms of stability/usability?

    It sounds like "Release Notes, a list of know issues, system requirements are in preparation" but I assume that'll be written for the LCD and hard for folks to get the big picture from.

    So... if anybody in the know is out there, what's this release like? How buggy is it? What's the worst-case scenario if I start using it?

    • So... if anybody in the know is out there, what's this release like? How buggy is it? What's the worst-case scenario if I start using it?

      It's not even a beta yet. As far as stability goes, you shouldn't be surprised if it eats both your children and your dog.

      It may work wonderfully for you, but again: it's a _BETA_. The people at OO.org can't really guarantee you anything because the point behind most beta releases is that the release is unstable and needs testing. They do these releases for the purposes
  • by camcorder ( 759720 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:24PM (#11816590)
    At last 65536 rows as Microsoft Excell. Now lots of people will be able to use their xls files on OpenOffice.org as that's the major blocker for those people I know.
    • Unfortunately PivotTables prevents me from switching over. I don't need that many rows. I need the ability to visually slice 'n dice figures mid-conversation with PHBs and C-level executives.
    • by tim256 ( 855256 )
      I downloaded a version of OO 2.0 a few months ago and this 65536 rows feature actually worked. So finally it can replace Excel.

      However it seemed like the biggest problems with 1.1 for me was the slow start up time and the fact that it won't open some Excel documents, mostly password protected ones. I hope some of those issues were fixed.

    • What in frak's name do you need 65536 rows for?
    • by RealAlaskan ( 576404 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @06:09PM (#11817133) Homepage Journal
      At last 65536 rows as Microsoft Excell.

      Unfortunately, my boss uses spreadsheets (for populatoin models) with way more than 65k rows. He's stuck with Corel's spreadsheet, because it will do 1M by 1M spreadsheets.

      Obviously, we shouldn't be doing that sort of thing is a spreadsheet, but that's another story.

      • Based on your username, you're Alaskan... couldn't you calculate population figures, like, on the back of a stamp?

        I keed, I keed...

        Your state is much prettier than my red-clay-and-kudzu-infested hell hole of a state. Unless you're not actually Alaskan, in which case I retract everything I just said pending the outcome of a fuller investigation.
  • just curious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:26PM (#11816614)
    have any professional (for-profit) organizations switched to OO yet?
    • Re:just curious (Score:5, Interesting)

      by niki9 ( 580026 ) <niki&niki9,com> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:31PM (#11816681) Homepage
      Plenty of small businesses, I'm sure. Mine is one of them, I work for a small design studio in NYC, 5 permanent employees on multiple OS's, all using OO, and most of our consultants do as well.
      • Re:just curious (Score:3, Interesting)

        I work for a large company that is in the process of switching to OOo now... Quite a few users are already MSO free, and I believe everyone will be done sometime this year. Not a lot of complications that I know of so far other than some scripts, macros, etc., that didn't quite make it but were easily converted, and some of the PowerPoint stuff doesn't come through right. Other than that, I have heard very few complaints.
      • Have they set it to allow 8.5x11 pages without all the hassle of having to make new templates and forcing you to set ten different things just to make it work nicely in the US?

        Or is it still impossible to change the A4 size? :(
        • Page Size (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Gonoff ( 88518 )
          Now you know what the rest of the world has had to put up with MS products for years!
          Every now and again, I get a call from a user saying that the page setup has gone weird and I show them how to reset the paper size to A4.

          Perhaps they can teach you about logical date formats too?
          I also get calls from people with stories like I entered the date for 1 March this year and it changed it to January 3. Be logical - small - middle - big ddmmyy is a logical order. Middle - small - big mmddyy is backasswards.
  • Just in case StarOffice 8 beta is also available here [sun.com].
    A month ago I installed a pre-relase build of OpenOffice.org (not the RC) and run very very slowly and buggy. Then, i download and try StarOffice 8 and it run beautiful.
    I assume OO.org RC must be at the same stability/maturity level as Sun beta is.
    • Yes, SO8 beta runs very nicely, thank you. The beta program runs till roughly the end of March, and it's worth looking at, IMHO. I may be old, mad and past it, but I actually liked SO7 and preferred it enough to the current OO enough to buy it. I suspect I will feel the same about SO8. And no, I do not work for Sun or any of their partners.

