The Mac OS X port brings core system technologies and native code of the application to the Mac platform and provides the open-source community with a jump-start towards delivering a native Mac OS X OpenOffice.org office suite. In fact, OpenOffice.org is sponsored by
OpenOffice.org is the open source project through which Sun has released the technology for the StarOffice Productivity Suite. StarOffice is a downloadable cross-platform office productivity suite that includes components for word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, graphics, Web publishing, scheduling, database, and management applications.
All of the StarOffice source code is available under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) as well as the Sun Industry Standards Source License (SISSL). Sun will participate as a member of the OpenOffice.org community going forward.
At the 2000 Open Source conference in Monterey, Sun Microsystems announced their plans to release the current source code for Star Office, renamed OpenOffice. In October, Sun released the source code for the StarOffice suite, opening the way for possible development for the Mac under OS X by others. The reason for the open-source, according to the company, is to follow its core principles to develop and support open standards and compete on implementations. Other reasons include the development of a higher quality product as more development means fewer bugs and new features coming faster to market, as more programmers would be working on the product.
Sun is releasing the work it has completed on the Mac OS X port to the OpenOffice.org community. Sun said it believes that there’s enough support within the Mac OS X community to continue development on the port, and is inviting Mac developers throughout the world to “contribute their efforts to finishing the work that must be done to make this port a strong rival to other office software suites,” according to the official announcement of the Mac OS X port.
“OpenOffice.org will continue to provide a forum for development work and discussion on the Mac OS X port; that has not changed,” the folks at OpenOffice.org said. “We call on the dedicated Mac community now to rise to this challenge. Instructions for building the current version, as well as source downloads, are available now. “
The OpenOffice.org project provides the necessary facilities to make this open source technology available to the developer community. This includes the publicly accessible source code,
project information Web site, and discussion forums. Though the project lets you build spin-offs and modifications of StarOffice, folks who build such an office suite can’t call it StarOffice. It can be called anything else, however (DennisOffice sounds nice, I think.)
You can’t dub it StarOffice because that’s Sun’s commercial product and isn’t licensed under the GPL license family or SISSL. StarOffice 5.2 is built on a code base that predated the OpenOffice.org code. (Thanks to MacCentral reader David Robinson for the heads-up on this announcement.)