AppleOffice Speculation

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  • Reply 61 of 125
    rolandgrolandg Posts: 632member
    I haven't dug too deep into the technical possibilities MS Office offers lately. But instead of making a possible Apple Office Suite compatible to Microsoft's, they could make MS's compatible to open standards (or their own format) by developing filters for MS Office.
  • Reply 62 of 125
    mccrabmccrab Posts: 201member
    In the new "IBM friendly" world, perhaps Apple could consider licensing/jointly developing Lotus 1-2-3 and Lotus WordPro for OS X.



    It strikes me that the spreadsheet app is probably the most difficult to get right (compatibility for 100's of functions, iteration, charts, database functionality etc etc etc). Lotus 123 is probably the second best spreadsheet out there (Excel even offers compatible keyboard shortcuts) - if Apple are serious about achieving a high degree of compatibility, 1-2-3 would make a useful starting point.
  • Reply 63 of 125
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Whisper

    I thought OpenOffice was released for OSX a while ago. Almost a month I think. Was it not Aquafied?



    http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/timeline.html
  • Reply 64 of 125
    jbljbl Posts: 555member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by McCrab

    It strikes me that the spreadsheet app is probably the most difficult to get right (compatibility for 100's of functions, iteration, charts, database functionality etc etc etc).



    Okay, I am talking out of my @ss here but I would think that Excel would be easier to get write than either Word or PowerPoint. The reason is that no one actually cares that your spreadsheet looks exactly the same as someone elses as long as they work the same. The problem with translating Word documents is that one pixel different here and there and you get line breaks in different places and soon your tables are unreadable and your page breaks are all messed up. With Excel, sure you have to impliment a lot of functions but really all you have to do is make sure that the functions work. No one cares if text in your left justified cells is one pixel to the right of the cell boundry while in Excel it is two pixels.
  • Reply 65 of 125
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JBL

    Okay, I am talking out of my @ss here but I would think that Excel would be easier to get write than either Word or PowerPoint. The reason is that no one actually cares that your spreadsheet looks exactly the same as someone elses as long as they work the same. The problem with translating Word documents is that one pixel different here and there and you get line breaks in different places and soon your tables are unreadable and your page breaks are all messed up. With Excel, sure you have to impliment a lot of functions but really all you have to do is make sure that the functions work. No one cares if text in your left justified cells is one pixel to the right of the cell boundry while in Excel it is two pixels.



    I tend to agree with this. I think a spreadsheet (at least the core engine) would be amazing easy to do. The UI a bit more difficult, but Apple is already part way there with some of the classes in their Cocoa framework.



    Additionally the functions you speak of are all very well known (and not terribly complex) formulas.
  • Reply 66 of 125
    mccrabmccrab Posts: 201member
    Agree with you on math, finance, date, text functions etc where once the basic calc engine is put together, adding additional functionality (or for that matter, add-ins) should be straightforward (also, most spreadsheet functions are easily discernable - most can be figured out using first principles). The main issue I have found is in relation to iteration/resolving circular references (where as far as I am aware, there is no spreadsheet in OS X that deals with this [other than M$ Excel]).



    Also, I use Excel to create finished product/output (charts and tables) that are simply copy/pasted into a Word/PP document based on scenario analysis run out of Excel - in this case formatting becomes quite important. Excel does this reasonably well.



    I agree that word and PP are not easy to get right - but still believe excel is not exactly a walk in the park either. Damn MS.
  • Reply 67 of 125
    thebimbothebimbo Posts: 29member
    Earlier post talks about 'NeXTstep days' and the thought about Apple building an integrated office suite made me think about the cool subscribe and publish technology in NeXTstep that has not yet re-surfaced in MacosX yet... Textedit was one app that it worked in and basically you could subscribe to an object (e.g. from Draw.app) and it would not only update locally on your machine if the object changed but also OVER A NETWORK. Imagine if someone receives a Keynote presentation and you can change the sales figures in your local spreadsheet and these are live fed into a presentation of someone giving a Keynote presentation with a PB with airport at another location. This is what Avie is working on, right... And a lot of this was already developed. Pretty please Apple ...
  • Reply 68 of 125
    allenallen Posts: 84member
    It would seem that Apple/Filemaker would move Filemaker to being more compatible with SQL databases and enterprise solutions. One of it's weaknesses is the poor fit with coldfusion or java solutions used in business.
  • Reply 69 of 125
    formatc2formatc2 Posts: 176member
  • Reply 70 of 125
    OpenOffice has been stagnating for a LONG time. That timeline is way off schedule and I don't expect anything natively usable, beta or otherwise, from them for well over another year or two.



    Just read the page you linked to: according to their timeline, we should at around, oh, 2002 Q3. *sigh*
  • Reply 71 of 125
    formatc2formatc2 Posts: 176member
    Just like Apple was in stealth mode, porting and hacking on KHTML, I feel the same could be true for working with OpenOffice... at least I hope so.
  • Reply 72 of 125
    keshkesh Posts: 621member
    Hrm. Sounds to me like Apple is going to develop an office suite more like Office, and less like Works. Which means seperate apps, designed to work together. My predictions? (And remember, these are completely unfounded, based on wild rumors, and not to be trusted... unless they're right. )



    Writer or Memo - Take the core of AppleWorks' word processor, add MS Word .DOC file open/save capability, and improve its page-layout capabilities... instant Word-killer. 8) I'd say there's enough open-source word processing code to make this possible, and plenty of examples of good/bad interface design for such apps.



    Spreadsheet - Hey, the name's been used before. Again, rip the spreadsheet function out of AppleWorks, give it Excel .XLS read/write.



