News reports late last week claimed that Sun and Apple have partnered to bring Sun’s StarOffice suite of applications to Mac OS X. While Sun officials acknowledge work on an OpenOffice port for Mac OS X, the company denied a port of StarOffice is in the works.
“There is a port of OpenOffice in development that is coming along quite well, but there is no development of a StarOffice port at this time,” Nancy Lee, group product marketing manager, office productivity at Sun, told MacCentral.
Lee categorized Apple’s help with OpenOffice as being no different than the company would offer any other Mac OS X developer, but said the companies were not cooperating on a commercial version of StarOffice.
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“Currently, there is no joint effort between Sun and Apple to develop StarOffice, but Apple has been very supportive of the OpenOffice.org effort,” Lee said.
“If there were such a thing you would expect both companies to come together and do a joint release, because it would be big news,” added Zaheda Bhorat, Community Manager for OpenOffice at Sun.
OpenOffice.org released a new developer build of the productivity suite last week. While the build posted to the Web site still requires X11, a Graphical User Interface layer used on Linux and Unix systems, Ed Peterlin, the lead developer of the OpenOffice project, said they do have versions working without the need for X11.
While X11 will always be a requirement for the Darwin builds, when OpenOffice 1.0 is released to the public it will not require X11.
OpenOffice provides users with a near-identical software package to Microsoft Corp.’s Office suite, featuring word processor, spreadsheet and presentation programs.
“I personally feel that Office v. X is a well rounded product with a very good Mac OS X interface. Getting to that level is one of the biggest tasks ahead of us for OpenOffice.”
Apple has not contributed to the coding of the OpenOffice project, according to Peterlin — the open source community has handled all of that. While work is progressing on the port, Peterlin still estimates a full 1.0 release to be two-three years away.
More developer support from the community would bring the project along much quicker, Peterlin said. If you’re interested in contributing to the OpenOffice project visit the
OpenOffice.org Web site.
Representatives from Apple were unavailable to comment on this story.