      The Access database front end works surprisingly well in SO8 beta, though I've only tried it so far with MySQL 4.1 and MSDE.

      Interestingly for me, in one application that

  • I can't wait (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Schlemphfer ( 556732 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:30PM (#11816662) Homepage
    I suspect I'm always going to be a WordPerfect fan, at least when I'm trying to do real writing instead of just get business done. But I'm nevertheless so grateful that OpenOffice.org exists.

    Just today, I got a friggin' Excel spreadsheet from my distributor. They wanted me to complete it and send it back to them. It would kill me to fork over my hard-earned dough for Microsoft Office, but thanks to OpenOffice.org I never have to. I just fired up the OpenOffice spreadsheet, inserted the data, saved it as an .xls file, and my distributor won't have any idea I don't even own Microsoft Office.

    This wasn't the time and place, but whenever I get a chance I tell people they can probably get by with OpenOffice.org instead of purchasing Microsoft Office. OpenOffice 1.1 is more than good enough for most tasks, so I can't wait to see how good 2.0 is. It's always nice to use a fantastic product that also just happens to keep me from having to pay the Microsoft tax.

    • Re:I can't wait (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mmkkbb ( 816035 )
      I just fired up the OpenOffice spreadsheet, inserted the data, saved it as an .xls file, and my distributor won't have any idea I don't even own Microsoft Office.

      Which gives them exactly ZERO impetus to switch away from MS formats.
      • Re:I can't wait (Score:3, Insightful)

        by narcc ( 412956 )
        >>I just fired up the OpenOffice spreadsheet, inserted the data, saved it as an .xls file, and my distributor won't have any idea I don't even own Microsoft Office.

        >Which gives them exactly ZERO impetus to switch away from MS formats.

        But it gives you the ability to do so if you choose -- and isn't it all about choice anyhow?
    • From TFA:

      "WriterPerfect filter (Writer): The WordPerfect import filter is supported. You can now open a WordPerfect document in OpenOffice.org"

      It's in the table "Interoperability with Microsoft Office and other products."
  • Okay, so the 1.1 to 2.0 feature guide [openoffice.org] shows there is a new "presentaiton engine" called Impress (PowerPoint?) but it only lists this:

    New Presentation engine

    spec link

    "spec link" is not a link at all, just text.

    Anyone have any Impress specs to disclose?

    Also, Draw got only one entry in the otherwise lengthy document for the addition of "CustomShape" that allows 3D extrusions:

    The Drawing Toolbar has been reworked to provide a rich set of new commonly used drawing shapes such as: Basic, Block Arrow, S
  • by bahamat ( 187909 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:32PM (#11816685) Homepage
    . . . wait, that's a kernel joke. Crap!
  • I didn't see ANYTHING about it a few hours ago. At least for Mac Os X. I find that really weird. It's nice that there's a new Open Office, but the old one has successfully driven me insane with the long waits. NeoOfficeJ seems to be only slightly better, but that's good enough for me. I don't know that I'd try the new one unless I hear rave reviews. And I mean *rave*. Ready to be modded troll in 3, 2 . . .
  • by Repton ( 60818 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:35PM (#11816725) Homepage

    What does that mean?

    "Please let us know if you have any problems. We'll go through a couple of release candidates and then, once it's stable enough, we'll release it as a beta and you can all start testing it!"

    • For me, it's the startup speed; 31 seconds on SuSE 9.2 with KDE! Why won't "the team" team up and reduce this time? I also wonder whether we shall have macros and modules in its database component just as M$ Access does.

      I hope things will improve since this is just a release candidate.

    1. This is hardly New developments [slashdot.org] in OOo. But more like a reminder.
    2. I hope they fixed the bug that hit me yesterday. Writing a new document in writer. Hit save, give it a name, click the save button. And it crashes on me. Had to recover the document and save again. At least the recovery works. ;) It didn't do it the second time tho.
  • Now smaller! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:39PM (#11816763)
    Anyone noticed that it is about 30megs smaller than the previous verison.