    Keynote - Bundled in with the suite for presentations. Already has Powerpoint import/export abilities.



    File - Essentially, Filemaker 7. Most likely fully-featured, with the exception of an inability to serve databases over the network. The killer would be if they could add an Access database import/export function. I'd expect "File Pro" would be a seperate product similar to Filemaker Developer / Unlimited, offering more functionality, including serving databases and creating stand-alone programs, at a much higher price.



    Final price for the suite? $299, with each piece available individually for $99 (just like Keynote is priced now). That gives them a competitive price with Office, while allowing people on a budget to pick & choose the parts they want.



    Any thoughts?
  • Reply 73 of 125
    If you have a fast Mac and want an OpenOffice that doesn't need X11, try NeoOffice/J. Download from



    http://www.planamesa.com/neojava/en/index.html



    It's using Java, so it's unfortunately a bit slow on older Macs. But for the first version (0.0) it's quite good. It does not yet have printing support, no drag and drop and the clipboard is NeoOffice-internal, but it has no problems with fonts and uses all installed fonts. It reads Word files. As soon as the three missing features have been added, it will be a great free Office alternative. It's not true that OpenOffice for the Mac doesn't make progress. It certainly does. And the timeline is not at all "way off schedule".



    A stable native Aqua version of KOffice that will also read Word files is due in 2-4 months.



    However, I think Apple should not use one of these Office suites. Compare Keynote to any other available presentation software. Keynote looks gorgeous, because it uses all those specific Mac OS X technologies like Quartz, ATSUI etc. KOffice and OpenOffice would not use them. KOffice and OpenOffice will be nice (and free), but why should a user who already owns Word switch? They do nothing Word cannot do (one exception: they support Unicode on the Mac, Word supports Unicode only in Windows). A new Cocoa AppleWorks/iOffice should really offer additional functionality, just like Keynote includes transitions, great graphics support and typesetting capabilities unmatched by PowerPoint.



    In other news, Nisus Writer Express 1.0 has been released, but (currently) lacks many important features, e.g. footnotes or tables. It's $60.

    A new version of Mellel with much better RTF support (will import/export footnotes, tables etc.) will be out in August. Mellel costs $25, including 3 years of free updates. Soon Mellel will also support outlining.

    Papyrus X! for Mac has also been released recently. It supports Unicode, Word/WordPerfect/RTF import, footnotes, tables (including complete spreadsheets), outlining, automatic generation of index and table of contents, forms etc. It includes basic DTP functionality, too. Papyrus is very fast and suitable for very large documents (has been tested without problems with documents having more than 30,000 pages). It's $99 but unfortunately the English version is not out yet - interface and manuals are German-only at the moment.
  • Reply 74 of 125
    NeoOffice/J 0.0.1 has been released. Unfortunately, it does still not support printing. :-(

    It's available in several languages now.
  • Reply 75 of 125
    imacfanimacfan Posts: 444member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Paul

    now all we need is a framework for excel and ppt to shoehorn into FM and keynote



    I seem to remember that when Keynote was announced, it could import data from Excel spreadsheets - so some of the work must have already been done.
  • Reply 76 of 125
    ryaxnbryaxnb Posts: 583member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rivendell

    Apple should come out with an killer office suite that can read and save MS Office file formats and other open source formats. They should make it for Windows and the Mac and give it away free.



    Free? No way. But Office costs $400-800, so if they took OpenOffice, changed it, and announced "iSuite, for Mac and Windows, just $179" - poof, MS will have to eithier lower their price drastically or lose much of MS Office's market.
  • Reply 77 of 125
    cubedudecubedude Posts: 1,556member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ryaxnb

    Free? No way. But Office costs $400-800, so if they took OpenOffice, changed it, and announced "iSuite, for Mac and Windows, just $179" - poof, MS will have to eithier lower their price drastically or lose much of MS Office's market.



    They should at least include the word processor portion of it on every Mac, for free. This way people aren't stuck using TextEdit until they find $179 for iOffice.
  • Reply 78 of 125
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,773member
    I know that my preoccupation with an Apple Office Suite is reaching unhealthy levels and I will soon need professional help.



    But the Filemaker Developers Conference is now only ten days away.

    How on earth can NOBODY know what going on?



    I find it impossible to believe that developers would be asked to attend a conference on the same software version for three years straight!
  • Reply 79 of 125
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,773member
    Well today's MS Office pricing moves will add more fuel to the fire.



    By dropping the price of the suite $100USD, the upcoming competition from OpenOffice in 2004 may be squarely in their minds.



    The $149USD Student and Teacher edition is a direct assault on AppleWorks, so now Cupertino really either has to decide: Stand and Fight or Turn and Run...



    AppleWorks 6 is a dreadful app that must either be upgraded or put out of its misery. Filemaker is still MIA with 8 days to go before the Developers convention. Mail and TextEdit are upgraded in Panther.



    But a Spreadsheet solution is still non-existent (Unless it's been incorporated into a new Filemaker. Is that even possible?)



    I know I'm obsessing about this, but right now we're on a platform that has best-of-breed music collection, advanced movie making abilities and now world-class video-conferencing.



    But we're stumped when Grandma wants to know what Apple solution she should use to type a letter.



    Something's gotta change here.
  • Reply 80 of 125
    AppleOffice/iOffice/iWorks/whatever, won't see the light of day in my opinion. At least not for a while. Millions of people rely on Microsoft Office, and everyone uses the format. If Apple were to introduce their own Office suite tomorrow, MS would leave the Mac platform permanently, making the Mac a dinosaur once again.
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