    Wonder why...
  • It was written by real geeks you could trust: http://www.swiss.ai.mit.edu/~bob/bobandscott.jpg [mit.edu]

    Created in the shadow of Mt. Hood: http://www.swiss.ai.mit.edu/~bob/hood.jpg [mit.edu]

    Sigh. Everything was so simple and clean back then.

    All these new office suites make me feel depressed, and they make baby Jesus cry.


  • by chris09876 ( 643289 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:40PM (#11816781)
    Is this a beta candidate? The only thing worse than google having betas for years is a company releasing a beta candidate.
  • by amigabill ( 146897 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:41PM (#11816784)
    >Native system theme integration (native widget rendering)

    Does the descriotion for this mean that the user interface will now ACT like the native OS interface, or just LOOK like it now? My main gripe with OOo is that it seemed to try and emulate the MS Windows user interface in its operating window. While it seems the widgets drawn will no longer be trying to look like MS Windows widgets, I'm more interested in how I'll interact with the program.

    If it's still an MS Windows-like _interaction_ then I'll still be less happy than if it used native OS style user interactions, in terms of actualy scrolling the scrollbars and other stuff that don't feel like they're Solaris or Linux interactions in 1.x versions. The user interactions in MS Windows is the major reason I don't get along with it well, and was disappointed to see older OOo versions trying to bring that baggage to different OSes that I otherwise got along with better.
  • Impress Templates (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dduardo ( 592868 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:45PM (#11816834)
    When is OOo going to include more standard templates. To most people, Impress is useless because it doesn't come with a sufficient amount of bundled templates. Sure you can find more online, but people used to MS Office are not going to deal with that.
  • column limit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JRob007 ( 704655 )
    I don't understand why they want to copy Excel so tightly. The 256 column limit is a real problem. I regularly use data sets that have more then 256 columns. I will adopt OO.o as my main office suite when that is overcome. Until then, quatro pro will have to do.
    • I don't understand why they want to copy Excel so tightly. The 256 column limit is a real problem. I regularly use data sets that have more then 256 columns. I will adopt OO.o as my main office suite when that is overcome. Until then, quatro pro will have to do.

      Try normalizing your data.
  • by osewa77 ( 603622 ) <naijasms&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:47PM (#11816854) Homepage
    is to work exactly like MS Office. Let's learn from the success of Firefox (vs Mozilla). Shortcuts, Menus, should be similar even if functionality is different. So people can migrate from Word without noticing the difference.
  • Looks good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Daath ( 225404 ) <lp@code r . dk> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @05:50PM (#11816894) Homepage Journal
    On my Windows install, it installed in half the time 1.1.4 did, didn't say anything about java (which it usually does), the splash it better looking.

    I have two issues with this version in my short test, one was that they removed the program shortcuts from the "Quick Starter" in the tray?! Why on earth would they do that? Now the only thing you can do with the quick start is decide if it should load at windows start, and exit it.

    The second thing is that I chose File - Wizards - Install new dictionaries - Chose the language I wanted to install, and then nothing happens when you press the "Start DocOOo"-button, so no automated installation of dictionaries I guess.
  • OO.org is great.. I just wish it would start a bit faster. I thought this was one of the goals for 2.0.

    Anyway, congrats to the OO.org team! It's not easy diving in on that much code and making sense of the everything.
  • I hope they will fix the problem with inserting java applets into the presentation software some day. If it actually worked, that would be a neat feature that PowerPoint does not have.

    http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=2 2661 [openoffice.org]
  • Yay! Multi-lingual! (Score:4, Informative)

    by sbryant ( 93075 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @06:27PM (#11817339)

    One thing that was an annoyance about OO.o 1.x was that you needed a complete new installation if you wanted a different language. I have users who have different language preferences using the same system, and while the desktop software (KDE in this case) can be switched, OO.o couldn't.

    Well, that's now fixed in 2.0! You can add language packs to an existing installation! spec link [openoffice.org]


    -- Steve

    PS. Anyone know if Firefox can/will support this functionality?

  • A step forward (Score:5, Interesting)

    by water-and-sewer ( 612923 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @06:46PM (#11817559) Homepage
    I'm discouraged by the tremendous amount of comments here by people who have obviously not read the article but rather rushed to post "I hope it imports WP files" and the like. Holy schmoly.

    I think it's a great step forward. I signed up to be a beta tester for Star Office 8 and while I have only downloaded it this afternoon and won't get to install and play until tonight, I'm looking forward to the new features:

    Word Perfect import, a cleaned up user interface, better PDF export, better input filters for crapomatic Microsoft documents, and a database front end that can interface with MySQL? Who's yo daddy? Those are features that mean a lot to me.

    I'm a writer and I'm picky about my tools. And I take a Mac to school with me but run SUSE 9.1 and Xandros XD3 at home. Openoffice is the only software that really allows me to bridge the gap between those two platforms. On the Mac I run NeoOffice/J - a tremendous piece of software that's far more robust than people make it out to be. It doesn't load quickly, but once it does it gives me all the goodness of Openoffice.org with all the power of Mac OS X, and the interface is nice and clean, including native Mac print dialogues, and the like. I don't know what kind of alchemy went into marrying OO.o to Java to Mac OS X but I'm grateful someone went ahead and did it.

    Look closely at OpenOffice 2.0r1 and what you see is an attempt to steal marketshare away from existing MS Office users. That means cleaner widgets, better import/export capacity, and a look and feel that isn't too foreign. It's not breaking any barriers in the document-writing paradigm here (check out Mellel for Mac OS X for that), but it is making it easier for existing Office users to jump ship. And jump they will.

    There are several things I like about OO.o, including the stylist and navigator, the export to PDF functionality, and the way the interface meets my needs. At work I use MS Word 2003, and I swear to God I hate it, not because of who produces it but because it's the most awkward, confusing, automatic-in-unnecessary-ways piece of crap I've come across. And all that additional complexity has done little to make the secretaries I work with write good documents. I'm talking about borked-up formatting, inconsistent styles, and so on. OO.o deals specifically with those issues in a way I really appreciate.

    The new database component is a huge addition. To all you pinheads pontificating about how important an Access-like program is for the future of OO.o, shame on you for not having RTFA. This could very well be a killer app when all is said and done (the Star Office 8 beta forums make it look like it's still a bit buggy). That is: a front end that "looks like" Access, tied into a MySQL back end. That's fantastic! I currently use Rekall for my database front end, but I can't get a version for Debian, which is a major pain in the butt.

    In sum, ease up on all the "they better have included feature X." This is a major but manageable step forward, and while it doesn't solve all our problems, I think it's a big step forward to improving upon the success of previous editions of OO.o, and a big step forward to convincing potential MS Office refugees to give something new a shot. As for myself, I've decided compatability with MS Office users is no longer a concern to me. I'd rather just work alone with my grumpy ol' self. :)
  • Cross References (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrm677 ( 456727 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:31PM (#11818027)
    Cross References are still crap. Until they fix this issue, and I find an addon tool to interface with Bibtex, I cannot use OpenOffice Writer to replace Framemaker (or Latex, or even MS Word).

    I need to easily reference numbered sections, figures, and bibliographic entries. The problem is that OpenOffice doesn't automatically create a reference point for numbered sections.

  • by Teancom ( 13486 ) <david.gnuconsulting@com> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:02PM (#11819059) Homepage
    that OO needs to have before they'll switch, and I'm looking for abbreviation replacement. Well, for my sister. She works as a medical transcriptionist, and would really like to switch over to Linux. She started out a few months ago using Windows, IE, Outlook Express, and Word and has switched over to Firefox and Thunderbird so far. If she could get a good replacement for Word (+some plugins she uses), then she'd drop Windows in a second. She's also been using a desktop automater program and was very interested to learn that you can do the same things in Linux using a standard programming language like python (with dcop bindings) and shell scripts, for free. Basically, she wants to be the most efficient she can possibly be, and see's Windows as a stumbling block towards achieving that.

    By the way, an abbbreviation expander program is something that looks for you typing something like abd and it expands it to abdomen. Obviously, the programs she uses (shorthand and speedtype) are aimed directly at the medical transcriptionist market and come preloaded with abbreviations, but even something that she could customize would suffice for her needs. There are other MTs that are looking into Linux as well, and they could probably spread the load of inputting the medical terms into an abbreviation database and share it with one another, if only a word processor on Linux supported this. Any suggestions? I spent a goodly amount of time yesterday surfing google trying to find anything, and came up empty.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"